Paul Draper (musician)

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Paul Draper
Paul Draper live..jpg
Draper performing live in 2019
Background information
Birth namePaul Edward Draper
Born (1970-09-26) 26 September 1970 (age 48)
Liverpool, England
GenresAlternative rock, indie rock, Britpop, progressive rock
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, keyboards, piano, synthesizers, bass
Years active1995–present
LabelsKscope, Too Pure
Associated actsMansun, Grind, The Anchoress, Skin

Paul Edward Draper (born 26 September 1970 in Liverpool[1]) is an English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer, formerly the frontman of the rock band Mansun.


Early days[edit]

Draper grew up on Garmoyle Road in Wavertree, Liverpool before moving with his family to Connah's Quay, Deeside. Draper described it as "the absolute nothing of Great Britain", adding "Deeside is just the bit where the Welsh people really aren't Welsh because they were infiltrated by the English in the Fifties and Sixties. It's where everyone from Liverpool ended up. Basically, just after the war, Liverpool had 800,000 people; now it's got 390,000 people, and the missing 400,000 all live in Deeside. It's a horrible, horrible place. In Liverpool, if you're 15 and you pick up an acoustic guitar in school and play a song, then people would listen. But in my school when I tried to take in a guitar, I was just a poof and a queer, and that was that".[2]

Draper attended St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School, Flint and Thames Polytechnic (now University of Greenwich) where he formed Grind with Steve Heaton and drummer Carlton Hibbert[3][4] who regularly played around London and released one 12" single before splitting.


Draper returned home to study at Wrexham Art College before forming Mansun with bassist Stove King, and guitarist Dominic Chad.[5] The band signed to Parlophone and released three studio albums before splitting in 2003 whilst recording their fourth. In 2004, Draper compiled Mansun's aborted fourth album recordings for release in the Kleptomania box set.

On 16 May 2006, Draper announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer during fourth album sessions at Rockfield Studios. After a blister appeared on his left hand middle finger that kept bleeding, Draper visited a local doctor who took a sample of tissue from the finger. He was informed that it was a malignant tumour known as a "Bowenoid Malignancy", and responded positively to five cycles of chemotherapy. However, he was unable to play for several months after the tumour was cut out and his finger swelled up following treatment.[6][7][8]

Post-Mansun Career[edit]

Production work/The Anchoress[edit]

In October 2005, "Alone in My Room", a single by Skin (Skunk Anansie), co-written and co-produced by Draper, was released; his first involvement in any musical project since Kleptomania.

He worked on a version of the 2006 Ibiza anthem "Exceeder" by the Dutch DJ Mason, which was uploaded to his MySpace page, and in 2009 produced and appeared on a track by The Joy Formidable, which was made available as a free download from the band's official website.

Draper performed a version of Mansun's "Wide Open Space" at London Astoria's last ever gig before it closed on 14 January 2009 with My Vitriol.[9] The two acts had toured together previously in 2000, along with King Adora.

In October 2013, Draper stated that he was considering releasing material from his abandoned unrecorded solo album "Spooky Action At A Distance" which only existed in demo form, if there was enough interest.[10] After a petition was set up on Facebook,[11] he responded that he was going to give the idea of releasing solo material some "very serious consideration".

On 5 May 2014, the debut single "What Goes Around" by The Anchoress was released. A collaboration between Draper and singer-songwriter Catherine AD (Catherine Anne Davies), the duo have recorded an album's worth of material with Draper having co-written several of the songs and co-produced the whole album.[12] A follow up to the single is due for release on 20 October in the form of EP "One For Sorrow".[13] In 2017, Davies reciprocally co-wrote 5 tracks on Draper's solo album Spooky Action.[14]

Solo career: Spooky Action & upcoming second solo album[edit]

Draper's first solo song "Feeling My Heart Run Slow" was premiered at a Mansun convention held at The Live Rooms in Chester on 23 August 2014. Recorded especially to play at the convention, Draper with the help of musicians from The Anchoress sessions, recorded five songs from his unrecorded solo album with a view to completing a whole album's worth.[15]

Draper announced his first solo single would be released via monthly subscription service 'The Too Pure Singles Club' in April 2016. It was announced that the official release of his EP One would be on Kscope on 10 June 2016.[16][17] On 25 November 2016, Draper released EP Two. His full length album, ''Spooky Action'', was released on 11 August 2017.[18]

In 2016, an online interview with Paul Draper was removed from the Backseat Mafia website, after he made numerous unsubstantiated allegations against former bandmate Dominic Chad. The website issues an apology to Chad, stating that "on February 1st we published an article which contained several unsubstantiated assertions about former Mansun guitarist Dominic Chad. We would like to unreservedly apologise for the upset which the article may have caused Mr Chad and his family for the short period it was online. We are all embarrassed and upset by the whole affair, and we must offer our heartfelt thanks to Dominic Chad for his understanding, reason and his kind acceptance of our apologies".[19]

Draper undertook his first UK solo tour in September 2017. This included a show at Scala in London, which was recorded for the ‘Live At Scala’ album released on 16 February 2018.[20] The main support band Estrons pulled out of the tour after the first night at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, with their frontwoman Tali Källström stating that she "woke up yesterday to a public tweet from Paul and inappropriate messages to my band's Facebook page which made me feel incredibly uncomfortable. Me and him have never even had a conversation. In reading these messages, his intentions became very clear. Knowing this I felt it was impossible to continue the tour dates with him comfortably".[21]

A second solo tour in February/March 2018 in which he performed a second set playing Mansun's debut album Attack of the Grey Lantern,[22] also attracted controversy when he performed heavily intoxicated and appeared disoriented, forgetting lyrics, berated his backing band and fans alike before being escorted off stage by his tour manager midway through his set at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham. The show was described as being a "a chaotic, shambolic embarrassment",[23] with Draper quickly taking to social media and attacking UK music website Drowned in Sound and asking fans to boycott the publication, claiming that the website was "prejudice against mental illness" and had ruined the tour.[24] Drowned In Sound responded, stating that they "haven’t written about him or reviewed anything, so no idea what he’s going on about. Heard tonight’s gig wasn’t great tho".[25] Journalist Dom Gourlay, who writes for several publications including Drowned in Sound but was covering the show for Gigwise, was branded a "Natzi" (sic) by Draper.[26] The following day, Draper issued a press release apologising for the show and claimed that a "personal issue raised its head just prior to the gig" that had upset him.[27]

In April 2018 Draper toured the U.S as support to Steven Wilson. His first dates in the U.S since Mansun toured in 1997.[28] On 8 June 2018 to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the release of Mansun’s debut album, Attack Of The Grey Lantern. Kscope released a anniversary deluxe edition. This included a 4 disc deluxe book with a specially written introduction from Draper and previously unheard rarities and outtakes that Draper compiled from the writing and recording sessions.[29] The album re-charted at #28 in the U.K album chart.

Following the solo US tour supporting Steven Wilson; Draper toured the UK in November 2018, playing a acoustic set with guitarist Ben Sink. Kscope also announced a new vinyl release, Paul Draper - Attack Of The Grey Lantern - Live At The Ritz, recorded in Manchester on Thursday 1 March 2018. The show was recorded by Ronnie Stone who produced the original Mansun debut album, and mixed by Paul "PDub" Walton.[30][31]

In January 2019 Draper with guitarist Ben Sink supported Steven Wilson on Wilson’s headline French tour.[32] The also visited Japan and China for dates in Tokyo, Osaka, Guangdong, Beijing and Shanghai in March 2019.[33]

Draper & Sink also embarked on a short promo tour in March 2019 to support the deluxe reissue of Mansun's cult classic album Six, where they played a series of promo gigs in independent UK record stores.

Draper is currently working on the highly anticipated follow-up to his acclaimed debut solo album ‘Spooky Action’. Cult Leader Tactics was recently confirmed by Draper as the album title, due for release later in summer 2019. [34] Draper has also recently posted a clip of the new music from the recording studio on his official instagram account to the delight of his fans.


The solo discography currently consists of a studio album,[35] a live album[36] three extended plays, two singles and a digital download track.

Studio albums

Live albums

  • Live at Scala (Kscope, 16 February 2018)
  • Live at the Ritz (Kscope, 14 November 2018)

Extended plays

  • EP One (Kscope, KSCOPE 927 June 2016) - "Feeling My Heart Run Slow" / "No Ideas" / "The Silence is Deafening" / "F.M.H.R.S (The Twilight Sad Mix)"
  • EP Two (Kscope, KSCOPE 935 November 2016) - "Friends Make the Worst Enemies" / "Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid" / "Don't You Wait, It Might Never Come" / "Friends Make the Worst Enemies (Acoustic)"
  • Jealousy is a Powerful Emotion EP (Kscope, March 2017) - "Jealousy Is A Powerful Emotion (single version)" / "Things People Want (Acoustic Version)" / "Jealousy Is A Powerful Emotion (Acoustic Version)" / "Friends Make The Worst Enemies (Public Service Broadcasting Remix)"

Singles and downloads

  • "Feeling My Heart Run Slow" (Too Pure Singles Club, PURE 328S, April 2016)
  • "Friends Make the Worst Enemies (Public Service Broadcasting Remix)" (December 2016)
  • "Things People Want" (Kscope KSCOPE410P, July 2017)
  • "Grey House (7" Edit)" (Kscope KSCOPE 705, October 2017) - b/w "Who's Wearing the Trousers (7" Edit)"


  1. ^ "PAUL DRAPER - Biography". 5 March 2010. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ "MANSUN.NET Features – The Guardian Weekend Feature". Archived from the original on 11 August 2002. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Music – Grind". BBC. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Grind (5) Discography at Discogs". Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  5. ^ "MANSUN.NET History – Profiles – Paul Draper". Archived from the original on 11 September 2001. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Britpop 'Where Are They Now?' Special – Share Your Knowledge". Nme.Com. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  7. ^ "paul's diary". Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  8. ^ "PAUL DRAPER :: View topic – Uncut article scan". Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  9. ^ Adams, Sean (9 January 2009). "Astoria's last hurrah: Mansun's Paul Draper to join Get Cape, My Vitriol and more / Music News // Drowned In Sound". Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  10. ^ "SOUTH OF THE PAINTED HALL: Paul speaks... well writes...and sets in train something interesting". 31 October 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Petition for Paul Draper to release his long-awaited solo album". Facebook. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  12. ^ "Mansun's Paul Draper open to solo album". 6 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Paul Draper - Spooky Action". Discogs. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Paul Draper's first solo track unveiled at Mansun convention". 25 August 2014.
  17. ^ NME.COM. "Mansun's Paul Draper announces debut EP details and posts new single online - listen - NME.COM".
  18. ^ "Former Mansun ringleader Paul Draper gives the people the purging rock opera they petitioned for". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "PAUL DRAPER Announces Limited Signed Vinyl Live Album | XS Noize | Online Music Magazine Paul Draper has announced details of a very limited signed vinyl live album which captures Paul's triumphant headline show at the Scala from 23rd". XS Noize | Online Music Magazine. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
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  27. ^
  28. ^ Prog, Scott Munro 2017-11-29T16:05:00 332Z. "Paul Draper to support Steven Wilson in the US". Prog Magazine. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  29. ^ martin, Author (2 July 2018). "Review – Mansun – Attack of the Grey Lantern (Deluxe Remastered Reissue) – by James R. Turner". Progradar. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  30. ^ "Paul Draper (Mansun) announces solo acoustic tour". Louder Than War. 15 June 2018. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  31. ^ "PROGRADAR ANNOUNCES 'ATTACK OF THE GREY LANTERN - LIVE AT THE RITZ'". Paul Draper. 13 October 2018. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  32. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ "Paul Draper Acoustic Japan Tour 2019". Tokyo Weekender. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
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External links[edit]