Born in Salford in 1962, Mike took fifteen years to realise, that his father's piano playing, his mother's singing, and his brother's guitar playing, might just have genetically predisposed him towards a love of corduroy. Realising, however, that careers in the King's cords were somewhat thin on the ground, Mike turned his attention to the chords of Kings. In his case, Mike's royalty comprised Wes, Joe, Pat, John, Larry, Tal et al.
After long months of solitary woodshedding, Mike launched himself upon the Manchester scene with River People, a much loved fusion band comprising Mike on his trusted, and even then, rusted 335 guitar; Paul Allen on fretless bass; Tim Franks on drums, and the always astounding Paul Kilvington (a.k.a. Bob Session) on keyboards.
Mike's playing drew the attention of Alan Butler, a vibraphone player of considerable, and deserved repute, who in the 1980's had a long running residency at the Malt Shovels, a well-known 'jazz' pub in Altrincham. Mike joined Alan's quartet in the mid-80's, where he needed to rapidly assimilate a new vocabulary suited to bebop oriented standards, and more contemporary jazz compositions. This he did.
During the five to six years that Mike was a member of Alan's quartet, he had begun to travel further afield, both musically and geographically, playing gigs with Mike Gibbs and Kenny Wheeler. It was with the Mike Gibbs band that Mike was called upon to deputise for an absent John Scofield, during which he was heard by Kenny, who asked him to play with his big band. Also at this time, returning to his fusion roots, Mike had formed a band with pianist and composer Roy Powell which they called Some Other Country. They were joined by bassist Gary Culshaw, and drummer Steve Gilbert. Mike and Gary had previously played together, and had already formed a deep, and almost telepathic, understanding and feeling for each other's playing. Some Other Country soon established itself as one of the North's favourite fusion bands, generating great excitement, and many devoted fans.