Exmouth musician performs ‘impromptu’ concerts to keep neighbours’ spirits up

PUBLISHED: 16:50 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:50 30 April 2020

Simon Watton has been doing impromptu concerts from his balcony. Picture: Simon Watton

Simon Watton has been doing impromptu concerts from his balcony. Picture: Simon Watton


Another of Exmouth’s buskers is doing his bit to lift community spirits during the coronavirus crisis.

Following on from Bradley ‘The Busker’ Hicks entertaining residents at Manor Lodge Care Home – from a safe distance – Simon Watton has been playing for his neighbours.

He invited residents from nearby homes to pull a table and chairs into their gardens, pour themselves a drink and enjoy his mix of classical and Irish music played from his balcony.

“It really was an impromptu one-off the first time, but as it went down so well, I’ve been playing every five days or so,” said the 62-year-old.

Prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, Mr Watton was playing three times a week, normally in Exmouth, Sidmouth and Honiton but his music has taken him across the south west.

Like so many others, Mr Watton has found that to comply with social distancing measures, he had no choice but to stop working.

“I’m only playing for fun, but it’s giving my neighbours a lift and keeping all of us sane - without breaking distancing requirements,” he added.

He plays a mixture of music which most people would recognise such as Bach’s Jusu and Minuet in G Major as well as Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.

He also plays traditional Irish pieces.

Mr Watton, who has lived in Exmouth for 22 years, added: “I also play a few standards, such as Greensleeves, Moon River, Guantanmera and quite an eclectic mix of other pieces that I like and some of my own pieces.” Two of his impromptu concerts have been streamed on his Facebook page and he was ‘astounded and very flattered’ to have 900 people watch on one occasion.

Having created such interest on social media, he is keen to continue his good work.

His April 11 concert is still available to see on his Facebook Page and he is planning to live-stream more concerts.

He said he is happy do similar performances elsewhere, but only where there is full compliance with distancing rules.

Visit the Simon Watton Music Facebook page for more information.

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