With two sold-out London shows under his belt, an impassioned online support-base and now a debut album being recorded, Hertfordshire-born solo artist Michael Kilbey is waiting in the wings.
It’s a journey that hasn’t been without twists and turns. At the tender age of 18 his band The Franks were short-listed as finalists in Glastonbury’s prestigious UK-wide Emerging Talent Competition. An appearance on the BBC Introducing Stage followed, but with the four-piece barely out of school, a clash of priorities ensued and the childhood dream came to a crashing halt.
He bid farewell to his bandmates. But not to the brand of dark, inspired songwriting that had so intrigued the industry judges. In 2015, he began uploading a series of raw demos which captured the imagination of listeners, notably on Twitter where his fan-base quickly grew into the tens of thousands. Drawing reference to early Coldplay, Radiohead, Elbow and Bastille, his distinct English accent has also seen him likened to the late Nick Drake.
These are emotive, expansive songs about the struggle to exist, but imbued with a certain romance and sense of defiance that promises there is something worth fighting for.
"Distinctive vocals and focussed songwriting"
- Tom Robinson, BBC6 Music
"Every song takes you on a unique journey and leaves you wanting just that little bit more"
- Sheila Hinde, Music of Life magazine
2016 saw his fierce support-base propel him to the main stage of London's biggest outdoor music festival as winner of Play On Blackheath. Recording of debut EP I Was Waiting followed, crowd-funded entirely via PledgeMusic and self-released. Not content to merely play a role from behind a screen, fans flew in from 6 different countries - as far afield as Quebec, Canada - to attend the sold-out launch show at The Water Rats, Kings Cross in October last year.
Into 2018 and with demand to extend beyond London, the Please Don’t Bring The Winter UK tour marked Kilbey’s first UK performances outside the capital.
Now, in 2020, his first full album ‘Remote Possibilities’ is due for release later this year with a raft of singles on the way to whet the appetite, starting with ‘Chancellors’, out this Friday 31 July on all digital platforms.
Live shows are on hold during this period of uncertainty. In the meantime, watch live online performances and daily story updates by following on Instagram here.