Years: 1968 – 1976; 1983 – present
Styles: Art Rock, Blues Rock, Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Pub Rock
Ray Williams - Bass Guitar (in band: 1968 - 1969)
Jeff Jones - Drums, Percussion (in band: 1968 - 1969)
Clive John - Guitar, Harpsichord, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Vocals (in band: 1968 - 1972; 1972 - 1973)
Deke Leonard - Acoustic guitar , Guitar, Harp, Keyboards, Percussion, Piano, Steel guitar , Vocals (in band: 1968 - 1972; 1973 - 1976; 1983 - 2004)
Micky Jones - Acoustic guitar , Guitar, Lead guitar, Vocals (in band: 1968 - 1976; 1983 - 2004)
Martin Ace - Acoustic guitar , Bass Guitar, Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1969 - 1972; 1975 - 1976; 1983 - present)
Terry Williams - Drums, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1969 - 1976; 1986 - 1987; 1989)
Will Youatt - Bass Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1972 - 1973)
Phil Ryan - Guitar, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Vocals (in band: 1972 - 1973; 1975 - 1976; 1998 - 2000)
Tweke Lewis - Guitar, Keyboards (in band: 1973)
Malcolm Morley - Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals (in band: 1974)
Ken Whaley - Bass Guitar (in band: 1974 - 1975)
John McKenzie - Bass Guitar, Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1975 -1976)
John "Pugwash" Weathers - Drums, Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1983 - 1986; 1988 - 1990; 1991 - 1996)
Rick Martinez - Drums (in band: 1990)
Bob Richards - Backing vocals, Drums, Percussion (in band: 1997 - 2009)
Gareth Llewellyn Thorrington - Keyboards, Organ, Synthesizer (in band: 2000 - 2006)
George Jones - Guitar, Vocals (in band: 2004 - present)
Josh Ace - Guitar, Rhythm guitar, Vocals (in band: 2005 - present)
James Beck - Lead guitar, Vocals (in band: 2009 - present)
Rene Robrahn - Drums, Vocals (in band: 2009 - present)
Man are a rock band from South Wales whose style is a mixture of West Coast psychedelia, progressive rock, blues and pub rock. Formed in 1968 as a reincarnation of Welsh rock harmony group The Bystanders, Man are renowned for the extended jams in their live performances.
The Bystanders had been a pop harmony group in the 1960s, signed to Pye Records and living in London, who had released a few singles to no great success. But with the departure of singer Vic Oakley and the arrival of guitarist Deke Leonard in 1968, the band - Leonard, Micky Jones, Ray Williams, Clive John and Jeff Jones - decided to change their style altogether, moving from pop to West Coast psychedelia, inspired by American bands such as Quicksilver Messenger Service and Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention.
From 1968 up to 1976 they rocked the UK, America and Germany with their gritty progressive rock. Man have been hits with many radio DJs, producers, promoters, and John Lennon was (supposedly) a fan of Deke's album, "Iceberg". Some of their most popular songs from this era include "Spunk Rock", "Bananas", "Many Are Called But Few Get Up", "C'Mon", "Daughter of the Fireplace", and "Romain".
1974 was probably Man's biggest year commercially. "Rhinos, Winos & Lunatics" was tipped to be the album which brought them international fame. Certainly, it was the best reproduction so far of their improvisational live format in the studio. They were subsequently joined by Quicksilver Messenger Service guitarist John Cippolina (or "Chippo" as they called him) for a live album, "Maximum Darkness" which featured two old Quicksilver gems, the Buffy Sainte-Mariesong "Codeine" and "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You". Of course, they never did become famous, and in 1976, they broke up, swearing never to be "like one of those bands who reformed in a futile attempt to recapture past glories and maybe earn a buck or two along the way".
Man reformed in 1983. The band this time was to stay constant until 1996(ish): Micky Jones and Deke Leonard on guitars, Martin Ace on bass, and John Weathers on drums. During this time, they produced more hits, such as "Feather on the Scales of Justice", "Mad On Her", "Wings of Mercury", "Call Down The Moon", and "Heaven and Hell".
Weathers was fired in 1996 and was replaced by returning former drummer Terry Williams, probably the most successful of the band, having served elsewhere in bands such as Dire Straits although this is not held against him (not much, anyway). Terry left the band in 1997 and was replaced by continuing incumbent Bob Richards. Bob's first gig was a welcome back to Deke who had suffered a mild stroke which required some time off the road for recovery.
Former keyboardist Phil Ryan returned in 1998 taking the band back to the classic 5-piece line-up. Phil played a major role in producing 2000's "Endangered Species" (which ranks amongst the strongest of the band's lengthy discography) but had to withdraw from the band for personal reasons. He was replaced by Gareth Thorrington who continued with the band until 2006 when he joined the list of sackees.
After surviving into the next millennium, Man produced another album, "Undrugged" which an attempts at an unplugged type album which started off when Terry Williams was in the band and was finalised by some fresh recordings. It's particularly noticeable for some covers, most notably on Brian Wilson's "Sail On Sailor" and the Ray Charles classic "Georgia On My Mind" - the lead vocals on both being handled by Micky.
It was during this time that Micky developed a brain tumour and had to take time off for numerous surgeries. Man continued though, and Micky's son George entered the band temporarily. When Micky recovered, he rejoined just as Deke decided to call it a day, so George became a permanent member of the group.
As before, just when you though a period of stability might ensure circumstance, damned circumstance conspired to intervene once again. In 2005, Micky's health deteriorated due to the re-occurrence of a brain tumour and was replaced by Martin Ace's son Josh. To this day, Micky remains in hospital and the chances of him ever being able to perform again are slim. This is a tragedy for an undervalued and underrated master of the guitar.
In 2006, the album "Diamonds and Coal" was released, after which Thorrington was sacked, and the band continued as a four-piece. The 40th anniversary tour in 2008 saw the return of Ryan on keyboards, giving a multi-generational line-up, with two early members (Martin Ace and Phil Ryan), two sons of early members (George Jones and Josh Ace) and Bob Richards, who had been in the band since 1997. This line-up also recorded a studio album, but before it was mixed, the band split. Josh Ace, Martin Ace and Phil Ryan recruited James Beck (guitar, vocals) and Rene Robrahn (drums, vocals) to the new line-up and wiped parts of the album to replace George Jones. Bob Richards's parts were kept on as they were unable to record over them, due to the lack of a click track. This album, "Kingdom of Noise", was finally released in June 2009.
Since 2011 Man have been based in Germany, where they still perform occasionally, including autumn tours in 2012 and 2013.
After leaving Man, Micky Jones continued to perform for a while, but was then diagnosed with another tumour; he spent the next year and a half in and out of hospital; his health meant he remained at a care home in Swansea for the next three years until he died peacefully, at the age of 63, on 10 March 2010. Fans paid tribute to Micky Jones online, calling Man the greatest Welsh band of all time.
Clive John, AKA Clint Space, another of the founding members, died after a long fight against emphysema on 24 August 2011 in Hanover Street, Swansea, aged 66. Former bassist Ken Whaley died from lung cancer on 8 May 2013, aged 66.
A new album, "Reanimated Memories", was launched at a gig at The Half Moon, Putney on 22 February 2015, the band's first performance in the UK since October 2011, before its official release on 23 February.
© Boar 2011 - 2019