Michael John Harvey  was born on the 28/9/1958 in Rochester, Melbourne- Australia.

He grew up in in the Melbourne suburbs, in a house adjacent to a church. His father was a Church of England Vicor in the parish of Ashburton. Needless to say, the household was a strict religious environment. He was enrolled as a day boy at Caulfield Grammar in the early seventies. This is where he met Nick Cave.

Although Mick wasn't trained musically, he joined a school band called 'The Boys Next Door' which comprised of Nick Cave, Tracey Pew, Phill Calvert and eventually Rowland S. Howard. Mick played guitar. The band became notorious for their live shows, which were extremely physical and chaotic. As the band continued to grow in popularity, they released one cd called 'Door, Door' which was a powerful cd, but did not fully capture the intensity of the band.

By 1980 the band had decided the only way to gain more popularity was to go to London, and promptly changed their name to 'The Birthday Party' at the same time. Being the organised one in the band, Mick found a job in London to survive and eventually moved out of the shared accommodation  with the band. His girlfriend, Katey Beale, soon came from Australia to join him. Although these were hard times for the band, they started playing some gigs and the word about this chaotic and powerful  band started to spread.

When Phill left the band, Mick stepped in as drummer. For the next few tumultuous years, Mick stayed in that position, mostly being the one to try and keep it all together. By February 1983 the band was falling apart- by Mick's standards the dynamic had gone in the band, and called it quits. They did one last tour of Australia, of which Mick did not have a part of. The last gig with all the BP together was April 26, 1983, at the Crystal Ballroom in London.

Shortly after the break up,  Nick Cave decided to start another band and promptly asked Mick to be a part of it. The band consisted of Nick Cave, Blixa Bargeld, Barry Adamson and Hugo Race. Mick started off as the drum player for the band, eventually to become the guitar player. The band assumed the name 'Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds'. Their first cd, 'From Her To Eternity' came out it May, 1984.

In 1985 Mick also joined another band, of which Rowland S. Howard was also a member, called "The Crime And City Solution'. Starting off on guitar then turning to the drum kit the year after, Mick played a pivotal role in being a part of the band. Apart from being a key member he also ended up managing the band, contributing greatly to the success the band would eventually have.

As Mick continued to be key members of these bands, he had already made himself a name as a gifted musician and a professional. Although The Bad Seeds took up a considerable amount of his time, he became greatly sought after by many bands to either be a guest musician, help with producing and so forth. Bands like Die Haut and The Moodists had Mick playing anything from the piano to the celeste.

In 1988 Mick helped fellow friend Anita Lane by playing many tracks on her first lp, 'Dirty Sings' He would later collaborate with her on both her cd's, 'Dirty Pearl' and 'Sex O'Clock'.

Meanwhile in the four years that the Bad Seeds had been together, they had developed a unique sound and had released 3 more cd's. 'First Born Is Dead' (1985), 'Kicking Against The Pricks' (1986) and 'Your Funeral, My Trail' that same year. 1988 would also see the release of 'Tender Prey', their 5th studio album. These years would see the most productive times for the Bad Seeds, as they toured  and created for themselves a loyal fan base and become a nationally renowned band.

Mick collaborated with fellow Bad Seeds, Nick Cave and Blixa Bargeld, to do a soundtrack to a John Hillcoat movie 'Ghosts...Of The Civil Dead' in 1989. This would spark Mick's interest in soundtracks, the creation of them and contributions to soundtracks was, and is, a large part of his career.

In 1991 The Crime And City Solution had broken up. The Bad Seeds had released 'The Good Son' the previous year and were also working on 'Henry's Dream' to be released the next year.

For the next few years Mick was kept busy constantly touring with the Bad Seeds. They released a live video of one of these performance 'Live At The Paradiso' in '92 as well as a live cd 'Live Seeds' in '93. Their next release would be in 1994, with "Let Love In'. This was their most successful Bad Seed record yet and the band continued to increase in popularity.

1995 Saw Mick endeavour on his first solo project- A cover of Serge Gainsbourg covers called 'Intoxicated Man'. Serge Gainsbourg was a French singer/songwriter, so Mick had to translate all of his lyrics to English. With Anita Lane's wispy voice featuring on many of the tracks, Mick ventured to not only re-invent the songs in their English form, but sometimes musically as well. He achieved this magnificently by not only maintaining the French Feel to the songs, but by creating an atmospheric and lush sound.

The same year Mick played with PJ Harvey for her cd 'To Bring You My Love'. This collaboration would not be their last, as Mick has continued to be a back up musician and help produce Harvey's cds, which includes touring with her as well.

1996 saw the release of the next Bad Seed cd, 'Murder Ballads', which Mick describes as a very strange record, but proved to be a mainstream success. Mick also collaborated with Cave and Bargeld again for another soundtrack for a John Hillcoat film, 'To Have And To Hold'.

Mick's second solo effort was another set of Gainsbourg covers, in 1997 with 'Pink Elephants'. On this cd he tackled 'I Love You..... Nor Do I', with Nick Cave and Anita Lane on vocals, and the wonderful 'The Ticket Puncher'. With the inclusion of these two famous songs, which were interpreted and presented beautifully, the cd was received well and is looked at as the perfect follow up to 'Intoxicated Man'.

This same year, The Bad Seeds 10th cd came out, 'The Boatmans Call'. Beautiful in it's simplicity, the cd had a more stripped back Bad Seed sound. It was followed the next year with 'The Best Of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds' mainly compiled by Mick. The cd represented the  band's weighty back catalogue successfully, but was by no means the end of their career.

In 1999 'And The Ass Saw The Angel- Readings And Music' was released, Mick playing the music he and Ed Clayton-Jones had created for a theatrical interpretation of Nick Cave's book of the same name. Nick's reading's of the book were included over the top of the score.

Mick did the soundtrack to the Australian movie 'Chopper' the next year, and the Bad Seeds released 'No More Shall We Part' in 2001.

The contribution that Mick has made into the Australian music scene is undeniable. Apart from the sections of his musical career that has been listed here, Mick has been a guest musician and producer to many more bands over the years, such as 'The Cruel Sea'.

He continues to be a strong member of the Bad Seeds, helping produce their latest cd, 'Nocturama'. A new soundtrack by Mick has also just been released called 'Aussie Rules' for the movie of the same name by Paul Goldman.

To be continued........

 

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