Passenger draws huge crowd busking on Royal Mile

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Hundreds of people gathered on the Royal Mile for an acoustic performance from chart star Passenger.

The former busker – who shot to fame with hit single Let Her Go – impressed the audience with an hour-long set outside St Giles’ Cathedral.

Passenger wows the crowds on the Royal Mile. Picture: Greg Macvean

Passenger wows the crowds on the Royal Mile. Picture: Greg Macvean

Fans of all ages basked in yesterday’s lunchtime sunshine, many of them sitting cross-legged on the pavement, as Passenger – whose real name is Mike Rosenberg – performed songs from his forthcoming fourth album, Whisper.

He also pleased older fans with several songs from his previous records, and prompted a mass sing-along with hits including Let Her Go, which sold more than a million digital copies in the UK and reached number two in the charts in 2013.

He joked that the last time he busked on the Royal Mile he was moved on by police, and the performer said that because he did not need to put his guitar case out for himself anymore, he wanted fans to buy a Big Issue instead.

“Over the last couple of weeks I have been working with The Big Issue. If you would have paid a fiver to see me play today, or even a couple of quid, please go and see the Big Issue sellers,” said Passenger, who is based in Brighton.

Passenger. Picture: Greg Macvean

Passenger. Picture: Greg Macvean

His banter with the crowd was well received, and he made a running joke out of the fact a crying toddler occasionally interrupted his set.

When several eager fans shouted for him to play his most famous hit – which reached number one in countries including Australia, New Zealand, Italy and Germany – he joked: “I don’t have a song called Let Her Go.”

Passenger, whose success has come after years of busking and playing in a band as a relatively unknown artist, told the crowd: “It’s just

snowballed over the last couple of years. Nothing makes me more happy than singing in a spot where I used to busk to 14 people and seeing so many of you standing listening to the words that I wrote. It just makes me so, so happy.”

Passenger is playing on the Royal Mile. Picture: Stefan Tymkewycz

Passenger is playing on the Royal Mile. Picture: Stefan Tymkewycz

Delighted fans gushed about the hour-long performance, which was part of a busking tour around the UK.

Edinburgh University students Anna Maitland and Natalie Simpson, both 23, took breaks from their exams to watch the gig.

Miss Maitland said: “I don’t know his music that well, but it’s quite a cool thing to do, a bit of a publicity stunt.”

Dedicated fan Jodie Jamieson, 19, said it was “fate” that she had been on a day off work.

“I love him,” the Dalkeith teenager said.