Blog 1502: It Was 10 Years Ago Today…

Secret Origins: a look back at The Ray Mann Three’s first-ever show on its tenth anniversary.

February 20, 2005: The Ray Mann Three played its debut gig to about 20 people at new Sydney nightspot that would become our home for the next three years, from which all things to come would grow, Tonic Lounge.

The Ray Mann Three at Tonic Lounge, circa mid-2008
The Ray Mann Three at Tonic Lounge, circa 2008

The original incarnation of the band featured bassist Matt Hunter and drummer Bart Denaro. Over the years to come, the lineup would include bassist Byron Luiters and drummer Grant Gerathy (both now with John Butler Trio), bassists Joel Burton and Adam Ventoura, and drummer Ross Ferraro. Ten years later, and there’s also a Berlin edition of The Ray Mann Three, which includes bassists Manuel Zaceck, Uele Carboni and Hal Strewe, and drummer Alex Sitnikov (more archaeology on the timeline page).

That first gig saw three guys, dressed in op-shop three-piece uniforms, and one wearing an afro that’s no longer with us, bash their way through soul tunes they loved in a style all their own (read the band’s first review of those early Tonic shows here).

That night was the first step in a journey that’s taken me around Australia, to Japan and to Europe; that’s seen me and the boys share stages with artists some of our idols; a journey full of music, adventures and learning; and introduced me to many people who became dear to my heart, and who remain so to this day.

The Ray Mann Three | Frist Flyer | Feb 2005

As part of the retrospective Ray Mann: #ArtBlog, originally published during my relocation to Berlin in 2011, I wrote about how, with one little A6 flyer design, I drew a template that would come to frame my music, my art and my life for years to come…

“Dig It Cats”: I wanted to create a late-night jazz club vibe before folks even got to the gig, even though we weren’t playing jazz (despite the claim on the flyer). In fact, it wasn’t even about jazz; it was more about the basement hangout, the secret nightspot, that sort of romanticism, nostalgia for an era (and a place) that none of us had ever been in.

Drop us a comment if you were at that first gig, or any gigs since; or tell us when / where you first bumped to some RM3 music. And to you all: thankya for digging what I/we do.

R x

The Ray Mann Three | 2005
The Ray Mann Three, circa April 2005. L to R: Bart Denaro, Ray Mann, Matt Hunter. Photos by Samantha Watson-Wood.

 . . .

Get yr unbridled nostalgia on: read the original 2011 #ArtBlog post.

All upcoming shows on the Gigs Page.


One Reply to “Blog 1502: It Was 10 Years Ago Today…”

  1. I just came across your name and web site in the last few weeks. Your name was my first attraction as my father was Ray Mann. Dad passed in 1984 at the age of 76.

    I am eager to explore your music further and plan to attend your gig at the Tigard, OR VFW Post #158 on 24 April.
    Sincerely, Bob Mann

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.