Author Topic: Man 25/1/2019 Borderline, London  (Read 2229 times)

Olly Goodwin

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Man 25/1/2019 Borderline, London
« on: January 26, 2019, 12:59:34 PM »
It wasn't so much what, but rather when was the first song; 7.45 - as per the Borderline's site, but not on Man's facebook page ? Since when did Man ever appear before 9 pm? !! I made it, just, to hear the opening strains of C'mon, but quite a few understandably arrived at normal Man hour, to miss half the gig. Tasty keyboard solo from Malcolm. There is so little live material from Malcolm's time with the band (but the live CD with Rhinos is fantastic) so can't tell if similar to the 70s or new. Sudden Life (as first successfully revived for the 40th tour). Josh moved to keys to sing his new Too Much Too Soon, with Malcolm on semi acoustic, which he kept on for Blown Away, (after a sweet intro of guitar interchange between him and James), vintage from the 74 tour, and played like Man's version then (its on You Tube) , ie heavier than the Helps. Another one from the new album, sung by Martin and features lyrics of the nursery Rhyme three blind mice- I hope it is out of copyright. Martin mentions the new album at about this time, and its availability at the gig in rather a subdued way, I thought. There were a few ironic cheers that the album had turned up this time (cf.2015).Another new one sung by Martin, includes the refrain " Where Were You?" and namechecks the 2is coffee bar, which had been about 50 yards away from the stage,in Soho, in 1922.... I find it hard to get into the new material, I don't think the music or the lyrics are classic Man, but each song is lifted by James' playing which I really think is in the spirit of Micky - I can't guess what he is going to play next, it always fits the song, but I get the impression there is a lot of improvising going on. A solid Romain follows. " Alchemist!" comes as a cry from the floor. Martin; "You're pissed!" followed by " I don't know the words". Touche! Then Venus Rising, from Malcolm's excellent Aliens album of the 90s. A powerful number sung by Malcolm which fitted the high octane approach of Man these days, Shane Dixon propels them along with great force, the bass drum visibly shaking free of its moorings. Hard Way to Live, unannounced, but from last year's tour we know its Martin's tribute to his comrade in arms of at least 50 years. Next up is the final new song of the night, Josh singing " Half way up the Hill", with Malcolm on harmonies for the first time - Come on boys, make Malcolm work harder ! Martin said it had been hard to create that song, as he had been laid up in bed with pneumonia. " Who's she?" cried a wag. Some gentle guitar from James as Josh strapped his fender back on and joined in, and which gradually became Spunk Rock, to a solid cheer, and Malcolm's second keyboard solo of the evening. When not soloing, the keyboards were for me too often getting lost in the sound, as at the half Moon last year, and I would like to be able to hear them more distinctly.
Manillo, with keys prominent, segued into MACBFGU, and James referenced " The Future Hides its Face " and a signature Deke flourish, was this bit added  back in the Deke and Micky days ? it is a nice touch. A high to end the gig. A surprise encore in Ride and the View, sung beautifully by Malcolm. I don't think this has ever been played without Deke before, has it ? We've had the other four of Man's " Big Five" so the final song was inevitable, and fitting. Reflections on the gig? Shane looks (and sounds)  like he is having the absolute time of his life. Josh looks like he would rather be somewhere else. Its a master stroke and a joy having Malcolm back in the band. In 2009 I was one of the doubters, not now. For me the decider is James Beck, for me his playing has the spirit of Micky Jones, in its inventiveness and constantly being able to surprise. And lots of tasty wah wah, which for me is the classic Man sound, yet it was completely absent throughout the 80s, I think. The place was packed, the crowd loved it. Long live the Man Band, and all who sail in her !


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Re: Man 25/1/2019 Borderline, London
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2019, 05:06:46 PM »
Olly --what a fantastic ,very well written review.I wish I had been there.Would have loved to have heard Malcolm singing Ride...Excellent review


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Re: Man 25/1/2019 Borderline, London
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2019, 01:18:41 AM »
Thanks Olly, great review. I felt the same about Malcolm's under-use at the Half Moon and Band On The Wall during the last tour. In both cases it was a feature of the front of house mix as, if I moved around the rooms from time, I could hear him clearly from one side but not the other. Pleased to see a balance of classics and new stuff. Also that they still sound to be playing with a bit more bite in this incarnation. 
Boldly going.......


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Re: Man 25/1/2019 Borderline, London
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2019, 04:22:55 PM »
Thanks for the review & I totally agree about how fab it was. James Beck was a revelation. It's no exaggeration to say that without him this would not have been the Man band we all love. Shane Dixon did sterling work on drums. I've now seen the challenge of MACBFGU undertaken by four different drummers but I don't think I've seen any of them grin as much as he did when he had finished. There were a lot of smiles during the set even from Martin. They were obviously enjoying themselves & the quality of the music reflected that.

I can't recall the entire setlist. I think Olly mentions most of them but "Hard Way To Live" was in there too.

I saw at least three people recording on their phones. One guy even had his phone on a gimbal so perhaps there will be some snippets on YouTube soon.

If anyone wants to see some photos I took at the gig they can be seen at We were at the front of the stage at the left so not much variation I'm afraid.

I couldn't attend any of last year's gigs as I was working but if truth be told I didn't make any efforts to swap shifts so I could get there as I was a bit dubious that the current line was really Man but I'm now kicking myself. The current version of the band is sounding as great as ever & I look forward to the time I can get to a gig.


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Re: Man 25/1/2019 Borderline, London
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2019, 07:42:42 PM »
Great photos Nigel of a great gig!
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