If you loved the hits of the 60’s then head down to Benidorm Palace where The Manfreds will be headlining this Sunday – with our very own local talent Pablo Bloom the support act for the night. Over the years the Palace have had some incredible groups perform, a testament to the owner Christine Climent who's little black book contains some well sought after numbers!
The epic Manfreds are a seven piece band made up of four original members of the 1960’s pop group Manfred Mann. The group, which formed in 1991 sees both vocalists Paul Jones and Mike d’Abo on stage together in Benidorm– reunited after their paths crossed back in 1966. The Paul Jones era ran from 1962 until 1966, at which point Mike d’Abo took over until 1969, when the group disbanded. Throughout the 70’s they each led separate careers until one fateful day in 1991, when some came together to celebrate Tom McGuinness’s 50th birthday and decided to reform, calling themselves The Manfreds.
Tom is really the man responsible for The Manfreds evolvement and recounted the groups Rock and Roll lifestyle, adding that “all the rumours you heard about the era are true!” Last year alone The Manfreds performed 120 gigs – not only in the UK but across Europe and last summer even toured around Australia. He is still surprised that he can make a living out of doing something that he loves… and getting paid for it, probably everybody’s dream. He comes from strong working class roots – his father was a navvy, working on the building sites and mother was a cleaner and their only wish was for him to get job indoors, which was clean and dry!
He left school and went to work at an insurance company in the City, which he managed to endure for an entire year. He really wanted to write screen scripts and thought that he had made it when a short one was used on the satirical television comedy ‘That was the week the was’ – presented by David Frost… but sadly it was a one hit wonder. Leafing through a copy of Melody Maker, a weekly newspaper for musicians he responded to an advert that was looking for an R&B player and through that came into contact with Paul Jones. He joined Manfred Mann in 1963 and the following year had a hit with 5-4-3-2-1.
He has performed alongside some of the music greats, including Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones – where they both ‘gigged’ at the Station Hotel in Richmond, London and recollected that “every bit was fun”. He plays on the guitar and mandolin, which he will be bringing with him to Benidorm – his first trip to the resort. Sadly they will be flying back the day after the show as they are back out on the road, starting the first leg of their UK tour on Wednesday. Lonnie Donegan, known as The King of Skiffle was Tom’s inspiration to learn the guitar and it has certainly stood him in good stead for many decades!
Another of the groups members is Mike d’Abo and despite the members slightly mature years, their enthusiasm and passion for performing certainly hasn’t diminished! It is his first visit to Benidorm – he’s been ‘down South’ he told me but never here, so certainly looking forward to it. Manfred Mann discovered him while performing in his group ‘A Band of Angels’ on a local television talent show – ‘A Whole Scene Going’ presented by Wendy Varnals and Barry Fantoni. As Mike sat with Wendy and Barry to watch the recording in walked Manfred Mann and Paul Jones, who unbeknown to the public was leaving the group. However, Paul promised to stay on until a replacement had been found and in that instant, the pair had singled out Mike as that person, turning his world inside out.
His first record with the new formation was the Bob Dylan song ‘Just like a Woman’ in June 1966, which the group preformed live on both Top of the Pops and Ready Steady Go, reaching number 10 in the UK singles chart. Mike has had a hugely successful music career in his own right and written many songs including ‘Handbags and Gladrags’ – which was also recorded by Rod Stewart, in addition to a further two songs for him and co-wrote ‘Build me up Buttercup’ for The Foundations. His favourite song is ‘Mighty Quinn” and you can hear the group singing ‘Come all without, come all within. You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn’ on Sunday as well as ‘Pretty Flamingo’, ‘5-4-3-2-1’ and ‘Do Wah Diddy Diddy’ – just some of the hits you will all be singing along to on the night.
Supporting the epic Manfreds will be our very own local talent Pablo Bloom. He is absolutely delighted and honoured to have been asked to play – a venue he has dreamed about having been there a number of times. He has a fantastic repertoire with a particular fondness for 60’s icons such as Chuck Berry, Jersey Boys and Elvis, which will complement The Manfreds superbly.