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Fear of drinking returns

One of Canada’s favourite Celtic bands is back! 
A Geordie, a Kiwi and a Canuck. Harmony, History and Humour.



Tim Readman is a musician, songwriter, producer and music journalist originally from County Durham, England.

Songwriter and guitarist, Gerard Kerr, is from Southland, New Zealand. They met in Vancouver BC and formed Canadian Celtic/folk favourites Fear of Drinking, whose energetic live act became very popular in the 1990’s as they played folk clubs, night spots, pubs, chip shops, laundromats and folk festivals across Canada and the USA.

They recorded three albums, which garnered considerable airplay and built their reputation for humour and harmony with their folk songs about coal, sheep and love gone bad. Although they officially came off the road in 2000, they have since reformed to play the odd show when the fancy takes them.

Tim Readman (vocals/guitar), has been a stalwart part of the BC and Canadian folk music scenes for a long time since emigrating from North Eastern England. Besides producing and artistically directing festivals, as well as writing for acclaimed roots music magazines Penguin Eggs and the Rogue Folk Club, he is a consummate performer and songwriter. He’s made a huge and positive impact on his adopted hometown and country.

His band, Fear of Drinking, was a much loved staple in the Vancouver Celtic and Folk scene for a good 10 years in the 1990’s. He has also opened for and joined with acclaimed Canadian comedy troupe The Arrogant Worms on many occasions. It’s quite the eclectic career. His production company Big City Productions has produced recordings and videos for many other folk and popular music acts. He was the Artistic Director at the Vancouver Celtic Fest for a couple of years and still contributes.

Gerard Kerr (vocals/guitar/bodhran), is a Vancouver based singer songwriter, guitar and bodhran player hailing from Southland, New Zealand where he began performing in the local folk clubs and performer stages. While always meaning to audition for Led Zeppelin he ended up on the folk/traditional/celtic side of things learning the songs and stories of the early Australasian settlers. Moving to Vancouver he became a founding member of the infamous Fear of Drinking playing “a reckless musical repertoire, fearless tunes, and dangerously captivating stage performance.”

Tom Neville (vocals/fiddle/mandolin), a member of Fear of Drinking for over 6 years in the 1990’s Tom has also been very busy freelancing in many other bands and productions throughout Canada over an almost 4 decade span. Since moving to Oceanside from Vancouver over 3 years ago, Tom has kept busy integrating himself into the local music scene. He can be heard playing with local artists such as the Gerry Barnum trio, Bev Finch (Finch and the Fiddler), folk icon Rick Scott and Nico Rhodes, Django styled quartet Typsy Gypsy Jazz and blues stalwarts Blue Dog Ramble, amongst others. Tom’s playing offers up a wide variety of musical tastes; Folk, Celtic, Blues, Popular, Jazz, Country and Ethnic flavours performed in many varied settings. In 2001 he released his first solo CD, “Highly Strung”, a collection of original and traditional material. Some career highlights include a command performance for the Duke and Duchess of Kent at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa (backing Joelle Rabu), performing with Danny Kaye and the Peking Pops Orchestra at Expo 86, and recording and performing with Juno award winner James Kellaghan


This recording was made during their legendary 1999 European tour and was the only time this particular line-up ever played together. (You may ask why … but that’s another story altogether.) It was thought to be lost, after sound engineer Ueli Brunner’s Chuchichäschtli studio, where the tapes were kept, was burgled.

However it later transpired that the tape had been put into the wrong box. This was only revealed when Ueli was searching for another recording and played the tape, in the mistaken belief it contained a sketch by Swiss-German comedian Bruno Büezer. Frantic phone calls were made, couriers were enlisted and the precious Ampex 2 track master tape was soon winging its way to Vancouver BC (in the Canadian part of what Ueli refers to as ‘Ausland’) where it was lovingly coaxed into its full glory, and made ready to be digitally preserved for your delectation. “Das Leben ist voller Überraschungen” as they say in Zurich.