Mike Hellier was born and raised in London. He was introduced to music from an early age. Some of his fondest memories are of his father - a very accomplished classical pianist - playing the piano thereby igniting his interest and fascination with music.
At 7, Mike began playing the violin and then the piano but the turning point in his musical direction came when, at the tender age of 11, he saw Freddie King opening for Eric Clapton and felt deeply connected and captivated by the blues. Shortly afterwards he went along to a Led Zeppelin gig in Earl’s Court and was so moved by the drumming of John Bonham that from that point on he found himself on an unstoppable mission with the drums.
Over the years Mike has developed a formidable double shuffle technique by studying Latin rhythms. This enables him to have the finger technique and control to really swing with a full range of dynamics so appreciated by American blues artists.
Mike has played with Mike Scott from The Waterboys and toured and recorded extensively with some wonderful artists including James Hunter, Johnny Thunders, Sherman Robertson and many more. He has spent five years touring Europe with the eldest son of Muddy Waters, Mud Morganfield, appearing with Mud on ‘Later with Jools Holland’ in November 2012 with Jools himself guesting on piano.
In November 2014 Mike, along with four others, was hand-picked by Mike Vernon, the legendary blues producer, to be a part of his touring and recording band ‘The Mighty Combo’ which began touring in the Summer of 2015. He'll be appearing at shows across Europe with Mike Vernon throughout the summer and autumn of 2018 and the winter of 2019. Mike is also working on various other music projects in between.
"Mike Hellier - you're a shuffling motherf*!ker" - Jimmy Carpenter