Mike first came to prominence with his band “The Kustom Built”. Not only was the band championed by the likes of Steve Lamacq and playlisted on Radio 1 but the band went on to play the Reading Festival and were the very first band to record a Radio 1 session in the year 2000 at the Maida Vale studios (the second was Oasis). At the height of their notoriety the band formally split. Mike soldiered on and still works with The Kustom Built front man Kristian Atkinson on their project ANTI-TANK.
He has been the main man behind the keys for Smoove and Turrell since its inception, featuring heavily on both the Antique Soul and Eccentric Audio albums and is currently recording and writing for the up and coming S&T album Broken Toys. Mike's work rate and effort can only be commended and with the time he has also given over to me on "The Kingmaker" I can only say he is a best friend and an excellent writing partner.
As a man with a passion for analogue synthesizers and keyboards he has built a sound reputation as one of the most flamboyant and respected players in the game, only recently having been called in to help his long time friend and mentor Clint Boon on their last tour with the Inspiral Carpets.
Photo by David Fitzpatrick
Given the fact that Andy was the bassist in one of my very first bands at the tender age of 11, was also one of the driving forces behind the Smoove & Turrell track “The Beggarman” and is now currently musical director for both The Heed and Smoove & Turrell you could say that Andy has had more than a hand in my musical career so far.
"Versatile" is the only word for Andy. A much in demand bass guitarist and double bassist; Andy has done just about every gig going, from theatre shows in Dubai to radio stations in Finland to massive outdoor Jazz festivals in China.
Andy’s hard work in the field of jazz paid off in 2013 as he was selected by international music producers Serious (London Jazz Festival amongst other things) to take part in the prestigious artist development scheme ‘Take Five’, giving Andy access to some of the best musicians and producers working in UK jazz today.
Besides supplying the low end in The Heed and Smoove and Turrell, Andy is also making waves with his own prog-jazz group ACV, performing intimate voice/bass jazz with vocalist (and wife) Zoe Gilby and making it up on the spot with some of world’s finest improvising musicians. Not bad for a lad from Gateshead.
Andy's dedication to 'laying it down' is completely unwavering.
Photo's by Naomi Hood & Mike Mayo