THEY were unknowns working as a resident band in a Hampshire club until they shot to stardom to become one of the super groups of the sixties.

The Concorde, then tucked into the back room of a Southampton pub, is where it all began for Manfred Mann which are today known as The Manfreds.

Now based in Stoneham Lane, Eastleigh the club has become the spiritual home for the band which had a string of sixties hits, including 5-4-3-2-1, the signature tune for the ground breaking TV pop show Ready Steady Go.

And The Manfreds will be returning next Friday to headline a special gig and put the icing on the birthday cake as The Concorde celebrates its 60th anniversary.

The line up has changed over the years but Portsmouth born Paul Jones (lead singer and harmonica) is still the front man.

He is also known to millions of Radio 2 listeners for his popular weekly programme on the blues.

Other Manfred Mann survivors from those early Concorde days are Gosport born band co-founder Mike Hugg who switched from drums to keyboards and lead guitarist Tom McGuinness who also made his name with the popular McGuinness Flint Band.

Completing The Manfreds’ line up are Rob Townsend (drums) Marcus Cliffe (bass guitar) and Simon Currie (saxphone/flute)

Tom McGuinness talks new material and real jobs, inside.

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