LOOKING impossibly young for a man well passed pensionable age, Paul Jones remains the quintessential driving force behind The Manfreds.
The beat group that originally grew out of the blues boom of the early 1960s will always be the slightlier poppier flipside to Jones’ various projects.
It’s an incestuous business though. At various times Jack Bruce and Klaus Voorman played in this outfit while Clapton remains a good mate.
Original Manfred Mann guitarist Tom McGuinness was once one half of McGuinness Flint alongside John Mayall drummer Hughie Flint who also played in the Jones/McGuinness project The Blues Band. Meanwhile the current long-serving drummer, Rob Townshend who in another lifetime wielded the sticks for Family, is also a Blues Band veteran. As for keyboards man Mike Hugg, he actually founded the original Manfred band with the eponymously named Manfred Mann who has nothing whatsoever to do with the group these days. Confused? You needn’t be, just enjoy the gig.
It’s a polished outfit who deliver hits like Doo Wah Diddy Diddy, 5,4,3,2,1 and Pretty Flamingo with considerable aplomb.
The Manfreds are a class act who effortlessly showcase the band’s collective and individual talents. You feel you’re in a safe pair of hands.
My only moment of concern came when Jones almost fell off the stage during a rousing version of The Mighty Quinn.