Mike TV is the wry front man whose mind is a post-modern jungle of 80's trash, Triffids, and "rubbish robots". Add to this a classically trained violinist (on keyboards), a punk bass player and a retro synth obsessive, and the result can only be Beats For Beginners, who signed to Faith & Hope Records in 2003.
It starts in Whitby, a small fishing/tourist town in North Yorkshire, home to Dracula and fish and chips and Mike TV. It was here that Mike had his first robot experience, at 10 years old. "Some school friends and me won a school competition in morning assembly, doing robotics in yellow wraparound sunglasses to 'Street Machine' in front of 130 kids," recalls Mike. "Me and my mate were really good at it but our third friend was rubbish. He just rode our coat tails." At 12 another obsession fused into Mike's over-active mind when he picked up the guitar after hearing 'Voodoo Chile' and 'Pinball Wizard'.
At 17 Mike moved to Manchester to study Media and Music. For a while he worked as a boom operator in TV, and on films such as 'The Full Monty'. "I was rubbish," he now admits. "I was always getting in shot". The highlight of his short-lived career was sharing a cup of tea in a Winnebago with Anita Dobson. "Her massive perm gave me hay fever for months afterwards," Mike claims spuriously.
With the band in place, Mike realised he needed a label, and after shying away from an offer from a London label, he chose Manchester's Faith & Hope, home of Mint Royale. Mike's vision fits perfectly with Faith & Hope's ethos of alternative pop.
Beats delivered their first release in September 2003, the limited single 'Kill All DJs'. This was followed by the 10" 'Technology EP' in April 2004. The EP featured 'Technology' and 'Something To Say', both on the album. The EP also featured the early-Bowie influenced piece of psychedelia 'Antique Man From England' and the delightful and dreamy Rebelski collaboration 'I Can Love.' Since then 'Technology' has entered the Xfm playlist, and Beats have enjoyed a live Xfm session on Claire Sturgess's show, along with developing their live act around the country.
Ladies and gentlemen, Beats For Beginners, not only facing the apocalypse with a smile, but sniggering in the very jaws of dystopian nightmare.
Mike TV: singer/guitar; Max: Bass; Dave: Drums;
Lizzie: keyboards; Spencer: Synthesisers.