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singer, songwriter, comedian, author, poet, broadcaster and multi-instrumentalist


1 Buckets of Blue Steam and Square Bubbles
2 Leroy and the Foreman
3 When the Martians Land in Huddersfield
4 Rooted
5 She’ll be Right, Mate
6 The West Yorkshire Dobro-playin’ Hippy Cowboy
7 Wath on Dearne Blues!


From buckets of blue steam, to the Australian custom of fitting rhubarb to the front of one’s car, the world of Mike Harding contains some very odd stuff. This classic album was the result of the Australian tour to end all tours and was recorded live and kicking on a tour that began in Hull the day he returned from Australia and only finished when the warders from the funny farm arrived to take him away.

Rooted is the album I made after a tour of Oz in 1981 when I performed at various arts festivals in Australia and gathered enough material for several albums. I wrote a series of articles for the Guardian and in one of them I described a wine tasting trip down the Barossa Valley. The valley was developed by German immigrants and is quite bizarre in a way because it has along its length some very Germanic looking Schloss (castles) with people in lederhosen wandering about and Oompah Bands on every corner. Quite unsettling when you’ve just driven past hundreds of kangaroos, emus and such.
The wine in those early days was quite good but hadn’t yet got to the stage where you’d enthuse about it. I didn’t. “Young with a hint of gumboot.” was how I described one wine.
The Australian Press were furious when they read the article – I got home to a bunch of angry letters and some clipping from a press agency in Sydney. One clipping from an Australian daily had the headline “Pom Comic Rubbishes Oz Plonk.” I didn’t send them a review copy of the album.


• Now Digitally remastered and available on CD •