Mike is a Belfast Boy who migrated to Perth in late 1990s.
In the early days Mike started playing Motown and Jimi Hendrix in Belfast clubs in mid-'60s. progressing to Cabaret bands backing all the local artists was a major musical learning curve. Late 60’s early 70’s brought experience in the Irish Showband scene, playing in Halls all over Ireland. The Showband scene soon moved to 4-piece horn sections playing Chicago/Blood Sweat & Tears material. Late 70’s saw a return to Cabaret playing with members of the Witnesses Showband who were once resident in Las Vegas and friends with Elvis Presley.
The '80s brought a major step up in experience with Mike joining forces with ex members of Van Morrison’s ‘THEM’. This band was probably the biggest Blues/West Coast Rock outfit in Ireland at that time. The early '90s progressed into the Jim Daly Blues Band, probably the only authentic Chicago Style Blues Band in Ireland. The Jim Daly Band were regulars at the Cork Jazz Festival. The remainder of the '90s saw Mike return to soul music with a memorable live Dust Hagan Band CD.
The move to Perth involved a temporary hiatus in Mike's playing career as his 'day job' took precedence. However, his drumming passion was soon reignited with several stints in Country Bands playing the Boot Skootin’ clubs around Perth.
Mike considers his influences to be too many to mention, but the standouts are Buddy Rich (meeting Buddy in NewYork 1974 was unforgettable), Mitch Mitchell, Ian Paice, Kenny Clare and Bobby Elliot.
Mike has appeared with Van Morrison and Georgie Fame, on TV shows with Chris De Burg and the Jim Daly Blues Band, toured Ireland with Carey Bell (harp player with Muddy Waters) and in concert backings for jazz trombonist George Chisholm, English jazz clarinetist Monty Sunshine and blues great ‘Little Willy Littlefield’.
Right now, Mike enjoys playing with like-minded muso’s whose musical influences complement his own eclectic career.