There can be little more surreal, as a working musician searching for your break, than finding yourself sitting on a private jet with Slash and Perry Farrell, en route to Las Vegas where you open the Revolution Lounge of the Mirage Hotel playing in hippy folk-hero Donovan’s band, along with his mate, movie director David Lynch, who had tagged along on the bill to give lectures on transcendental meditation and world peace of course. Consigning the New Age aspects firmly to distant memory, Tom Mansi did take something of the Lynch soundtrack spirit to his debut album with The Icebreakers.
Entitled ‘Love On The Rails’, Tom Mansi & The Icebreakers release their debut album on Kartel on 21st April. In February, they take to the road with Kartel labelmate Son Of Dave, previewing the delights of ‘Love On The Rails’, and the two should compliment each other live perfectly. Where Son Of Dave provide a one-man band to blow your mind, Tom Mansi & The Icebreakers centre their unique take on rock n’ roll, country and blues around the steadfast double-bass and, in the words of Time Out recently, “put on quite a show” to boot.
Tom Mansi & The Icebreakers, featuring James Johnston on drums, Paul ‘The Iceman’ White on guitar and Alain Man on keyboards, produced the album themselves at Shock and Awe, a North London studio owned by Johnston and White, with only sound engineer Stevan Krakovic for company. They raised some of the money for the album recording by hiring out the studio to Barnet college every week and teaching a music production course in between recording sessions.
‘Love On The Rails’ offers a collection of Mansi memoirs, defining moments from the last few years, each track it’s own high definition story. The track ‘Holly’, for example, dates from when Tom played upright bass in a tiny fringe theatre, and was inspired by a softly-spoken, prozac-laced cabaret star (Holly), who pleaded a sore-throat to cancel the opening night of her one-woman musical after her alleged lesbian lover ran off with her husband! When ‘Holly’ was released from the album as a taster in November 07, Mark Radcliffe on Radio 2 saw a significant new talent emerge and made the track his Record Of The Week. Listen to the track on their Myspace:http://www.myspace.com/tommansiandtheicebreakers.