live’n’loud: East meets west for Harry Manx

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS - – ROSE SADLEIR

HARRY Manx has played more than 50 shows in the past three months, but the 57-year-old blues mu­si­cian is not about to slow down.

Re­leas­ing his first al­bum at the age of 45, Manx (pic­tured) has put out 11 al­bums since – the most re­cent be­ing a best-of com­pi­la­tion, Isle of Manx.

Born in Isle of Man, Manx says he has al­ways been into mu­sic. ‘‘I left home at 15 and was a street mu­si­cian for­ever,’’ he says.

‘‘I stud­ied in In­dia, and in Europe I was play­ing on the streets for years. There were joys and down­falls, but all in all it was a good life­style. Manx didn’t re­lease a record for a long time. And then, one day, it all came to­gether. The niche found me fi­nally and I have ar­rived at where I want to be.’’

In the mid ’90s Manx stud­ied for five years in In­dia with Ra­jasthani mu­si­cian Vishwa Mo­han Bhatt – the in­ven­tor of the Mo­han veena, a 20-stringed guitar.

‘‘I would play ev­ery day for four or five hours. I can play lap slide guitar, steel guitar, har­mon­ica, and I play drums with my feet,’’ Manx says.

‘‘I guess I am a one-man band. The Mo­han veena is a high­light. Peo­ple like to hear it. ‘‘It draws them in.’’ Manx says learn­ing to play the in­stru­ment helped com­bine his love of blues with In­dian clas­si­cal mu­sic.

‘‘In­dian mu­sic moves in­ward – it’s tra­di­tion­ally used in re­li­gious cer­e­monies and med­i­ta­tion.

‘‘But Western mu­sic has the abil­ity to move out, it has the ten­dency to draw peo­ple into some­thing re­ally deep; they’ll get kind of quiet and spacey.

‘‘My goal has al­ways been to draw the au­di­ence as deep as pos­si­ble into the mu­sic.’’

Harry Manx and Yeshe play The SoundLounge, at Cur­rumbin RSL, to­mor­row at 8.30pm. Tickets are $45

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