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Adelaide Fringe

Review: Vin Garbutt

Adelaide Fringe

Opening the first set with a song about death, Vin Garbutt assured his audience at The Gov that his experience has always been that “folk music is better than fun”.  ★★★★★

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Indeed, an evening with the affectionately nicknamed “Teesside Troubadour” is an exciting combination of his talents as a raconteur, humorist (the trademark puns are all the better as the audience can often predict the punchline), and his unique and powerful delivery of the music he loves.

The evening began with a set from Vincent’s Chair’s talented Kathie Renner, accompanied by fellow band member Karen De Nardi, whose often haunting viola provided the perfect complement to Renner’s vocals and fluid guitar style.

Then came Vin Garbutt for two sets in which he combined the “Christmas hits” from his latest CD Synthetic Hues with favourites requested by his many fans in the audience.

Every song, whether it was a much-loved track from his repertoire (“Silver and Gold”) or a new composition (“Teacher from Persia”) was given an introduction which was peppered with the entertaining digressions that make his style unique.  Garbutt can talk about medical procedures, life-threatening experiences and folk music history – and make serious political points – all with the same wry humour and his view of life that includes the audience as if he was telling the story to each individual.

He treated us to a number of songs from his latest album, including “The Fallen of Fulstow”. This tells of the inspiring determination of a small community to refuse the offer of a war memorial unless it included the name of a decorated and brave soldier who had deserted after being shell-shocked and was executed as a coward.  Garbutt’s treatment of that story is a great example of his compassion and passion in songwriting to highlight what is important in the community.

With a rare talent that has been honed over his 46 years as a professional musician, Vin Garbutt is a treasure to be discovered in live performance or on CD.  His closing song thanking those who show him hospitality on the way (“Your Welcome was so Warm”) was reciprocated enthusiastically by the audience at The Gov.  They can’t wait for him to come back again.

Five stars

Vin Garbutt performed for one night only at The Governor Hindmarsh as part of Adelaide Fringe.


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