It's either the best surprise a street musician has ever experienced or a brilliant setup. Whatever the case, the clip of a Berlin busker performing Bronksi Beat's 1984 hit "Smalltown Boy" is bound to put a smile on your face. The clip was posted October 23, but is just beginning to gain viral heat now.
The clip begins with a blond, bearded, unidentified street performer playing "Smalltown Boy" on a blue acoustic guitar. He has a baseball cap on the ground to collect tips, but he receives something more valuable than money!
About 25 seconds into the clip. Jimmy Somerville, the original vocalist on the song, suddenly appears just in time for the chorus. Apparently he coincidentally ran into the busker doing his song while walking his dog.
At first the street musician is stunned and stops playing when he hears Somerville's falsetto, but he regains his composure, counts it down, and the two go on to make glorious music together.
And a few passerbys happened to capture it on video. This clip is shot vertically, leading us to believe it wasn't staged but a true spontaneous moment. If it were staged, there would likely be better-quality video.
When the two wrap up the song, the bewildered street performer asks, "Is it you? Is it you?"
Somerville first concludes, "It's a hit!" But then confirms, "It's me," leading the stunned busker to say, "Oh my God!"
"Smalltown Boy," by the way, has become a gay anthem of sorts, since it addresses homosexuality, homophobia, parental alienation, and bullying. Here's the original video:
Somerville is still recording. In June, he released Solent, the third in a series of EPs, available through bandcamp.com, iTunes, or Amazon.
- Jimmy Somerville