My Life Story

  • My Life Story

    Friday 18th August 2017

    Doors Open: 19:00

    Advanced Ticket Price: £15

    Age Restriction: 14+

    Event Details:

    When you talk about the band, My Life Story, you need to know about the founder, Jake Shillingford, who founded the group and was the driving force behind them for the years that they performed. Jake was born in Southend On the Sea, and while his mother did depart the family home leaving Jake’s upbringing to his father, that resulted in the young boy’s exposure to mostly punk rock music.


    Jake’s father was also involved in the Pop Art movement of the 1950’s. The babysitters his father hired were art students from the school, and they’d bring around their music to listen to while looking after the young lad. Jake believes it was this early experience with music that inspired his love of pop.


    Jake quit the Southend Technical College with no qualification, and that meant he could put all his energies into his first love – music. His original motivation, he says, was not because he loved music, but rather to impress a girl he was too shy to ask out. This first group he was in he called My Life Story. They recorded a single called “Home Sweet Zoo,” before disbanding.


    In March of 1987 Jake moved to the big city, London, and with his friend Simon Benney, they opened the famous Indie Club called The Panic Station. Some of the bands that played at the club read like a who’s who of the 80’s/early 90’s of alternative pop. They included the Stone Roses and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, to name just two. While operating the club, Shillingford reignited My Life Story concept as a band.


    It wasn’t until 1993, though, that the band My Life Story (MLS) actually became the group that is best known today. Strangely enough, the music they wanted to play was in direct contrast and a sort of protest against the type of music that Jake was promoting at his club! The band also wanted to be big, big, big! and that meant recruiting almost a whole orchestra. He was able to hire musicians by pinning a notice up on the wall at the Royal Academy of Music inviting them to try and play something a little different in their boring lives. Somehow, it worked! Never underestimate the Power of Music.


    Although the applicants hаd іnіtіаl reservations they wеrе ѕооn swept аѕіdе bу Shіllіngfоrd’ѕ ѕеlf-bеlіеf (and thе prospect of a little rосk’n’rоll hеdоnіѕm). “Thеу gave mе thеіr talents,” Jake еxрlаіnѕ,”аnd I оffеrеd thеm a сhаnсе. Thеу thоught сlаѕѕісаl music wаѕ trіtе and ѕtаlе; аnd what they wanted wаѕ brіght lіghtѕ, rосk’n’rоll, and shagging after ѕhоwѕ.” MLS was born.


    Jake and his 12 piece orchestra made some significant inroads into the music business with his big band sound, and they soon released a single called “Girl A, Girl B, Boy C” about a love triangle. It made Single Of The Week and MLS started to get a name.


    Using the Mother Tongue recording label, they followed their first single with a couple more:


    Funny Ha Ha

    You Don’t Sparkle (reached No. 2 on the charts!)


    Then an album in 1994 titled “Mornington Crescent”. The band’s popularity continued to rise, and they were hired to play at some of the biggest gigs going at the time. They even headlined over a band called Oasis at one time.


    It wasn’t long before MLS started getting a small army of fiercely loyal fans behind it, no doubt helped by their unusual stage dress sense such as tiaras and feathers. Other bands began to get on the same style of music, and it wasn’t considered strange that these up and coming groups even hired the MLS orchestra to help out with some of their recordings. In fact, the MLS band still provides backing to the current groups of pop stars including Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave. Why Not? They are all accomplished musicians.


    In 1995 MLS produced another Mother Tongue EP styled album called the “Mornington Crescent Companion.” Unfortunately, the label ran out of money and My Life Story found itself in the embarrassing position of being one of the biggest music bands around, but unsigned. The group hit the road but with such a limited budget they found it difficult to keep members together. No pay, no play!


    Jake’s spirits were a bit low by then, and he announced that My Life Story would play just four more shows. He called them “The Month of Sundays” and they would play at Dingwall, where it all began. If, at the end of the shows, the band was still not signed, he’d pack it all in and quit. What started out as an emotional farewell for the group turned into a real triumph as a number of recording labels put some offers on the table. MLS ended up with Parlophone.


    During 1996 their release “12 Reasons Why I Love Her” made it into the Top 40 and a re-recording of their “Sparkle” single also went Top 40 with the Parlophone label. The group’s second album hit the markets in 1997, “The Golden Mile” and the sound that MLS was producing was captivating fans and music lovers alike. The band did a 50-date national tour that year, but the politics within the recording company and the imminent bubble-burst of the BritPop scene conspired against My Life Story.


    So the end was near, and the record label and MLS parted ways. The band broke up although some individuals recorded some great music together later on. The world has been made a better place with My Life Story, their music, their energy, showmanship and one-off style of stage presence. Their musical legacy will never die, it is recorded in the annals of music history. There is nothing stopping Jake from pulling a few of the group together, and blasting out some of the old mixed with the new at any time, any place in the future!

    Online Tickets: (0844 249 1000)

    Tickets also available from:
    Hellraiser Records (Wakefield). Crash Records and Jumbo Records (Leeds)

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