Friday 20 October 2017

Peter goes from totting numbers to belting them out

Meaty voice: Busker Peter Walls.
Meaty voice: Busker Peter Walls.
Joyce Fegan

Joyce Fegan

Meet Peter Walls, the qualified management acco-untant who went from bust to busking.

With a beautifully cut tuxedo, complete with bow tie, he cuts a dramatic figure among the market stalls of Dublin's Moore Street.

Mr Walls's story is one familiar to many. In the middle of 2009 his business collapsed along with the rest of his life.

He said he spent some time walking the roads of Ireland during his "wonderful mid-life crisis". He started singing in Limerick when a few people he'd met there encouraged him. It wasn't long until he took his tenor voice to the capital.

The Spire on O'Connell Street was one of his main stomping grounds and it's where butcher Paddy Buckley of FX Buckley Butchers discovered him.

"I spied him at the entrance to the GPO one day and I asked him to come down and busk outside my shop on Moore Street," explains Paddy.

It's a win-win situation for Paddy and Peter alike. Peter's powerful voice attracts many customers and stops the usually hurried shoppers in their tracks.

The arrangement also means Peter has shelter from the rain by way of Paddy's red and white striped awning.

"I hated the accounting. I was always looking to get other businesses off the ground so I could get away from it. I couldn't handle the pressures of it, maybe other people can but I couldn't."

Now Peter balances his own accounts from busking with some book-keeping on the side, it takes the "pressure off," he says.

And he does well. From two numbers alone he makes a few bob. Tourists record him on handheld cameras and on phones.

"I have more fun out on the street than I've had in my whole lifetime. I'm really excited about what might happen. I've a CD coming out in the autumn and have lots of regulars that come to listen."

It's easy to see why the same faces come around to see him day after day and ask where's he been, if he hasn't been around. He's real. No airs, no graces, and he's got a tremendous voice too.

As he departs, he mentions that he's available to play for weddings and private functions. You can contact him at www.peterdwalls.com

Sunday Independent

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