Closed For Business is a 25th anniversary celebration of Mansun, one of Britain’s most inventive and controversial bands.
The band emerged at the height of the Britpop movement, but quickly demonstrated an eclecticism and spiky intelligence that marked them out from their peers. Their astonishing work-rate and fearless ambition resulted in a torrent of remarkable records between 1995 and 2000, and attracted a committed fanbase that remains loyal to this day.
Mansun was the brainchild of Paul Draper, a prodigal songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in Chester. Never an easy fit with the London music industry, they made their debut in 1995 with ‘Take It Easy Chicken’. This was a genuinely independent single: ‘we put the records in the sleeves ourselves’, Draper recalls. It caught the ear of Radio 1 legend John Peel, and by the end of the year, Mansun were being tipped for national success.
Closed For Business finally reveals the full scope of Mansun’s brief, tumultuous career. It brings together their original albums, the dozens of overlooked gems featured on their EPs, several discs of unissued demos and studio out-takes, BBC radio sessions, and full-length concert recordings. Paul Draper has also opened his archives to provide the raw material for the set’s unmatched collection of Mansun memorabilia, which includes handwritten lyric sheets for many of his finest songs. This box set finally does full justice to the vision of a band whose almost reckless disregard for the rules of the game reaped magnificent rewards.