From the Main Stage of Cambridge Folk Festival with folk rock supergroup The Magpie Arc to an intimate acoustic show in the back room of a pub Findlay Napier is widely regarded as one of the finest performers on the UK music scene. This fact was further highlighted when Napier was the first solo act ever to be nominated for Live Act of the Year at the Scot’s Trad Music awards in 2018.Tirelessly creative he has been touring and releasing music since the early naughties. First with groundbreaking trad folk band Back of the Moon, then with Nu-Folk pioneers Findlay Napier and the Bar Room Mountaineers and most recently as a solo act working under the guidance of legendary songwriter Boo Hewerdine.
His breakthrough solo album VIP: Very Interesting Persons, produced by Boo Hewerdine, was number 2 in The Telegraph’s top folk albums of 2014. He followed it with 2017’s Glasgow described by The Scotsman as “a paean to his adopted home town” which led to a number of high profile gigs including a couple of seasons as opening act on Eddi Reader’s UK tour. In 2021 he released It Is What It Is a collaboration album in all but name with producer and multiinstrumentalist Angus Lyon which Folk Radio UK called, ”A captivating, indispensable work; it is what it is and what it is, is magnificent.”
Described as a “miracle lyricist” by the Sunday Herald and “an original and engaging treat” by The Telegraph his skills as a songwriter and collaborator have led him to work on some surprising and interesting projects. In 2017 he was invited to take part in Greg Russell’s Shake the Chains project with Nancy Kerr and Hannah Martin where they toured, recorded and released a double live album. After meeting award winning songwriter Megan Henwood at an EFDSS songwriting retreat he formed the duo The Story Song Scientists writing songs about science releasing two EPs and touring the UK. In late 2021 he joined folk rock supergroup The Magpie Arc with Martin Simpson, Tom A Wright, Alex Hunter and Nancy Kerr performing on festival main stages and arts centres across the UK. Their debut album Glamour in the Grey, featuring three of Napier’s original songs including a co-write with Max O’Conner was released in October 2022.
He is often commissioned to write songs including one for The 2014 Commonwealth Games in glasgow, two songs for Morgan Fisher’s Miniatures 2020 and more recently penning an anthem for the 125th anniversary of the Scottish TUC.
As a teaching artist he regularly runs songwriting workshops. He set up Glasgow Songwriting Festival in 2016 and consults on various other songwriting events and festivals around the UK. He has hosted many songwriting retreats at Moniack Mhor (Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre) alongside Boo Hewerdine, Karine Polwart and Bella Hardy and works with Vox Liminus and Feis Rois delivering music and songwriting workshops in Scottish prisons.
Findlay lives on the Isle of Arran with his family. His next solo album An Extensive List of Lost Things will be released in early 2024 accompanied by a UK and Canadian tour.
“One of the finest songwriters and storytellers of the contemporary Scottish folk scene.” (Folk Radio UK).
“Coming on like a Caledonian Loudon Wainwright … A superbly crafted compilation of Songs” (Acoustic Magazine).
“He’s good and he’s really funny too! He’s got that classic brilliant banter with the audience as well. Lovely to hear the storytelling in the songs as well as inbetween. A wonderful cacophony of bizarre and brilliant tales of real people.” (Edith Bowman- BBC Quay Sessions).
“brave creative and a smashing listen” (Maverick Magazine).
“Think campfires and tradition, past voices being handed down, characters that spring up from the soil of childhood and a curiosity-bone last seen holding up a t-rex. All human life is here, given a beating heart via Napier’s warm handshake of a voice and memorable melodies.” (Paul Woodgate- No Depression).
“This beguiling album, in ambition a second cousin of Elvis Costello’s Punch the Clock, reaffirms Findlay Napier as a distinct and cultivated singer-songwriter, with a spirited voice all of his own.” (From The Margins).
“An insurgent talent and a wonderful singer. Napier proves he has a songwriting talent to match” (The Morning Star).