Robbing King Richard at 'Rhythms of the World' in 2012
Michael King & Jason King busking
It all started one evening walking past a flat in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire where I heard this strange yet compelling arrangement of music being played in someone's living room, later would I realise the importance of meeting Leon Camfield.
That evening was the turning point, I stopped, knocked on the door and was invited with open arms to sit and listen. It was like something I had never heard before on Top Of The Pops or The Sunday Chart Show, this was raw talent and exposure. They called it improvisation and I was hooked!!
It would be rude and unfair to mention the journey and not mention the most influencial musical people within my trip to get here. Many of these people I'm still in contact with today, and many I see still playing about.
The first 'proper' band was called 'Served To Protect'. A rock cover band that involved lead singer/guitarist Nick Hughes belting out his voice whilst maintaining a classic rock riff on his flying V.
The second band was was called 'Martha', a physchodelic rock band where we played mostly original music written by Lee Clayden and myself. Drumming skills came from Ann Reid aka Moneypenny and bass from Neil Webb and Ben Bray (at different periods).
After the band came to an end, Ann, Ben and myself formed a band called 'Midnight Karma'. We were very much a melodic rock band performing original songs with lots of riffs, fills and belting vocals. We ended up in a studio and recording a little EP however things again just weren't supposed to be and soon came to an end.
After 'Midnight Karma', work got in the way and I put my guitar down for 6 months, only to be strongly encouraged to, "not give up and rely on a band" but to start writing music as a solo artist. The year was 2006 and these strong words came from a gentleman called Stuart O'Connor.
After writing a lot of music, and moving back to Hitchin, Hertfordshire, I then formed a band called 'Robbing King Richard' with my brother, Jason King and 2 friends, Richard Booth and Robert Watson. We were a cover band that took songs, jazzed them up and put our own trio guitarist/bongo/accordion twist on them.
It was when Robbing King Richard split up in March 2013, that I decided to concentrate more on becoming a true solo performer and play songs I've wrote over the years about life, love and the world we live in.
- where did it all start??
Previous Band Bio
Then life truly began...
A couple of weeks later, Leon was giving me guitar lessons and teaching me about music of all genres. I fell in love with music so much that I auditioned for North Hertfordshire College and found myself studying music and all of it's complexities alongside an extra course in music technology where I explored the recording side of the industry.
Leon Camfield, photo by Bo Hansen
And where are we now?
17 years has past and it's been an eventful number of years teaching me the industry and all of it's wonders including song writing, musical composition and many aspects of performance /stage presence since going solo in March 2013. There are fond memories of the journey so far including writing my first original song 'Mirrored Smile', playing at a festival which had an attendance of 30,000 people, and going on many band tours abroad including to Ireland, France, Holland, Germany & Spain. But the last couple of years has shown me that I can do a great show on my own - well sort of!!
Since the release of my debut EP 'Mirrored Smile', I've enjoyed developing my style and like to think I've grown much more confident in solo performances. I'm now even involving other musical instruments including a stomp box and looping pedal.
The last couple of years has also seen more social media growth and publicity with numerous radio stations including BBC Three Counties, Radio Verulam and Tropical FM.
I've also enjoyed supporting some great artists including the legend that is James Bay, Freshly Ground, Paul Young, Neville Staple, CC Smugglers, Nadeem Leigh, The Brand New Heavies, The Shires and so many other musicians that are close to his heart including inspirational artist Stuart O'Connor. A definite highlight has to be my debut EP reaching 38 in the 'singer songwriter' iTunes chart!! How did that happen?!
But none of this would have been possible without the help, support and many hours of persistence of good friend David Hayzen. Michael met David at an acoustic night in Hitchin, Hertfordshire and since, he has become super close, recording, mixing and mastering the first EP. David more often than not, joins Michael on most gigs at the minute, increasing diversity of the set alongside the introduction of extra guitar riffs, vocal harmonising and general banter on stage. Check out my 'Gigs & Shows' tab to see future performances booked in.