Findlay Napier

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Findlay Napier
OriginGrantown on Spey, Scotland
GenresSinger-songwriter, folk, roots, Indie, Traditional Scottish
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, compère, musical director
InstrumentsSinger guitarist
Years active1996–present
Associated actsFindlay Napier and the Bar Room Mountaineers, Queen Anne's Revenge, Back of the Moon, Last Night's Fun, Chris Sherburn, Boo Hewerdine

Findlay Napier, (born November 1978 in Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish musician, guitarist and songwriter.


Napier was born in Glasgow in November 1978 and that winter, during coldest winter on record, his parents moved to Grantown on Spey. It was there that he would spend the rest of his life until 1996 when he moved back to Glasgow to join the first ever intake of the BA (Scottish Music) course at the RSAMD.

After attending Feis Spe (part of Feisan nan Gaidhael) that his love of music was rekindled. In 1994 he was invited to a Feis for teenagers in Fort William that brought together young traditional musicians from across the Highlands and Islands. It was there he was introduced to piper Dougie Pincock and Jim Hunter who encouraged him to learn to play the guitar and start singing. Later Jim Hunter would encourage Napier to start writing songs.

After graduating from the RSAMD in 1999 he played with a series of Scottish traditional music bands in Glasgow. In 2000 he had been working as Margaret Bennett's accompanist and had toured with her in Scotland and France. After working on the "In the Sunny Long Ago" with producer Martyn Bennett he was invited by Gillian Frame, Hamish Napier and Simon McKerrell to join Back of the Moon. That year Back of the Moon recorded their debut album "Gillian Frame and Back of the Moon".

Back of the Moon toured extensively from 2000 till 2007 releasing three albums and finishing with a final gig in the Kennedy Centre in Washington, D.C. on 21 November 2007.

While recording Back of the Moon's second album at Watercolour Music in Ardgour Findlay was approached by producer and engineer Nick Turner to begin a Song Writing project which they later named "Queen Anne's Revenge". They began writing on the evening of 14 December 2003 (Nick's 42nd Birthday) and had written four songs by the next morning including "Ship in a Bottle" and "Out All Night".

Before the demise of Back of the Moon, Napier began working on a project called Findlay Napier and the Bar Room Mountaineers at first this project was to bridge the gap between the traditional roots of Back of the Moon and the contemporary song and arrangements of Queen Anne's Revenge. However as the project developed it moved further from traditional material towards the contemporary Indie Folk sound they are known for today.[1][2]

With help from Creative Scotland and Hands Up for Trad Findlay began a mentoring project with singer songwriter Boo Hewerdine. The project's initial aim was simply to improve Napier's songwriting. Exceeding all expectations the pair ended up writing seventeen new songs and recording and releasing an album called VIP: Very Interesting Persons. Each song on VIP is about a real life character who has led an interesting life.

Findlay has hosted the 'Late Night Session' at Celtic Connections since 2011 and is the organiser of Hazy Recollections [3] a mini festival that celebrates and connects acts whose music meets at the boundaries of the indie, folk and roots scenes.


Findlay Napier[edit]

Chris Sherburn & Findlay Napier[edit]

Findlay Napier and the Bar Room Mountaineers[edit]

  • "File Under Fiction"- Watercolour Music- May 2011
  • Valentine's Day (Single)- Watercolour Music Feb. 2011
  • Raise a Glass (Single)- Watercolour Music Feb. 2010
  • When Harry Met Charlie (EP)- BRM/Karmic/Watercolour- 2009
  • "Out All Night"- BRM/Karmic- 2008

Queen Anne's Revenge[edit]

  • "Just One Umbrella?" – Watercolour Music – 2008
  • "Queen Anne's Revenge" – Watercolour Music – 2005

Back of the Moon[edit]

  • "Luminosity" – Footstompin Records- 2005
  • " Fortune's Road"- Footstompin Records- 2003
  • "Gillian Frame and Back of the Moon"- Footstompin Records- 2001

Margaret Bennett[edit]

  • "In the Sunny Long Ago"- Footstompin 2001

as a Session Musician[edit]

  • "Orain Do Mhullie"/“A Song for Mull"- Arrangements, Guitar and Backing Vocals
  • "Beside the Waves of Time" – Iona Leigh Arrangements, Guitar and Backing Vocals
  • "No. 1 Scottish"- RSAMD- Lead Vocal, Guitar
  • "Thall an Loch Aillse" – Mairi Sine Campbell- Arrangements, Guitar and Backing Vocals
  • "Glasgow Skyline"- Gillian Frame and Padraig O Neill – Guitar and Backing Vocals
  • "Finlay MacDonald" – Finlay MacDonald – Vocals

as Producer[edit]

  • co-producer (with Phil Cunningham) "Scottish Music at the RSAMD – The Future of Our Past" Greentrax Records 2010
  • co-producer (with Back of the Moon) "Luminosity" – Footstompin Records- 2005

TV work[edit]

  • Katie Morag (TV series) Struay Pictures 2014– Actor, Sven, Katie Morag's Uncle
  • "Fonn Fonn Fonn" Moja TV 2014– Musician, Straight Guy
  • "Garaids" BBC Alba 2008– Performer, Assistant Musical Director
  • "Around Scotland" BBC Education 2007– Musical Director, presenter
  • "Scotlands Music with Phil Cunningham" BBC Scotland 2007– Performer
  • "" MnE- 2007– Arrangements, Guitar, Backing Vocals

Awards and nominations[edit]


  • Best Scottish Album – "Out All Night" – Irish American
  • Best Scottish Album – "Out All Night" – Mid West Irish Times
  • Best Scottish Album – "Out All Night" – Blarney on the Air
  • Song of the Year- For "Ship in a Bottle"- The Garden Sessions Radio Show
  • Folk Band of the Year- The Scottish Trad Music Awards (with Back of the Moon)
  • Best Up and Coming Band- The Scottish Trad. Music Awards (with Back of the Moon)
  • The Bolad de Loic Raison- Best Folk Band- Lorient Festival Interceltique (with Back of the Moon)


  • Songwriter of the Year MG Alba Trad. Music Awards
  • Song of the Year- "George" – The Garden Sessions Radio Show
  • Best Live Act- The Scottish Trad Music Awards (with Back of the Moon)
  • Album of the Year – for "Luminosity" (with Back of the Moon)
  • Finalist "BBC Young Scottish Traditional Musician of the Year 2002"


  1. ^ Edmundson, Mark (11 December 2008). "Findlay Napier and The Bar Room Mountaineers – Out All Night". The List. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  2. ^ Chalmers, Norman (5 June 2011). "Findlay Napier and The Bar Room Mountaineers – File Under Fiction". The Scotsman. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  3. ^ Galloway, Vic (20 January 2013). "Old Folk and New Faces". The Herald. Retrieved 24 September 2014.

External links[edit]