King was born in Derbyshire, but brought up in the Lancastrian seaside town of Southport. By the mid 1980s, he joined forces with some like minded souls and spent the next four years touring Europe with the country rock band Gary Hall and The Stormkeepers. Releasing two albums and two singles, one for the major label BMG, the band split in 1991. It was at this time that Michael formed The Good Sons. Taking their name from the Nick Cave album, The Good Son, they set about trying to proffer an authentic British alternative to, what for them, was the most exciting form of music currently on offer, and hailing from America, the burgeoning Alt. Country movement.