VIN GARBUTT – Teesside Troubadour (Pancrack TV PAN4DVD)

For those not in the know, Vin Garbutt is the kind of bloke that you would like as your best mate. He could talk the hind legs off a donkey (in the nicest possible way) and his entertaining banter covers the sublime to the ridiculous. OK with introductions and clichés out of the way this documentary is lovingly crafted by Craig Hornby and should be required viewing by anyone who considers himself a true ‘folk music’ fan. The opening scene shows our hero emerging rabbit-like from his warren (or house in this case) looking onto a glorious vista of rolling hills that you would only normally expect to see on a postcard or the top of a box of biscuits. How any man could be enticed away from such a beautiful setting is beyond me but of course, as is the nature of the beast and to gain that somewhat dubious honour of being a fully paid-up member of the elite band of ‘real’ troubadours Garbutt has to travel far and wide in search of his own personal pot of gold. Armed with his trusty guitar and tin whistle this most personable balladeer has provided much enjoyment spanning a career that has lasted over 40 years all captured in detail utilising many press clippings and photos along with sound-bites by those lucky enough to count him as a friend. It’s not always been easy sailing but via this informative bit of voyeurism the film certainly captures the mood of someone who has to live their life out of a suitcase. Whether it be ‘live’ performances in far flung parts of the world or by getting involved in the cultural aspects of indigenous tribes Vin is forever grateful for being given the opportunity to immerse himself fully where many of us are confined to watching cultural exchanges take place through the media of TV. He is obviously a man who takes nothing for granted and by being captured in such a vulnerable way (through the media of DVD) one can’t help but admire the hard graft Garbutt maintains to this day. Congratulations to Mr Hornby for whom this was obviously a labour of love and also helping to bring vividly to life one of the ‘folk’ scene’s most respected and treasured artists…he deserves it!


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