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


Released 1983 on Vinyl LP
Moonraker Music MOO 2

A1 Buckets of Blue Steam and Square Bubbles
A2 Leroy and the Foreman
A3 When the Martians Land in Huddersfield
B1 Rooted
B2 She’ll be Right, Mate
B3 The West Yorkshire Dobro-playin’ Hippy Cowboy
B4 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.


Design (Back cover) – Pete Howard
Design (Front cover) – Pete Beard
Engineer – Baz Easterbrook, Colin Goddard, Mike Myerson
Written-By, Guitar, Vocals, Producer – Mike Harding

Recorded live at the Theatre Royal, York and the Theatre Royal Nottingham during the 1981 and 1982 Mike Harding tours.

Mixed down at Moonraker Studios, Manchester


Digitally remastered and re-issued on CD in 2000
Moonraker MOOCD2




01 Buckets of Blue Steam and Square Bubbles 14:39
02 Leroy and the Foreman 4:21
03 When the Martians Land in Huddersfield 8:40
04 Rooted 13:14
05 She’ll be Right, Mate 8:25
06 The West Yorkshire Dobro-playin’ Hippy Cowboy 4:19
07 Wath on Dearne Blues! 3:02

Total running time 56:40