Michael Fitzsimons

Michael Fitzsimons

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Country - Contemporary | Brighton, United Kingdom
Total Song Plays: 333   
Member Since: 2001
   Last Login: over 30 days ago

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Mike's History

1969 to date:
I started playing at aged 11. Bought a part share in a 2nd hand Vox guitar in 1962. (the other part belonged to my twin brother John). My first Band was formed at college in 1969 (Essex University) although we annoyed the hell out of our neighbours for many years before that. Also invested in a Watkins Dominator amp in 1963 - if I still had it would be worth £3-4k - we bought it for £25.00. All the equipment came from a music shop in Bexlyheath, Kent frequented by the Stones, The Yardbirds, Traffic, in fact everyone from the south who got interested in Music.
My first band had 5 guitarists and a drummer. We were aptly titled Meataxe Jackson. Brother John suggested I took up the bass - and so I became a bass player - and blew up speakers and amps on a regular basis. Got into rock jazz with the Stan Laurel Band who had the most argumentative but talented pair of twin brothers on board (Paul and Brian Armistead), a drummer from California called Dave and me. That lasted a couple of years and believe me we were good. Played the Marquee, Speakeasy, all the great London pub rock venues and just missed getting signed to EMI - yup that argumentative streak really did not pay off!
Then spent some time in a band called Targets - AOL rock until The Papers were formed in 1978. We were an agitpop rock reggae band. Our first single got to number one on the indie music charts. It featured Ronnie Regan the then US president. It was entitled ' How many More' for the third world war. We were signed to Panache Music for publishing and Radioactive Records for the vinyl. We were recording at Maison Rougue one of London’s top studios. I now had a Rickenbacker bass and 2 giant bass cabs made by Roland.
The second single Reggae of the Radio didn’t get the same support and the band folded after 3 years with an album on the shelf – which is about to be released – yup now all the contract have expired we can do it. You can still get our stuff at www.thepapersmusic.co.uk.
In 1982 I moved the Brighton. I joined the Piranhas - a south coast pop band with a top 10 single to their credit. We spent a lot of time in a van, did some great tours, drank a lot of beer and so on. We were popular – Boring Bob the world famous lead singer could turn an audience on just by looking at them. That evaporated after 2 years. I then took up Pedal Steel Guitar which took about 2 years to master, and joined the Blue Hearts in 1988 - The Uk's first and most notable indie country band - you can check out our music at www.bluehearts.co.uk. Played on three albums and a lot of friends albums since then. In 2005 I set up my own business Songware Ltd to market my songs and provide advice and guidance to artists. Recently took up management for the Jamestown Union - you can check out our stuff at www.thejamestownunion.com - next years big happening band from the UK.
Of course along the way I had to do non-music things. I worked for a music management company in London – Don Joy associates, a stint with Virgin Music in A&R, set up my own publishing business Maximum Music, started The Net Chart in 2001, and worked at the BBC for few years as a manager. I also managed to get married to my amazing partner Liz, have two great children, Kate and Michael and buy a home in Brighton and Nashville.
Enough for now....

Blue Hearts Bio

The Blue Hearts founder members, Bob Powell and Mark Horse started in 1988 playing a diverse collection of covers including material by Muddy Waters and Dwight Yoakam. They quickly expanded the line up to include Fiddle, Double Bass, Drums and Pedal Steel and concentrated on developing the Blue Hearts as an indie/pop/country concept with their own original songs. 'The Doors' 'Tom Waits' and 'Nick Lowe' are included in the band's influences as well as 'Johnny Cash' & 'Nick Cave'. This has defined a new sound for the band so that no matter what the song is, it will always sound like the Blue Hearts.

The band's debut album 'Lullaby for the Lost' received great reviews in the mainstream and country press and it generated extensive airplay on local and national radio both in the UK and Europe.

They were invited to the launch of CMT in London and to BBC events that promoted the new country sound.

Since then the Blue Hearts music has been played throughout the world, from Australia to the USA and Europe. They have achieved chart success in Nashville. Their last single 'Everyone Wants to Dance With My Girl' was 'A' play listed on the UK's premier Radio Station, Country 1035.

Typical quotes are:

Great Pop Hooks - a debut that will make you want to see them play live: Mojo
A sparky and stylish slice of UK country-rock, full of urgency and passion: Country Music International
A great British sound, laid back and musically excellent: Dave Allen (BBC Radio 2)

The band were also the only British band featured on BBC1's Country Night.

The Blue Hearts are:
Bob Powell - Vocals & lyrics
Mark Horse - Guitar
Brian Powell - Guitar
Sue Bradley - Violin/vocals
Scott Warman - Double Bass/vocals
Mike Fitzsimons - Pedal steel guitar.
Geoff Ansell - Drums
The band are based in Brighton, East Sussex, England.

1993 Single Delirious 3 tracks
1995 Album Lullaby For The Lost 14 tracks
1995 Single Hearts About To Break 3 tracks
1997 Single A Thousand Stars 3 tracks
2001 Album No More Long Goodbyes 12 tracks
2003 Single Everyone Wants To Dance With My Girl 3 mixes
2005 Album Dark Side Of Town 10 tracks

They are all available direct from Big Cactus Records, CDBaby.com and as download from all good quality sites such as iTunes

The primary songwriters are Mark Horse (guitar) and Bob Powell (Lyrics)

Blue Hearts background bits

Mike and Geoff played bass and drums with The Piranhas Brighton's most famous band. Top ten Hits with Tom Hark and Zambezi
Sue played fiddle with Pookiesnackenburger, the band that spawned 'Stomp' the highly successful world-wide percussion with dustbins and brooms show.
The band's first album 'Lullaby for the Lost' featured Kirsty McCall on backing vocals.
The band have played several dates opening for Jools Holland.
Mark played with Bone Orchard, a punk goth band, they made one album with revolution records
Mike played with The Papers, a White Reggae band, No.1 indie chart hit with 'How Many More' featuring Ronnie Regan (The US President) on guest announcements. This band also worked with Gus Dugeon, Elton John's producer.
Scot played with Big Ma McGee a local blues band.
Bob and Brian played with URU, a Brighton rock band.

The Blue Hearts regularly sell out in advance at the Komedia Club in Brighton, their home base