A sold out venue for tonight gig, the last of the UK stadium tour to promote the latest album Resistance is Futile, and where better than in Wales.
Local valley boys, James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire, Sean Moore and Miles Woodward formed the Manic Street Preachers way back in 1986.
They were later joined by Richey Edwards who contributed much to the songwriting and lyrics, as a band they have evolved from their early punk style and sound through glam rock through to a more alternative rock sound, all this without losing the angst that underpinned much of their work.
As a band they recorded several albums and achieved much success until the news came in 1995 that Richey Edwards had gone missing. A musical genius, was it all too much for him? We’ll never know but there have been plenty of theories to suggest he is still around somewhere. For a while the band were in limbo until persuaded to carry on, and they did that with new album Everything Must Go. Was this written by Edwards, and was it an explanation?
Their latest offering Resistance Is Futile was released last month and is their thirteenth studio album. Tonight’s set list includes many songs from this album, and while it was well received, it was some of the older classics that went down a storm with the Cardiff audience.
Opening the set,was the first song released from the latest album, International Blue, a strong anthemic song, Motorcycle Emptiness followed and it was clear this grabbed the attention.
Watching the show Nicky Wire was leaping around and can be considered the consumate showman, but that’s not to say the band are static, James Dean Bradfield and guitarist Wayne Murray are also jumping and running about. The music is infectious, even in the audience people are out their seats enjoying it.
You Stole My Heart and Everything Must Go had the audience intoxicated, even those that hadn’t been drinking by this point! After a rousing If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, the band leave the stage for James to perform an acoustic version of Faster dedicated to Richey James Edwards, but what came next surprised me, he started singing Cant Take My Eyes Off Of You, that had the crowd singing, da da, da da da da.
As the rest of the band return to the stage Nicky Wire grabs the mic to announce You Love Ustelling us Richey loves us…. Further into the set Nicky tells of how proud he was while he was Oakdale Comprehensive in Blackwood and how he’d learnt a ‘pistols’ track, but was somewhat dismayed that JDB had managed to work out the whole of Never Mind The Bollocks in a short time. James showed this to great effect as they covered No Feelingswith Nicky on vocals. Closing the set was Design For Life from the Everything Must Go album.
The set was long and varied, it included much from the new album, but included lots from their huge back catalogue. The new album; while some could consider it a little ‘poppy’, the band have evolved over the years, but there is still a focus on issues that have contributed to so many different themes running through their albums, this time memory, maybe not so political now, but there’s still plenty of attitude. All in all was a great night and a fabulous way to end the UK leg of the stadium tour, all is not lost if you want to catch the band as they are due to play several festivals in the summer.