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Man: The Twang Dynasty/Call Down The Moon

Welsh proggers’ 90s comeback – now with extra live tracks.

It had been 16 years since Deke Leonard and co. had released an album when the sleek driving grooves of 1992’s The Twang Dynasty arrived.

Deke is fulsome and indomitable on the opening A Feather On The Scales Of Justice and Martin Ace (of bass) reaches an early peak with the swaggering Jumpin’ Like A Kangaroo. Songs are wry and unabashed (Women) engagingly energised (twin guitar charged Fast And Dangerous) and keenly reactivate key influences, as on the John Cipollina tributing closer The Wings Of Mercury.

This reissue (710) also includes an unexpurgated storming 1994 Glastonbury set over two discs, the band returning to their earliest days to ignite a full flaring conflagration on The Storm, a 1969 original.

Equally fascinating and, musically, even more accomplished is 1995’s Call Down The Moon (810), where co-producer Ron Sanchez brought Man to America to record for the first time. Twelve-minute monster Drivin’ Around, an unboundedly bluesy sexual come on, where the late great Mickey Jones supplies the essential rhyme for Leonard’s ‘erogenous zones’, encapsulates them at full strength – outrageously over the top, instrumentally exalted and with a fine line in self deprecation. Marvellous.

Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.