MAN - 3/26/99, Oberhausen, Germany - Ebertbad
From Aural Innovations #6 (April 1999)
The Ebertbad venue is an old indoor swimming pool and is run by the people who ran the legendary Star Club in Oberhausen. A new Star Club will open up this Autumn, so the Ebertbad is just a temporary solution. The pool is covered with wood planks by the way, and it's really strange that some years ago people were swimming here. Anyway, the support act started at 9pm, a German Krautrock band who's name I have forgotten. They played some typical krautrock and reminded me of something like Grobschnitt with touches of Full Moon (ok, they are from the UK). I didn't like this band as I'm no krautrock fan. And they played for over an hour. The audience of about 200 people now seemed to like them though.
MAN came on at 10:30. Line-up: Micky Jones, Deke Leonard, Martin Ace and Bob Richards. Phil Ryan wasn't with them. They started their show with "The Ride And The View" (11 min), a rather normal version as they played it over the last few years, but a nice opener. "C'mon" was next, a song that is played differently everytime I hear it. It showcases Man's musical togetherness greatly. These guys are really great musicians who know their songs extremely well and they did some great jamming on this old warhorse of a song. All in all, at 20 minutes a rather short version. Martin welcomed the audience then and said that they could've stayed home and watched the war on TV... and they launched into "Manillo" of the "Do You Like It Here" album which they don't do that often. A great slow song (4:30) sung by Martin with beautiful harmony vocals by Deke and Micky.
The next surprise was "Wings of Mercury" (6 min), the John Cippolina tribute song from the '93 The Twang Dynasty album, which they haven't played for 5 years. Another old favourite of mine that they haven't done for ages followed: "Brother Arnold's Red And White Striped Tent," the blues song from their second album "2 Oz's of Plastic." Great vocals and harmonica by Deke and a pulsing bass by Martin. It sent shivers down my spine for the whole five minutes! If that wasn't enough they did "Daughter of the Fireplace", the fastest and dirtiest rock'n'roll song since the Pink Fairies! These old farts can still rock! After three and a half minutes it was over too quick though. Next came "7171 551" (9 min.), and what can I say, another great classic song, a bit slower though compared to the 70's live versions, but with some extraordinary guitar duels between Mick and Deke. "Many are called..." (10 min) got a brand new middle part worked in, and this should be heard by any Stoner Rock fan, great version! It faded into "The Storm" (5 min.) with those infamous like seagulls screaming guitar work by Deke. Then they left the stage... and came back for the encore: "Bananas" (14 min) of course, with a drum solo by Bob at the end, and "Romain", the usual show stopper. All in all, a wonderful 100-minute performance by (once again) a stunning band... a great evening.
Reviewed by Andreas Stüwe