Mark Wilson is a singer, songwriter and guitarist from Leeds, England. He grew up in Grimethorpe near Barnsley, and moved from this tough mining village to the University of Leeds in 1978 to read History. He has lived in Headingley, Leeds. ever since.
He started out in the Barnsley Coalfield Working Men’s Clubs singing Elvis covers, but at Leeds he joined a punk band, quickly moving to rockabilly at the same time as the Stray Cats hit the UK. He called the band Pink Peg Slax after the Eddie Cochran rockabilly track of that name (check out their 2012 "Best Of" compilation Rock-A-Beery Boogie and 2022's Evil Evil Evil Nice Nice Nice)
However, it was as a member of The Mekons (punk/art rock) that Mark wrote and performed his first BBC Radio One song "The East Is Red" for the legendary John Peel Show in 1980.
Pink Peg Slax were later also feted by John Peel with 4 BBC Radio 1 sessions in 1984, 1986 and 1987, and even the serious music press liked them (3 singles and 2 albums gained 5-star reviews in NME). TV chef Keith Floyd wrote sleeve notes and put their songs on his shows due to Mark’s culinary obsessions.
But a constant in his life has been a love for the songs of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald and in 1983 he fancied having a crack at them, on his own, wearing a tux, playing his guitar. John Keenan, the Leeds music pioneer who later broke Oasis and Nirvana (among many others), became his manager and soon Mark – appearing as Vince Berkeley – was wowing massive audiences around Britain at festivals and as the opening act for Mari Wilson and Alexei Sayle. Which is how he ended up on the bill at the Palladium with Paul Young and John Cooper Clarke...
Mark's decided it's about time he started putting it about a bit once more, so here he is.