Camden Shenanigans :
I started playing piano and learning to read the 'tadpoles' at the tender age of about eight years and took up the guitar at seventeen. Early influences included many of the country greats like Kris Kristofferson, Johny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmy Lou Harris and a host of others. Irish music has been part of my life since I can remember and many of the first songs I learned were drawn from the Irish tradition.
My first public gigs were with a duo called 'Norfolk & Goode' with the amazing singer/guitarist Stewart Dixon. We played many London (and further afield) pubs and clubs with a mix of country, folk, blues and rock. I've been riding motorcycles for over forty years so our sets included many at bike bashes with the Celtic Warriors and others. Stew's unavoidable absence at a gig around twelve years ago led to the formation of 'Whiskey B4 Breakfast'.
I played a set with Billy Hunter in Radlett one fine evening and at his house after the gig he asked me to mend an old tenor banjo which was hanging on his wall. It took me a wee while to get it somewhere playable and I learned my first Irish traditional tunes on it in the process of setting it up. When I took it back to him he said "I've never got a note out of it Micky - It's yours". I played it for about a year before my better half bought me a short-neck tenor banjo and everything suddenly got much easier!
Five years playing tenor banjo led me to the mandolin and I haven't really put one down since! What followed was many an enjoyable night playing at traditional sessions all over London with some of the best London/Irish musicians around.
Regular sessions included the Rose & Crown in St. Albans, Folk in the Cellar at The constitution (which led to some fun gigs with The Northern Celts), Maggies Bar in Stoke Newington and McGoverns in Cricklewood with the hugely talented Liam Coleman.
Gigging with The Popes is a truly fantastic experience.
Find the official website here.
Gigs with The Popes have included:
Twenty-eight UK dates supporting the Stranglers touring their new CD - Giant.
The Avalon stage at Glastonbury.
A tour of Australia and Tazmania playing the Nation Celtic Music Festival in Port Arlington and gigs in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Hepburn Springs, Hobart (in Taz) and lots of other places on the Goldcoast.
Gigs all over France including Foreztival and many, many others.
You can hear my mandolin and low whistle on the 'Outlaw Heaven' CD and also on the 'New Church' CD
A move from North-West London to Kentish Town ten years ago resulted in a musical explosion from a personal point of view
I've played in many of the pubs and bars in Camden and K-Town and here are some of my favorites:
The 'Black Label Lungs' sessions at Spiritual Bar opposite the Barfly on Chalk Farm Road is always massive fun. Many of my good friends play there including Yan Yates (brilliant singer/song-writer/guitarist).
'Raise the Bar' sessions at the Torriano (now taken over by new management).
The Abbey Tavern on Kentish Town Road.
O'Riley's, Annie's Bar, Camden Eye, 'O' Bar, Bar Solo, The World's End, The Enterprise, The Green-note and more .....
Wandering with a camera ....
A solo recording: One of my favourite Luke Kelly songs
This was recorded at SAE Studios on the Kingsland Road and edited by the brilliant Rowan.
Many thanks fella.
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