A Yawn in Your E-Mail - October 2004
'2006' in 2004
I have had the chance to have a couple of long chats with Manfred over the last two weeks,
culminating in a trip to the Waterworks. The new studio, although smaller than the old 'Workhouse', is lovely, with a superb view across the Thames. Ian Tompson mixed some of the excellent new Jools
Holland/Tom Jones album here. It is a matter of opinion I know, but it is a much more pleasant environment than the Old Kent Road. I spent ages with Manfred's binoculars, watching a cormorant
trying to devour a fish. The fish in question was not only far too big for the bird, but was equally determined not to be swallowed.
The conversations with Manfred have, not surprisingly, been dominated by two events, the forthcoming release of a brand new studio album and the cancellation of some concerts with Uriah Heep.
Now I don't want to get off to a bad start with anyone, so perhaps I shouldn't mention how little I wanted MMEB to do these gigs. As far as I am
concerned Manfred should not be supporting anyone. That out of the way, I understand and sympathise with all the fans of both bands who must
be gutted that MMEB have been pulled from these gigs. I can't comment on how or why it happened yet. I do know that some people have spent
loads of money as well, mainly because MMEB were playing, so are seriously out of pocket. I can't claim that anything as bad as that happened to me, but I do kind of know how you feel.
I was very disappointed when the Mann/ Jon Hiseman collaboration came to nothing. Both are musicians I have always had a special respect for,
so collaboration would have been very interesting for me. The reason it never happened was very different from the Heep situation, but the
musicians involved were not in anyway to blame, exactly as this time. This brings me to the point of these ramblings. I have never before known
Manfred to be so hurt by the reaction of a small number of fans.
As he says himself, its OK to criticise the music, the album cover or anything he has control over. He had no control over this, so why have a go?
If you are one of them, make sure you turn up for the Glasgow gig, if it happens. Manfred told me that MMEB are still playing, providing there are
no hitches with venue etc, purely so as not to let anyone down. Economically it makes absolutely no sense at all. It will cost Manfred himself
money to do this gig. Everyone else is on seriously reduced money. How many bands do you know who would go all the way up to Scotland for one small gig, just so as not to let down their fans.
Stop Press: 11 Oct Sadly since Andy wrote this the Glasgow gig has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond the band's control.
For Andy's interview with Manfred about '2006', click here
Lots to review this month. As well as the brilliant '2006' Helen sent me copies of four of the Fontana albums from the 1960's. If you remember I
raved about the Japanese imports of one or two of these in a previous Yawn. Now we have UK versions of some of these old albums at long last
with even better packaging and I urge everyone to buy themselves a set of what is available so far. For Andy's review of these albums, click here.
So that's just about it for this month. I can't think of anything else to say about '2006'. It has definitely been worth waiting for. I find myself
wanting to listen to it again and again. I don't remember feeling like that about studio stuff very often. Even Manfred admits that this is one album
he can actually listen to. If you can't stand waiting until the end of the month, don't forget, if you go onto German Amazon, you can listen to a short sample from each track.
Which reminds me. Can I also offer my congratulations to everyone involved in the new look for our official web site . Doesn't it look great?
My thanks to Manfred for giving me so much of his valuable time, to talk about the album and other stuff. I hope you all enjoy '2006' as much as I
have. I will be very surprised if you don't. How about an album called 1066 for the outtakes!
All the best Andy Taylor
Helen has offered us a signed copy of '2006' to give away to the first correct answer to the question bellow picked from the hat. Sorry but I'm setting the question. Nigel makes em too easy.
As mentioned earlier 2006 uses a lot of classical themes in the songs. Manfred has often borrowed from classical composers. So where on an older album might you find some Schubert?
What am I talking about? That is easy!
For details of how to enter the Competition, follow the link.[Top]