The Merlin Bird
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The Merlin Bird

Tecoma, Victoria, Australia

Tecoma, Victoria, Australia
Band Rock Celtic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"11 January, 2006"

The marriage of Celtic folk with rock has a long and illustrious history as it has embraced a wide spectrum of sound and attitude; everything from the folkie prog of Jethro Tull to the punky, foot-stompin', 'Guinness-and-a-pogo' vibe of The Pogues and Dropkick Murphey to the more mainstream, radio-friendly approach of Scottish superstars Runrig. Local outfit The Merlin Bird, with their haunting melodies and skilled instrumentation, fit neatly into the gentle prog-rock side of this vibrant genre and embrace eclecticism with much enthusiasm and skill.

A quick visit to the band's wittily scribed web site provides an insight into their philosophy. "The great thing about rock is that there really are no limits" says singer Geoff Dawes. "Where else could we put bits of Grand Opera and acoustica beside overdriven guitars and still have it work?" "We have a pretty diverse set of influences" says guitarist David O'Toole. "There are elements of Radiohead and George in there, but two of our singers are classically trained, and the other sings jazz. Actually, we don't sound like anyone else I know."

Too true. Comparisons are tricky to make, which has got to be a good thing in an age when too many bands sound uncannily like someone else. One of the highlights of The Merlin Bird's sparkling EP Reason and Rhyme is the gorgeous female vocals, which are often shivers-down-the-spine good! For instance, check out the Ofra Haza-style singing that ushers in the opening track Rhyme to Reason. A welcome Goth touch creeps occasionally into proceedings with The Father of Storms which comes across as suitably mythical and windswept. The Merlin Bird, sparkling with originality, will be a band worth watching. - "Beat" - Victoria's largest CAB-audited streetpaper.


Rhyme to Reason - EP - currently available at selected Australian stores and via

You can hear The Merlin Bird online at



Combining a candle-lit stage show that features masks and story-telling with a brand of music that industry pros have described as "spellbinding", The Merlin Bird are one of rock's genuinely original acts.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, their debut EP "Reason and Rhyme" has been independently reviewed as "a thing of wonder", "shivers-down-the-spine good" and "virtually a must-have".

Their unique brand of progressive folk/rock is difficult to categorize, one reviewer simply noting that "The Merlin Bird sound like no other band. Really."

They have previously appeared with Jethro Tull in Germany, and are looking forward to further such forays when they've saved up enough for the airfare!

Whether laying down their trademark, richly layered sounds in the studio, or playing live before a raucous pub audience, The Merlin Bird deliver a musical experience that is not to be had anywhere else.

The last word probably belongs to the Melbourne music paper Beat, which concludes that "The Merlin Bird, sparkling with originality, will be a band worth watching".

You can hear some of their songs at