Ronan MacManus, Bad Fiances and Billy Clark
Ronan MacManus is a singer/songwriter from West London. His father Ross MacManus was a musician and trumpet player with Joe Loss and his orchestra and passed on the musical tradition to all five of his sons – including the well-known musician Elvis Costello.
Ronan has recorded solo album (Strawberry Hill), an EP (War on Peace) and three BibleCode Sundays albums. His new album, Elephant in the Room, was launched in the UK at a gig in London’s famous Ealing Club.
Elephant in the Room was co-written with Ronan’s brother Ruairi who also performs on the album allowing the close vocal harmonies of the brothers to be a major feature of these songs. The songs are short, snappy, and with a pop sensibility that reflects the rhythm of The Beatles with the attitude of The Who.
In June 2014, Ronan and Ruairi took the album to Brazil and toured together using the name MacManus Brothers. The Brazil tour was arranged by the British government (FCO) to coincide with the FIFA World Cup and the brothers managed to showcase British culture to a Brazilian audience, along with all the visitors in Brazil for the World Cup – playing in front of the Brazil stock exchange and in downtown São Paulo on the back of a VW Kombi truck amongst other shows.
In July 2014 the brothers performed with Elvis Costello at Kew Gardens in a much-praised summer set.
Ronan has been writing constantly but took some time out of recording and has been playing live around London.
2017 saw the tragic death of drummer Carlton Hunt who played on all of Ronan’s albums, he will be hugely missed.
In early 2019 Ronan signed a deal with Fretsore Records and a new album is scheduled for release in October of the same year.
Billy plays 12-string with a rare fingerpicking style. He plays his own music and his tracks are totally instrumental. Maybe we thought that, because of the instrumental nature of things this would drift into the background, but Billy engages the audience very powerfully, both with the skill of his technique, which left us breathless, but also with the harmonic quality – there were times when I was sure there was a vocalist in the room because of the harmonic sounds generated. Looking around, I noticed even people who had drifted in from another event were pausing and staying to listen to what was a truly compelling set.” Beehouse Recording Studio.
‘Bad Fiances’ is basically David Molby and whatever wonderfully talented person he can bring with him to make some noise.
Influenced by bands such as Pavement, Pulp and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, he makes music that can best be described as ‘wonky pop’. Dark-blues sea shanties can be followed by a sugary twee lullabies, Beck-infused folk beats can lead to punk based odes to ITV 2 programming.
The Fiances are planning to release an E.P and album over the next twelve months following the release of single ‘What Would the Spice Girls Do?’ in August this year.
Molby is also working with local singer Martyn Haynes for a Christmas E.P and can be found drumming for The Dead Vespers. He also writes and performs comedy sketches on the ‘Pirate Manatee’ Youtube channel.