ANOTHER planet

Original member of The Only Ones, the return of sticksman turned songwriter Mike Kellie by Jessica Cusack


you may well be familiar with the name Mike Kellie – or simply Kellie, the stage name he has used throughout his career – as the drummer from rock band Spooky Tooth in the 60s and 70s, later taking the same role in the psychedelic punkrock group The Only Ones.


Kellie’s famous beats have been recycled several times in the modern day, most recently by Kanye West who sampled one drum lick in his song ‘No Church in the Wild’ with Jay Z; yet it was the use of ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’ in Vodafone’s 2006 ad campaign, causing a resurgence of The Only Ones, which has positioned Kellie at the forefront of a new outfit entitled The Hidden.

‘This is the first time I’ve had to handle everything, and it’s quite a challenge’, explains Kellie, ‘But I’ve embraced the role of making the record after years of intending to, I embrace being a control freak, and I embrace the directional responsibility’. Now holding responsibility for production and promotion, as well as musical contribution, Kellie is looking for an alternative front man – perhaps in the form of Greg Platt-Lake, ‘a young James Dean’ featured on the album – so that he can focus on leading the band in the way he knows best: through the rhythm.

Kellie is well-versed on the ‘smoke and mirrors’ used in the fickle entertainment industry, citing the inclusion of his own name in the new band, The Hidden featuring Mike Kellie, as a necessary marketing move.

Discussing the period after The Only Ones reunited in 2007, he remembers, ‘I was very frustrated at this time with The Only Ones, and I had this deep hunger, a fire burning in me with some of the songs I’d started years ago.’ This frustration bore fruit in the form of a chance encounter with an old friend who had set up a recording studio a mile from Kellie’s home, and whose son was a sound engineer. ‘It was as if they were waiting for me and I was looking for them. I sat outside the recording studio and said, “Thank you, Lord.”’


There is certainly a market for The Hidden, with their poppy, melodic rock songs. The music is easy to listen to, yet the lyrics really draw one’s attention, especially if you are aware of how deeply meaningful they are to this particular songwriter; they seem a fitting sound track to these cold festive nights.

‘Music from The Hidden, featuring Mike Kellie’ is available to preview and buy at


“I embrace being a
control freak, and I
embrace the

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