Teesside Troubadour
By Robert Nichols
Wednesday 17 Nov 2010 16:07:00
Browse all GENERAL INTEREST articles


Get yourself down to Middlesbrough Cineworld to pay homage to the Teesside Troubadour, Vin Garbutt. You’ve only got until tomorrow night so hurry.


Yes, we are going to break with tradition and plug something that isn’t football not even sport but a biopic focussing on one of our own, a folkie genius from Slaggy Island, South Bank Mr Vin Garbutt. A legend in his own backyard but also someone that has taken the words of Teesside folk around the world and back again.


The film documents the life and achievements of a man who is on perpetual world tour following him through several countries and indeed continents. For the fleeting time he spends back in the area Vin calls home a once ruined cottage he has renovated, perched perilously on the cliff edge near Loftus. But what a view!


Vin Garbutt as one of the pioneers of a music for Teesside folk, has helped give the people of this area a voice. Craig Pancrack through this superb film has brought a long deserved spotlight on to the man that has helped preserve our identity and our pride and put us on a musical pedestal around the world.


Vin is an incredible performer, the film traces the roots of his stagecraft through his working class upbringing and his Irish heritage in common with so many families that moved to South Banks for the steel works. He is so witty is Vin, that the Cineworld audience are in creases for much of the 83 minutes, which flashes by.


The comedy between songs is in complete contrast to the serious nature of lyrics that can move, agitate, or provoke. Vin cannot be easily labelled, a left winger who is also a strong practising Catholic and a pro-lifer, something that many of the folk hierarchy have found difficult to stomach. But as a people person he triumphs every time. His music and his personality is all about humanity.


Film maker Craig Hornby, the man responsible for the story of our iron and steel legacy in Century In Stone has now sculpted a second Teesside classic. Craig brought the rich and unique legacy of the area back to the surface again with Century in Stone and he has spent the last 3 years assembling another phenomenal slice of Teesside heritage.


This is a film that will make you feel proud of your roots. In Vin Garbutt we have a wonderful crusader for our cause. As Craig says this is a film not just about a Teesside folkie but is the story of Teesside folk as championed by a genius in Vin Garbutt. He has given the area a musical language and heritage. He has given us through his songs and his stories a unique sense of identity.


Truly the Teesside Troubadour.


The film is on tonight and tomorrow – 2.30pm 7.30pm at Middlesbrough Cineworld, Marton Road.

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