Music            Photos            Press






      Profile: Mike Smallbone - Guitars & Songwriter

          Hometown: Cheshire, UK                   

Music, music, music, football, cars, music
                                   and more music!

Mike has been into music almost all of his life, and blossomed at the age of 11 when he would play drums with knitting needles on his dad's armchair until his fingers were sore. He first put pen to paper at 14, and has been writing songs ever since. He started playing guitar at sweet 16 and, not one to rest on his talents, he thought he'd have a go at singing, too.

Unlike many young wannabees who quit too soon and leave their guitar gathering dust, Mike stuck with it and was soon playing along to his favourite songs by artists such as AC/DC, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, The Jam, Stranglers, and It Bites - to name a few, 'though he now wishes he'd learnt to read music.

At 20, Mike joined local band, Obsession, and spent two years practicing in a run-down Memorial Hall in Binfield. He moved on to Snatch 22 and played a couple of gigs at the local Crown Wood community centre before meeting Tom Allen and forming Time At The Bar with singer Vince Kimpton. A few months later, Mike and Tom decided to advertise for a new drummer, and as fate would have it, drummer Andy Rowney placed an advert to join a band in the same paper. The new band agreed on the name while drinking in the pub, when at closing time the barman would shout "time at the bar", giving the band free publicity all over the country, every night of the week.

With a number of tapes and CDs from past recording sessions, Mike has created a new album featuring songs that were written and developed over the last 20 years, called Bout Time, which is available on Amazon, iTunes, and Spotify. His second album of songs, Bout Time 2, was just released in 2020.

Music has, and always will have, a special place in Mike's heart - the music of his heroes, the music that has defined his life and the band's music - and he now has a collection of over 20 guitars, including some very rare Westbury models. But what if he hadn't picked up the guitar? Well, he reckons he'd be a good comedy actor, but if that didn't work out he would be driving a commercial vehicle... just so he could listen to music all his waking hours.

                      Favourite Artists - Past:

The Jam, The Clash, Tom Robinson Band, The Stranglers, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, The Sex Pistols, It Bites, Big Country, China Drum, Thin Lizzy

                           Favourite Artists - Present:

Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day, U2, Killers, Hard Fi, Embrace, All American Rejects, Foo Fighters... and many more!


                         Guitar Influences:

        Frances Dunnery, It Bites
Weller, The Jam
        The Edge, U2
        Stuart Adamson, Big Country
        Angus Young, AC/DC

                Instruments: Guitars, backing vocals

    Guitars: Westbury Standard (x4), Westbury Deluxe, Westbury Super                  Custom, Washburn, Squire Strat, Honer Strat, Charvel/Jackson,                  Yahama Apx 6c, some horrible thing with a dragon and a skull on it                  (but never gigged and waiting for bonfire night) and many more!

    Effects:  Various BOS pedals, BOS BCB 6 (x2), Zoom 50

Marshall - TSL 100W Superlead top, 1960 A+B 4x12 cabinets, Valve                  State combo.
                 Also... Peavy combo, Laney 120W combo and an H&H 4x12 200W                  cab (with thanks to Sainsbury's for the ex-trolley wheels, Tom for                  helping me carry it through the snow in a drunken stupor and Andy                  for storing it for the last 5 years)

                             Written by Clare Homer from an interview in March 2006


Web Analytics