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Michael Head (musician)

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Michael Head
Background information
Born (1961-11-24) 24 November 1961 (age 58)
Liverpool, England
GenresAlternative rock, indie pop
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1981–present
LabelsOperation Twilight
Virgin Records
Ghetto Recording Company
London Records
North Country
Sour Mash
Violette Records
Associated actsThe Pale Fountains, Shack, Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band
WebsiteMichael Head

Michael William Head (born 24 November 1961) is an English singer-songwriter and musician from Liverpool, England. He is most famous as the lead singer and songwriter for Shack and The Pale Fountains, both of which also feature his younger brother John Head.[1] Though the bands never achieved mainstream success, they have a strong following and NME have described him as "a lost genius and among the most gifted British songwriters of his generation".

The Pale Fountains

Head first gained attention as a member of The Pale Fountains in the early 1980s with his best friend Chris "Biffa" McCaffrey. The band suffered from critical and commercial apathy, and the band split around 1987. Shortly afterwards, McCaffrey died from a brain tumour.

In 2008, Head reformed The Pale Fountains to play a couple of gigs to celebrate 25 years since their inception.[citation needed]


In 1986, Head formed Shack with John on lead guitar, Peter Wilkinson on bass and Mick Hurst on drums.[2]

The group debuted in 1988 with Zilch, falling victim to the commercial indifference which earlier plagued The Pale Fountains' career. The follow-up, Waterpistol, was recorded in 1991 at London's Star Street Studio, but shortly after the finished disc was mixed the studio burned to the ground, and the completed master was lost. Producer Chris Allison had the only surviving copy of the album, but unaware of a fire that demolished the studio, carelessly left his copy of the tape in a rental car while in the U.S.; upon returning to the UK and learning of the studio's fate he managed to contact the rental car company and rescue the DAT, but the record company had collapsed and there was no one to distribute it.

Waterpistol was not released until 1995, by which point Shack had split up. The siblings reformed Shack soon after with bassist Ren Parry and drummer lain Templeton, returning in 1999 with H.M.S. Fable and Here's Tom With the Weather (2003). They signed to Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher's Sour Mash label and released ...The Corner Of Miles And Gil in 2006. A Best Of album, Time Machine was released in 2007.

Michael Head introducing The Strands

After touring for a while with childhood heroes Love, Head went on to form Michael Head introducing The Strands, again with brother John on guitar. In 1997, they released the critically acclaimed album The Magical World of the Strands.

2008 was a relatively quiet one for Head, starting with Shack being part of Liverpool, The Musical, which was part of the European City of Culture celebrations and ending with another new venture, Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band.

Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band

In September 2013, Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band released their debut record, an EP entitled Artorius Revisited, on Violette Records. Following this with a limited edition double A-side 7" single "Velvets In The Dark / Koala Bears" in March 2015.

In October 2017, Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band released an album called Adiós Señor Pussycat which reached No 1 in the Independent album charts and No 24 in the UK Albums Chart.

In early 2019, Michael Head parted company with Violette Records, entering the studio in August of that year with producer and songwriter/musician Bill Ryder-Jones to begin recording a new album called New Brighton Rock. Four of the new songs were played live for the first time at Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band's first and only live show of 2019 at Liverpool's Invisible Wind Factory, generating a positive response on social media. 2019 also saw Michael Head begin working with his representative Daniel McEvoy, as well as updating fans directly for the first time through Twitter and Instagram.


  • The Magical World of the Strands (1997) - LP - (Michael Head introducing The Strands)
  • "Somethin' Like You" (1998) No. 150 (UK) - single (Michael Head introducing The Strands)
  • Artorius Revisited EP (2013) 12" vinyl / CD (Michael Head & the Red Elastic Band)
  • Velvets In The Dark/Koala Bears (2015) 7" single (Michael Head & the Red Elastic Band)
  • Adios Senor Pussycat (2017) - LP - (Michael Head & the Red Elastic Band)


  1. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Biography: Shack". AMG. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  2. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Biography: Pale Fountains". AMG. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
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Michael Head (musician)
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