THE Manfreds will be playing tracks from their brand new album at one of their favourite venues next week.

For the uninitiated; in the beginning was Manfred Mann, a band whose hit catalogue is the envy of many; Pretty Flamingo, Mighty Quinn, Do Wah Diddy Diddy, Ha Ha Said The Clown and Just Like a Woman are just a few of their many hits.

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.

Part-way through the string of hits, the band survived the departure of their singer and front-man Paul Jones. His replacement, Mike D’Abo, kept the momentum going, but eventually the band – who had veered away from their original R’n’ B and jazz leanings into the murky world of commercial pop – broke up.

The members of the band enjoyed solo success, but in 1991 the band reformed (without Manfred Mann – who was the bands’ keyboard player) for guitarist Tom McGuinness’ 50th birthday.

They enjoyed it so much that they have continued touring to this day.

Original members Paul Jones (vocals and harmonica), Tom McGuinness (guitars) and Mike Hugg (keyboards) are joined onstage by stalwarts Marcus Cliffe (bass), Simon Currie (flute and sax) and Rob Townsend (drums). Sometimes, they appear with Paul’s replacement as singer Mike D’Abo in a show that encompasses the whole of the band’s output.

In fact, Mike D’Abo appears on the new album, taking turns with Jones to provide lead vocals.

The album is called ‘Makin’ Tracks’ and coincidentally, the first track Smokestack Lightning was also the first track on the very first album back in 1964.

As well as Blues and R ‘n’ B standards like I’m Your Kingpin and Bring It On Home To Me the band tackle some great covers such as Sunshine Superman and Lean On Me.

Relaxing just before a show, guitarist Tom McGuinness tells me that the new songs have been well received.

“Yeah, the reception has been fantastic and it was interesting to record these different versions of the songs.”

But it’s been a long time since the last album.

“That’s right, to be honest the problem was finding the time to go into the studio. We tour a lot as The Manfreds and we all have different projects outside the band.”

“For instance, Paul, Rob and I tour as The Blues Band and the others have equally busy schedules.”

For the 2017 dates so far announced, Mike D’Abo will not be appearing with The Manfreds. When Paul Jones is the sole vocalist, the band in the past has tended to concentrate on the earlier – more bluesy – material.

Tom agrees. “Yes, we’ll concentrate on the early stuff, but will play a lot of the hits as well as a few tracks off the new album.”

"It will be a great night, as Paul always gets the audience going and it’s great hearing them join in all the songs. We really do have some great fans.”

Tom, like Paul and Mike Hugg, is in his 70s, but show no signs of slowing.

“No, we all enjoy it too much. It’s great getting paid to do what you love for a living, and it’s far too late now for me to get a ‘proper’ job," he laughs.

Memories of Manfred Mann’s early days at The Concorde came flooding back when after more than 50 years rare film footage of its R&B sessions at The Bassett was discovered on the other side of the Atlantic.

The Daily Echo revealed how Concorde boss Cole Mathieson had almost given up hope of tracing the lost reel which also captured the atmosphere of Southampton’s sixties music scene.

A chance find by a US television researcher at the Library of Congress in Washington DC uncovered an amazing collection of previously lost British television.

The Manfred Mann session at The Concorde had been filmed by Southern TV’s – the forerunner to Meridian - tea time programme Day By Day. The band were then on the verge of the big time.

Cole said: “We installed Manfred Mann as the resident band and in 1963 cameras from Southern Television accompanied the group, using their gig as a background for a documentary on local lads made good – Mike Hugg, Mike Vickers and Paul Jones.”

In those early days there were already signs that Manfred Mann had the star quality which would make them a sixties super group who had 15 UK Top 20 singles on both sides of the Atlantic.

The glittering playlist include Do Wah Diddy Diddy, one of the most popular and instantly recognisable songs of the sixties.

The atmosphere was red hot when the band nearly raised the rafters with punchy R& B numbers in the jam packed club.

Cole recalled: “You could not squeeze a cat in let alone swing it and every inch of the dance floor was taken.

“To this day I have rarely seen as much excitement as generated by the Manfred Mann band.

“It was Southampton’s equivalent of Beatlemania and the joint was really jumpin.”

And the Stoneham Club which has become an international jazz mecca will be rocking again when the band return on Friday June 30 to help The Concorde celebrate its 60th anniversary.

Tickets from 023 8061 3989 or