Mike has been working with musicians for 25 years. He spent 10 years doing PR working at Hall or Nothing and took the leap into management in 2006 and has been doing that ever since. He's happy to work in the industry of human happiness.
Our recent chat with Mike discusses his favourite campaigns and talks about the overlaps between visual creativity and music.
Jockstrap. They blend the avant-garde with pop culture so effortlessly. All the best artists do that. Their album I Love You Jennifer B was my favourite record of last year. The artwork/creative on the record is perfect also. Making a choice to be so minimal is always brave but it's been executed so well, one of their records/posters jumps out a mile which is fitting as the music does the same thing when you hear it on the radio.
Close To Me by The Cure, the concept is so silly, you can imagine the treatment being as simple as "You'll be really close to each other". I used to go to a pub when I was about 16 and it had a video jukebox and someone would put this on every hour. Also, it's shot on Beachy Head which is one of my favourite places.
Anywhere by Flower Travellin Band. It's just a bunch of hairy rockers riding their motorbikes, naked. It is incredibly righteous. I like a cover that somehow visually represents the album title and Anywhere does that entirely. I tried to persuade one of the bands I manage we should pay tribute to this album cover but the idea got shouted down which is probably for the best.
I've been working on the first album by Do Nothing. We have a label services deal via The Orchard so we've A&Red the record ourselves and delivered all the videos and artwork. Creatively it's gratifying to have that much input. Luckily the band have really good ideas, they came up with the concept for and even shot the cover themselves. The album is out on June 30th. I've also been working with Folly Group who are recording their debut album. They were the first band on the new label So Young which was set up by the people behind the Magazine. It's been lots of fun working with them. I'm also working with a new band called Quade from Bristol who are just getting going.
I loved the Palace collab with Happy Mondays. I love everything about Happy Mondays.
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The video for Pure Misery by Humour. I'm used to having to work with tiny budgets so seeing someone come up with a very simple idea and execute it well tends to impress me above everything else when it comes to music videos.
The Aphex Twin logo. As recognisable as the Nike swoosh.
Jim Legxacy is a young artist from South East London. It's probably too simple a comparison but he reminds me a lot of Frank Ocean, if he was from Lewisham. His track DJ was the best song I heard last year. His sound is very genre-fluid , you can tell his ears are open to everything. I live in SE London and Jim Legxacy feels like he's everything thats great about the area, I can't wait to watch him blow up this year.
Dave Swindells' photo of ravers coming out of the Trip club at the Astoria in July 1988 splits my head open. There is so much joy and abandon on display it gives me a little serotonin boost every time I see it. I'm too young to have been in those clubs at that moment but if I could go back in time to a place it'd be to booting out time at The Trip at the Astoria. It's hard to believe that scenes like this ever took place in central London, sacrificing a venue as perfect as the Astoria to Cross Rail is a crime. Dave Swindells is my favourite photographer and has an essential Instagram account.