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Mike Kershaw biography
From Wakefield, UK - Until 2011 recorded under the moniker "Relocate To Heathrow"

I live in Wakefield, UK. In 2007 after 22 years working for the same company I found myself out of work and looking for something to engage my mind. By 2009, between project work and short term contracts, I had written & produced three albums which (as I was still looking to my find my feet musically) I released under the name Relocate to Heathrow.

In 2010 I made a drastic life change, swapping finance management for music and 2013?s 'This Long Night' is the second album released under my own name.

My music is for the most part atmospheric/symphonic progressive rock but I leave myself free to move in any musical direction I choose within the... structure of an album. My songs explore a range of emotions but have a melancholy core, whilst still remaining powerful and lyrically interesting.

I do try and create something fresh and different every time and strive to find that combination of songs that give an album an identity. I'm already working on the follow up to "This Long Night" titled "Ice Age" which will be completed sometime in the first half of 2014 and have just released an eclectic quartet of songs as a seasonal EP called "Winter".

Biography provided by the artist and reproduced with permission

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What Lies BeneathWhat Lies Beneath
Bad Elephant Music/Freia Records
$37.84 (used)

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MIKE KERSHAW discography

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MIKE KERSHAW top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.35 | 4 ratings
Reason To Believe
3.28 | 6 ratings
This Long Night
3.42 | 12 ratings
Ice Age
3.66 | 16 ratings
What Lies Beneath
0.00 | 0 ratings
Arms Open Wide

MIKE KERSHAW Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MIKE KERSHAW Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MIKE KERSHAW Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MIKE KERSHAW Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.17 | 6 ratings
4.00 | 4 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 What Lies Beneath by KERSHAW, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.66 | 16 ratings

What Lies Beneath
Mike Kershaw Crossover Prog

Review by Jan Scanulfsson

4 stars Released in May 2016, "What Lies Beneath" sees Mike Kershaw and a group of friends creating a transcontinental collaborative album. The majority of songs are written by a core trio of Kershaw/Blue-Sky/Cole, and all the lyrics are credited to Mr K.

I'd describe the cover art as marvellous "digital realism" painting with symbols and imagery relating to the subject matter of the songs. Time to press play and discover what lies within.

"Gunning for the Gods" gets things underway with a big, bold theme, crisp drumming hinting at a march rhythm and a groove not unlike that of Bowie's "Heroes". This is one of the longer songs with a number of moods and transitions. A widescreen neo-prog epic which reminded me of Big Country in places. The lyrics appear to be questioning holy warriors, justifying actions behind a banner of faith or their chosen cause, seemingly beyond reproach. Do the means ever justify the ends? Many of the album's songs are concerned with identity, our place in the world and the decisions we've taken en- route. Kershaw sings in a raspy, folk-rock inflected style for the uptempo sections, changing to a softer,more hushed tone when required. "What happened to the boy that became this kind of man" he asks.

A smooth segue into "In Floods the Light" and a change of mood, exchanging the strength and certainty for a lighter touch and a softer, higher register lead vocal. A light swing courtesy of side-stick drumming and smooth, melodic, bass guitar add to the delicate, intimate, nature of the music. This all gives the impression of a more personal involvement a freshness and a sense of wonderment : "A separate world that's all your own, every blade of grass, each stepping stone, all in your mind's eye". A song for a sleeping loved one perhaps?

Another anthem is encountered with "Dice" as the low-key intro gives way to a singalong refrain worthy of Simple Minds, which also reminded me of "White Feather". Rousing stuff.

"The City Revealed" takes us from smooth jazz, with an electric piano and flute ( pos. Mellotron ) combination to something "bigger" and more purposeful as Kershaw asks : "Is there anything left of me?". Change, transition and dashed expectations are becoming common themes for this set. Deft arranging and mixing with something akin to a dulcimer contrasting with more traditional rock band forces. I was reminded of Fugazi-era Marillion in more than a couple of places.

Track five ushers in quite a stylistic change with a bouncy baroque-pop melody and modulated slide guitar. A glance at the credits reveals a certain Leo Koperdraat is responsible for the music, and with the band also featuring the drums of Frank Urbaniak, and the bass of Leopold Blue-Sky, it's no wonder that "Two Eyes" sounds like something from "Slow Burn 1" or "Garden of Ghosts". Mike even sounds like a folkier, more nasal version of Leo as he dwells on "I cannot find the traces of why I came to be". The search for identity and making sense-of-self continues.

"Wounds" brings another stylistic departure thanks to the musical-input and lead vocal performance from Tom Slatter. Starting with lush synth voicings and a growling bassline, I was reminded of Duran Duran's "Say a Prayer". Slatter's vocals are ideal for alt-folk storytelling, sounding like a cleaner toned version of Kershaw himself. "He's looking for an exit, He's searching for a cause, He needs something to take his mind away, To rally round a flag, Join a losing fight..."

The core writing team return for "Another Disguise" with great ensemble playing as attractive rotary organ and a mobile, funky, bassline begin the build towards something resembling Momentary Lapse of Reason era Floyd with added elements of late 80s/early 90s Genesis. Special mention here for the lead guitar of Gareth Cole with silky compound bends and a host of other Gilmourisms.

The closing track is another worthy of " neo-prog epic" status with chorused guitar figures, Rothery-esque motifs and subtle yet effective gear-changes. A wonderful musical change around the 3:15 mark and epic status is assured as things grow noticeably heavier before the final fade. Kershaw is again looking for someone or something to help him make sense of both the external world and his own past : "Can you shield me from the dark, Can you fight what lies within, Will you always be right here for me, When the air turns cold, when the lights grow dim?" A solution is hinted at as : "New is built upon the old, The past is swept away"

A quote attributed to Archimedes takes the form : "Give me a place to stand and I will move the world"

With so many of us trying to make sense of the world, or even of our own private worlds, we're all looking for our place to stand, and this seems to be one of the primary themes running through the eight songs of "What Lies Beneath".

Mike Kershaw and friends have made an album for modern times. Intelligent arrangements, excellent production standards and thought provoking "real" subject matter capable of resonating with us all. A solid 75 %, four stars in progarchives currency - definitely recommended.

 What Lies Beneath by KERSHAW, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.66 | 16 ratings

What Lies Beneath
Mike Kershaw Crossover Prog

Review by Angelo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars In the modern prog world, we find a number of communities, consisting of fans and musicians. The communities are represented online, on Facebook or on music web sites, and the involved musicians end up playing on each others albums, or cooperating on 'special' albums. Some of these cooperations involve long standing artists, for example the current cooperation between Jon Anderson, Roine Stolt and Jonas Reinhold in Anderson/Stolt. Others involve less well known artists, some of whom also have been around for a while already. Here examples are cooperations around Corvus Stone's Colin Tench, or United Progressive Fraternity and Mark 'Truey' Truack.

Another example is the community that revolves around the band Big Big Train. In their Facebook group, a whole lot of musicians have found each other, including for example Fractal Mirror and some members of Unto Us. In this community, we also encounter keyboard player and vocalist Mike Kershaw. On his album What Lies Beneath, subject of this review, we find a lot of musicians who are active in the BBT community, like Leo Koperdraat, Leopold and Allyson Blue-Sky, and Gareth Cole.

As can be expected, having musicians, good musicians cooperate, something good must come out of it. On this album, we find 8 tracks, on all of which the involved musicians give it their best. Frank Urbaniak's drums, Gareth Cole's and Leopold Blue-Sky's bass are the most frequent companions of Kershaw's own keyboards, but on individual tracks we also find drums by Joshua Leibowitz, Rohan Jordan-Shah and Leopold Blue-Sky, while Leo Koperdraat and Tom Slatter take care of guitar and vocals on Two Eyes and Wounds.

Looking at the compositions, most of the tracks are written by the trio Kershaw, Blue-Sky and Cole, and feel like a mix of rock and folk, often with a nod toward the 80s - especially when Mike's keyboards come in. What strikes me is that although each track has it's own little treats, there is no real shiner among the tracks composed by this trio - although the guitar solo in Another Disguise is a landmark on the album. The tracks Two Eyes and Wounds, for which respectively Leo Koperdraat and Tom Slatter not only played guitar but also wrote the music, appeal more to me. Two Eyes, which' lyrics are very personal to Mike Kershaw certainly brings life to the album half way, and although not an up tempo track, Wounds stands out as well - this could be a Roger Waters track to my ears.

Due to the keyboards and vocals, Gunning for the Gods is the only track on the album that I don't really appreciate at all. It's thought provoking lyrics get buried in a keyboard sound that is not working for me.

All in all, this is not a bad album, certainly not in execution by the musicians, but I would have hoped for a little more excitement in the compositions. Apart from 'breaks' and 'bridges' a lot of the music gets stuck in the same slow, melancholic mood and tempo, which makes it hard to keep listening attentively. Part of that judgement no doubt comes down to taste, so I do suggest everyone to give it a try, not ignore it.

Also published on my blog

 What Lies Beneath by KERSHAW, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.66 | 16 ratings

What Lies Beneath
Mike Kershaw Crossover Prog

Review by bonestorm

5 stars Mike Kershaw has steadily built a catalogue of impressive releases over the last few years, and in 2016 this has culminated in his best work yet - 'What Lies Beneath'.

The album opens with the epic 'Gunning for the Gods', a nine-minute plus track that demonstrates Mike's maturity as a songwriter, as he effortlessly weaves together several different moods and tempos. What's also apparent is the terrific production of the album, with each instrument given its own space in the mix, and the result is a very cohesive sound that is a joy to hear.

In my opinion, the album peaks in the middle with several exceptional tracks. 'The City Revealed' is a melancholic and beautifully restrained number that oozes atmosphere; 'Two Eyes' follows, an upbeat mesh of slide guitar and keyboards that features a killer vocal hook; and 'Wounds', another change of pace that showcases the vocal talents of Tom Slatter, and which includes some of the most evocative lyrics on the album.

The final track, 'The City of My Dreams', is another belter. One of the longer pieces on the album, it moves through several phases, including a terrific tempo shift half-way through and eventually transitions to a more pensive finale, a perfect way to end the album.

Highly recommended.

 This Long Night by KERSHAW, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.28 | 6 ratings

This Long Night
Mike Kershaw Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

3 stars Although Mike Kershaw isn't a new musician he is new when it comes to releasing records under his own name. He's been doing so since 2011 and so far he has 2 records, Reason To Believe (2012) and the newest This Long Night (2013).

I'm new to this musician's work, so my review is focused on This Long Night (2013) alone. This album is pretty much the one that goes along the Symphonic Prog path. Besides having a few more influences I would say that this is the general sound of the album.

This Long Night (2013) begins with the track 'Miracles' and I really thought that Mike Kershaw's music would be the classic 'one man band instrumental poor playing' case. But that's not the case really. The second track 'Into The Sun' takes my first impression off the album as this track has vocals and guess what? very good vocals. Including melodic backing vocals all around. Mike Kershaw's music turned out to be really interesting, although there's one thing that bothers me.

By the time of the third track (the longest on the album with 12'37) 'A Kind Of Hell' I was sure what was bothering me, it was the drums. Using programmed drums wasn't really the best option for Mike's music, they sound too 'robotic', especially in this particular track. 'A Kind Of Hell' has many twists and turns and so many interesting ideas and many things are happening in the background all the time. But the drums just can't follow the music.

While the title track is more of an interlude, the next one 'Causes' begins in fade in, and it really seems weird because of that. And once again my complain stays with the drums. Mike has good songs, a real drummer would do wonders to his music.

'Words Of Love' is the weirdest track on This Long Night (2013) but at the same time it keeps the same pace of the previous tracks with slow ethereal vocals, space keyboards and rhythm guitars. 'Spectres' has a great melody, ELO style. The follow up 'The Fire' is dense with a thick atmosphere created by keyboards and bass. I would say that this track is completely Space Rock. 'Our Journeys Done' closes the album as a melodic and romantic instrumental piece, a nice one!

Mike Kershaw's This Long Night (2013) is a very good album, especially if we take into account that it is only his second release. The album has many great ideas and good compositions. Unfortunately, the overall production and especially the drums, down rate the final result. The drums case is particularly heavy, it can really kill some of the best songs on the album. But I can honestly say that Mike's next album will turn out to be a great one. Especially if the points I stated could be solved.

Worth a listen!

(Originally posted on

 Reason To Believe by KERSHAW, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.35 | 4 ratings

Reason To Believe
Mike Kershaw Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Located in Wakefield, UK Mike Kershaw is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and singer, who had been recording music under the moniker of ''Relocate To Heathrow'' for quite some time.However in 2011 he decided to continue his journey under his birthname and in March 2012 he launched digitally the first chapter of his new career, entitled ''Reason to Believe''.The album was also available through a number of CD copies and both formats were available for purchase via bandcamp.

Kershaw seems to draw influences from a variety of groups and artists, while the closest comparison seems to be PINK FLOYD of the ''Division bell'' era along with MAGUS and maybe FONYA.His compositions have certainly an accesible Neo Prog flavor with a modern edge, dominated often by the strong use of electronic soundscapes, while the material is usually vocal-driven, surrounded by electroacoustic parts.The music is mostly atmospheric, split in powerful grooves with a PORCUPINE TREE vibe and more laid-back segments with keyboards in evidence, always performed tightly.A number of issues still hold the quality of this release to a lower level.The questionable songwriting and vocals along with the somewhat annoying programmed drums and some very digitally-sounding synths make the whole style a bit inhuman and emotionless, although Kershaw appears to have put some true effort on the sensitive side of his composing.The album lacks also some uptempo tracks and energy at moments, but at least half of them contain some very interesting ideas, combining spacey, almost cosmic soundscapes with atmospheric songwriting and sufficient, distorted guitar parts.

This shouldn't be among a Prog fan's priorities, but if you happen to come across this album, be sure that you enjoy the most atmospheric and synth-based side of Prog.The potential is there, a couple of upgrades should be definitely taken into consideration for a great comeback in the future...2.5 stars.

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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