Man in concert in 1972

Man in concert in 1972
Man-BeGoodI was a big fan of Welsh wizards Man in the 70s and saw them several times in concert. Trying to work out exactly which line-ups of the band I saw is a complex piece of historical research in itself. Suffice it to say that this band changed members like many others changed guitar strings. The one constant who was in every early Man line-up was, of course, the late great ace guitarist Micky Jones. Coming in close second was guitarist Deke Leonard, who left and rejoined a couple of times. Other regulars members of the Man family were Martin Ace, Terry Williams, Clive John and Phil Ryan. Martin Ace fronts a version of Man which plays to this day.
The first time I saw Man was at Newcastle City Hall on 21st June 1972, when they were featured on a bill headlined by the Flamin’ Groovies. I saw them again a couple of months later in August 1972 at the Reading Festival; sandwiched between jazz rock fusion band Solid Gold Cadillac and folky warbler Linda Lewis, way down on a weekend bill headlined by Ten Years After, Curved Air and The Faces. The line up of the band in the Summer of 1972 was Micky Jones (guitar, vocals), Will Youatt (bass, vocals), Clive John (guitar, vocals), Terry Williams (drums, vocals), and Phil Ryan (keyboards, vocals). My enduring memory from those gigs is of Micky playing the excellent “Spunk Rock” on his cherry red Gibson SG. Now the said “Spunk Rock” was a lengthy instrumental piece, with meandering psych-tinged guitar solos. The song would often run for some 20 or more minutes, but I never became bored with it. It was based around a central riff, which Micky would return to as the song progressed. In many ways Man were our Grateful Dead, with lengthy west-coast influenced guitar-based tunes. Very much a “head” band. Micky Jones is quoted at the time: “We may not be the best band in the world, but we sure smoke the most dope.” Other well known tracks from their early 70s gigs are “Many Are Called But Few Get Up” and “Daughter of the Fireplace”, both of which feature in Man sets to this day. I was also seriously into their early psych classic single “Sudden Life” which came out in 1969 and still sounds amazing today.
From the Reading 72 programme: “Man not Boyo. Man come from Swansea where their career nearly ended after a bundle with half a dozen local greasers. Personnel changes were necessary when the bass guitarist smashed his hand up and the lead guitarist came adrift from his motorbike”.
I also think I saw Deke Leonard in his own band Iceberg at Newcastle City Hall, as a support act. The album “Be Good to Yourself at Least Once a Day” was recorded during this Deke-less Man period, and features the classic tracks C’Mon and Bananas, both of which were to become live favourites. “I like to eat bananas; ‘Cos they got no bones; I like marijuana; ‘Cos it gets me stoned”.
I saw Man several more times over the next few years and will write about those gigs over the coming days.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mitch on November 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    I saw Man at Newcastle City Hall in 1973, 74, 75 and 76.
    The 1973 show was on Thursday 21st June and Raw Spirit were the support band.
    I don’t recall Deke Leonard’s Iceberg ever playing the City Hall but they definitely toured together with Man.
    Middlesbrough Town Hall maybe ?


    • Posted by vintagerock on November 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Hi Mitch many thanks. It definitely wasn’t at Middlesbrough Town Hall. I am beginning to think that I wasn’t at the 1973 Man gig at the City Hall. However I also still think I saw Deke Leonard supporting someone at the City Hall…but maybe my memory is playing tricks again Peter


      • Posted by vintagerock on November 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm

        Ps I was also at the 74, 75 and 76 gigs and will write about them over the next few days. Best wishes Peter

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