Pat McManus is among Northern Ireland’s rock royalty, a six-strong wonder who plays with a passionate flourish conveying pure emotion from every note.
The Derrylin man first grew to prominence when he and his two brothers formed Mama’s Boys, and quickly wowed audience across the UK, Ireland, Europe and the US.
On September 16 he will headline a fundraising show at Belfast’s Empire, with proceeds going to support next year’s Belfast City Blues festival.
The full line-up sees Blackwood Blues & Rock Band deliver their ‘Taste of Rory’ tribute to the late, great Rory Gallagher and the usual set from The Willie Byrne Band as well as the guitar histrionics of The Pat McManus Band.
So, to get you in the mood, here are some facts about the Co Fermanagh guitar ace that include playing guitar on a Page Three model’s single.
1) Pat’s parents were renowned traditional Irish musicians. A precocious talent on the fiddle, Pat made his television début aged just seven, and was All-Ireland fiddle champion at 14.
2) He and his brothers Tommy and John began their career touring and self-released their first album ‘The Official Bootleg’. It was so successful that there were multiple re-pressings that quickly attracted major label interest especially once they heard their second self-financed album ‘Plug It In’.
3) Mama’s Boys cover of Slade’s ‘Mama We’re All Crazy Now’ brought them to the attention across the Atlantic, where radio stations put it on playlists across the US.
4) The band appeared at massive festivals across the world, including Thin Lizzy’s last ever show at Reading Festival and Deep Purple in front of 100,000 at Knebworth.
5) They played across the USA with bands such as Rush and Ratt, earning rave reviews and Pat’s playing left seasoned guitarists open-mouthed in admiration.
6) Tragedy struck the brothers when drummer Tommy passed away after a lengthy battle with leukaemia in 1994.
7) As well as his work with Mama’s Boy Pat played as a session musician. He played on former Sun page three model Samantha Fox’s single ‘Touch Me’. Sam Fox loved Mama’s Boys music so much that she covered the band’s song ‘Spirit of America’.
8) After a series of line-ups of Mama’s Boys following Tommy’s death Pat taught music back home in Derrylin.
9) The Pat McManus Band was formed after Pat joined the band Painkillers. Since it was Pat’s playing that drove the band’s fanbase it was quickly re-named The Pat McManus Band.
10) Including live albums The Pat McManus Band have released 10 long players, which have been released across Europe and are eagerly sought out by discerning collectors across the world.
Tickets for the fundraising show are on sale now, priced £12.50 (+ booking fee) from all Ticketmaster outlets.