B i o g r a p h y
Mike began playing drums after seeing Cozy Powell on TV, a few years later he was playing in semi pro covers and originals bands in his native Manchester. Before leaving school he was recording with Arthur Kadmon from Ludus and he joined NWOBHM band Aragorn in 1980. Aragorn toured the UK including supports of Iron Maiden, Angelwitch, Saxon and others.
As well as extensive session work, including The Distractions, George Clinton, Simply Red and many others, he toured and recorded in Europe, returning to the UK in 1987 where he sessioned and produced in Manchester and London and in 1988 enjoyed a short stint with PJ Proby. Since then he has gigged regularly with many bands, pop, rock, industrial, metal, big band and free form jazz.
His recording and production credits include albums with No Leader, Meggido, Snake Eyes, Avoidance of Doubt, Daniel Spiller, Deezil and he completed the Aragorn Anthology for Sanctuary Records in 2003. His live CV includes dates with Glorious, No Leader, Sean Webster, Meggido, Planet of Women, Alike Cooper, Avoidance of Doubt, Burning Beats, Deezil and many others.
He joined Cambridgeshire based rock band Derecho in 2012, releasing 2 albums; ‘Coffee & Disruption’ and ‘Ideal Imperfections’ in 2014 and 2015 with Mike taking the production duties for the second album. He also worked with Derecho‘s singer Jo Ash, producing her solo album, 'Constellations' released in 2018 and Derecho's 3rd album, 'Beneath a Stained Glass Sky' released in 2019. Additionally, in 2014 his first solo project; ‘Me/Lp v.1’ was released on Hot Foot Productions Records.
Mike has also acted as drum tech for Thomas Lang, Mitch Mitchell, Jojo Mayer, Gavin Harrison, Billy Cobham, Ash Soan, Benny Greb and many others; also for the UK's Young Drummer of the Year for 10 years from 2005, Drummer Live, The London Drum Show, The UK Custom & Vintage Drum Show, RhythmFest, Club Antichrist, WOMAD and Dark Elf Event Services.
He is globally renowned as being one of the leading experts on vintage Premier drums as well many of the other long gone UK drums brands of yesteryear. Mike runs Blenheim Drums specialising in supplying elusive and hard to finds Premier parts as well as a full restoration and repair service, customising, re-wrap and Resonator inner liner retro-fitting
He has written numerous articles on drums, drumming, touring and of course, vintage drums and has made contributions to Rhythm magazine, mikedolbear.com. and Vintage Drums, Legendary Sounds. In 2019, he launched "The Drum Fettler" on YouTube, a series of shows chronicling his trials and tribualtions as a man committed to finding, fondling and fettling vintage British drums
Mike currently endorses Highwood snare drums, Paiste Cymbals, Silverfox sticks, Hardcase cases, Gig Grips and Tuner Fish lug locks.