the manfreds live
After interviewing Paul Jones on Radio Saltire on Saturday the 5th of November, it was time to go and see him live with “The Manfreds”.
Classed as the Hits, Jazz and Blues Tour, it certainly didn’t disappoint. Paul was supported by a 5 piece band which included his long term collaborator Tom McGuinness.
It was split into two halves with an interval in the middle. The first half started with two hits from Manfred Mann, “Sha La La” and “Man in the Middle”, Paul told the story that he actually wrote, Man in the Middle, for the Yardbirds, but they didn’t record it, so he did.
Paul is not getting any younger, but that didn’t stop him moving about the stage and getting some great sounds out of his trademark harmonica, which he is just excels with.
They did some Blues and some Jazz, as they said they would, along with some more songs covered by Manfred Man, including “Just Like a Woman” (Bob Dylan) and, as per the interview, his favourite Manfred Mann song, “My Little Red Book” which appeared on the What’s New Pussycat Soundtrack.
While Paul Jones handled the bulk of the vocals, Marcus Cliffe also did a solo on the bass while singing the Curtis Mayfield track, People get ready. Tom McGuinness also took a shot of the vocals doing a couple of songs from his solo albums, including a “boozy ballad” called “Losing You”. He also took the lead vocals for two songs from the band he formed when he left Manfred Mann and they off course were McGuinness Flint who had 2 top 5 hits with, “When I’m dead and Gone” and “Malt Barley Blues”.
They finished the first half with “Pretty Flamingo” and started the second with “5-4-3-2-1”. In amongst some great Jazz and Blues, where the individual musicians were able to show of their exceptional talents, they did my favourite of the night, a great version of “Oh No Not my Baby”. They went on to do the other classic Manfred Mann songs “Come Tomorrow”, “Mighty Quinn” and an audience lead “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”.
Do Wah Diddy Diddy, got to No 1 in the UK and in the States and he told the story when they were touring in the States and the band “The Exiters” shared the bill with them, which was interesting as they also had a hit in the States with “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” and they played it as part of their set as well as Manfred Mann, but the writer of the song, Jeff Barry, came backstage and Paul Jones asked him what “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” actually means? His response, It means I never have to work again!
Great concert with lots for everyone, all the hits and some great musicianship for the Jazz and Blues part as well. Clearly Paul Jones and the rest of the band love that music, as well as the hits. Well worth going to see them if you do get the chance.
Reviewed by Radio Saltire's Colin Torley Tuesday 15th November 2022.