Mick’s the music man
In this week’s music feature, the Star caught up with Peterlee’s Mick Arnell, a familiar name and face to any East Durham musician.
A move to the capital and back opened Mick’s eyes to the music scene and as an ambitious guitarist, he was led to the streets to busk for his living.
Mick said: “Once you get a taste for busking and playing for the love of music, it is hard to look back.”
Mick decided London was not for him so moved back to his native Peterlee and formed the band ‘Family Politics’.
They entered a battle of the bands competition along with 200 other bands and won £2,500 as well as a record contract.
He decided to go back to doing what he loved and that was playing for the love of it and entertaining people while they were going about their daily business.
He was approached by a health worker whilst playing an on the streets in Middlesbrough, which resulted in a £9,000 bursary.
Mick lost a close friend to a drug overdose and wrote his own songs in memory of him, singing them every day while he busked on the streets.
The money came from the health authority to help Mick form a new band and perform songs with an anti-drug message to teenagers across the UK.
The band used the money to also record an album that was sent down to the organisers of Glastonbury in 1999 and from that they got a slot playing in-front of thousands at what is described as the UK’s biggest music festival.
He said: “It was a terrible time for me and I just wanted to remember my friend in a good light so I decided to write a couple of songs about him.
“I never knew it would get me to where I was in the end of it all because of the troubles I had gone through trying to get over losing him,
“ I remember coming back from Glastonberry and having a lot of press about it, I didn’t need to find other work, I was a musician.”
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Weather for Peterlee
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 8 C
Wind Speed: 30 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 9 C
Wind Speed: 26 mph
Wind direction: North east