Biography

Vin Garbutt (born in South Bank, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom), though second generation Irish, is an English folk singer and songwriter. A signifant part of his repertoire consists of protest songs covering topics such as “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland (Troubles of Erin), unemployment, and abortion. At the age of 21, in 1969, he threw caution to the winds and became a professional musician. Armed with the rich repertoire of songs he had amassed, he spent the first summer busking his way around the bars of Spain’s Mediterranean coast, and on to Morocco via Gibraltar. It was then that he found he had a talent for songwriting. Back in England in 1972 he recorded his first album for Bill Leader - The Valley of Tees. This firmly established him as a singer and songwriter of fine socially conscious, and environmentally aware songs.

Politically, Garbutt is unusual, in that he sings in favour of what are generally Left wing positions (support for Nicaragua against US imperialism for example). However, on the question of abortion, he expressed a loud opposition to it as “state murder”, a position normally associated with conservatives. He is a Roman Catholic.

Throughout the 70’s Vin’s reputation grew rapidly until he became “the most sought after performer on the Folk Scene”. The development of his ‘Act’ took in songs of the past and his own material, his introductions became more and more zany and funny, and his brilliant tin-whistle playing never ceased to amaze. “Half the fun on some of his numbers is spotting the story he has told you in the song he is singing” - to quote one review. As “THE Man of British Folk Music” in the ‘80’s he was asked to tour abroad: visiting the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Yugoslavia, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Cyprus, Singapore, Thailand, and Bermuda.

The ‘90’s saw an even bigger explosion of interest in Vin and his work. Trevor Burton of The Move fame saw him perform and handed a tape to Alan Whetton of Dexy’s Midnight Runners. He went to see him perform and became an instant Garbutt ‘nut’, and demanded to produce his next two albums - When the Tide Turns and The Bypass Syndrome. Alan played the original tape to a number of ‘Rock Names’ who all volunteered to play on these albums including Robbie McIntosh of The Paul McCartney Band.

The best example of Vin performong live can be found on his 1996 C.D. release Plugged! This was recorded live in a club in Birmingham, containing a lot of the ‘patter’ and a true feel of his performance.

Edited by cheekychives on 15 May 2009, 07:24

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Formed in
  • 1969
Founded in
  • Middlesbrough, United Kingdom

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