Mick Clarke first attracted attention in 1968, playing guitar in the south London-based duo Killing Floor with Bill Thorndycraft (vocals/harmonica). They made two well-received albums, Killing Floor in 1969 and Out of Uranus the following year. Killing Floor played in London and elsewhere in the U.K., backing American bluesman Freddie King, and also jammed with other visitors, including Howlin' Wolf. In mid-1972 Killing Floor folded, but Clarke played with Daddy Longlegs before forming his own band, Salt, in the mid-'70s, recording the rare EP All Wired Up in 1978.
After a spell in the United States, Clarke returned to the U.K. at the start of the '80s to form the Mick Clarke Band. For the next two decades the band worked extensively, touring the U.K. and Europe, receiving critical acclaim for their live shows and albums. Critics and audiences in the U.S. also reacted very favorably to the band. In 2005 the band included drummer Chris Sharley (drums, ex-Sassafras), Dave Rea (bass), and Dave Lennox (keyboards). Among other musicians who have worked with Clarke over the years are keyboard player Peter Terry; bass players Mick Phillips, Len Davies, Ian Ellis, Eddie Masters, and Russell Prett; blues harpists Stevie Smith, Dave Newman and Mark Feltham; and drummers Ron Berg, Slash, Mike Hirsh, and Wilgar Campbell. An important part of the repertoire of Clarke's bands are his own compositions, which include "Murderers' Home," "Cheap," "Walking in the Dark," "The Killingest Place," "Second Hand Dream," and "New Star Over Texas."