Mick Tole’s passion for music began whilst still tied to his mums apron strings. Listening to her Motown and Northern Soul collections gave him a feeling for the beats and rhythmâ¦
Intent on listening to the music he liked, when he liked, Mick’s extensive record collection started with a Shakin’ Stevens album and chart music of the eighties.
Although heavily into music, it wasn’t until Mick ventured down to his local youth club as a teenager that he came face to face with his first love; a set of decks. Mick was mesmerized by the way in which the DJ managed to combine two tracks into a seamless LP (what was that phone all about?) The youth club DJ thought he had his first fan, but Mick wasn’t impressed by the DJ, he wanted to do it for himself. He had an ear for music and was always been told he was good with his hands! After a brief introduction with the principles of mixing, Mick found his calling in life and started practicing at the youth club, his crowd unaware of the potential this young DJ had.
Mick was eager to enhance his Djing skills that he got some decks and speakers for his 14th birthday. Now he didn’t have to rely on the youth club to spin the wheels of steel. The decks were his temple and Mixmag was his bible; his first venture into the dance scene was the acquisition of the piano tunes considered retro classics today. The youth club became Mick’s first residency, but the teenage crowd wanted chart music and not the dance music he longed to play.
Even though he hadn’t yet stepped into a nightclub, Mick’s ability to read a crowd had started. He would play in the local pubs, with young clubbers eager for his next gig. Mick bridged their weekend clubbing fix with his mid-week sets.
Mick’s mid-week clubbers took him under their wing and introduced him to the clubbing scene. Angels in Burnley; Zone in Blackpool and Universe in Bradford took Mick’s understanding of the Djing game to another level, with influences coming from the likes of Paul Taylor, Carl Cox, Lovedup, Alistair Whitehead, and Chris & James.
The night club slot that he desperately wanted eluded him and he was forced down the avenue of parties and weddings, and although the music played was not his first choice, it was these occasions that cemented his ability to pack the dance floor.
Mick’s first real residency came whilst playing in Keighley at the now non existence Inn of the Green, regularly playing to 300 people every Thursday and Friday night; After 18 months however, due to noise regulations Inn on the Green closed down and once again Mick was left to find alternative venues. Gigs were few and far between; clubs such as the Rat Trap, Club 101, The Waterfront and After Dark providing the odd opportunity to pursue his passion. With higher expectations, Mick organized the ‘Chunes’ night at a local sports club, but funding was to hamper the promotion of this venture and Chunes only ran once.
Mick’s first opportunity to play speed garage to the masses was made available through his residency at the first wine bar (Vino’s) in Skipton. A regular following soon descended on the wine bar however a jinxed Mick became disillusioned with the whole scene as Vino’s was sold and changed into a real ale pub (not the kind of audience appreciative of early speed garage).
With nowhere to play, and his much loved speed garage morphing into 4×4 and UK garage, Mick sold his equipment and gave up on the idea of ever making it big time. To make matters worse, the clubbing Mecca of Angels (Burnley) shut down, Mick was devastated.
But Angels loss was Casa Loco’s gain. This was a new club where status and materialism was left in the pubs and bars of central Leeds. Casa’s was all about the music! Although impressed with what lay before him, Mick was eager to give this crowd what they deserved and brought demo tapes of funky house and organ tunes with him while out clubbing. The demo tapes obviously impressed, as Mick went from the odd guest slot to a residency in 2000.
With a Leeds nightclub on his CV, Mick saw the potential for a regular retro feature in Skipton, and approached the Y-Bar to discuss his ideas, another monthly residency was in the bag!
To Micks dismay Casa Loco’s closed down, but his disappointment was short-lived, when FunkyLicious opened to serve Leeds speed garage scene on a Friday night with 650 clubbers dancing to his beat.
Goods news travels fast, and with an ever growing list of contacts, Mick now has residencies at Funkylicious, Hank Panky, Wobble, Blaze and Y Bar.