Mike grew up in a household where music was always playing.
Music was often a shared experience, mostly because the family radiogram was a sizeable piece of furniture in the front room. Whilst his siblings had their own musical direction Mike was subjected to his parents’ musical taste which, happily involved the new sounds coming from the Detroit label Tamla, though a little Matt Munro, Nat King Cole, and Tom Jones were also thrown in.
By the time he was buying his own vinyls, the early 70s had welcomed the ‘Glam Rock’ era with artists such as, Mud, Sweet and Alvin Stardust, and satin bomber jackets, flared trousers and penny-collar shirts were ‘must-have’ fashion accessories! Mike was also a great lover of dance and took every opportunity to attend local discos. One particular venue, known as ‘The Shack’ was run by two young friends, and provided a turning point with the introduction of Soul Funk music and the dance energy it provided.
By the time he had reached the night club age Mike was a veteran fan of anything Soul. On one occasion Mike attended an all day event at the locally famous Locarno Night Spot where the options in the three rooms were Soul, Disco or Northern Soul.
The latter was something quite new to him and he was impressed by the cross-over of the old Motown sounds and the intriguing dance style. Many of the ‘Soulies’ had travelled directly from an all-nighter to be there with their square Adidas bags full of clothes and towels; those guys were serious!
Even twenty-six years as a police officer didn’t stand in the way of his love of dancing and towards the end, Mike was introduced to Ceroc, a Modern Jive partner dance which later evolved to include music from the Latin, Swing and of course Soul dance, and soon enough Mike was both teaching the dance and running his own nights.
However, he now had to decided whether to put everything into this dance business or continuing his police career, the decision was simple.
The whole world of dance was now his life and business, for many years that included as many as twelve dance nights a week, competitions and events where holiday camps were taken over by 1,500 dancers.
In 2010 an opportunity arose for Mike to take ownership of a brand new purpose-built Ballroom and Function Suite he called The Aquarius, it was huge and an absolute showpiece.
Whilst the temptation was to run dance events every night common sense prevailed and The Aquarius became one of the best known venues in Staffordshire for weddings, parties, shows, and corporate events.
Having met his wife Julie, a former professional, and famous, ballerina in 2018, everything changed. Mike sold the club and they retired to Looe in Cornwall where they expected their careers were behind them. Not so!
The pandemic introduced a new option, classes taught via online platforms. Mike was invited to join Liskeard Radio where he would be able to play his favourite music live from the studio. Mike has now been DJ-ing for more than forty years and now presents his ‘Soul Motown and Funk Show’ every Thursday at 5pm, his ‘Late Breakfast Show’ at 10am on Tuesdays and his ‘Saturday Night Show’ at 9pm every week.To tune in and see the full schedule visit www.liskeardradio.com