Now based in Cumbria,The Nightriders were originally formed in Birmingham in 1958 and were known as ‘Billy King and the Nightriders’, playing pubs and clubs around Birmingham and the Midlands.
In 1959 Mike Sheridan joined them as pianist and soon after the band became Mike Sheridan and the Nightriders, continuing in much the same vein. The sixties saw huge success for the ‘Mersey Beat’ bands and singers. Impresario Norrie Paramour had the same ambitions for Birmingham.
After holding auditions at the Moat House in Birmingham a certain group; namely The Moody Blues, failed their audition while The Nightriders passed and were signed to Decca Records. Brum beat was born. The Nightriders released numerous singles but only achieved one minor hit with their version of ‘Please Mr Postman’. This lack of commercial success did not prevent the band from working and indeed they became one of the country’s busiest non-famous bands appearing on T.V shows like ‘The 5 o’clock Club’ on A.T.V and supporting bands like ‘The Beatles’, ‘The Who’, ‘Little Richard’ and ‘Joe Brown and the Bruvvers’. Chart success remained elusive and after a few years the band split. Guitarist Roy Wood went on to form ‘The Move’ and later after leaving ‘E.L.O’ became the face of ‘Wizzard’. The remaining members carried on and recruited living rock legend...Jeff Lynne, whilst dropping The Nightriders name and becoming The Idle Race. Jeff Lynne went on to front the incredibly succesful Electric Light Orchestra (E.L.O) and was more recently a ‘Travelling Willbury’, as well as producer and collaborator with ‘The Beatles’ and Brian Wilson of ‘The Beach Boys’. Mike Sheridan later reformed The Nightriders and continued to work the clubs and pubs, with regular radio and T.V performances on shows such as the B.B.C’s ‘Barmaids Arms'.
Phil Middleton joined The Nightriders in 1987 after leaving his own band ‘Mid-Air’. Having just missed out on a recording deal with Magnet Records, Phil was recruited as drummer and backing vocalist. As he settled into the band Phil took on more lead vocals which proved enormously popular with audiences. The Nightriders continued to work solidly, appearing on live Radio shows and local T.V and recording three albums in as many years. The Nightriders became well respected for their opening support to acts like ‘The Hollies, ‘The Searchers’ and ‘The Fortunes’ @ The Ivy league and were invited to open the stage version of sixties T.V show ‘Oh Boy!’ with ‘The Dallas Boys’ ‘Craig Douglas’ and ‘The Kaye Sisters’. After opening a show for ‘Joe Brown and the Bruvvers’ Joe was so impressed by the band that he invited them to become his ‘Bruvvers’, an offer they could not refuse. This partnership led to extensive tours, T.V, Radio and Theatre shows, appearing with artists like Chris Montez and Suzi Quattro.
In December 1991 The Nightriders appeared at the London Palladium on Chas ‘n’ Dave’s 25th Anniversary concert, providing backing as ‘The Bruvvers’ and also backing the late ‘Screaming Lord Sutch’………Unforgettable. The Nightriders also recorded a live album with Joe Brown and were invited to provide backing vocals for Joe’s extraordinarily talented daughter Sam. Sam Brown had hits with 'Stop' and 'The Kissing gate' during the late eighties and early 90's. Sam has also been backing vocalist for the legendary Pink Floyd and is now a regular feature on tour with 'national treasure' Jools Holland. Sam Brown remains a relatively hidden gem and is certainly one of rock musics greatest singers.