Tim Readman is a musician, singer, songwriter, producer and music journalist, originally from County Durham, England and now based in Vancouver BC. His musical output is eclectic and embraces a wide range of influences but most frequently he operates in the realm of folk/Celtic music.
He is the former leader of Canadian Celtic/folk favourites Fear of Drinking, with whom he recorded 3 albums, and has played for years with Canada’s Clown Princes of musical comedy, The Arrogant Worms.
Tim usually performs solo or in a duo with a fiddler, with musicians of the calibre of Shannon Johnson, Mairi Rankin, Jennie Bice and Shona Le Mottee having filled that role. He has an extensive repertoire of original songs and can also perform everything from traditional folk songs to more contemporary material. Tim has an infectious sense of humour and a real ability to engage an audience with his stories and songs. He can entertain in any setting, from concert hall to festival to house concert.
He still performs from time to time with Fear of Drinking featuring co-front man Gerard Kerr. He also fronts a larger band featuring the Mad Pudding rhythm section of Boris Favre (bass) and Allan Dionne (drums). His energetic and personable style makes him a superb front man. As a band leader he can always deliver a driving danceable show.
Emerging in his mid-teens from the same North-Eastern English folk scene as Jez Lowe, Vin Garbutt, and Bob Fox; Tim Readman earned a reputation as talented songwriter, guitarist, singer and interpreter of traditional and contemporary folk songs. He cut his teeth with space rock legends The Blintz Band and prog-folk outfit Pigs Might Fly, before moving on to join ex-Bryan Ferry alumni and new-wavers The Divers. He spent 10 years in Newcastle upon Tyne as electric guitarist and singer with northern soul/ska sensations Arthur 2 Stroke and the Chart Commandos, political world pop darlings Watt Government and also enjoyed a brief stint with schoolmates and hitmakers The Kane Gang who got into the UK top 40 charts several times.
Since emigrating to Vancouver BC he has worked with all sorts of musicians including Jimmy Kwan, Point Blank, Kavita, The Blinds, Craig McKerron and Video Barbeque, before returning to his beloved folk roots with seminal Canadian Celtic/folk favourites Fear of Drinking. He has performed for 30+ years with The Arrogant Worms – as an opening act, as a replacement Worm, as part of their symphony orchestra show, as an accompanist on electric guitar and as road manager and dialect coach.
Tim has released 2 solo albums of original songs, 2001’s folk release Into the Red and 2011’s Go Blue which showcased his pop/rock/soul musical output. He has also released 3 CDs of songs about Newcastle United Football Club under the name The Exiles, and 2 CDs with Craig McKerron under the name The Eventually Brothers, all of which feature lyrics by Geordie/Swiss/Canadian co- writer Alan Millen. He has also recorded several Beatles inspired songs written with Alan for Beatles Week in Liverpool. These recordings have been released on 3 CDs under the name Newcastle Road. Tim and Alan also wrote the theme song for Run Geordie Run charity runner Mark Allison’s historic sponsored run across the USA in 2011. Tim released the hit children’s CD Rockaroladoo in 2018 – penned by Alan Millen and set to music by Tim and Bill Buckingham under the name of Tutti-Frutti Funhouse Band.
Tim played guitar, sang and wrote material with renowned BC/Scottish fiddler Shona Le Mottée and produced her solo CD, Destination Grouville. He has also produced a number of CDs for other acts such as Fear of Drinking, Sensible Footwear, Tarkin, The Eventually Brothers, Millentrax, The Exiles and Massey 44.
In 2019 he formed Chronolord with Baltimore’s Andy Cooke (Dataloaf, Pine Tree State, Electric Wave Inspection Bureau). Their debut album The Cuckoo Gene, a concept album based on a science fiction story penned by Tim and accompanied by instrumental tracks concocted by Andy, was released in 2020.
Tim writes reviews and interviews artists for Canadian folk music magazine, Penguin Eggs. He was the Artistic Director for the 2008 and 2009 CelticFest Vancouver. Tim has worked as an event MC at many private engagements, as well as at Vancouver’s Rogue Folk Club, the Mission Folk Festival Main Stage (pretty much an annual gig for last 30 years or so), Vancouver Music for Literacy Concert, The Fiddlers for Funds Tsunami Relief Benefit and CelticFest Vancouver.
He hosted the successful ‘Tim Readman and Musical Friends’ series at Montmartre Cafe on Vancouver’s Main Street for 10 years, which won the Georgia Straight songwriter venue of the year. This proved to be a labour of love for Tim and resulted in imaginative collaborations with his fellow musicians and the continued emergence of promising new talent. Many performers including Allison Russell (Po Girl, Birds of Chicago), Old Man Luedeke, Cleia, Norah Rendell (The Outside Track), Karla Mundy, The No Shit Shirleys, Kent McAlister, Thereafter and Ché Aimée (Casualties of Cool) honed their chops there. Special guests who performed with Tim at the venue included Dougie MacLean, David Francey, Vin Garbutt and Jez Lowe.