The Manfreds Customs House South Shields 10 March 2023

“5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1…… It was the Manfreds”

manfred ticketA night of nostalgia. The Manfreds are basically the 1960s Manfred Mann band without Manfred Mann; that is before he left and eventually ended up fronting the Earth Band which he does to this day. The ManfredS take two forms: one with both singers Paul Jones and Mike D’abo fronting and the other with Paul Jones alone fronting the band. Tonight it is the latter of the two formations, which is more of a hits/jazz/blues combo as you might expect from the great man Paul Jones who is now in his early 80s and still on great form.

manfred 2So tonight’s concert, which is in two parts with a short interval consists of a mix of old (pre-Mike D’abo; that is Paul Jones) era Manfred Mann hits, plenty of vintage blues, and some Paul Jones new solo album material mixed in. The first set is mostly blues with some great vocals and mouth harp from Paul Jones who looks good, sounds good and twists some great blues licks from his large collection of different key mouth blues harps which perch on the mic stand. Interspersed with that is the Bob Dylan cover (one of several which were a hit for Manfred Mann) “Just like a Woman” and the McGuinness Flint hit “Malt and Barley Blues”. Tom McGuinness is a member of the band (he was in Manfred Mann before forming McGuinness Flint) and turns out to be one of the stars of the evening with some great guitar work. They also sing Burt Bacharach’s “My Little Red Book” which was covered by Manfred Mann in the 1960s. Somewhere along the way there are plenty of blues songs including classics such as “Smokestack Lightning”. The closing song on the first set is one of Manfred Mann’s massive hits the wonderful “Pretty Flamingo”. Just great.

manfred 1During the interval I catch a drink and purchase a couple of Paul Jones CDs which the man himself autographs for me; one for myself and one for my friend John in the USA. I am careful not to drink too much as I am still suffering from my misbehaviour the evening before at the Martin Carthy concert (see previous blog entry to read of my misbehaviour). The second set opens with another big chart hit “5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1”. We are soon treated to another classic song “Oh no! Not my Baby”, this one written by Carole King. Then Tom McGuinness comes up front for the McGuinness Flint hit “When I’m Dead and Gone” which, he reminds me was written by Gallagher and Lyle who were in the band alongside Tom McGuinness and Hughie Flint, before they went on to have many solo hits. I last saw McGuinness Flint supporting Humble Pie (or was it Wishbone Ash) at Newcastle Odeon in the early 70s. Then the band complete the show with “The Mighty Quinn” (another Dylan song, and sung originally by Mike D’abo, as I recall) and “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”. The encore is (most appropriately) “If You Gotta Go Go Now” (yet another Dylan song). And so it is over. A great night of classic 60s hits, and some great blues. At the end of a busy week of three concerts: Graham Gouldman, Martin Carthy and the Manfreds.

Thanks to Jackie for taking the photographs.

Set list.

Set 1: Tengo Tango; The One in the Middle; Sha La La; Malt and Barley Blues; Just Like a Woman; Choose or Cop Out; My Little Red Book; People Get Ready; I’m Your Kingpin; Smokestack Lightning; Losing You to the Blues in Me; Pretty Flamingo.

Set 2: 5-4-3-2-1; Watermelon Man; How Lucky Can One Man Be; Oh No! Not My Baby; Diamond in the Sand; Got to Be the Blues; Put It Where You Want It; When I’m Dead and Gone; Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn); Do Wah Diddy Diddy.

Encore: If You Gotta Go, Go Now.

12 responses to this post.

  1. ” I last saw McGuinness Flint supporting Humble Pie (or was it Wishbone Ash) at Newcastle Odeon in the early 70s.” Hi Peter. I reckon you must have seen them with Humble Pie. I saw Wishbone at the Odeon and they were supported by a local band some members of which I believe went on to become Goldie. The name escapes me. I do remember as we were coming out they were selling tickets for Humble Pie at the box office. Sadly being still at school. we couldn’t afford to buy any!! Never did see them…….


    • Posted by vintagerock on March 19, 2023 at 3:54 pm

      Yes you are right it was Humble Pie now that you remind me. The local band you refer to was fronted by (from memory) a great singer called Pete Macdonald. At one point they were called Kip, but I think they changed their name later. Pete Macdonald went on to front Goldie who had a chart hit with a record called something like “Making up Again”? I remember seeing them at Southwick club, Sunderland the same week they appeared on Top of the Pops. Surreal. Humble Pie with fantastic every time I saw them which was at least on 4 occasions. Steve Marriott was probably the best performer I ever saw. The guy had no fear and I think he used to sing “My Skin Is White But My Soul Is Black” (which seemed to be true; or did I dream that?) Happy days Peter


      • Aye I saw Marriot a couple of times solo in later years, most notably at the Park Hotel in Tynemouth. He was brilliant!

      • Posted by vintagerock on March 19, 2023 at 4:17 pm

        Yes he was an amazing talent from Small Faces through to his sad, early demise. In fact somewhere I have an LP which features Steve Marriott as the Artful Dodger in Oliver! The guy is one of my all-time heroes. Respect Peter

  2. Only caught McGuinness Flint once when they supported the Incredible String Band on a tour which included the Civic Theatre in Darlington. I don’t they were billed to appear (or at least I may have just assumed that a String Band concert would only have the ISB playing – every other gig of theirs I’d seen had been just them) and when MF opened my first thought was ‘Sheesh, they’ve changed.’ They were into their 2nd or 3rd number before I realised who they were. Talk about cognitive dissonance!


    • Posted by vintagerock on March 20, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Alistair I only saw Incredible String Band once, which I now regret. I wish I had made more of an effort to see them while they were around best wishes Peter


  3. Posted by David Dennis on March 21, 2023 at 2:24 am

    Sounds like a great gig. I saw Paul Jones fronting “The Blues Band” at a small Hammersmith venue sometime in the late seventies. And I think McGuinness was in the band. Great front man, and loves the blues. Always enjoy your reviews


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