|Sci-Fi Hi-Fi, Parlophone, EMI|
Archive of previous versions
|* Paul Draper|
* Dominic Chad
* Stove King
* Andie Rathbone
|Past Band Members|
|* Carlton Hibbert|
* Mark Swinnerton
* Julian Fenton
Who are Mansun
Formed in Chester,
Paul Draper (1995-2003) Lead Vocals/Rhythm/Lead Guitar/Songwriting
Dominic Chad (1995–2003) Background Vocals/Rhythm/Lead Guitar/co-songwriter
Stove King (1995–2002) Background Vocals/Bass Guitar
Andie Rathbone (1996-2003) Drums/Percussion/Background Vocals
Julian Fenton Drums (1996)
Carlton Hibbert (1995-1996) Drums
Mark Swinnerton Drum Machine Programming (1995–1996)
Paul Draper and Stove King met in the early 1990s, whilst working in the printing industry as photo retouchers for rival companies situated opposite each other on the same industrial park in Little Stanney on the outskirts of Chester. Through their shared love of David Bowie and 1980s new wave bands such as Duran Duran, ABC they started socialising together at weekends, going to gigs in Liverpool and playing along to drum loops together in their bedrooms with the desire of forming a band together. Whilst King was a relative newcomer to playing bass, Draper had previously formed and fronted the electronic duo Grind whilst studying at Thames Polytechnic (now University of Greenwich), with programmer-keyboard player Steve Heaton, and were often accompanied live by school friend Carlton Hibbert on drums. Grind released one 12" single in 1991 on the small "Whats In It For Me Records" label and gigged around London at venues such as The Rock Garden and The Brain and also supported Beverley Craven at the Mean Fiddler.
Following the split of Grind, Draper, funded by a grant from The Prince's Trust, set up a music company called "Ambiance Productions" producing relaxation tapes to be sold in "hippie shops" across the north west of England. In early 1995 Draper and King enlisted Maidstone expat Dominic Chad, who was the bar manager at the Fat Cat pub on Watergate Street in Chester opposite the office where Draper would go and see former Grind member Steve Heaton. Chad had previously played with Floating Bear" formed whilst at Bangor University in 1990, where he had been studying French and Russian but was kicked off the course due to lack of effort.
Chad would later admit that his routine during university was "get up at three, go down to the union bar at four and stay there until it shut". With the aid of a drum machine, the trio began rehearsing at Crash Rehearsal Studios in Liverpool, where the band were quickly discovered by passing A&R scouts Mark Lewis and Alan Wills (who later went on to form 'Deltasonic Records') who were there to see Cast and overheard the band through their rehearsal room door.
The band were offered a publishing contract with Polygram Music Publishing four days after reluctantly handing over a demo tape of 4 songs that cost £150 to record featuring "Take It Easy Chicken", "Skin Up Pin Up / Flourella", "Moronica" and "She Makes My Nose Bleed".
The band were initially called "Grey Lantern", after Draper's DC Comics influenced alter ego which he created to help overcome his nervousness on stage, but soon changed their name to "Manson", after the cult leader Charles Manson. The band's self-financed debut release "Take It Easy Chicken" in September 1995 on their own "Sci-Fi Hi-Fi Recordings" label soon attracted the attention of BBC Radio 1 DJs Steve Lamacq and John Peel and the band found themselves, despite not having played a single gig and later admitting that they couldn't play together as a band very well at the time, at the centre of a record label bidding war. This resulted in the band signing to Parlophone, with whom they released the follow up single "Skin Up Pin Up / Flourella" in November 1995 on sublabel Regal Recordings, although this time under the new moniker "Mansun" as they were forced to change the spelling due to threatened legal action from the Charles Manson Estate. The band gave several false accounts of this at the time, one being that they were named after The Verve b-side "A Man Called Sun", and that "Manson" was simply a spelling mistake which accidentally went through to production. It was later reported that Charles Manson had started spelling his name with a "u", to which Draper joked that they should sue him in return.
Following the release of "Skin Up Pin Up / Flourella", the band were moved up to the main Parlophone label and released several EPs, including an expanded re-release of the debut single. The first line-up of the band alongside Draper, King and Chad had featured former Grind drummer Carlton Hibbert and drum machine programmer Mark Swinnerton. Following 5 months of touring, starting with the band's first gig on the 17th August 1995 at The Lomax in Liverpool and support gigs with Heavy Stereo and The Charlatans, Swinnerton left the band in January 1996.
As a four piece, the band continued touring including support gigs with Cast, Audioweb and Shed Seven until Hibbert was sacked from the band in May 1996 following a series of rows with an inebriated Chad that resulted in a bizarre incident that involved a pineapple being thrown at Chad's face at the Cambridge Junction gig, where the band were supporting Shed Seven. Throughout the early days of the band, Chad was involved in a string of violent alcohol fueled incidents. These included punching his own reflection in a hotel mirror, being thrown out of a pub after attempting to drop kick the bar, throwing pint glasses out of a window in Sheffield, getting himself banned along with the rest of the band from every outlet of the now defunct roadside restaurant chain Happy Eater, all Hard Rock Cafe's worldwide and every Holiday Inn hotel in the UK after drop kicking a statue of the Venus de Milo. Ex-Kinky Machine drummer Julian Fenton was temporarily drafted in for gigs and featured in the promo videos for "Take It Easy Chicken" and "Stripper Vicar".
In August 1996 Andie Rathbone joined, a drummer from the Chester scene who had been playing with several bands including "DNA Cowboys", "The Wandering Quatrains" and "Jonti". Having auditioning several drummers without success, the band took a break at a local pub where "there was the best rock drummer we'd ever seen, playing with this really dodgy band", but the drummer, who was also working as an Audi car salesman at the time, initially rejected the bands pleas to join the band, as he thought the band played "Britpop shite". He changed his mind after King played him a demo of one of the band's latest songs, "Wide Open Space. Rathbone's first gig with the band was performing "Stripper Vicar" live on TFI Friday, having missed the previous nights gig in Brighton due to getting the train to Bristol Temple Meads by mistake and having to check the gig guide in the NME to find out where the gig was.
Impending Collapse of it All
During the fourth album recording sessions Stove left the band, leaving Paul, Dominic, and Andie working on the songs
The band went their separate ways with Paul and Chad staying in touch every now and again, apart from that not much is known as to what happened immediately after the split. Here is a summary of the main four members, check out the individual band member pages for detailed information.
Paul produced Dominic Chad's solo project penned 'Parrot'. It is not known if Dominic intends to release this Solo Project, or even if he is still playing Guitar. In 2015 a short film called was released and the soundtrack was credited to Dominic Chad, it was noticed by some fans and that a friend of Dominic's was credited in the film which tends to lend credibility that this was the one and only Dominic Chad who worked on the music for the film.
It was rumoured that Dominic Chad was working or worked as an Ambulance driver, or in a care home.
He has been working for the past 3 years on a project with Catherine Anne Davies called The Anchoress where she has as of January 2016 released 3 EPs and her debut Album Confessions of a Romance Novelist. Together Paul and Catherine have worked on Paul's long awaited solo album Spooky Action at a Distance which is set to be released later in 2016.
Paul has just very recently announced that he has had several tracks mastered for release later this year, it's not known if this will be on a Single or EP, it is rumoured to be released on the Too Pure Singles Club for their 100th release.
Stove seems to have disappeared from music and has not been seen or heard of. It was rumoured that he was working at a Deeside car manufacturing plant, and that he had moved overseas.
Andie disappeared from the limelight of the music world but had been working with other bands such as Seraphim - full list on his page. In 2014 he suffered a serious head injury and was in a come, but he has made a full recovery. He is still an avid car enthusiast and is known to work on restoring cars. He has been working again on his Rhythm Rehab project, a mobile drum tutor covering the North Wales/Chester area.
It is unlikely that the last line-up of Mansun will ever reform the band, but one thing is for certain and that is a legion of Mansun fans would love to see this, and that various record labels would also be supportive of such a decision. Only love remains.
For more information on each of the musicians visit their pages.
- Internet Archive Wayback Machine (2003-06-18). Retrieved from mansunite.com.
- Mansun. Retrieved from allmusic.com.
- Reid, Pat, Burning Ambition - Mansun's Stove, web.archive.org. Retrieved August 2011
- MansunMusicLovers > Grind 12. Retrieved from pauldraper-mansun.co.uk.
- Grind [Early Paul Draper band] | The Beardscratchers Compendium of Music. Retrieved from Beardscratchers.com.
- Misc. Retrieved from Sound.jp.
- Internet Archive Wayback Machine (2004-09-30). Retrieved from btinternet.co.uk.
- Internet Archive Wayback Machine (2004-08-05). Retrieved from btinternet.co.uk.
- www.lancepaine.me.uk. Retrieved from lancepaine.me.uk.
- Internet Archive Wayback Machine (2005-02-15). Retrieved from lineone.net.
- Internet Archive Wayback Machine (2003-03-13). Retrieved from dotmusic.com.
- Internet Archive Wayback Machine (2004-10-29). Retrieved from archive.org.
- Manson* - Take It Easy Chicken (Vinyl) at Discogs (1995-09-25). Retrieved from discogs.com.
- Album Reviews: Mansun: Legacy: The Best of Mansun (2006-10-02). Retrieved from pitchfork.com.
- Internet Archive Wayback Machine (2002-10-19). Retrieved from archive.org.
- Internet Archive Wayback Machine (2001-05-03). Retrieved from archive.org.
- Artist - Mansun (2010-10-15). Retrieved from Missing a domain reference here.
- Internet Archive Wayback Machine (2002-02-18). Retrieved from lineone.net.
- Internet Archive Wayback Machine (2002-12-30). Retrieved from archive.org.
- Adam Walton's personal thoughts of little consequence (2011-01-23). Retrieved from Adamthomaswalton.co.uk.
- Internet Archive Wayback Machine (2002-10-19). Retrieved from archive.org.
- Bio adapated from Wiki Commons 23rd Sept 2015 here