Castle Sqaure, Swansea

Saturday 29 August 1998

man at swansea

Live at Swansea Castle Square 29 August 1998
"30 Mlynedd ac yn wyllt o hyd"
(30 Years and still crazy)

This was a free open air concert promoted by Swansea Council as part of their "4 nights square bash" at the Castle Square in Swansea city centre.

It turned out to be a family affair. The evening began with short set by a local trio "The Channel Hoppers", lead by Mickey's son George Jones.

Then came an interesting girly singing group called "Crystal Blue Persuasion". A Shangri La style set up they got a great reception and were obviously enjoying themselves. The three girls sang numbers such as "The Son of a Preacher Man", "Stop in the name of Love", "California Dreaming" and even "Leader of the Pack". There are pictures in the Gallery.

Why am I bothering to tell you this? Well, for one thing, the young lady in the centre of this trio is the daughter of Martin Ace. The other two are Deke's daughter and Terry Williams' niece.

For another thing, Crystal Blue Persuasion have a great backing band which includes Martin Ace on hot double bass, and none other than Deke Leonard on killer rythm guitar!!

So much for the warm up. Exit three young ladies, change the drummer drop the keyboard player, add tricky Micky Jones and we have (probably) the best guitar band in the world - and still crazy after 30 years....

So the line up tonight is Micky Jones (guitar) Martin Ace (bass) Bob Richards (drums) and Deke Leonard (guitars and keyboard). Incidentally, as the new boy, Bob played very well - he follows in the foot pedals of some giant drummers but was not daunted by the task. Man fans note Deke's guitar - not his famous zebra Tele but an SG with concentric B&W circles. Nice.

Who would have thought that the guy on the cover of Kamikaze would end up with a blond pony tail? Not a beard in sight - but Deke is sporting a fine moustache...

The evening was light on introductions and info, but full of rockin guitar music and some great singing from these amazing guys. First number was "Ride and The View". Its 20 years since I last saw the band live and though I listen often to vinyl and CD I had forgotton just how GOOD these guys are live. It all came flooding back on the first number. I was very excited, and just a little stoned. I had the presence of mind to take my digital camera, but not a pen and paper. Consequently, you have some slightly blurred images and a vague idea of the songs they played over a two hour set which I think included:

They also did a new number I did not recognise and of course every number has a long jam at each end and in the middle. But I do know for sure that they came back on to play an encore of Bananas followed quickly by Romaine. PERFECT!!!

What a great night.

Thank you the City and County of Swansea, thank you Wales TUC and most of all thank you MAN for being there. Still crazy after all these years....

I had travelled from York to be there and had a real night to remember. This is me having a good time sat on the edge of the fountain right in front of the stage. The news is that they have a new CD coming out called (I think) "The Star Club". If anyone knows how I can get hold of a copy let me know. (Hint: subscribe to the Fanzine - TW)

Paul Hollingsworth

Thanks to Paul Hollingsworth for writing this review. Paul also took some other photos of the show which are now available for viewing on the Photo Gallery page.

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