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How a former Norwich busker went from singing on the streets to performing at sold-out gigs

PUBLISHED: 14:21 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:03 24 April 2019

The Dualers lead singer Tyber Cranstoun used to busk on the streets of Norwich before finding national fame. Picture: Courtesy of The Dualers

The Dualers lead singer Tyber Cranstoun used to busk on the streets of Norwich before finding national fame. Picture: Courtesy of The Dualers

Courtesy of The Dualers

From busking on the streets of Norwich to performances in front of thousands of fans, musician Tyber Cranstoun has found national fame - and thanks the public for his success.

The Dualers will be performing at the Norwich Open and Albert Hall in Manchester. Picture: Courtesy of The DualersThe Dualers will be performing at the Norwich Open and Albert Hall in Manchester. Picture: Courtesy of The Dualers

Mr Cranstoun, 38, is one of nine band members that make up the The Dualers, a Jamaican ska and reggae ensemble from south east London.

They first hit the headlines when their song Kiss on the Lips peaked at number 21 in the UK top 30 in 2004, despite having no record label.

It was lead singer Mr Cranstoun's humble beginnings that caught the eyes and ears of fans, who shared his busking performances - including in Norwich - online, which then became viral.

Around seven years ago, Mr Cranstoun, who started the band with his brother Si before he pursued his own solo career in 2010, had travelled from his home in Bromley to perform at Norwich city centre for around four hours a week.

The Dualers lead singer Tyber Cranstoun used to busk on the streets of Norwich before finding national fame. Picture: Courtesy of The DualersThe Dualers lead singer Tyber Cranstoun used to busk on the streets of Norwich before finding national fame. Picture: Courtesy of The Dualers

“I had friends at the university so I went up and stayed with them,” he said. “I always had a good reception in Norwich, that's why I would make that journey.”

He described the city as a “home away from home” and spent two years busking on the streets.

“Norwich is a bit pro-busking, a lot of older towns like Oxford and Cambridge are more open, probably because they're more in touch with the community,” he said. 
“You do get some trouble sometimes, people being drunk and disorderly, but I never had that in Norwich.”

After fans shared videos of his performances, Mr Cranstoun found success almost overnight and The Dualers have gone on to perform with big names in ska and reggae including UB40 and Madness.

Their biggest UK tour will see them perform at a sold-out gig at the Albert Hall in Manchester on April 27, as well as returning to Norwich to perform at Open on May 18.

Mr Cranstoun said: “It happened so quickly, I was busking on the high street to pay the bills and people saw it and shared it online and now suddenly I'm performing at Albert Hall.

“I have been wanting to come back to Norwich for ages, it has left a massive impression on me, I hope to see familiar faces in the crowds.”

Tickets for the Norwich Open event are available at www.skiddle.com.

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