The above Reverb Nation box contains the entire album – Mike Last – First! Please SCROLL your mouse to see the other tracks, or use the download link to own these tracks for free 😊
I grew up surrounded by music. So it was inevitable i would get involved eventually. My dad played cheesy songs for the great British tourist, back in the days when we would all book into a Pontins or a Butlins somewhere along the English coast for our 2 weeks off, armed with towels, toys and factor 4 suntan cream packed into the back of a Moggy or a Ford Cortina.
My Dad had a Ford Consul actually, it was a coupe. The bubbling smiles on the happy-go-lucky 70’s brit as they would drink, smoke and watch the cabaret acts backed by and including my Dad, that”s how it started.
But… The tight arse didn’t buy me a guitar, as i had pestered him to do, so I forgot about it for years. I was in a couple of bands at school but soon left to be an 80’s yuppy. Several hot hatches, pastel suits and mullets later – I decided to quit the money game (had run out anyway). Grew my hair long, learned the guitar, and moved to London.
Played my first paid gig in the end of 94 & didn’t stop, performing up to 300 times a year until 2010.
It took me a while to get my act together. there are audio & video recordings as far back as 1969, when I was 3. but I wasn’t quite a songwriter yet, even though performance skills were definitely in development. I’ll spare you that particular download, and most of the experimental sessions through the next 30 years – when finally I moved away from Torquay and headed onto a stage in London 1993 for the first time.
Two years later I was full speed, playing at venues across London & sometimes back in Devon. Grew my hair and started life with musicians. Formed a rock band with guitarist Mark Emery called ”Don”t Panic”.
The solo show remained a constant throughout. Before the songs became originals, I could be found all over the south west & London playing pub gigs.
Winter 1998… I moved to France for 4 months to play music in a bar in the mountains. Returned 1999 to finish at Uni, which had been on hold for a year. By 2000 I had played my 1000th gig and was chasing a new dream as a day-jobbing film maker.
I met keyboard player singer – Tim Hunter during the making of a documentary project for my final year university module, and we accidentally started a tight little pub covers combo. It was hilarious, Tim dyed his hair.
In 2000 & of particular note was a gig for Peter Freestone. Peter was Freddie Mercury’s PA and still involved with QUEEN. It was a massive deal to me, I had followed queen since 1975. Everyone plays Queen songs. I love Queen songs still. You can watch a couple of performances from the film here in which I interviewed Peter for the ‘What’s on South West’ magazine (for whom I was freelancing as a writer / photographer) it didn’t pay much but i got backstage passes to some great gigs).
In 2006… I began a film project with well known punk folk artist Nick Harper, and everything changed. A world of new possibilities opened up and inspired by long time collaborator Barney and Nicks inevitable influence – I got my head down to record the first proper collection original songs. With tracks written by one or both of us i had the opportunity to play bigger gigs supporting Nick Harper, Dan Donelly, Ezio, Pete Christie, Derrin Nauendorf. I played in London, Prague and New York. In between other projects the songs were slowly simmered, with carefully added ingredients along the way, and are now fully cooked here on this page (at the top!) with the final tracks recorded through June / July 2011.
In 2009 I became involved with cashcats.co.uk – this kinda took over my life, so I stopped gigging at this time, bought a piano for fun, and set upon finishing that CD of original material, thinking it may be a long time before returning to live music. I started to travel the world.
In 2014 a school friend asked me to form a band – my first actually! We called ourselves Grooming the Wookie (don’t ask) and by 2015 – just as we were getting really busy – I moved to Asia.
On Koh Phangan island in the Thai archipelagos I met Robert Van Dam and became a part of the Jam scene, which sucked me deeply back into music, where I remain to this day! It’s hot, crazy, unpredictable, and full of incredible talent and beautiful backpackers. I love it!
Thanks for reading my little story (so far) 😍