"Europe’s No. 1 Neil Diamond Tribute"
Michael was born in 1954 in the heart of the coalmining industrial coastal town of South Shields in the North East. At the age of four he was thrust into the lime light in the form of a talent contest, a giant stick of rock and a can of shandy was up for grabs, rich pickings indeed for a four year old who needed to do no more than to look cute with a plastic toy guitar in his hands and strum his favourite chords “P minor and Z flat” and to accompany his …rather dodgy guitar playing by singing an early Cliff Richards rendition, of the subsequent classic “Heartbreak Hotel”. The whole experience was to become the catalyst for a lifelong commitment to the entertainment industry.
In the years that followed Michael honed his skills as a singer, and took to song writing as another means of expression. Mindful of the need to push forever forward, conquering the renowned north eastern club circuit was to become Michael’s next goal, the tough rough cut coal miners and burley shipbuilders were a hard audience to please, such was the reputation of the North Eastern audiences, totally merciless in telling whoever was entertaining them exactly what they thought of them, the upside was that if they liked you, you could be smug about having cracked it, with all this in the forefront of his mind, the Brigham & Cowan social club became his first professional gig, the venue was renowned for being a particularly hard place to play.
Michael dived in at the deep end with a sink or swim attitude and figured that if he came away from the place swimming, the rest of the clubs by comparison would be relatively easy, he swam like a fish, Michael achieved his objective and conquered the North East and gave himself a well-deserved pat on the back. He now felt it time to spread his wings and move to pastures new, by playing in clubs and pubs around the country, fronting bands in between pursuing a solo career, treading new boards as a singer/songwriter, knocking on the doors of London’s Tin Pan Alley, the renowned Denmark Street... the Mecca of the U.K’s music industry.
In subsequent years Michael has opened himself up to a world of entertainment possibilities by allowing himself to experience many other fields of the industry, acting was always and still remains to this day, a secret love, partly because acting allowed him yet another way of exercising another means of expression, and to that end has done T.V. stage and radio, and as a songwriter continues to explore other possibilities by writing plays for radio and stage, and also dabbling in the fictional world of storytelling for the general reading public. Catwalk modelling held a mild interest for him, but music is and has always remained a constant in his life.
He has met some eminent figures from within the industry circles and swapped notes and received advice and tips along the way, such Figures as the much missed Freddy Mercury, George Harrison and Phil Lynnot, but others thankfully still living include Manfred Mann, P J Proby, Paul Mc Cartney, Brian May (during the days when Freddy was still with us), David Bowie, and also Elton John. There have been others both from the world of music and from film, but none that have had as much influence over the career turns that Michael has made over the years as those previously mentioned.
Then one day the tribute market opened for business, and Michael was quick to realize its potential, and although it was met with a great deal of skepticism in the early days by a less than sympathetic public, it has steadily grown into one of the most lucrative revenue generators in the industry today. Elvis Presley is arguably one of the most emulated of the high profile stars, but sadly it is also fair to say that the majority of tributes to the big stars, fail to meet up to the exacting standards that have subsequently been set by what is unfortunately the minority of tribute artiste’s who’s good work and high level of professionalism, is a living testament to the longevity of the stars that they portray, the consequence of the discerning tribute artiste’s hard work is that it maintains in the hearts
and minds of the fans, the memory of the stars that the fans might otherwise never get to see live, especially in the case of those stars that may have passed on.
Michael has shown himself to be among that exceptional breed of tribute artiste’s with his tribute to the great and thankfully still very much alive, Neil Diamond, whose song writing prowess has resulted in a total record sales well in excess of 115 million through out a career that has spanned more than five decades and still going strong.