Barry Burns is a Scottish musician best known for his work with post-rock band Mogwai.

Barry Burns
Birth nameBarry Burns
OriginGlasgow, Scotland
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, bass, keyboards, drums, flute, synthesizer, sampler, violin, vocals
LabelsChemikal Underground
Play It Again Sam
Rock Action
Associated actsMogwai

Early lifeEdit

Burns went to Cardinal Newman High School in Bellshill before enrolling with the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, taking up a Bachelor of Education degree in teaching music. He did not finish the degree, completing only 3 years of the course. He broke his finger, which is why he did not go back, though he has also said that he was not at ease with the teaching part of the course.[1]



Burns joined Mogwai just before the recording of their second album, Come on Die Young. He had already played a few gigs with the band beforehand as a flautist and occasional pianist. According to Stuart Braithwaite, Burns joined the band because he was a "good laugh".[2] Burns is a versatile multi-instrumentalist and contributes (among other things) keyboards, guitar, vocals (mainly through a Vocoder), and flute. He is also the only member of Mogwai with a formal foundation in music theory, but he claims he is "a bit rusty".


Burns contributed piano, and organ to the Arab Strap's albums, Elephant Shoe, The Red Thread, Monday at the Hug and Pint, and The Last Romance. He contributed piano, organ, rhodes, and vocals to Malcolm Middleton's albums, 5:14 Fluoxytine Seagull Alcohol John Nicotine, Into The Woods, A Brighter Beat and Sleight of Heart. He contributed guitar and Fender Rhodes to the 2004 album Grown Backwards by David Byrne on the track "Tiny Apocalypse". He has also played keyboards on the 2009 album "Prevention" by Scottish band De Rosa. He often plays DJ sets, often alongside fellow band member Stuart Braithwaite. Along with wife Rachel, Burns owns the bar Das Gift in the Neukölln district of Berlin.[3]