I Am The Manic Whale announce Bumper Book Of Mystery Stories and 2023 tour

prog band I Am The Manic Whale posing onstage in the audience in the background after playing Fusion Festival
(Image credit: Marc Auger)

I Am The Manic Whale are to release their fourth album, Bumper Book Of Mystery Stories, independently on July 7. The record, produced by Rob Aubrey (Big Big Train/IQ), is the follow-up to 2020’s acclaimed Things Unseen and will be supported by the Maniacal Mystery Tour.

Says bassist and vocalist Michael Whiteman, “The idea for this album came from a dusty old book I discovered in a creepy second-hand bookshop many years ago. We've drawn inspiration for each piece of music from various mysterious stories and circumstances, some from real life, some pure invention, some based on folklore, some based on other works of fiction.”

The eight-track release will be available in an unusual cross-shaped Digipak containing new artwork by longtime collaborator Sarah Joy. Joining the band on the recording are special guests Ryo Okumoto (Spock’s Beard) and Sally Minear (Dave Bainbridge/Celestial Fire).

“Working with Ryo Okumoto on his album [The Myth Of The Mostrophus] over the last few years has been amazing," says Whiteman, "and I’m delighted that he offered to return the favour! He's added his inimitable Hammond organ, Minimoog and piano playing to one of the songs on our new album. Nautilus is inspired by the Jules Verne book Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, and is a 14-minute epic that is going to prog your face off!”

In addition to some unusual merchandise – including a house concert and virtual music lessons, which will help fund pressing costs – fans will also be able to get their hands on a very special companion piece.

Reveals guitarist David Addis, "Alongside the CD we're also releasing a limited edition book. [It contains] a collection of original short mystery stories written by members of the band, which will be available exclusively from our Bandcamp page or our merch desk at gigs." 

The British quartet will take the album on the road this autumn with shows already confirmed for The Musician in Leicester on November 2 and the Fiddler's Elbow in Camden, London on November 6. More dates will be announced soon.

Pre-order the album and accompanying merch via Bandcamp.


1. Ghost Train (part 1)
2. Patient AB
3. Dream Fortune
4. Secret Passage
5. The Incredible David (featuring Sally Minear)
6. Nautilus (featuring Ryo Okumoto)
7. Ernő's Magic Cube
8. We Interrupt This Broadcast...

steampunk style front cover for I Am The Manic Whale's Bumper Book of Mystery Stories

(Image credit: Press)
Natasha Scharf
Deputy Editor, Prog

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.