Scissor kicks and riffs. Heartbroken lyrics and leopard print. You can call Manic Street Preachers many things. Unloved is not one of them.
Even now, nearly 30 years after
their formation, fans are queuing from early morning to try and nab a place at
the front of their shows.
And why not? This was not just a regular gig. This was a celebration of perhaps their best-loved record – The Holy Bible (THB).
Some 20 (and a bit) years after its release, the album still holds a dear place in the heart of manic supporters, with it being the last record to feature missing guitarist/lyricist Richey Edwards in full.
Does it stand the test of time? Yes. The angst and venom that permeated some of Richey’s words are still present. While the more morbid and depressed lyrics uttered by their chief songsmith at the time remain poignant and sad.
This show was split into two sets. The first played THB in full. The second featured many of their greatest hits with some rarities thrown in for good measure to please the most ardent of their feverish fanatics.
Both sets showed great quality. The anger associated with THB was evident throughout. Die In The Summertime and Mausoleum in particular brought great crowd reactions. While the anthemic PCP had bodies bouncing throughout the packed floor.
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Any complaints? Perhaps a little fussy, but the usually delicious outro to Archives Of Pain perhaps felt a little tepid.
But never mind, there was plenty more top moments to come.
Much-loved anthem Motorcycle Emptiness brought fans to fervour again as the second set sprung into life. While You Stole The Sun From My Heart and You Love Us had strangers bounding around with one another.
By the time crowd favourite A Design For Life came around, via a nice cross section of the Welshmen’s hits, the anticipation was reaching boiling point. And spill over it duly did as James Dean Bradfield, Sean Moore and Nicky Wire slammed through arguably their biggest song.
It was beautiful from start to finish. A celebration of great guitar sound and raw passion.
These guys are still as energetic and powerful now as they have ever been. And with a new record deal on the table their journey hasn’t finished yet. It is just as well. The Wolverhampton crowd wanted even more than the bumper Manics treat they had received.
By Jordan Harris