Stylistically taking influence from the psychedelic likes of The Incredible String Band, and the experimental art-punk of The Fall, Ric Birtill’s music is a patchwork of off-kilter folk that has drawn in the plaudits from numerous sources.
Ric’s deeply personal song-writing has many tongue-in-cheek moments alongside macabre themes; expressed with the utilisation of a 5 octave vocal range and dynamic guitar playing. His huge character and humorous manor transcends performance, inviting the audience to be drawn into his own cynical and lovesick universe. Ric is a song-writer who delights in the supposedly dull and mundane, concocting songs which have the ability to draw microscopic attention to otherwise seemingly trivial situations, such as being asked by a landlord to change parking spaces; working in customer services and applying for jobs online.
It is on the live circuit that Ric has crafted his art and built his reputation. He has travelled far and wide, completing European and UK tours and appearing at festivals including T in The Park, Solfest, Brampton, Hebden Bridge Folk Roots, Musicport and Kendal Calling to name but a few. He has supported the likes of Jeffrey Lewis, Pat Sansone (Wilco), Ade Edmondson, Adam Green and the cast of Red Dwarf. He has also recorded a number of his songs in Nashville on the invitation of top session musician and producer Chris Donohue who has worked alongside the likes of Ben Folds and Emmylou Harris.
In 2013 Ric released ‘The Preston EP’, on his own label SIC Turtle Records. It received rave reviews from the critics, many of whom are sighting Ric as ‘one to watch’. His single from the EP, ‘Enough is Enough’ is currently being championed by Tom Robinson of BBC Radio 6, (who has put the single on two playlists) and FATEA, who have included it on their Showcase Compilation. It has also been receiving very generous donations despite its availability as a free download.
Ric Birtill’s next single ‘BENEFIT STEET’ is to be released 1st March 2016, followed by new EP and UK tour.
“Ric is a unique talent- charming, incisive lyrics and memorable tunes coupled with brilliantly offbeat stage persona that wins over audiences of all ages – book him!” – Jim McLaughlin (Musicport Festival organiser)
“It’s so refreshing when something genuinely new, fresh and a little bit startling comes along. Ric Birtill ticks all three boxes” – Spiral Earth
“Truly original and delightful” – Robin Williamson, The Incredible String Band
“The best song writing to have come out of Lancashire”- Alan Whitiker (solfest organiser)
“Ric Birtill hi-jacked our guerrilla music festival and smashed seven shades of faeces out of our assembled masses.” – Ear music, London.
“Immediately engaging, with catchy, funny, and well-observed songs which he playfully stops and starts to keep the audience on their toes, he started with “Parking space number 1″ and he really did have people in peals of laughter at times but he can most certainly play and sing too.” – Norwich Blog.com
“Ric’s songs tonight included the Christmas song ‘We Are the Scum of the Earth’, about being a part-time Christmas temp and a song about being on the dole, where he asks; “what’s come of my piece of shit degree?” He’s charismatic, funny, clever and is musically interesting. Ric has some really good melodies and song structures. He’s a very talented chap, and pulls off the comedy/music combo very well indeed.” – nottinghamlive.co.uk
“Ric Birtill looks like Elvis Costello and is funnier than Abbot & Costello! A must see live act, **** stars” – Brown Leather Jacket Records.
“Birtill is an artist that really does write to his strengths and the results are fascinating. I want to see and hear more off Ric Birtill and ‘The Preston EP’ is an excellent starting position.” – FATEA Magazine