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Simon formed his first band, TV Product, while studying at Sheffield Polytechnic in 1978. The other members of the group were his housemate Tony Perrin and three friends from the polytechnic. After many line-up changes Hinkler left the band to join Artery on keyboards. He was part of the line-up which recorded the group's most well known songs, including "Into The Garden", which reached number four on John Peel's festive 50 for 1981. This incarnation of the group started to disintegrate around this time, and Simon spent much of the next year mentoring the young Jarvis Cocker. He joined the 1982 lineup of Pulp and produced the band's first LP, It, playing bass, piano, guitar and mandolin, as well as co-writing the bands' debut single "My Lighthouse". After this he had another spell in Artery, this time joined by his brother David Hinkler, also formerly of Pulp, and around this time played with a few other bands, including The Flight Commander and Midnight Choir.
In late 1985 Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams left The Sisters Of Mercy and formed The Mission with Hinkler and drummer Mick Brown (of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry). In early 1986 they embarked on their first European tour, supporting The Cult. They released two singles independently, both reaching No.1 in the UK alternative charts, before signing a worldwide record deal with Phonogram (now Universal).
Their first single for the new label, "Stay with Me", went straight into the UK chart at No. 30 followed by their debut album, God's Own Medicine, at No. 14. They continued to release hit singles including anthemic classics such as "Wasteland", "Tower of Strength", "Beyond the Pale", "Deliverance" and "Butterfly on a Wheel". Total worldwide album sales to date have now well exceeded 3 million.
During this period, The Mission enhanced their reputation as one of the best and most exciting live bands in the world winning countless accolades, and inspiring both lurid media stories and a fanatical following as they toured constantly including highlights like seven sold out consecutive shows at the London Astoria, headlining the famous Reading Festival twice, and also playing with U2, The Cure and Robert Plant.
When Wayne Hussey decided to disband The Mission permanently in 2008, after twenty-two years of activity, he invited Hinkler to join the then current lineup on tour. He played with the band for four nights in Germany before moving onto the final four nights at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London from Wednesday 27 February through to Saturday 1 March 2008. The performances were subsequently released on a critically acclaimed DVD as The Mission: The Final Chapter.
It was not until 2005 that he released his first solo album, Lose the Faith. After living in New Mexico and New York for more than a decade, Hinkler returned to England in 2009. He put a band together consisting of the drummer, bassist, and guitarist from the band Abigail's Mercy and live appearances were due to begin in the latter part of 2010, the first of which was announced for Whitby Gothic Weekend in October. This was, however, cancelled due to problems with the band.
In December 2010 Wayne Hussey announced live shows featuring a reformation of the original line up (minus drummer Mick Brown) of The Mission to celebrate the bands 25th anniversary. Initially two dates were announced for October 2011 at London O2, Brixton and O2, Leeds. However in June 2011 Hussey announced extra tour dates in Europe in October and November 2011.
In October 2011 Hinkler performed once more with a reformed Mission. A new Mission album featuring Hinkler, Craig Adams and Hussey is said to be in the workings, slated to be produced by David M. Allen.
In February 2012 The Eden House released their Timeflows EP which features Hinkler as a guest guitarist.
- Lilleker, Martin (2005). Beats Working For A Living - Sheffield Popular Music 1973-1984. Juma. ISBN 1-872204-26-0.
- Sturdy, Mark (2003). Truth & Beauty: The Story of Pulp. Omnibus. ISBN 0-7119-9599-0, 9780711995994 Check