Internationally acclaimed singer songwriter Harry Bird has spent the last 15 years touring hundreds of venues all over Europe and beyond with his soul stirring songs, captivating vocals and a passion for connecting with audiences of all kinds. 

An experienced circus and theatre musician, he is a versatile storyteller with a love of rhythm and rhyme, allegory and dance. Drawing on British folk, Americana and other world music genres, his live performances are an intimate cabaret of finely crafted songs, freewheeling anecdotes and good humour.

Based in Glasgow after many years in the Basque Country, his touring band is made up of Scottish/Australian bluegrass maestros Rain of Animals (Pepita Emmerichs and Theodore Barnard) and Dundee favourites Sinderins’ GK McGinty. 

“Mucho Picnic”, his latest solo album, was released on Hot Drop Records in 2023 and follows three LPs produced with travelling folksters and long time collaborators the Rubber Wellies.

His compositions have also featured on stage and on screen, most recently in the award winning Irish horror film “Oddity” directed by Damian Mac Carthy. He has written the soundtracks to four touring circus shows in the Basque Country, sung on audiobooks for Penguin and appeared regularly as a multi-instrumental actor/musician at the Bristol Old Vic.

Original, entertaining and thought provoking, his energetic, feel-good shows are not to be missed.

“Songwriting genius… Simply magnificent”

RnR magazine (UK)

“Fresh and entertaining as few others”

Mondo Sonoro magazine (Spain)

“Pay attention for folk’s sake”

Pure Mzine (Ireland)

Mucho Picnic, Harry’s brand new self produced solo album, was released in December 2023.

Recorded between March 2020 and March 2023, it features a cast of old friends and new, including members of long-time partners the Rubber Wellies and more recent collaborators such as Zimbabwean guitar legend Rise Kagona of the Bhundu Boys.

A mix of home, remote and studio recordings, the twelve new songs were written in the years surrounding Bird’s move from Bilbao, his home of fifteen years, to Glasgow where he is currently based. 

Taking its name from an old but unused artistic pseudonym, “Mucho Picnic” explores narratives of desire/uncertainty, future/nostalgia, national/self identity and blame in pandemic and Brexit era Britain. 

Big Picnic. What never was but could have been and still just might be, maybe. “What happens next is anybody’s guess”

Sonically the album is quite a generous spread, plating old time, reggae and jit inspired tracks together with music hall and soul inflected numbers. Mixed by Idlewild’s Rod Jones, the arrangements blend synths, horns and electric guitars with the more typical folk stylings of acoustic guitars, mandolins, fiddles, pianos and close vocal harmonies.

Heavily involved in the sound are Theodore Barnard and Pepita Emmerichs (Rain of Animals) and Gavin McGinty (Sinderins), prominent members of the international bluegrass and Scottish indie folk scenes and album tour bandmates.

(clockwise) Pepita Emmerichs, Theodore Barnard, Harry Bird and Gavin McGinty

Previous Harry Bird and the Rubber Wellies releases are Long Way to Be Free (2009), The Bones on Black (2012), Kettle of Silver (2013) and the critically acclaimed Bricks and Feathers (2015) – voted #3 in Spain’s Top 10 national folk and americana albums of 2015 (Mondo Sonoro).

In the world of circus Harry has composed the soundtrack to four acrobatic street shows: Echadas a la Mar (2009) and Vademécum (2012) with the circus band Txintxo por Tatu, as well as the one-man-band loop extravaganza that is Paradoxa (2016) and the multi-instrumental, beat-infused Aukerak (2018).

On stage has appeared in the 5 star Bristol Old Vic Christmas 2022/23 production of The Nutcracker, in the role of Bear/Musician. This follows his role as Mr Ridley/Musician in A Christmas Carolthe 2018/19 and 2019/20 smash hit directed by the same creative team of Lee Lyford, Gwyneth Herbert and Tom Morris.

Harry has also co-read three Penguin audiobooks, singing with Gwyneth Herbert on: Ladybird Classic Nursery Rhymes Collection (2016), Ladybird Christmas Carol Treasury (2019) and Ladybird Lullabies: Songs for Bedtime (2020).

Born in Cambridge and raised in Amman, Cairo and Edinburgh, he lived for 15 years in Bilbao before moving back to Scotland and his current base in Glasgow.