Mike Silver

Mike Silver

 Camelford, England, GBR

Occasionally when a song ends there is a frisson of silence before the applause begins. It’s an earthquake in the heart. My songs have clear images and the strong melodies to carry them. I want to share them with my listeners. Playing music is a privilege, like a birthday every day.


At the age of nine, Mike discovered a guitar at home one Sunday morning that one of his brother’s friends had left behind the night before. Five minutes across his knee, before it was removed by parental command, was all it took; he was hooked for life! Eventually, the Christmas after Mike was 14, his parents caved in and bought him his first guitar.

To date, many reviewers have mistakenly thought that Mike underwent classical vocal training. Mike is self taught, the sum of his musical tuition, is three guitar lessons at the age of 16 from a teacher in Croydon and three years later, two sessions with a chap named Guerney, from Whitstable in Kent, who showed Mike the rudiments of claw-hammer finger-style guitar.

Now based in Launceston, Cornwall, Mike Silver has been writing and playing music for more than 30 years, enjoying a quiet success story throughout the UK and in various territories around the world. Signed to Elton John’s Rocket Records in 1973, Silver was based in the States for a while and toured the USA with the likes of Dory Previn and Ashford & Simpson. In fact during his time under contract to Rocket he actually had a chance encounter with John Lennon – ask him what they discussed and he will tell you “Liverpool FC” Mike has been a supporter since childhood as was Lennon!

A colleague said, “Mike possesses that unique ability to sing and play the guitar in a way that combines the two to form a sublime musical entity”. The truth is a powerful thing, after seeing and hearing Mike perform for the first time one fan, among so many who have written in said, “I will never forget that evening at Hitchin. I didn't expect to find heaven in The Sun Hotel”. Mike’s ability to write and perform songs, which transcend many guitar and musical styles, has been recognised by the likes of The Moody Blues’, Ray Thomas and Justin Hayward who recorded Mike’s song, “Maybe It’s Just Love on his solo album Night Flight. Mike is a consummate guitarist and always catches his audiences by surprise with that little extra bit of dexterity, just when they least expect it. His voice is full and crystal clear and his skill with an audience is outstanding. Mike is in a class of his own when it comes to writing and performing, and his skill in the arrangement of the compositions of other writers is remarkable, making them all his own in the process. He makes audience involvement an art form, it’s because of the songs and the way he delivers them; people just can’t resist the opportunity to take part in his music.

From artists on main stage to those taking their turn in back room pub sessions, people sing Mike’s songs in clubs and at festivals all over the UK and in Europe too. Mike Silver’s songs are of longing, love and loss, perceptive and thoughtful, with haunting melodies and heart stopping lyrics. This most accomplished acoustic artist sings and records a series of thoughts and feelings that are special and magical. Yet his music addresses every day issues without being trite, reaching out to a wide audience. With a voice that is as warm and inviting as the fire in the fireplace on a cold winter’s night, Mike is an outstanding treasure amidst the crowd. Recommended to all who thrive on the sensitivity of our existence; all in all he’s a wonderful musician. Variously reminiscent of James Taylor, Phil Collins, even Sting, Silver matches the talent of his better known peers, his beautifully restrained delivery is especially noteworthy. Silver produces the goods - something that will come as no surprise to his loyal fans. For anyone else, if songwriters who can really sing and play are your thing, discover Silver with haste.


LPs: The Applicant 1969 / Daylight 1971 / Troubadour 1974 / Come and be my lady 1976 / Midnight Train 1979 / Silversongs 1980 / Let's Talk About You 1982 / Free 1984 / No Machine 1986. CDs so far: Roadworks 1990 / Dedication 1994 / Heartland 1997 / Double Back 1999 / Ku Séma 2000 / Solid Silver 2003 / Heaven in Mind 2005 / Breaking the Silence 2006 / How Many Rivers 2008

Set List

My set list is from the songs selected below, I keep a record of what I did and where: and on tour I change it every gig I play. The writers of the covers are credited accordingly, the rest are my compositions. On a two set gig I play 2 x 45 minutes, the second set can run to an hour if everyone's having a good time (me included!) otherwise I tailor it to suit the running time the promotor/festival organiser gives me:

When Pollyanna Gets the Blues
Fragile Peace (Mavis Taylor and Mike Silver)
How Many Rivers
Angel In Deep Shadow
Not a Matter of Pride
Sitting on Top of the World (L.Carter and W. Jacob)
Waiting in your Heart
Let it be So
Certain Something
Old Fashioned Saturday Night
Farmer's Son
Turning Point
Sepia Sunset (Dave Tong & Mike Silver)
One Too Many Mornings (Bob Dylan)
Fly me to the Moon (Bart Howard) & Unchained Melody (Alex North & Hy Zaret) (medley)
Reaching out for Love (Ewen Carruthers & Mike Silver)
50% Pool
Safety Net