In 1976, the band Trickster formed in Birmingham, England. Trickster originated from a band that played for a year in a restaurant in Piccadilly Circus, London. The band consisted of Phil Bates, Colin Hewinson, Mike Sheppard and Paul Elliot.
Trickster signed their first recording contract with United Artists. The first single was "To Flyaway". The first album "Find The Lady" was recorded at Rockfield Studio in Monmouth. After recording, signed Trickster at United Artists Records sublabel Jet, on what the album was released in 1977. In 1978, the album under the name "Trickster" with a new cover was republished. Jet Records had already contract with the British rock band "Electric Light Orchestra" and the co-founder Roy Wood.
The British music manager Don Arden (1926-2007) took over the management of Trickster. The band played tracks from John Miles and Smokie. They also played in 1978 in the interlude of ELO in the 'Out of the Blue' Spaceship World Tour. When the tour in the United States was on the road, Trickster had internal problems. Mike Sheppard left the band shortly before the end of the tour. In 1979, Mike Groth and John Fincham came to Trickster. The second album "Back To Zero" was produced by Trickster themselves. It was published in 1979. The title "I'm Satisfied" was successful and was played much on the radio. Also in 1979 played Trickster the opening act of the American rock band "Boston", founded in 1969, on their tour of Europe. 1980 separated Jet Records from Trickster, although already Demos and six Masters for the third album were recorded. Jet Records moved to the US, but although Trickster had for two more years at Jet Records a contract, they did not go in spite of good prospects in court. A contract with RCA did not materialize because Don Arden put too high demands.
Phil Bates later played with the band "Atlantic" and "Electric Light Orchestra Part II".