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Collier Row busker wins UK’s biggest street music contest Gigs

PUBLISHED: 11:30 04 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:11 04 September 2017

Josh Gleaves was crowned Gigs Champion 2017 in the mayor of London's busking competition. Picture: Kois Miah

Josh Gleaves was crowned Gigs Champion 2017 in the mayor of London's busking competition. Picture: Kois Miah

© Kois Miah

A 16-year-old has been crowned the winner of a London-wide competition to find the capital’s best busker.

For the past six months, musicians have sung their hearts out to impress audiences and judges but in the end, it was Josh Gleaves, of Collier Row, who took the top spot at the final of the mayor of London’s Gigs contest at the weekend.

He said: “I’m delighted to have been crowned Gigs Champion 2017.

“The competition has been a brilliant experience and playing across London this summer has really boosted my confidence.

“The grand final was amazing and I can’t thank Gigs enough for having me as part of the competition.”

Over the summer, dozens of aspiring young buskers entertained thousands of Londoners and visitors to the capital at iconic locations across the city, including St Paul’s Cathedral, Wembley and Battersea Power Station.

Yesterday, the top 12 musicians, as chosen by music industry experts and the public vote, battled it out in the final of the UK’s biggest street music contest.

Each performer was judged on their musicality, technique and overall performance at the final in front of hundreds at Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush.

After performing his original song Something that I never thought I’d do, Josh was showered in confetti as he was named the winner.

Just some of the prizes he walked away with, was a highly-coveted London Underground busking licence, a new guitar and busking equipment.

To top the night off, Josh - who makes up half of the duo Roadstead alongside friend Zac Carpenter from Croydon - also won Gigs’ songwriting prize for their original tune Too Late.

They will now perform in a series of high-profile gigs, including next year’s Feast of St George in Trafalgar Square.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Congratulations to Josh and all the talented young performers who have taken part in this year’s Gigs competition. The creativity in London never fails to amaze me and is a big part of what makes the capital a unique and a wonderful place to live in and visit.

“The Gigs competition really demonstrates what an open, diverse and creative city London is.”

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