Mike Absalom

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Mike Absalom
Birth name Michael Absalom
Born (1940-11-09) 9 November 1940 (age 76)[1]
Torquay, Devon, England
Genres Pop, folk, celtic music[2]
Occupation(s) Singer, guitarist, songwriter, harpist, poet, artist and children's entertainer
Instruments Guitar, vocals, clàrsach, fiddle, button accordion
Years active 1960s–present
Labels Various
Website Official website

Mike Absalom (born 9 November 1940) is an English pop, folk and celtic music singer, guitarist, songwriter, harpist, poet, artist and children's entertainer.[3] The Province once described Absalom's musical work as "innocence with a macabre twist". His recording and performing work in the 1970s concentrated on subject matter including sex, drugs and the church.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Michael Absalom was born in Torquay, Devon[1] of Irish and Welsh parentage. After being raised in England and Canada, Absalom was educated at Oxford University and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.[3] He worked as a busker for several years, before Patrick Campbell-Lyons (of Nirvana) signed him to Vertigo Records.[2] By this time he had already had two albums released, the bawdy Mighty Absalom Sings Bathroom Ballads (1965) and Save the Last Gherkin for Me (1969), which featured guitar work by Diz Disley.[4][5]

His skewed sense of humour and observation led to the issue of Mike Absalom in 1971 (produced by Campbell-Lyons),[6] before Hector and Other Peccadillos (1973) garnered a larger audience. The former album featured a Roger Dean drawn record sleeve designed as a guide to Notting Hill Gate. The latter included session work by Ray Fenwick. His live work encompassed both the United Kingdom and Continental Europe.[2]

Finding minimal lasting commercial success, Absalom relocated to Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada in 1980, and continued to work as a solo performer as well as performing on CBC Television. In 1986, after expanding his largely folk music repertoire to incorporate celtic elements, he formed Mike Absalom & the Squid Jiggers, who became popular in Western Canada.[2] Absalom's musical instrument expertise gradually included the clàrsach, fiddle and button accordion. Two years later he joined Harps International, a trio in which he played the Paraguayan harp, touring Canada, the United States and South America. A Canada Council scholarship enabled him to further study the Paraguayan harp in Asunción, Paraguay.[3]

In 1996, Absalom performed at the Sixth World Harp Congress. Three years later he published both a book and album of his children's songs and poetry, Professor Absalom's Pomes For Gnomes, and performed at the Festival of Fools in Cambridge, England, on 1 April 2000. Latterly, he has made his own wooden puppets to perform his children's show; 'Professor Absalom and his Amazing Acrobatic Street Dolls'. A multi-linguist, Absalom returned to Europe in 2002, and currently lives in County Mayo, Ireland, where he both paints and draws.[3][7][8]

Performance venues[edit]

Absalom has performed in the Royal Albert Hall, London, at the Grand Municipal Theatre in Punta Arenas, Chile, on BBC Television's The Old Grey Whistle Test (1973), and across Europe and North and South America.[3]



Year Title Record label Notes
1965 Mighty Absalom Sings Bathroom Ballads Sportsdisc
1969 Save the Last Gherkin for Me Saydisc
1971 Mike Absalom Vertigo
1973 Hector and Other Peccadillos Philips
1977 She Must Have Big Ones Unknown
1978 The Great Grombolian Connection Unknown
1978 Joking to Death Unknown
1981 Vintage Absalom Unknown
1992 Harps International Live in Concert Unknown With Lori Pappajohn and Jill Whitman
1994 The Paraguayan Harp of Mike Absalom Unknown
Unknown Forest Dreams – Canadian Nature Scapes Unknown
1999 Kettle on the Fire Unknown
1999 Angels From Under My Feet Unknown
1999 Pomes for Gnomes Unknown
2002 Self Portraits Unknown Double live album


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Mike Absalom". Instalyrics.com. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e McDonald, Steven. "Mike Absalom – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Biography". Mikeabsalom.com. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "Discography". Mikeabsalom.com. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Diz Disley – Storyville Records – The Best in Jazz since 1952". Storyville Records. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Mike Absalom". Repertoirerecords.com. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "Exhibition: "The Peninsula"". Viewtwogallery.com. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  8. ^ "Mike Absalom profile". Thekennygallery.ie. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 

External links[edit]