Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mannikin Review

A recent review of 'Mannikin' that I wrote for last months edition of a Cork magazine:

When picking a band to review each month, it’s tempting to look over the seas for inspiration. Like the locals who never bother sightseeing in their hometown, there is a tendency to overlook the talent that’s flourishing right under your nose. Indeed, this month I, like most people faced with the prospect of writing about music, was all set to review yet another independent band from the States. Happily for us all, I decided not to. Instead, I looked to West Cork and to a band which, although relatively unknown on the national front, is hitting it big in Cork.

Mannikin is a West Cork based band that recently won a Red FM contest to play support to The Cooper Temple Clause next month in Cyprus Avenue. For Mannikin this is more than just a chance to support a class act, it’s a chance for them to take their own material and capture Cork with it. With such quality music and lyrics, it shouldn’t be hard to do.

They made their initial mark a couple of years ago playing the odd gig around the Bantry area. While their talent was unmistakable, the fact that they played only covers meant that the fan base that they built up was mostly thanks to the entertainment value they provided rather than any originality or ingenuity. This would have been fine had they intended on remaining just another small town group content with a lifetime of playing in their local every second Saturday night. However, it definitely wasn’t enough to turn them into anything more.

Fast forward two years, and Mannikin have built up a repertoire of originals that have set West Cork on fire. Think Nirvana, Jeff Buckley and Incubus rolled into one. The music is catchy, the lyrics are far from the pointless drivel most independent bands bring out, and the overall sound is great. They’re booked months in advance, pubs are packed solid when they play, and most importantly, they’ve achieved pin up status among the school girls. Although the latter fact could have something more to do with their good looks than with the quality of their music. Headed by lead singer and guitarist Noel Maguire, Mannikin is made up of Panos Karkalas on bass, Brian Casey on guitar and backing vocals, and Fons Peeters on drums and percussion. Each member brings his own distinct personality, talent and background to the band. Perhaps the most refreshing thing about Mannikin though is that they still have their feet firmly on the ground.

If you do anything I tell you all year, do this: Go and watch them play. Mannikin is going places, that’s for sure. Someday it’ll be nice to be able to say that you went to see them when they were playing support in Cork; and even better to say you were close enough to get your knickers on stage (if you wanted to)!

Mannikin are playing support to The Cooper Temple Clause on March 21st in Cyprus Avenue.

Check out their web page at


Dreama said...

Good words.

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