Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ban for Birmingham buskers who only knew Wonderwall and Faith

Aug. 20, 2009 - A ‘busking duo from hell’ who turned Moseley into anything but an oasis with their renditions of just two songs have been turfed out of the area.

Andrew Stevens and James Ryan

Guitar-strumming James Ryan and pal Andrew Stevens, who would bash dustbin lids and street furniture with drumsticks, only knew two hits - Wonderwall by Oasis and George Michael’s Faith.

But the plug has now been pulled on their impromptu gigs after fed-up residents, plagued by their late night begging antics, said it turned Moseley village into a nightmare of loud noise and fighting.

Now 40-year-old Ryan, from Dollery Drive, Edgbaston, and Stevens, also known as Andrew Cave, 39, of no fixed address, have been banned from entering parts of Moseley and playing musical instruments in public in the area.

The pair were also banned from begging anywhere in England and Wales.

They were warned they faced jail if they breached the two-year anti-social behaviour orders handed down yesterday by District Judge Qureshi at Birmingham Magistrates Court.

After the hearing, Ryan said: “The whole thing’s about playing a guitar, it’s a joke. Most people loved it.”

Birmingham City Council said the pair stood outside various pubs in Moseley singing and begging, often playing from early evening into the early hours.

The pair also waited outside taxi ranks and cashpoints along St Mary’s Row demanding money.

Revellers often joined in with them at pub closing time. As well as the excessive noise nuisance fights would often break out between groups heading home, the council said.

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