I was born in Edinburgh. As a youth, I tried a few different career paths: labourer, clerk, gardener, salesman, barman, doorman. I was the singer and songwriter in the New Wave band, the Androids. I played Querelle in an avant-garde Mime Company for three years. We performed a controversial adaptation of Genet’s novel banned by the Scottish Kirk. These occupations betrayed a similar pattern: Initial enthusiasm, bemusement, claustrophobic terror.
Europe beckoned. I hitched from the southern tip of Spain to the northern flats of Holland, with a fiver sewn in my jacket, worked the Paris Metro as a busker and bottled Cafes in the south of France, Belgium and Holland. I picked grapes near Perpignon, swam naked in mountain pools. It was fun being young.
I settled down in Manchester where I became a street trader. I sold coats, watches and virtually anything cheap. Sometimes the watches worked. Later I stewarded on the Oil Rigs in the North Sea. I then found my music again. I taught myself fiddle, banjo, mandolin, penny whistle and piano. Unfortunately, after some good times in various folk duos, I lost it again. I became a Philosophy and Sociology teacher in a Manchester grammar school where I rediscovered my innate horror of authority.
After my marriage failed, I ditched it all. I played banjo in Irish bars in Savannah, Georgia, Jazz bars and Riverboats in New Orleans. Then left for Germany where after a period of solo work in German kneipen I arranged the songs for, and toured with, the Dance Spectacular ‘Celtic Life’.
Latterly, I joined the traditional band Scapa Flow and was lucky enough to get a Folk CD into the BBC Indie Charts in 2004. This provided much amusement for my teenage kids but ultimately, failed to pay the rent.
I live in Bochum, Germany, with Silke and two of my four children.
Where to find Craig Herbertson online
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