Viral busker Cam Cole heads to resort for a gig at Bootleg Social on first official tour

Viral busker turned recording artist Cam Cole will play Bootleg Social in Blackpool.Viral busker turned recording artist Cam Cole will play Bootleg Social in Blackpool.
Viral busker turned recording artist Cam Cole will play Bootleg Social in Blackpool.
Busker turned recording artist Cam Cole brings his heavy blues and rock-and roll show from the street to the stage for his first ever UK tour and will play at Bootleg Social on September 3.

The one-man band busking online sensation Cam Cole will be playing songs from his new full length album “Crooked Hill”, released on July 30 as well his well received debut “I See”

London born and New Age traveller Cole had been building quite a following before the world shut down in 2020.

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But rather than being downhearted by the lack of gigs in the past 16 months, he managed to turn it into a positive through a series of Sounds From the Van online performances.

The internet, he says, has proved a godsend in making his presence more widely known.

Cole, who has gone viral with his online videos said: “I think it was a following that I’d already kind of built up from just years of hard work on the streets in London and various other towns in England, it was a snowball that was already in motion, then when coronavirus hit I was about to do my first official tour in venues.

“I’d already done a tour in 2019 where I played in quite a few venues all over the country but it was about to get super serious. It was already there, about to go, then that tour got cancelled.

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"I was actually backpacking in India when the whole thing happened, I got trapped out there for another month, then managed to get back and thought, What can I do?

"All my gigs are cancelled, I’ll do some weekly uploads’. So I’ve been travelling around in various spots, playing my guitar and filming it and sticking it on the internet, and the following has just grown from that.”

Another significant boost to his profile came from his appearance in the Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso. “It helped massively, especially overseas, ” he added. “I’ve had a few videos go viral in the last decade so I already had a bit of a fanbase in the USA, but Ted Lasso bumped that up quite a heavy notch.”

The role came about when Jason Sudeikis, who plays the show’s main character, a coach of college-level American football who is unexpectedly recruited to coach an English Premier League team, spotted one of Cole’s videos while searching the internet for London buskers.

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He said: “They asked me would I like to play a character, but I said, I’m not really an actor, I’d rather not. If you want me to play I don’t mind coming down and playing a few songs, but I’m only going to be myself’, and they said that’s fine’. So I came down and it was mad, going from a little hippie house up north in between shows to this film set.”

The new album, Crooked Hill was mostly written in 2019, but Cole also used his three-month stay in India to pen more songs. “It’s definitely a heavier rock album compared to I See, ” he added, “I brought in my second guitar, which I’ve had since I was seven, I bought it at a (car) boot sale for £4. It’s a much heavier sound. The other one is an acoustic.

“I think it’s definitely progressing from I See, and the way we recorded it as well, we’re just getting better at what we do. It’s just about perfecting that one-man band sound that I’ve got going on. I was a lot more rehearsed for this album. I’m becoming more and more professional as time goes on.”

Cam Cole plays at Bootleg Social on September 3. Tickets £9,90

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