Manning - Number Ten,
To my mind, Guy Manning remains one of the UK’s most under-rated prog musicians, who consistently provides great pieces of work that often get overlooked. I first came across Guy when he was a member of PO90, and of course he was also later in The Tangent (both of which also involved Andy Tillison who provides some keys and drums to this album). Years ago we sat together in his studio and discussed his music, and our mutual love of Jethro Tull. True, there are times when that particular influence comes shining through his music but it is unfair to concentrate on that element although some reviewers seem unable to look past it. Guy does at times sound like Ian Anderson, in a similar fashion to Mark Colto (Credo) sounding somewhat like Fish – it’s the way they sing, not mimicry.
This was his tenth album in ten years, released in 2009, and is full of the things that I expect from Guy – great musicianship, a large variety of music and orchestration, well constructed and thought out lyrics and layers upon layers of instruments that make an album that is immediate yet with great depth that rewards the listener the more time they devote to it. In another time and space Guy would be a prog superstar, but as it is we just have to be grateful that he is so prolific and that he keeps delivering the goods.