Michael Armstrong was born in South London in November 1973. His parents were not in the slightest bit musical, although they did listen to music frequently. Michael remembers car journeys singing along and harmonising with his brother to The Beatles Greatest Hits. He knew from a very early age that he wanted to express himself through music and song.
At around the age of 11 he began to seriously tackle learning the guitar and as soon as he was able to play 3 chords he had written his first song. Once he had mastered the guitar he taught himself to play the piano during Games lessons at school stating ‘I just couldn’t hack Rugby, not in the cold wet weather’. Luckily his lack of interest and ability in the sport was confirmed by his teachers who were happy to leave him tinkering away in the music room.
At the age of 15 he entered a song writing competition on BBC’s Pebble Mill At One, coming in second place to a 16 year old Mancunian called Gary Barlow. Take that! By 18, he had his own band and performed his original material across the country eventually playing several nights at The Shepherds Bush Empire in London.
By the age of 23, having toured incessantly, Michael became disillusioned with the music business and joined his father at the family construction company. For 15 years they grew the company to huge success and Michael lived a happy and fruitful life with his wife and three children.
In 2011 a string of events suddenly sent Michael on a new but familiar path. His father’s health led him to retirement and Michael’s own health scare led him to assess his situation. Some might call it a mid-life crisis! Coupled with the failing UK economy and a chance encounter with music biz guru Lisa Davies, Michael felt the world of showbiz beckoning him again. He had also amassed some 200 songs that had never been released. Seeing his talent, and amazed by his music, Lisa became Michael’s manager and set about raising his profile across the business.
After receiving great reactions to an EP, Michael set about recording his debut album ‘Michael Armstrong’ which was eventually released on 29th June 2015. It was met with resounding success, championed by the late Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2 and gaining airplay across the globe. The album featured guitar giants Albert Lee (2 x Grammy Award Winner), Elliott Randall (Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers) and Phil Palmer (Bob Dylan, Robbie Williams) and was produced by Keith Bessey (10cc, Cliff Richard, The Ramones).
As a result of the album’s success, Michael has since been interviewed and has performed on just about every radio station in the land several times over. He has additionally gained major airplay across the globe including the UK’s BBC Radio 2, and mainstream stations all over Europe, USA, Australia and South America, where his single ‘The Radio Years’ was a Top 10 hit. This has further led to numerous appearances on national TV such as ITV’s Lorraine, Sky News, BBC News, ITN plus he is a regular on Vintage TV.
A dedicated touring artist, Michael has performed with some of the biggest names in the business. He has spent over two years ‘on the road’ headlining his own shows as well as appearing as a special guest on major tours with Leo Sayer, Vonda Shepard, T’Pau, Beverley Craven, Dean Friedman & The Hollies’ Peter Howarth. He has also collaborated and worked alongside massive global stars including Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Cliff Richard, Mark Knopfler, Glenn Fry, Chris de Burgh, Russell Watson, Hank Marvin, Michael Ball and countless others.
In 2016 Michael released the official 60th Anniversary commemorative single for Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club and performed it on stage at the venue during a very special celebratory party which included many associated local and national dignitaries. That same year he was invited to open the Great British Radio Reunion with his anthem ‘The Radio Years’ and was selected by his local authority to perform and present an award at their Annual Local Heroes Awards Ceremony in conjunction with BBC radio.
In 2018 Michael released his second album #LookingForTheWorld, again to great critical and commercial acclaim. Singles from the album including the title track were played on radio across the globe, as Michael set out on his biggest promotional tour to date. During the USA leg, Michael was invited to spend some time with one of his great musical influences, singer songwriter, Ben Folds. They spent a week together in Ojai, California, where much of what was to become Michael’s third studio album was conceived. Following the promo tour, Michael returned to the UK for a sell-out London show, which was to kick start a full UK and European tour, only to be scuppered by the global pandemic.
Unable to perform and in isolation, Michael set about recording the songs he had written on the West Coast in his home studio and the result, ‘Ojai’, the album was released on 25th June 2022. The opening track on the album, ‘Each Other’s Eyes’ was picked up by DJs in the USA and gradually began to climb the charts. By October of the year, the track had reached No.1 on the US Indie Music Chart and No.15 on the Top 40 Chart, where it remained for some 4 weeks, ahead of Elton John and Billy Eilish and hot on the heels of Ed Sheeran, Justin Beiber, Dua Lipa, Camila Cabello and Weeknd!
As a result of the success in America, Michael was invited to perform at the London New Year’s Day Parade on 1st January 2021 – an event that was broadcast across the USA, Canada and beyond with an estimated viewing audience of some 500 million people!