Newest Review: ... 96 wins hands down). Things have obviously changed. Richey’s still on holiday indefinetley, most fans have now rolled down thier slee... more
Manic Street Preachers - Live
Member Name: Poonabester
Manic Street Preachers - Live
Date: 06/09/01, updated on 06/09/01 (63 review reads)
Advantages: They were still at their punk element, Manic Street Preachers - what else??
Disadvantages: Not the greatest location
As the intellectual debate rages on between ‘old’ and ‘new’ Manics fans - not to mention the fact that they have allegedly sold out - I’m standing in Kettering Arena (a sleepy town in Northamptonshire, and the place itself is actually a large basketball court, as opposed to an arena), watching quite possibly the most important British band in recent times play their first gig in England for over a year. I’m left thinking that if they have sold out, why can’t every other band I’ve ever held any affection for do the same as possible as soon as possible.
Okay, so it’s not the most outstanding Manic Street Preachers gig I’ve ever seen (out of the six times I’ve seen them, Hull Arena, Dec. 96 wins hands down). Things have obviously changed. Richey’s still on holiday indefinetley, most fans have now rolled down thier sleeves and the band themselves have mellowed. But to say they have sold out is foolish. Find me another band that writes songs about Hillsborough and the Spanish civil war?
When the band finally take stage, most of the crowd are still confused. Blame support band Mogwai. You see at least half of this particular crowd’s copy of "Everything must Go" probably sits inbetween one of the ‘Now’ compilation albums and a rarely played copy of "Urban Hymns". In other words they are here for a night out, not to see some band they don’t know knock seven shades of shit out of their guitars.
Personally I thought Mogwai were very good, but fear not. James, Nicky and Sean are here to save the day. Opening with the great instrumental "Australia", everyone is soon shouting every word and when they follow with no.1 single "If you can tolerate this...", I notice that there is a mascara clad young man helping a large rugby type bloke to crowd surf. I thought these people are meant to be at war!
The gig itself
is a bit of a mixed bag. Older songs "Mowtown Junk", "Yes" and "Tristrsse Durera" are still managing to make a living on the set list, and too right because they are really good tracks with the real punk spirit, which is great live. While songs from "This is my Truth..." such as "Tsunami, "SYMM" and "The Everlasting" (quite possibly the most beautiful song ever written) get given their first live airing in this country. At the time they were quite fresh and new, but they quickly aged.
But Kettering wants the hits so "A design for Life", "Motorcycle Emptiness" and "You love Us" are duly played with "Design..." being the undoubted highlight for the most crowd.
So perhaps not as angry as five years ago, but just as important, the Manics always wanted world domination. In a rather different way as first planned they may still get it. Like I said, not the best Manics gig I’ve ever witnessed, but you can never see a bad gig by them. Old and new Manics fans alike, they are the only band that matters. We should salute them