Vin Garbutt is one of that wonderful breed of British folk singers who effortlessly combine comedy and music. They have you laughing away at their stories between songs and then melt your heart with delicious melodies and the joys and sorrows of the people they sing about.
For over 40 years Vin has been travelling the world mesmerising audiences with an extraordinary voice, an endless swag of wonderful songs, and an infectious warmth and love for humanity. In what could well be his last Australian tour he seemed anxious to give thanks to all those who have enabled his extended career.
The bulk of his songs have always featured stories about the little guy – the people who have worked hard or who life has treated harshly and who have no voice of their own. He has a knack for uncovering such stories, mostly from his native UK, and crafting songs around them. Like the miner who became a seamstress when he lost his job in the mines (Silver and Gold); the former musician from Iran who became a teacher (Teacher From Persia), the retired steel worker who took to growing vegetables in his tiny allotment (Man of the Earth). Stories like this have been a driving force behind his success. The purpose of Vin Garbutt’s version of folk music is to bring these stories to light. And to entertain of course.
And he does it such a joyous way that there’s nothing gloomy about it. Life can be tough but there’s always a funny story around the next bend. For Vin Garbutt life’s a wonderful and melancholy thing.
His quirky on stage demeanour is cheeky and endearing, and his care for his audiences and the gratitude for the life he leads is abundant.
“All the very best” he says every time he raises his glass to take a drink. Right back at you Vin. You’re a treasure.
(Also published over on The Clothesline)