Black Manalishi are emanating, illuminating and blasting out of the Northwest corner of the U.K. They have a classic/heavy rock style shaped by many great influences such as Black Sabbath, Cream, Crosby, Deep Purple, Free, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynrd, Nash & Young, Pink Floyd and a great many more.
I recommend you check out their tunes, as these guys have got everything that a true classic rock fan is looking for, in triplicate. The band members are Nathan Moore on guitar, Adam Ward on vocals, Lee Gallagher on drums and Sean Gallagher on bass. Yes, you may have guessed the fact that Sean and Lee are brothers, which must add so much to the bands synergised, taught sound. Black Manalishi stimulate your mind, body and soul with an amazing wall of guitar sound and vocals backed up so well with that brotherly rhythm section. I recently threw a few questions at Nathan…
Q: How did Black Manalishi come to form initially and what inspired the choice of name?
A: I met Adam Ward through a mutual friend when forming a cover band for fun. I decided to form a new band and continue writing and performing original material, something I had done since first learning to play. Being a great vocalist, with a style reminiscent of some of my favourite rock singers, Adam was the perfect choice for vocals. The other members have always been auditioned to find the best musicians when needed.
I chose the name Manalishi from Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac song, “Green Manalishi.” Firstly because it was a good word and secondly because the song, and most of Peter Green’s songs, had the same free improvisational style that was similar to what I was trying to achieve with the new band. The Black was added soon after to give it the heavier sounding edge the band was taking, and as a nod to another big influence, Black Sabbath. Deep Manalishi and Manalishi Purple were considered, but only for a split second! [laughs]
Q: What have been some highs and lows since you formed?
A: The highs usually come from playing a great gig more than anything, mainly because we just love to play and if it’s a great crowd, and you feel you have played to the hilt and you are coming up with new things and they work, it’s a great high. We have enjoyed some success, winning battle of the bands competitions, for example. And we’ve had some of our songs used on a PlayStation game, but I’d have to say the biggest highs are when we see a room full of people really getting into the music, especially when our brand of old school rock isn’t commonplace. It’s like we are opening peoples eyes, and ears, again to our kind of music.
The lows are usually related to the struggle to find our place in the music business, something that we sometimes feel we can do no more on and that it’s just a matter of being spotted by the right people.
A: I think the next logical step for us would be supporting some big well-known acts and from there build up a wider audience, then hopefully become a well-known act ourselves.
Q: Aside from the obvious audible influences, do you have any others that you can add to the list?
A: While sharing some influences, the members of the band have always had a very varied list of influences. This is good in that it all adds to an interesting mix. You can tell in a band when everyone is into the same bands because they tend to sound like that band, whereas we dip in and out of a variety of influences. Adam is a fan of our core influences, such as Paul Rodgers and David Coverdale, but is heavily influenced by great soul and blues singers, such as Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Eddie Floyd and Bobby Bland, as well as more contemporary bands like the Foo Fighters. Lee Gallagher and Sean Gallagher are rooted in more modern, heavier music, while I’m a fan of artists from Elvis and The Beatles to Ten Years After and Robin Trower – the list is endless! But what ties them all together is they are all generally the best at what they do.
Q: From your experience, what are the pros and cons of self-management?
A: The pros are obviously the freedom and control it gives you and the cons are that, in this business, there’s a lot to do with who you know – A good manager who either has good contacts or knows how to get to them. We are only self-managed because we haven’t yet found the right one to take us to the next level. We are always looking though.
Q: What would be your ideal long-term scenario for Black Manalishi?
A: Ideally, we would want to be making and touring albums to large audiences all over the world. I guess the same as what any band wants. Let’s see what happens.
For more on Black Manalishi visit http://www.myspace.com/blackmanalishi