Mansun were an English alternative rock band formed in Chester in 1995. The band comprised vocalist/rhythm guitarist Paul Draper, bassist Stove King, lead guitarist/backing vocalist Dominic Chad, and drummer Andie Rathbone. It was announced in May 2003 that the band had split up earlier that year whilst in the process of recording their fourth album.
Since the split the bands popularity has never waned, over the years fans have organised the popular Mansun convention (The next convention will take place in February 2017 in London) and various websites and Facebook pages have also appeared over the years. Mansun fan Lee Griffiths decided it would be a great idea to collate Mansun related info together into one Wiki website. With the Mansun Wiki about to launch on Monday 29th February the timing couldnt be better as Mansun frontman Paul Draper is about to reveal his first solo material since the band folded.
I recently spoke to the man behind the idea Lee Griffiths. Lee told me how the idea for a www.mansun.wiki came about.
Mansun Wiki was an idea I thought up of when I was digging up more info on the band about 4/5 years ago. I loved their music for neigh on 20 years but at that time I was discovering the old demo tapes and some of the EPs that I had missed in my music collection and I wanted to find out more about the bands origins, the tales and why they were no more. I found so many different fan sites on the Internet as well as the official ones. All this information was scattered around the web on websites which were no longer maintained. I thought ‘wouldn’t it be great if all this info, the goodness and wonderment of Mansun that so many people worked hard to create was stored in one place, where it was easy to find something out’.
After all there was and is so much passion for the music and band and it would be a travesty to lose all that info, why not create a wiki which could become another archive as such for all of these websites, where the Interviews, photos, magazine scans, fan stories, the discography, endless image galleries, updates about the workings of Paul Draper, lists of gigs with set-lists and the stories that went with the shows, the lyrics, guitar tabs, you get the impression. I’d like to create a site by the fans of Mansun for the fans of said band!
How did you think you could bring the idea to life?
I’ve been an avid reader and contributor of other band wikis, and I have a career in Computing & IT so I thought it couldn’t be that difficult to put together a dedicated wiki for a band, could it…? I mean there is the main Wikipedia site which is on the web and there are some interesting pages about Mansun on there, but you couldn’t tailor it for just one topic, add funky images, dedicated sections and pages etc. I spoke to a few people at the Mansun Convention in 2014 ran by Andy Lyth, and they thought it was a brilliant idea so I couldn’t wait to start my project.
It’s been a hard task coming up with how I’d like the site to hang together as you need content to work with so you can build the site around it. I’ve had some help adding to the site along the way for which I’m eternally grateful, It’s taken up a sizeable chunk of my spare time over an elongated 12 months and mostly with only a few hours at a time, but I can’t wait for everyone to use it.
Interaction with the fans.
Mansun Wiki is what I would like to hope become the ultimate resource for all Mansun fans, covering all aspects of the Music and the band. I would like fans of the band to not only read pages of stories, interviews, articles and such but also contribute towards it, adding their experiences of the band and music – scans of their gig tickets, gig photos, the stories of meeting the band and the shows they attended, add their own guitar tabs, fill in the gaps in the bands back catalogue, add set-lists of songs for gigs. All people need to do to add to the site is to register an account and once completed hey presto. Every wiki is dependent on its contributors helping to make it a great resource for everyone that reads it, it’s only as good and interesting as the content that the people add to it, the site will evolve over time.
How would you like people to use the website?
I hope Mansun and music fans come to use the site as both readers and contributors. There will be something for everyone and the site will grow over time including sections dedicated to the old fanzines, fansites, and blogs. A good foundation been laid especially in the Gigs, Tabs, Discography and interviews sections. Not only can you browse the site but readers can help shape the site over time by helping to contribute to the wiki.
How can Mansun fans get involved?
There are various ways Mansun fans can contribute to the site, directly by creating an account of their own so they can add information, create new pages, upload images etc – much like a regular Wikipedia. Or, people can email anything they would like to offer for the Wiki team to upload, such as images, stories, blogs, and any audio (no copyrighted audio) they would like to share via the Wiki. So it doesn’t matter if you are technically minded or not as all Mansun fans can help build up the ultimate resource for Mansun fans, something of a legacy to the band, music and the people involved.
Paul Draper gives his full support of the website;
“I’m really positive about the work the fans have put into the wiki leading up to its launch. Of course being a wiki its open for all fans to add to and build the wiki with photos, interviews, audio/ video clips, gig chronologies, and press clippings. I think this will live well into the future and beyond our lifetimes as the ultimate resource for future generations of Mansun fans looking for info on the band that split so suddenly on the cusp of the digital era in music.
All credit to Lee Griffiths who has instigated this Mansun wiki as it seems only the most revered bands have the honour of their own wiki which will live into the future, but as I say, I think it will be the go to place for information on the band that touched so many still involved in the keeping alive of its memory after it was sadly cut so short at the height of its success. I’m hoping fans across the world will start contributing to the wiki, adding their cuttings, photos etc so it becomes a living growing memorial to the band and the ultimate Mansun resources for future generations”
www.mansun.wiki is on social media (see links below) and will be posting regularly with interesting facts, pictures and sharing the pages of the Wiki. You can even tweet us or get in touch on facebook for any queries, help or if you have any questions. The wiki will evolve over time. Check out www.mansun.wiki