My name is not Sham Chewali. It is Michael Shaw (it’s an anagram). In 2011, being a bit paranoid about intrusions by Facebook into people’s private information, I decided to give myself a different name on the platform. Friends who knew me as Michael or Mike previously suddenly started to refer to me as Sham – an unintended consequence. Any how I’ve grown used to it. You can call me either.
I am a singer songwriter who was born and brought up in Bury in Lancashire. I moved to Manchester to study Hotel Management. I still have no idea why.
I met my best friend and long time musical collaborator Adam at college when I was 18. He held my hand through numerous cooking classes which would otherwise have ended in utter disaster. We became friends and to save me from the horrendous digs I was held up in, in Stockport, he found a spare room for me only a few doors down from his student house in Premier Street, Moss Side.
We formed the band fishonastick and in the years that followed we played all over the country in such prestigious venues as the Mean Fiddler, Band on the Wall, The Met in Bury, The Boardwalk and shared the billing with bands like Fairport Convention, the Strawbs, the Animals and played festivals such as the Head for the Hills and Party in the Park with the likes of Beth Orton and the Waterboys and the Inspiral Carpets.
Recently I started writing and recording solo material which I sing around the venues of Manchester (with my other long time collaborator and great friend Phil Popplewell). I hope you can hear the influences of my Lancashire and Manchester childhood and of the few years I have spent in and around the music venues of England. I guess it’s Alt-Folk or Indie Folk (I struggle with any categorization to be honest). People have so far mentioned early REM, Richard Hawley, Nick Cave and Guy Garvey and frankly I’d be happy to trade musical careers with any of them – so far.
Thanks for coming here and thanks for listening to my music. It makes me happy to know you and ‘it’ are out there.