Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Manfreds Return to Musical Roots

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Manfreds Return to Musical Roots

Article excerpt

Byline: By David Whetstone

Paul Jones of Manfred Mann shares memories of great harmonica players and jelly babies with David Whetstone.

Paul Jones, lead singer and one of the original members of Manfred Mann, has vivid but uncomfortable memories of performing at Newcastle City Hall in the 1960s.

"Back then people used to throw these soft toys called gonks on stage - and jelly babies, too. I think it all started in Liverpool, that teenagers would throw these things at their favourite bands. But I remember once at the City Hall, there were so many jelly babies on stage that eventually we were all slithering around on an ice-rink of sticky jelly."

Ah, memories! The Manfreds - famous for numbers like 5-4-3-2-1 and Ha! Ha! Said the Clown - will turn the minds of more mature music fans back to the halcyon days of the 60s when Ready Steady Go and Juke Box Jury were required early evening viewing.

But The Manfreds are back, as you will find if you mosey along to Newcastle City Hall tomorrow for the Maximum Rhythm 'n' Blues tour which features original Manfred Mann members Jones, Mike D'Abo, Tom McGuinness and Mike Hugg - plus new recruits Rob Townsend, Marcus Cliffe and Simon Currie. They'll be joined on stage by guest stars Colin Blunstone (from The Zombies), soul singer PP (Pat) Arnold and our own Alan Price.

Manfred Mann himself opted out. "He was the only person who didn't want to get back together," says Paul. "Sadly, we also lost Mike Vickers but we have the three from the original band in the first half of the 60s - four 60s members in all. The majority of bands from that era now only have one or maybe two original members so that's pretty good. I can safely say the band is playing as well now as it did in the 1960s - in fact, a good deal better."

Listeners to Paul's weekly R&B and Gospel shows on BBC Radio 2 and Jazz FM will have a good idea about his musical roots and inspiration. …

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