Review: The Manfreds at Ipswich Regent on Friday night

The Manfreds.

The Manfreds. - Credit: Archant

Their first hit was more than half a century ago, but The Manfreds rolled back the years to bring an energy that many youngsters would struggle to match to the Regent.

For anyone who doesn’t know, the core of The Manfreds is provided by members of Manfred Mann, one of the most popular groups of the 1960s.

What is slightly unusual – and at the heart of the band’s enduring success on tour – is the fact that both original singer Paul Jones and his replacement (in 1966) Mike ‘Abo are members.

And both still have astonishing voices, when you consider they are in their early 70s, belting out their hits – and giving many of them a really refreshing new twist.

By alternating lead songs they clearly have found the trick of protecting their voices. And guitarist Tom McGuinness, who formed McGuinness Flint after the original band split, helped out with a couple of his hits.

All the songs were from the members’ back catalogue in the 60s or early 70s – but most had been given a real makeover. One of my favourite Manfred Mann songs has always been Fox on the Run, and the extended version of this was pure genius.

The acoustic set at the start of the second part of the concert was a delight with Jones showcasing his best-known solo hit Bad, Bad, Boy – and several other numbers given a new twist.

Most Read

The overall show was great entertainment. The only slight disappointment was the size of the audience. This was a legendary act with legendary performers – not a tribute act. But the Regent was only about half full.

But for those that did turn up, what a great night’s entertainment!

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter