From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Birdengine / Lawry Tilbury
Lawry Joseph Tilbury in haunted house number seven.JPG
Tilbury in a haunted house, Puddletown 2011.
Background information
Birth name Lawry Joseph Tilbury
Born 1980
Dorset, England
Origin United Kingdom
Genres Experimental, freak folk, pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician,
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 2005 (2005)— present
Labels Benbecula Records, Drift Records, Bleeding Heart Records, Thee Evil Twin

Lawry Joseph Tilbury (born 1980), also known as Birdengine, is an English musician and singer-songwriter from Winterbourne Steepleton, Dorset.[1]


In 2005, Tilbury released his debut EP Birdengine, a collection of experimental tape melodies, on the now defunct Scottish label Benbecula Records. The self-produced EP was hailed as "the first relevant work of freak-folktronica" by Stylus Magazine.[2][3][4][5] An animated music video for the track Thoughts of A Falling Glass Man was created by BAFTA winning production company Sherbet.[6][7][8]

Another EP Early 4-track recordings (2006) was released on Benbecula, with several reviewers noting Tilbury's "natural talent for story telling".[9][10]

In 2007, Independent label Drift Records released I Fed Thee Rabbit Water, a mini-album of wandering folk songs which garnered Tilbury praise for his stark nylon guitar playing,[11] and deadpan humour "There's not likely to be a more arresting opening couplet to an album this year":[12]

I spent the Summer cutting Heads off Dogs,
I spent the Winter trying to sew them back on[13]
- Heads Off Dogs, I Fed Thee Rabbit Water

He has been noted in his local newspaper for his distinct combination of unusual falsetto harmonies,[14] 2009 saw Tilbury self-release, then quickly disappear, an EP of new material titled Black Dictaphone through the Birdengine MySpace page, though re-worked versions of some songs would eventually appear on later releases.

Tilbury spent the next year at producer David Ringland's[15] home studio in Hove, recording songs to a 16 track reel-to-reel tape player. These sessions culminated in the debut full-length LP The Crooked Mile and a later EP I Like Totally Do Not Understand Or Whatever, released in 2011 by Lynch(ed) Recording[16] and A Beard of Snails Records[17] respectively. The Crooked Mile garnered widely positive reviews, and was described by Uncut as " a waltz for the dead – the results are unmistakable and unsettling.",[18] and by The Quietus as "Outsider Music, riddled with themes of alienation and a sense of not belonging; an outcast even among the freaks".[19]

In a 2012 interview Tilbury stated he is working on "what will likely be my last album as Birdengine",[20] indicating a collaborative project to be a new beginning.

In 2014 Tilbury interviewed ex-midlake frontman and songwriter Tim Smith for Folk Radio UK.[21]

In April 2015 Tilbury announced via his Tumblr blog [22] that Birdengine is 'no more', hinting towards other creative mediums.

In July 2015 Tilbury released a collection of Birdengine demos via his bandcamp page available to download for free under the title 'DEATHBED FOOTAGE COMMITTEE'.

Style and performance[edit]

Tilbury regards his style as being more akin to that of outsider music, stating that "Lyrically, my music engages with the idea of not belonging to society and the senses of alienation that accompany feeling as though you are an outsider.".[23] He has often responded to the label of folk music by citing the famous Louis Armstrong quote; '"All music is folk music, I ain't never heard no horse sing a song"'.

Birdengine's live performances have been described as "both unnerving and intriguing in equal measures",[11] having "strange and compelling beauty"[24] and a "bizarre, yet deeply likeable tone".[14]

Additionally, Tilbury frequently collaborates with friend and artist Daniel Michael Clark – together releasing the experimental album Trunk (2008) on Indie label Woodland Recordings (under the moniker "Mortis Tobias"),[25] as well as occasionally performing live.[26] Other Birdengine collaborators include Brighton musicians Samuel Collins[27] and Kristin McClement.[28]



Year Title Format Label
2005 Birdengine EP 12" Benbecula Records
2006 Early 4 Track Recordings EP CD Benbecula Records
2007 I Fed Thee Rabbit Water CD Drift Records
2008 Trunk (credited as 'Mortis Tobias & Clara Kindle') CD-r Woodland Recordings
2009 Black Dictaphone EP CD-r (TET001) Thee Evil Twin
2010 The Crooked Mile (Unmastered) File, MP3 (TET002) Thee Evil Twin
Folk Radio UK Session File, MP3 (FRUKIE #5) Folk Radio UK
2011 No Arms And No Friends / Ghost Club 7" Double A Side Lynch(ed) Recordings
I Like Totally Do Not Understand Or Whatever EP 3" CD-r A Beard of Snails Records
The Crooked Mile CD, Download Bleeding Heart Recordings
2015 DEATHBED FOOTAGE COMMITTEE Free Download[29] Thee Evil Twin


  1. ^ Birdengine website., Retrieved 19 September 2010. Archived 28 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Bryan Berge, Stylus magazine, November 2005, p. 68.
  3. ^ Birdengine EP on Bleep website. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  4. ^ Phonica Records, Dec Newsletter, 2005, p. 14.
  5. ^ Ron Schepper, ‘Birdengine EP Review’, Textura. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  6. ^ Sherbet produces Birdengine "Thoughts of A Falling Glass Man" Music Video, MVWire website. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  7. ^ "Thoughts on a Falling Glass Man", BBC Film Network website. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  8. ^ Sherbet Animates a Birdengine, Televisual Magazine, Dec 2005.
  9. ^ Everett True, 'Birdengine – Birdengine EP', Careless Talk Costs Lives, Dec 2005, p. 80.
  10. ^ Birdengine EP Reviews, Benbecula Records website. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  11. ^ a b Jason Walnut, Birdengine "I Fed Thee Rabbit Water" (Drift 2007) Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Americana UK website. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  12. ^ Andy Gill, An Exclusive preview of next months album releases, The Independent website. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  13. ^ Birdengine, "I Fed Thee Rabbit Water" CD, Drift, 2007.
  14. ^ a b Mark Dishman (15 May 2009) The Great Escape: Birdengine, The Basement, Brighton, 14 May, The Argus Newspaper. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  15. ^ Lawry Tilbury, Birdengine Album Finished, Tumblr blog. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  16. ^ Lynch(ed) Recordings Archived 14 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. website. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  17. ^ "Discography". A Beard of Snails Records. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-04. , Birdengine Blog. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  19. ^ Graham, Ben. "Reviews Birdengine". Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  20. ^ "J'ai tout lu, tout vu, tout bu..." Cedric Quéniart. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  21. ^ "Folk Radio UK". Alex Gallacher. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  22. ^ Lawry Tilbury, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-09-19. , Tumblr blog. Retrieved 15 April 2015
  23. ^ "The Crooked Mile – Birdengine Blog". Lawry Joseph Tilbury. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  24. ^ Helen Mitchell, Birdengine Live Review, Maverick Magazine, Issue 80: March 2008, p. 94.
  25. ^ Trunk – WR014, Woodland Recordings website. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  26. ^ Daniel Michael Clark, Birdengine Live Set[permanent dead link], Artist website. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  27. ^ Nione Meakin, Mortis Tobias Interview, The Argus Newspaper website. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  28. ^ Kristin McClement, Birdengine Collaboration: My Favourite Things , Artist blog. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  29. ^

External links[edit]