Busking in York: The Glass Caves

Amidst drunken crowds and lilted locals comes an energetic and catchy sound


It’s unlikely you’ve wandered around York’s streets at the weekend without hearing the catchy, echoing riffs of Glass Caves resonating across the cobbles. Consisting of Matt, Connor, Elliott and Will, the quartet take to the city to busk, a habit that begun when the band were struggling for cash at university.
“After standing in the streets scared to death for the first few months with Connor, we realised we can actually make a reasonable amount of money from doing what we loved. When we told Elliott about it, he started getting involved and then we became the busking band you see now most weekends in York. Busking is perfect for us because it’s a source of money, great publicity for the band a pretty good way to test and practice our new songs.”

Having formed in 2010, the band has cited influences ranging from the Police, XTC, Led Zeppelin and Kings of Leon. After honing their skills on covers, Glass Caves was born from positive feedback at a local festival and a few weeks locked in a garage that resulted in an impressive repertoire of originals. After finding success from their presence in York, the band have now spent time in the Parr St. Studio in Liverpool, and will be releasing one of their new tracks, Summer Lover, via their Facebook.

While Matt is from York, the rest of the band are all from Pontefract, and an endearing sense of localities spills from their music. Lyrically, the band are inspired by the people and places around them, and owe much to where they grew up. “There were always good local bands on at The Loft and The Counting House where we went to music; that definitely inspired us. When we were young the Arctic Monkeys were getting pretty big on the scene, and we saw them as a ‘local’ band that we could relate to and were really interested in, so it was exciting to see them grow as a successful band.”

York has provided a welcome location for the band’s growth; “although it’s small, it definitely has its stamp on the musical map.” Despite this, the weekends bring their fair share of anecdotes as people stumble out of the city’s venues of an evening. “Most weekends there are drunken antics because of the massive amount of hen and stag dos that seem to happen in York. One weekend we did have a groom and his ushers playing our instruments for a while, mainly to pose for the wedding album – that was just before the wedding which happened in the church behind where we play, which was pretty surreal. Usually when we do get hassled by hen/stag do’s they all throw in a quid so we can’t complain.”

“To us music is just what we love to do. It’s one thing that we all get really passionate about and don’t mind doing day in day out. I think music is something that everyone can relate to, and is sometimes just what you need to make an awful day seem alright.”

You can follow the Glass Caves on Facebook.

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