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Man - Tapes of the Unexpected (DVD)

Genre: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 26th April 2010

Label: Voiceprint
Catalogue Number: VPDVD68
Price: £7.99
Available: Sorry - Not currently available


Man - Tapes of the Unexpected

The music that the Man band performed was very much removed from the pop sensibilities of The Bystanders and more in keeping with the West Coast sound of American bands such as The Quicksilver Messenger Service. The band would record two albums for the Pye records progressive rock label Dawn  (Revelation and 2ozs Of Plastic With A Hole In The Middle) before leaving the label to sign with the more progressively minded Liberty records in 1970, andthey were to remain with the label until 1976 when they signed with MCA.

The seventies would be an interesting time for the band that saw many comings and goings of various members, including the departure and return of key members Clive John, Deke Leonard and Martin Ace all at various points. In fact, at one point the only original member left in the band was Micky Jones.

The music, of course, never suffered and in a particularly fertile period the band managed to record and release no less than seven studio albums. They also performed many wonderful concerts, which even took the band to America where their particular brand of rock music found particular favour with audiences on the West Coast.

Following the deal with MCA the band released just one more studio album (The Welsh Connection) before announcing their decision to call it a day, going out for one more tour that would be recorded and finally be released as All's Well That Ends Well, which at the time would have seemed to be it as far as the Man band were concerned.

In the wake of the split the various members all concentrated on solo projects including bands like the Flying Aces (Martin Ace) and The Flying Pigs (Micky Jones). Drummer Terry Williams probably had the highest profile during this time, playing first with fellow Welsh man Dave Edmunds and former Brinsley Schwarz bassist Nick Lowe in Rockpile. From there he went on to massive success as a member of Dire Straits and played on the multi-million selling Brothers In Arms album. In 1983, however, the band decided to re-form and head out on the well trodden road. With a few line-up changes over the years that is where they still are making albums and playing concerts.

The footage contained on this DVD comes from German television performances in the seventies. Germany was a fertile ground for Man and the band regularly made the trip to Germany for both concerts and television performances. The earliest performance here features the line-up of Mickey Jones, Martin Ace, Clive John, Jeff Jones and Ray Williams.

The opening track, 2:30 Definitely, was not only a one-off but an impromptu performance by the band featuring Martin Ace on harmonica. Basically the band had been asked to fill while the opening credits of the show were shown and the time they had to fill was two minutes thirty seconds. The second track, Brother Arnold's Red and White Striped Tent, originally came from the band's second album 2ozs of Plastic With A Hole In The Middle and comes from the same session that produced 2:30 Definitely. Both pieces were filmed in November 1969 and probably represent the earliest film of Man.

The next clip moves forward to April 1971 when the line-up consisted of Mickey Jones, Martin Ace, Deke Leonard, Terry Williams and Clive John. This line-up saw the return to the fold of Deke Leonard and the arrival of Terry Williams on drums who joined in October 1970. This time we are treated to full colour performances of two tracks, Daughter Of The Fireplace and which had originally appeared on the self-titled Man album, which was the band's first album for Liberty/United Artists and had been released just the month before this performance was filmed. Both tracks ably illustrate just how tight the band was as a performing unit and how their almost instinctive jamming style had gelled into something quite special.

The final track featured on this DVD comes from a German television session filmed in November 1971. By this time Clive John had departed and both Deke Leonard and Martin Ace were not far behind, both leaving in January 1972, Martin of his own choice, and Deke? Well let's just say Deke thinks he was sacked and neither Mickey Jones nor Terry Williams tend to disagree with him.

The performance captured here is Angel Easy, one of the shorter tracks Man recorded at the time. The track was the opening track of the band's most recent studio album, released the week the band performed here before the cameras. The album was entitled Do You Like It Here Now, Are You Settling In?

Man would not return to German television screens until April 1975 when the band played a live concert in the studio to promote their Slow Motion album. These television clips then represent some of the earliest film of Man live in the studio and are now being released officially for the first time in their own right.

Licensed courtesy of Joe Sweetinburgh: Impressive Records (Consultants) LLP impressiverecs@btinternet.com

REVIEW

The unexpected in this case being a clip from the archives selection of long unseen German TV footage from the late 60s and early 70s. The first two black and white clips on this modestly dimensioned 25 minute DVD come from a November 1969 appearance on Beat Club believed to be the earliest surviving live footage of Man where the band's original line up are seen performing the one-off curio'2.30 Definitely'  (essentially an instrumental jam accompanying the show's opening titles) plus 'Brother Arnold's Red And White Striped Tent'. Next we jump forward to April 1971 and the colour footage captures the classic Man line up of Mickey Jones. Martin Ace, Deke Leonard, Terry Williams and
Clive John letting their well developed jamming instincts loose on 'Daughter Of The Fireplace' and 'Would The Christians Wait For Five Minutes The Lions Are Having A Draw' before the closing clip takes us forward to November 1971 for a performance of 'Angel Easy'.
Grahame Bent (Shindig)


Tracks:
Definitely
Brother Arnold's
Red & White Striped Tent
Daughter of the Fireplace
Will The Christians Wait 5 Minutes
Angel Easy
Click above to watch video

 



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