Happy Fish banging the drum for percussion
Like many a great yarn, drummer Fish's story starts with a guy called Bongo Dave. This Bongo Dave was his inspiration, you see, the man who helped take his drumming career up a notch.
Having learned how to work the sticks at the tender age of six, Fish – or Michael to his mum – continued into his teens and throughout university.
But it was seeing Bongo Dave playing in a nightclub that changed his direction – and led to him performing in front of Simon Cowell et al on Britain's Got Talent.
Now, he's one of the most requested and successful nightclub percussionists in the world, and travels all over the planet for gigs.
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"I'm just gardening as we speak, I'm making the most of the light," he tells The Week when we call ahead of him coming to Leicester. That's okay, we say, you crack on. Just as long as you're able to tell us a bit about your drumming as well.
"Well, I basically just rock up to a nightclub with nothing prepared. I just have my drums that I custom-built myself, the DJ plays and I just freestyle over the music. And that's it.
"I jump around, there's lots of energy and I'll always have a big smile on my face.
"I have my sunglasses on and that puts me in the zone. I wouldn't say I'm shy, normally, but I'm quite reserved. On stage I've got to be full of energy and putting my sunglasses on gets me into that place.
"I just go with what the DJ does so it's different every night, and that's the challenge. Someone could put a Spice Girls track on or something like that – the worst thing you could think to play along to – but sometimes it just works."
It's a niche that not many manage to get right.
"It's very different to being in a band and I do miss that sometimes," he says.
"I love what I do but I do miss working with other musicians.
"But then I've spoken to people in bands who would like to be doing what I'm doing. I love what I do. I love watching people dancing around and smiling and enjoying it.
"It's nice to have a job where people appreciate what you do. It's a niche I've formed and it's put me in a position where I can work very regularly. I think I got in at the right moment."
Fish was playing in clubs before Britain's Got Talent came calling. And we do mean calling – he was head-hunted to audition for the show.
"They rang me," he says. "They'd seen one of my videos on YouTube: They have researchers to make sure they get some good acts and I was one of the people they asked.
"They rang me up and three days later I was doing it in front of 5,000 people. It came completely out of the blue.
"I always thought of reality TV as a bit cheesy but I didn't go on with a sob story or anything, I was just like: 'I'm a drummer, this is what I do'.
"I thought they could make you look however they want – potentially quite stupid – so I was a bit worried about how I might come across and I was very conscious about what I was saying. But it was fine. I used it as a way to boost my career. The show has given me a nice platform."
It's obvious Fish is a shiny, happy person – you can feel the grin down the telephone – who loves his job.
"I'm all over the place, which is good because I love travelling," he says. "And my girlfriend is in the same kind of industry so I get to travel with her sometimes.
"I've worked with people like Professor Green, Rizzle Kicks and Example, and this summer I've spent time in Ibiza, Tunisia, Beirut, Dubai and Madrid. I get to travel a lot.
"I do feel very lucky, but whenever I say that to my mum she'll say: 'You're not lucky, you've worked hard, you've been drumming since you were six'.
"I suppose I have worked hard. But I feel lucky as well."
As well as the greats, Fish gets his inspiration from other session musicians.
"People who most might not have heard of but will work on other people's tracks," he says.
"People like Aaron Spears and Dave Wessell. I do like Bongo Dave as well because he's the reason I'm doing what I'm doing."
Fish on Percussion is on at Fat Cats, in Belvoir Street, Leicester city centre, tomorrow night, with Ibiza DJ Ady Twiner. Entry is free. Visit: