I’ve always had mixed feelings about the Manic Street Preachers; once a four-piece but in recent years, after the disappearance of their guitarist Richey Edwards in 1995, now a three-piece hailing from South Wales. I used to think they were too “political” for me, but maybe it’s just that I’ve grown more to appreciate the lyrics that have always accompanied their catchy melodies. Who knows?
It’s been about 10 years since the Manic Street Preachers have last been to Australia and based on the reception they received it seems this visit is well overdue. Playing to a sold out crowd at the Metro Theatre in Sydney the guys rattled off a good fifteen-ish of their hits (Motorcycle Emptiness, You Love Us, Design For Life, You Stole the Sun From My Heart and Suicide Is Painless (Theme From M*A*S*H) - which I didn’t know was their first UK top 10 single in 1992) as well as a couple of tracks from the new album, Postcards From a Young Man, including the first single, (It’s Not War) – Just The End of Love.
Unlike the Charlatans, who played on the same stage not five nights previous (I’m sorry Mr Burgess, but your hair perplexed me and the new album is less than amazing), James, Nicky and Sean looked as fresh and play as tightly as ever. The crowd was a more “mature” bunch and it seemed that everybody in the room really appreciated the “best of”-esque set that was presented. When I say “appreciated”, I clearly mean “felt the urge to sing along to every song, indulge in various hand claps and arm gestures and jump about like teenagers”. Brilliant.
I probably should mention the support act, Dead Actors Club… A very polished young band with very angular haircuts and skinny legs policy. Electronic and 80’s sounding, taking me back to Yamaha organ lessons circa 1985. Not really my cuppatea and not the most complimentary band to support the likes of the Manics, but still quite talented in their own right.
One last point I want to make is that the rhythm guitarist and back-up vocalist on the tour was a young Wayne Murray from the UK band Boy Cried Wolf…. And you know what? They’re not too shabby either. So if you fancy trying something new, click here: http://www.myspace.com/boycriedwolf
Dead Actors Club: http://www.myspace.com/deadactorsclub
Manic Street Preachers: http://www.manicstreetpreachers.com
Also.... if you like the Manics and you're out and about in Sydney come see Sally DJ on the 27th: click here for more info.