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Wednesday, 4 April 2012

♫ Let me tell you 'bout the Manfreds!

In the early-mid '60s, my favourite group after The Beatles was Manfred Mann.

In the late 1990s, I noticed that The Manfreds were performing locally (Manfred Mann, the keyboard player, was no longer in the band but the line up included both Paul Jones and Mike d'Abo, lead singers from both popular eras).  I enjoyed a fabulous evening of all the MM hits plus McGuinness Flint's 'When I'm Dead and Gone' plus 'Handbags and Gladrags' that Mike d'Abo wrote and a couple of Paul Jones solo hits - but not 'Bad Bad Boy' which was one of my all-time favourites.

Recently, I dragged the family out again recently to see the Manfreds with Paul Jones, who is now 70! Without Mike d'Abo, it was a different set, quite a lot of blues music, some 'B' sides plus a few hits, including 'When I'm Dead and Gone', 'Pretty Flamingo', 'Oh no, Not my baby', 'Mighty Quinn', '5 4 3 2 1', 'Do Wah Diddy' and ... yes! 'I've Been a Bad Bad Boy' (How did he know?)!

Tom McGuinness (guitar, was bass) was thoroughly relaxed and enjoying himself, Mike Hugg (keyboards, was drums) was totally absorbed in the music, 'new boys' were Rob Townsend (drums) who was clearly content on stage, singing all the songs to himself, Marcus Cliffe (5-string bass) who acted as an 'aide memoire' to the forgetful older band members and, last but not least, young Simon Currie (sax, flute, clarinet) who was enjoying his craft and delivering frequent solos.

Paul Jones, experienced front man and harmonica player, engaged the audience with a mix of charm and amusing banter. No wonder he's thin, he works so hard!

Manfreds Tour Dates
RIP Jack Bruce, former Manfred, October 2014