Sziget review in the NME, including Manics and a flying Nicky!

Sziget review in the NME, including Manics and a flying Nicky!

The tickets for the Manics master tapes Radio 4 recording have now been allocated.

Congratulations if you got one. Have fun!

To those who didn’t (like me*!) we will get to see the recording on the iPlayer later, which has the added benefit that we don’t have to stand outside in the rain beforehand ;)

(*Isn’t it always the way after I realised I would be able to make the recording, but only with the aid of a very fast car!)

"We grew up in the valleys. Antagonism is just foreplay."

"We grew up in the valleys. Antagonism is just foreplay."

JDB having a pint with Richard Hawley at Festival No 6 last year.  Nicely wrapped up aren’t they?
With Trumpet Bale hovering in the background if I’m not mistaken. 
Via Jones The Camera.

JDB having a pint with Richard Hawley at Festival No 6 last year.  Nicely wrapped up aren’t they?

With Trumpet Bale hovering in the background if I’m not mistaken. 

Via Jones The Camera.

One last  #THB20 post. Interview with James in the US after Richey’s disappearance.


Unheard 50 minute interview of James Dean Bradfield in America, shortly after Richey’s disappearance & before his missing status was made public. Thanks to Thomas Gorman for the recording (found on a CD at a record fair).

Many thanks to manicstmania for tweeting it & Thomas for finding it.

Due to work commitments, I may be a little quiet for the foreseeable future.

I will bring you news of any winter tours/Holy Bible gigs though.

Winter tour…. *cries* *buys thermal underwear*

BT Music did a Spotlight on Manic Street Preachers and this was the trailer video.

My favourite part is right at the end where James tells Nicky not to worry about the future.

If anyone has the full episode, I’d love to see it!


hey, I don’t like these jokes about splitting up, mister

The last caption should say ‘When you’re our age you could split up every single day’.

See next post for the full vid and for what James says after this…

Many thanks to @MildManics for introducing me to this picture.

Many thanks to @MildManics for introducing me to this picture.

Manic Street Preachers reflect on The Holy Bible

On this day in 1994, Manic Street Preachers released one of the greatest albums of all time. A masterpiece of confrontational rhetoric and a battery of acerbic sounds, adding up to nothing less than one of the most compelling records you could ever hope to hear.

The Holy Bible is a body of work like no other. Casting a horrified eye over subjects such as the prostitution of the self (‘Yes’), the inherent evil of man (‘Of Walking Abortion’), anorexia (‘4st 7lbs’), capital punishment (‘Archives Of Pain’), the atrocities of the Holocaust (‘The Intense Humming Of Evil’) and even orgies in the Kremlin (‘Revol’) - all within 56 white-knuckle minutes. Not only that, but as the recent events in Ferguson prove, the message of ‘IfWhiteAmerica…’ is as relevant today as it was in ‘94. 

The military regalia, the flames and balaclavas on Top Of The Pops, ‘those’ Glastonbury comments - combine that aesthetic with a record so awkward and introverted and you’ve got the stuff of rock legend, and a firm two fingers in the face of Britpop. Then, as now, the Manics stood alone. 

It’s a journey on the spike of a buzzsaw, the sound of four men staring out at the world and seeing nothing but murder, the sound of the soul being torn inside out and back again. Rock n’ roll history may often cite is as the masterpiece of former guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards - his swansong before he disappeared months after the Bible’s release as he struggled to battle alcoholism and his own tormenting demons.

That may be true, but the Manics have always been more than the sum of their parts, and this album would not be what it is without the wide-eyed, howling delivery and guitar prowess of James Dean Bradfield, the editing and overriding human lyrical contributions of co-wordsmith and bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire, and the man-machine drumming insanity of Sean Moore. 

"We actually feel the looming presence of 20th anniversary of The Holy Bible, I think we feel it quite a lot," Bradfield tells Gigwise. "We’re a bit scared of it really. If we were ever a band who felt like the past defined us too much, and that our past contained too much baggage for us to haul around, I think we’d be finished. We are constantly asked about our past because so much has happened, and naturally we’re on our 12th album. If you’re so scared of the past like that, it’s just game over."

When asked what spirit from The Holy Bible the band carried onto their latest astonishing record Futurology, Bradfield replied: “That we could still trade in a language that is still exclusively ours, that we could still want to write songs that other people are just never going to go near. I just don’t think that anyone else would go near that subject matter. We never laid claim to being the most ‘original’ band, but I think we’re unique in that sense.”

Nicky adds: “We are always driven to make a particular type of record, which stems from our absolute obsession and desire for music and lyrics. We wouldn’t do it if we still weren’t totally convinced of the romantic notion of music transporting us into a better place as human beings.”

To mark the 20th anniversary of the album, we asked James and Nicky to pick key tracks from The Holy Bible that they find most relevant in today…

'Archives Of Pain'
Nicky: “I would say that ‘Archives Of Pain’ is one of Richey’s most chillingly brave lyrics. It’s just a stunning piece of prose, really, rather than poetry - and it’s got one hell of a guitar solo. It’s not relevant today because there are no guitar solos left.”

'A drained white body hangs from the gallows,
Is more righteous than Hindley’s crotchet lectures,
Pain not penance, forget martyrs, remember victims,
The weak die young and right now we crouch to make them strong’

'4st 7lbs'
James: “4st 7lbs - that was one of the first tracks we actually recorded in the sessions. I think it was Valentine’s Day, 1993. I’d just been dumped by my girlfriend and looked like a piece of shit, I’d just let myself go. I remember we took one of the more complicated songs and we did it first - and it just worked straight away. It was quite a relief and it was empowering really.”

'I want to walk in the snow
And not leave a footprint
I want to walk in the snow
And not soil its purity’

'Die In The Summertime'
Nicky: ‘Playing it live lately, it’s turned into something like Zeppelin or Jane’s Addiction rather than post-punk. Really, the intensity of it at the start is so fucking odd.”

'Scratch my leg with a rusty nail,
Sadly it heals.
Colour my hair but the dye grows out,
I can’t seem to stay a fixed ideal’

James: “IfWhiteAmerica.. I’m really proud that I got all of the lyrics in that song and managed to sing them all - it was a really good physical challenge and I loved doing it. That’s when I thought that the album was just going to be amazing. Sean’s drumming on it too is brilliant, it’s one of the best modern drum tracks and stands head and shoulders above others in terms of its complication, clarity.”

'Compton - Harlem - a pimp fucked a priest,
The white man has just found a new moral saviour,
Vital stats - how white was their skin?
Unimportant - just another inner-city drive-by thing’

Nicky: “‘Faster’ - even thought we despise playing it live because it’s so hard to play, it’s just a horrible song to play live, but it’s the perfect mixture between ‘Ace Of Spades’ and ‘Anarchy In The UK’, as John Doran said.”

'I am an architect, they call me a butcher,
I am a pioneer, they call me primitive,
I am purity, they call me perverted,
Holding you but I only miss these things when they leave’

'This Is Yesterday'
James: “I’ll go with ‘This Is Yesterday’ too because that was the last track to be recorded and it did give the album some kind of breathing space, balance and oxygen. Before that, it was just a tight space and quite claustrophobic.”

'Someone somewhere soon will take care of you,
I repent, I’m sorry, everything is falling apart.
Houses as ruins and gardens as weeds,
Why do anything when you can forget everything?’

Excellent piece in Gigwise by Andrew Trendall about The Holy Bible.

James Dean Bradfield - James Dean Bradfield performing on Unpeeled
222 plays


James Dean Bradfield performing on Unpeeled with @stuartmaconie & @andrewcollins. He plays acoustic versions of ‘She Is Suffering’ and ‘Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head’

James sounds about 12 and is apparently singing naked! (I don’t think he really was!)

If you ever wanted to know which of the Manics James has seen naked, this is the audio to listen to!

(I have absolutely no idea where I found this, I was digging around my archive and found it, so thanks to whoever I got it from.)

Thanks to Teddy Richards, I think I must have gotten it from Sticky Punk on Youtube.

I’ve never seen this pic before!

I’ve never seen this pic before!

Zurich Open Air Festival setlist. Courtesy @b0ycriedwolf.

Zurich Open Air Festival setlist. Courtesy @b0ycriedwolf.

BBC Radio Wales - 29/08/2014
60 plays

Simon Price talking about the Holy Bible on BBC Radio Wales.

Dear @Manics, when are the autumn/winter gigs? Please put me out of my misery. Thanks.