Born in London, Virgil Howe was the second son of guitarist Steve Howe. He played on several of his father’s projects: he performed on keys, alongside his brother Dylan Howe on drums, for the Steve Howe solo albums The Grand Scheme of Things (1993) and Spectrum (2005). He was in Steve Howe’s Remedy band, who released an album Elements (2003), toured the UK and then released a live DVD. He wrote and performed on a piece on his father’s 2011 release Time. He also plays drums on 11 tracks of Steve Howe’s Anthology 2: Groups and Collaborations that were largely recorded in the 1980s. Under the name The Verge, Virgil Howe produced the Yes Remixes album, released 2003.
Howe was in The Dirty Feel, with Kerim ‘Kez’ Gunes (bass, vocals) and Nick Hirsch (guitar, vocals; died 2012). A debut single, “Get Down and Love In”, had a limited UK release in 2004. They were signed to DirtE. In 2005, the band took part in MTV‘s A-Cut amateur band competition. In 2005, Howe formed a related band The Killer Meters with again Gunes on bass and Hirsch on guitar, with Karime Kendra (vocals), Henry Broadbent (keyboards) and Stephen Wilcock (saxophone). They released a tribute album to The Meters and then signed to Breaking Bread records in 2008, releasing an original album.
Howe produced under his own name, having previously produced under the name “Sparo”, under which he released the album Sparo Worlds. He also played DJ sets in London, and a regular radio show for Soho Radio.
In 2008, Howe joined band Little Barrie as a drummer. Between 2009 and October 2010 the band wrote and recorded their third album King of the Waves, working again with Edwyn Collins, Seb Lewsley at the controls and Shawn Lee mixing. Chris Potter mastered the album. The first single off King of the Waves was “Surf Hell”. This track was featured as the theme tune to the 2011 Channel 4 series Sirens and an advert for Rimmel “scandal eyes” mascara; it was also playable on the multi-platform video game “Rocksmith”. The album was released in the UK on 27 June 2011 and in the US on 28 February 2012. After touring with Charles Bradley in Spain, Little Barrie was invited onto his North American Tour in early 2012. The band went on to do the theme music for the TV series Better Call Saul.
Nexus, released 17 November 2017 on InsideOut, is a joint album by Virgil & Steve Howe. Father Steve described the album: “Most of the credit goes to Virgil on this; it’s Virgil’s bed and melodies but I’ve come in to add a little bit more.”