Ed Sheeran may be the gingerist acoustic guitar player on the planet, but he likes to stay grounded in reality. He admitted earlier in the week that he frequently goes back to his busking roots and stands outside shops in town centres singing a variety of songs.
"It keeps me on the top of my game," Sheeran said. "When you're busking, you know if you suck because people will tell you."
Simply wearing a hat is enough of a disguise for Sheeran, with many of his biggest fans completely unable to recognise him without the shock of brick-red hair. If his fans knew where he would be, there would be massive crowds for what are effectively free concerts. However, Sheeran keeps his busking routes secret.
"I only need my car and a guitar," said Sheeran. "Hey, that rhymed. One second while I write an entire album off the back of that one rhyme."
Busking does not always play out well for Sheeran.
"I was doing a medley of Oasis songs outside Smiths in Nottingham the other week," he said. "The manager of Smiths came out and told me to leave. I did offer to do a medley of Smiths songs instead, at which point he threatened to get violent. Obviously not a Manchester music fan. I couldn't think of any Nottingham musicians until I was driving home, when I remembered Bruce Dickinson is from Nottingham. Perhaps I should have offered to do Can I Play with Madness?"
Bands of Sheeran fans, now knowing he regularly goes busking, are now prowling the shopping centres of towns in the hope of catching a glimpse of their idol. So far, without success.
"I've been to twenty-seven town centres," said Kylie Monotone, the founding member of the Sheeranites, a fan club devoted to Ed Sheeran. "I even spent all day in Slough. So far I've not seen him. There's too many town centres, and not enough Ed Sheeran fans to cover them all."
Sheeran has bad news for the Sheeranites.
"My dad watches the various twitter feeds," he said. "If anybody realises where I am, by the time word gets out, I'm gone, because my dad will ring me."