“Music is the great communicator and unlike modern technologies like e-mail, social network threads etc., it implicitly carries a great deal of emotion within its message…you do not need emoticons here!
When I was first talking to Mark about the formation of UPF, it was important to us both that as well as to entertain (ourselves and you too hopefully), that we tried to educate or at least spark debate on some of the things we feel passionately about.
Ecological change and its consequence has formed a solid backbone of all my recorded output since 1999 starting with “The Last Psalm” on the debut “Tall Stories for Small Children” through “Domicile” [The Cure], “Ragged Curtains” [The Ragged Curtain],”One Small Step… (Parts I-VIII) [One Small Step], “Dr Jonathan Anser” [Anser’s Tree] “The Southern Waves” [Margaret’s Children], “Autumn Song” [The Root, the Leaf & the Bone]” and more…
Lyrics have always been extremely important to me and the whole package comprises of Music + Words + Artwork – With UPF we aim to provide excellence in all these areas.
So let’s get the word out there, start the talk and walk the walk”
Guy formed his first band when he was still at school, bringing together members of the school orchestra and other more ‘basic’ musicians to play complex 20 minute epics! Sometime (much) later, Guy was the founding member of two Leeds (UK) based bands in the 1980s, “Let’s Eat!” and “Bailey’s Return”. He was also recruited in 1987 to be the keyboards player in art-rock band “Through the Looking Glass”. This band split up a year later and a more pop based offshoot, “KingGlass”, emerged and continued on for a further year (the other half of the original band got “Through the Loo” for their name).
Manning and local keyboardist/vocalist Andy Tillison joined forces in an early unsigned band called “Gold Frankincense & Disk Drive”. The band’s final line-up included a guest spot from “Van Der Graaf Generator” organ player, Hugh Banton.
Tillison and Manning recorded the album “No More Travelling Chess” at this time, which consisted of a set of covers of material by Peter Hammill plus a couple of original pieces. This album was first released as a mail order cassette item (before an augmented and remastered version was eventually released by Cyclops Records in 2001 under the band name of “Parallel or 90 Degrees”).
Tillison and Manning then formally formed the band, “Parallel or 90 Degrees” with Sam Baine also on keyboards, but Guy was soon to leave to work abroad.
Guy has gone on to write, record and release his own albums, the first five were on the Cyclops label and then three more, “A Matter Of Life & Death (The Journal of Abel Mann)”, “One Small Step…” and “Anser’s Tree”, for United States label, ProgRock Records.
The ProgRock Records album covers were all created by noted graphic arts designer, Ed Unitsky. Manning’s ninth release, “Songs From The Bilston House” (2007), was released on the Festival Music (F2) label as were the follow ups, the appropriately named “Number Ten” (2009), “Charlestown” (2012) and 2011’s “Margaret’s Children (which also featured a reprised/updated Ed Unitsky cover).
Andy Tillison has guested on several of the earlier releases, whilst other guests have included Martin Orford (IQ), Ian ‘Walter’ Fairbairn (Hedgehog Pie & Jack the Lad), Steve Dundon (Mick Abrahams Band & Molly Bloom), Angela Gordon (Mostly Autumn), Marek Arnold (Toxic Smile & Seven Steps to the Green Door), Leon Camfield (Tinyfish), Phideaux, Chloe Herrington (Knifeworld, Chrome Hoof) and John Young (Lifesigns, Asia)
Whilst all this was happening, plans for a solo album by Andy Tillison transformed into the first release by “THE TANGENT”; the album was called “The Music That Died Alone” (2003). This initial ‘Tangent’ line-up included Guy Manning, Sam Baine plus Roine Stolt, Jonas Reingold and Zoltan Csorsz (from The Flower Kings) and David Jackson (from Van der Graaf Generator). Other subsequent ‘Tangent’ members have included Theo Travis, Jaime Salazar, Krister Jonsson, Jakko M. Jakszyk, Jonathan Barrett, Paul Burgess, Dan Mash, Tony Latham, Luke Machin, the entire “Beardfish” band and Michael Gilbourne.
Guy announced his formal departure from the “The Tangent” in May 2010. In all, Guy played on five studio and one live album with The Tangent (although he reprised this with a cameo role for 2013’s “Le Sacre Du Travail”)
Manning and Tillison also had time to team up as fictional Italian band, ”La Voce Del Vento”, to provide two long pieces for the Colossus Project Discs (The Spaghetti Epics #1 and #2)
Manning also provided an unreleased track for KINECTIONS, the US ProgDay festival support album.
Manning’s “The Root, the Leaf & the Bone” was released to critical acclaim in October 2013, appearing in some ‘Top 10 album of the year’ polls.
MANNING – THE BAND(s)
In recent years, Guy has fronted his own band exclusively performing his music. The band has performed at ROSFEST in 2010, the Cambridge Rock Festival (twice), Summers’ End Festival (twice). The Manning band performs in two varieties, ELEKTRIK (the full symphonic rock band) and AKOUSTIK (a cut down more simple and ‘unplugged’ version). The AKOUSTIK band performs material from the AKOUSTIK albums releases (2013). In Jan 2014, Guy announced that MANNING (the band) would retire to allow him to carry on working with other people and to concentrate on other project writing and solo albums in the pipeline.
UNITED PROGRESSIVE FRATERNITY
Guy was subsequently asked to join the new band fronted by Mark ‘Truey’ Trueack – the United Progressive Fraternity. He helped developed and record material for the debut album “Fall In Love With The World”.
Following the UPF Promotional Tour in 2014, Guy settled down to write material for the next UPF album. Truey however was working in partnership with Steve Unruh at this time and had assembled an Australian based UPF band and the pieces presented for consideration at that time were felt to be not quite what was needed.
So, Guy decided to continue developing his new material for an new Project alongside his UPF friends Marek Arnold and Dan Mash (the UPF European arm!). Sean (Timms) was also asked to join the ensemble and the quartet, now named DAMANEK, started to record the eight pieces selected for the debut album “On Track”. DAMANEK performed most the new material live at Summer’s End 2016 with the quartet augmented by Luke Machin on guitar and Henry Rogers on Drums. The band went down a storm!!!
“On Track” was finally released in May 2017 on the Giant Electric Pea label and has garnered fantastic reviews across the board (see www.damanek.com) for details. Guy is currently writing the Damanek follow up album and also some new pieces for UPF’s second album in collaboration with Truey!