Manfreds Making’ Tracks for Doncaster

The Manfreds.
The Manfreds.

Rock veterans The Manfreds are Makin’ Tracks for Doncaster as part of a lengthy nationwide tour.

But what makes this tour different from recent ones, is the band has a new album out, and will be playing tracks from it in their set.

In the beginning was Manfred Mann, a band whose hit catalogue is the envy of many – Pretty Flamingo, Mighty Quinn, Do Wah Diddy Diddy, and Just Like a Woman are just a few of their many hits.

Part-way through the string of hits, the band survived the departure of singer and frontman Paul Jones.

His replacement, Mike D’Abo, kept the momentum going.

However, eventually the band – who had veered away from their original R’n’B and jazz leanings into the murky world of commercial pop – broke up.

The members of the band enjoyed solo success, but in 1991 the band reformed – without Manfred Mann, the bands’ keyboard player – for guitarist Tom McGuinness’ 50th birthday.

And the band members enjoyed it so much that they have continued touring to this day.

Original members Paul, guitarist Tom McGuinness and keyboard player Mike Hugg are joined on stage by stalwarts Marcus Cliffe, on bass, Simon Currie, on flute and saxophone, and drummer Rob Townsend.

Sometimes, they appear with Mike in a show that encompasses the whole of the band’s output.

In fact, Mike appears on the new album, Makin’ Tracks, taking turns with Paul to provide the lead vocals.

As well as blues and R’n’B standards such as I’m Your Kingpin and Bring It On Home To Me, the band tackle some great covers, such as Sunshine Superman and Lean On Me.

And Tom says the new songs have been well received.

“The reception has been fantastic and it was interesting to record these different versions of the songs,” he says.

“It’s been a long time since the last album. The problem was finding the time to go into the studio.

“We tour a lot as The Manfreds and we all have different projects outside the band – for instance, Paul, Rob and I tour as The Blues Band and the others have equally busy schedules.”

However, Mike will be missing from the show at Cast in Doncaster on Friday, March 24.

Tom says: “He doesn’t do every tour and he is touring with The New Amen Corner and Mike Pender.”

It leaves Paul as the sole vocalist, so the band will concentrate on its earlier material, when he was the lead singer.

“We’ll concentrate on the early stuff, but will play a lot of the hits as well as a few tracks off the new album,” says Tom.

“It will be a great night, as Paul always gets the audience going and it’s great hearing them join in all the songs.

“We really do have some great fans.”

Tom, like Paul and Mike Hugg, is in his seventies, but shows no signs of slowing.

“No, we all enjoy it too much,” he says.

“It’s great getting paid to do what you love for a living and it’s far too late now for me to get a ‘proper’ job.”

As for the band’s plans for the year, Tom is not completely sure.

“We never like to plan too far ahead,” he says.

“We have the spring dates and more than likely there’ll be some in the autumn too, as well as some stately home shows in the summer.”

n The Manfreds will be appearing at Cast, Waterdale, Doncaster, on Friday, March 24, For tickets, priced from £20, call 01302 303959, or visit castindoncaster.com