In February it became obvious that it was highly likely that Foss would resign and I had to find a replacement. I asked around various people I trusted and Mike’s name repeatedly drew thumb’s up from many sources including Mark Kelly who Mike had been drafted in to Dee Expus to fulfill the live commitments of. I got his number from Miles Bartaby at the Classic Rock Society who I had contacted after seeing his name being name hailed in various reviews in the magazine. Miles highly recommended Mike and after a couple of telephone conversations and a a bit of Googling and You tube work I thought he could fit the part!
I met Mike at the Classic Rock Society Awards where he was playing with Clive Nolan’s “Alchemy” project. Yatta, who was with me, and I both agreed that his personality would fit in the circus and he came up to rehearsals to meet with the band for the first time in March to work on the 2014 setlist.. Foss was aware he had been replaced and he had agreed that he would fulfill the HRH and Baja shows that were impossible for Mike to undertake at such short notice as we would have to learn an entirely new set and there was no point in him learning the 2013 set for 2 shows and then taking on the 2014 set.
And so in March we began rehearsals here at the studio with the new keyboard player on the new setlist in relative secret while preparing for the 2 festivals with Foss who had complete knowledge of the situation..
It’s only now that i can officially confirm him as the new keyboard player in the band and put the relative Prog cloak and dagger stuff to rest ( Shades of Emerson and Wakeman combined 🙂 )
Mike is a highly talented musician and I am sure will contribute a huge deal to our sounds and performance. I’m really looking forward to our first show in Sheffield which I am sure will be nervy and edgy but that’s the way it should be! 🙂
Next bout of rehearsals start in Denham, Bucks on Monday and after conversations with Mike on the phone in recent days he has his homework done and is ready to go over the top! 🙂
Ladies and gentlemen, fishheads and freaks , please welcome Mike Varty to the circus! 🙂
(piano / keyboards / violin / vocals)
Mike is best known for his internationally popular work on the progressive music scene, where he is regarded as a technical and keyboard wizard. In 2013 he received the award for Best Keyboard Player from the UK’s Classic Rock Society.
Mike has a whole catalogue of recordings to his name with bands including Shadowland, Landmarq, Credo, Infinite Sunday, Mighty Rooster and the multi-award winning one-hit-wonder, Janison Edge. He regularly tours the UK, Europe and worldwide with these bands, as well as with DeeExpus, where he shares the keyboard role with Marillion’s Mark Kelly, and in The Mick Pointer Band performing the early Marillion show, Script Revisited.
Mike also has a particular talent for arrangement and production which draws heavily on his classical music training and natural musicianship. He runs a small recording studio, Gargoyle Studio, where he has produced several albums and other projects, as well as lending his production skills to assist other bands. He has also written and produced the soundtrack for cult films Foiled, Fluffy the English Vampire Slayer (remastered and re-released in 2013 as Espresso Requiem by Noscaferatu) and the recent spoof blockbuster Big Chimp; and provided original music for a number of cartoons and shorts.
Mike is a classically trained pianist and violinist, who started studying at the age of 4; he also has an electronics engineer; both of which combine to give him the broadest technical and compositional expertise to underpin his extreme musicianship.
Mike Varty Music (Facebook)