Following an impressive debut show at last year’s Summer’s End festival Damanek (Guy Manning: vocals, keyboards, guitars; Dan Mash: (‘Maschine’) bass; Marek Arnold: (‘Toxic Smile’/’Seven Steps to the Green Door’) saxes & clarinet; and Sean Timms: (‘Southern Empire’/’Unitopia’) keyboards, backing vocals) will release their first album ‘On Track’ with GEP in May 2017.
‘On Track’ is a genre-defying collection of sophisticated songs that manage to combine impressive technical proficiency with catchy hooks and vast soundscapes.
Sean Timms’ sleek production adds to the overall sense
of quality and class on this impressive debut.
The recording of ‘On Track’ is completed by a stellar list of guest musicians including: Brody Thomas Green ('Southern Empire') – drums
Tim Irrgang (‘UPF’) – percussion Antonio Vittozzi ('Soul Secret') – guitars
Luke Machin ('Maschine'/’Kiama’/’The Tangent’) – guitars
Stephen Dundon ('Molly Bloom') – flute
Nick Magnus – keyboards Phideaux – vocals
Ulf Reinhardt ('Seven Steps to the Green Door') - drums
14th March 2017
ON TRACK - Completed and there's more.... !
So, here's the latest news:
1. The Album is now completed, mixed and mastered!
2. We think it will be released in May 2017 and so the pre-orders should start about a month prior to that date.
3. We will tell you more about our new home / record label etc. as soon as all is finally confirmed and signed off!
Southern Empire (featuring our own Sean Timms) and Karibow (featuring our Marek Arnold in the live line up) will be touring UK/Europe in the Autumn 2017...so watch out for announcements!!!
11th March 2017
ON TRACK - Progress and Song Information
So, the debut album "On Track" is in the final days of mixing before going off for mastering.
Sean has done a fantastic job of blending all the musicians on it and it sounds fab! (biased)
The artwork has been revamped and brought up to date and also this web site, in preparation for the launch later in the year (more news soon we promise), has now got pages devoted to each of the songs on it.
So, if you are at all interested in my thoughts on each one and some of the origins of them, then the links are now to be found on the RELEASES tab.
I will be adding more details to each page over the next few weeks, so please keep coming back to check these out.
Do let me know what you think!
28th January 2017
DAMANEK - Reviews from Summers End 2016
"Two years ago, an under-rehearsed United Progressive Fraternity fell somewhat on their collective arse, so whether Guy manning's debut unveiling of latest project Damanek will suffer a similar fate isn't far from everyone's mind.
Yet buoyed by Southern Empire's Sean Timms and UPF colleague Marek Arnold and backed by Luke Machin, Dan Mash and Henry Rogers, Damanek are excellent from start to finish.
Manning's an engaging and enjoyable wordsmith and his new songs are big on melody and insightful lyricism.
It's a sound that conjures up the funkier, jazz-fusion side of Toto, and is full of fun.
We can't wait for their debut album."
THE PROGRESSIVE ASPECT Site
This was an intriguing proposition: Guy Manning’s new outfit with Marek Arnold (seen yesterday with Seven Steps to the Green Door), Sean Timms (Southern Empire, ex-Unitopia) and Dan Mash (Maschine, ex-The Tangent), three of these last seen as part of The United Progressive Fraternity when they played SE in 2014.
No album, no songs released, no expectations?
Well, with the band padded out for this performance by guitarist Luke Machin and drummer Henry Rogers this was a mouthwatering possibility.
The good news is that as a live unit they completely delivered.
The songs, all seemingly written by Manning, continue the ecological bent of UPF but with added political bite which give them more of an edge. As usual Guy was on top form, immediately getting the audience on side and keeping the humour levels high. There was much to recommend in the songs, such as The Big Parade which offered a light-hearted and upbeat veneer for the much darker content.
The interplay between the musicians was top notch, Arnold’s contributions as always sublime and Luke Machin letting rip with a couple of finely judged solos. I await the album with enthusiasm.
This was a peculiar but impressive debut from Guy Manning’s new band – a sort of Prog ‘supergroup’ with band members such as Sean Timms (Southern Empire / ex-Unitopia), Marek Arnold (Seven Steps to the Green Door/ Cyril and United Progressive Fraternity), Dan Mash, Luke Machin (both Maschine) and a cracking drummer in Henry Rogers, they had great pedigree.
They performed an interesting mixture of full on Prog with some jazz and folk elements, and even a Vaudevillian anti-war song! Manning’s usual penchant for thought provoking themes in his songs gave us plenty of ecological and political lyrics upon which to ponder.
However, being a completely new band with new songs their set lacked the highs of hearing old favourites, and they admirably kept away from the easy step of filling their set with ‘covers’ of songs from their multitude of other projects. Nevertheless, their set went down well with the crowd who recognized a quality band in development.
FLIGHT OF THE SKYPILOT Site
" ...a first for Summer's End - indeed a first for anywhere, with the debut performance of Damanek, a band fronted by Guy Manning and featuring Sean Timms, Marek Arnold, Henry Rogers, Dan Mash & Luke Machin. No one outside of the band knew what to expect, and we were left in no doubt that the debut album will be a must buy in 2017. "
8th October 2016
DAMANEK go down a storm at Summers End 2016...the PIX are in the Gallery!
Damenek debuted the new album "On Track" to a demanding (in terms of musical proficiency) audience who had neither seen the band before nor heard any of the forthcoming material! A brave (some might say foolhardy) decision.
However, as it turns out, expectations of seeing this new line-up were very high indeed, and the Drill Hall in Chepstow was full to the brim at 2pm on Oct 2nd.
The band performed nearly every song from the album to a vocal, supportive and very very appreciative crowd!
In fact, they played a blinder!
5th October 2016
DAMANEK line-up for Summers End 2016 now revealed...
Post UPF (United Progressive Fraternity) and the appearance at Summers End X (2014) and short tour, I wanted to establish a new musical venture away from my usual MANNING albums.
I had lots of new, different material written, I just needed the best musicians I could find who would like the pieces enough to join me.
Marek Arnold ('Seven Steps to the Green Door', 'Cyril', 'Toxic Smile') and I had worked both in UPF and of course on several of my own MANNING albums. His sax work is always exemplary! He is also a great producer in his own right. ....plus he is a tasty keys player too.
. Dan Mash (I knew through 'The Tangent', 'Maschine') and of course, we had worked in UPF together and I was keen to have him on board too if at all possible
So the initial DAMANEK concept was born (DAn / MANning / MarEK)...
Finding the right keyboards player though was going to be perhaps a challenge. Luckily, after meeting Unitopia (as a fan) at Summers End 2010, I have remained friends with both Mark 'Truey' Trueack (which led to UPF) and also with the fabulous Sean Timms
I emailed Sean the demos and he agreed to complete the core formal line-up of Damanek and brought his considerable keyboard and production skills to the unit.
When Stephen Lambe invited me to perform at the 2016 Summers End, my first thought was, "so how am I going to be able to bring a line-up together which can do justice to the album ("On Track") already in production?"
This was going to be like assembling The Avengers or the Magnificent Seven (or Six in this case) !!!
As it turns out, there have been some fortuitous decisions / happy accidents made by Lambsie and Huw Lloyd-Jones which made some of all this a hell of a lot easier for me in the end...
Firstly, 'Seven Steps...' were invited to perform SE on the Saturday...so I knew Marek would be there anyhow! .
Secondly, I contacted Sean and asked him if it would be at all possible that he could get across for it...and to my absolute surprise / delight, he agreed!!
Thirdly, we needed a guitar player of considerable talent. When Dan suggested his colleague Luke Machin ('The Tangent', 'Maschine', 'Kiama') and approached him on my behalf, I was astounded when Luke agreed to also be a part of this show as a Special Guest!
Fourth, we just needed a superb, inventive and quick learning Drummer! I was mulling it over when suddenly there was a line up change at Summers End and Heather Findlay's Band were booked to appear!.
I have played a number of events where Henry Rogers was drumming (either for DeeExpus or Touchstone) at RosFest 2010, previous Summers Ends and also whilst on tour with Manning) and I was always impressed by the skill and passion in his performances...so I thought, why the hell not ask him?
I am happy to report that Henry has come aboard again as a Special Guest and so (like Marek) will performing twice at this years SE festival!
So that just leaves me letting the side down against the weight of this impressive troupe of musicians..I am going to have to up my game!!
Summers End 2016 DAMANEK Line-Up:
Guy Manning: Lead Vocals, Acoustic Gtr, Mandolin, Keyboards
Marek Arnold: Saxes, Clarinet, Keyboards
Dan Mash: Bass
Sean Timms: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Plus Special Guests:
Luke Machin: Electric Guitars
Henry Rogers: Drums
As this international line-up cannot be sustained for more live work (too expensive and geographically challenged)...this is one-off show not to be missed playing nearly all of the new album (to be released Spring 2017)
You will be able to pre-order a copy of the new album at the festival or shortly through this site!
Pre-orders (only) are to exclusively autographed by Guy and at a pre-order price too
10th September 2016
Artwork & Phideaux
Antonio Seijas delivered the artwork to make up the Booklet, CD, label and Back plates for "On Track" today
and yes, they look very good indeed. Here is the proposed front cover.
I am now assembling the artwork adding in lyrics, credits and all sorts to make up the end package. I have some work to do there!
Finally, I can also reveal that I asked my good friend Phideaux to add his dulcet tones to the track 'Dark Sun' and he gladly obliged adding a splendid dash of class to the offering!
For those not already familiar with Phideaux's work, I have added a link to his website on our LINKS page so that you can check him out.
It is well worth spending some time in his company
30th August 2016
Recording the Drums - Brody Thomas Green
This week, Sean organised the Drum recordings for the "On Track" album.
In the drum driving stool is Brody Thomas Green (Southern Empire). Sean reported that the drums sounded "GREAT!!!"
Ideas for the Artwork too are now arriving from Antonio Seijas and they look very good indeed.
We hope to share some with you very soon.
Once into September, we have to start thinking about the LIVE band for Summers End, the setlist and line-up.
The line-up has almost been finalised and we will reveal all nearer the time!
Including some surprises and some long distance attendees!!
Also, DAMANEK related, our guest vocalist, DavidB (now living and working in Nigeria on his own musical projects), reports..."I released this on Tuesday: https://soundcloud.com/davidb_online/simi-jamb-question-davidb-refix and it's gaining traction especially after one of the most popular artists over here put it on blast by putting it on his twitter page!"
So please check the track out!
A link to David's website is on our LINKS page.
29th August 2016
Away from DAMANEK activity,
but still very relevant, CYRIL (one of Marek's other projects!),
released a brand new album
On this one, Guy was asked to supply most of the lyrics.
The resulting album has turned
very well indeed and is
already gaining many fantasitc
We suggest you investigate and
buy this immediately!
8th August 2016
Recording the "Santucci Horns" & Tim Irrgang
This week, two important sessions are taking place.
First up, the recording of the "Santucci Horns". Eric "Tooch" Santucci on Trumpet and Alex Taylor on Trombone.
Mixed in with Marek's unique Saxophones, this forms the basis
for the fabulous Brass parts being brought to life for the "On Track" album.
Later in the week, our old friend and colleague Tim Irrgang will sparkle the recordings with his wealth of Percussive know-how
Also being looked at in conjunction wth the musical
is the birth of the Album artwork.
Renowned artist Antonio Seijas is helping us out here.
The Damanek Band logo was the first of his designs,
we have seen mock up ideas for the front cover
and a few of
song pages too!
All in all, these things are very exciting indeed!
23rd July 2016
DAMANEK - Updates and more...
The debut album, provisionally called "On Track" is still being recorded as we speak.
Contributors so far are:
Dan Mash - Bass
Guy Manning - Lead / Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Acoustic Instruments, Guitars, E-Bow, Percussion
Marek Arnold - Saxes, Clarinet, Keyboards, SeaBoard
Sean Timms - Keyboards, Banjo
Brody Thomas Green
Drums (on 1,2,3,4,5,6)
[Courtesy of 'Southern Empire']
[Courtesy of 'UPF']
Guitar (on 1,3,4,5,6,8)
[Courtesy of 'Soul Secret']
Guitar (on 2)
[Courtesy of 'The Tangent', 'Maschine', 'Kiama']
Flute (on 1, 7)
[Courtesy of 'Molly Bloom']
Keyboards (on 3)
[Courtesy of 'Nick Magnus']
Vocals (on 8)
[Courtesy of 'Phideaux']
Drums (on 8)
[Courtesy of 'Seven Steps to the Green Door']
Guitar (on 4)
Lead Vocals (on 4) & Backing Vocals
The Santucci Horns
Eric 'Tooch' Santucci - Trumpet /
Alex Taylor - Trombone
With more contributor names still to be added
Band logo and artworks : Antonio Seijas
1. Nanabohzo and the Rainbow
2. Long Time, Shadow Falls
3. The Cosmic Score (Heaven Song Pt. I)
5. Oil Over Arabia
7. Madison Blue
8. Dark Sun
All music/lyrics written by Guy Manning (with arrangement help from Marek, Sean & Dan)
Special arrangement created by Nick Magnus on 'The Cosmic Score'
Thanks to Mark 'Truey' Trueack for lyrical suggestions on 'Dark Sun'
The live line-up is set to play Summers End Festival on Sunday 2nd October 2016 in Chepstow, UK, where this new material will be given a first public airing.