Manic Street Preachers
Genre: Alternative rock
Here you go. One of the gigs of the year. Probably the best of the Cardiff bands of the 1990s that finally cured Welsh music of only being famous for Tom Jones and Harry Secombe. With their eight Top 10 albums, and two number one singles with The Masses Against the Classes and If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next (the latter the longest unbracketed title for any UK number one), the Manics are bigger in Wales than their national rugby team’s immense front row.
Add to that Everything Must Go, You Stole the Sun from My Heart, Your Love Alone Is Not Enough, Australia, There by the Grace of God … the list goes on and it never stops being good. Well, actually it does. The old Manics can get a samish after a while. But never say that in Wales, where knowing the lyrics to Manics songs is now more important than being able to sing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau and say Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch without spitting on anybody.
Their last album was Postcards from a Young Man, released in September 2010, an album they accepted was far more pop orientated and unashamedly commercial than anything they had done before. “We’re going for big radio hits on this one” said James Dean Bradfield, and the album promptly became their first since hitting the big time not to spawn any Top 20 singles, with (It’s Not War) Just the End of Love faring best at number 28.
Then last year they threw out National Treasures – The Complete Singles, a 38-track compilation of the best of their last twenty years of work, including a few assorted rarities but NOT, whatever the title might claim and forgive the pedantry, a complete collection of all their singles. Not even their very first single, Suicide Alley from 1989, is on it.
However we’re delighted to reveal that this show is about that compilation, so we can expect to hear all the old classics at the Razz on May 2. If the opening show at the O2 in London is anything to go by, the two-part show features almost forty different songs. Not sure if we’ll get quite that much in Barcelona, but it all goes some way for compensating for the fact that this is the first time (aside from festivals including BBK two years ago) that the Manics have toured Europe for ten years. Yes, TEN YEARS! WTF! They’re hardly going overboard with it either, just a dozen or so gigs, and only one in Spain.
Did you know: If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next is actually about the Welsh volunteers in the International Brigades that fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War, and takes its name from the slogan written on a Republican poster showing a young child killed by Nationalist bombs, one of the prime reasons why Fidel Castro allowed them to become the first major western band to play a gig in Cuba. It’s also a great way to add a Spanish angle to this page.
Wednesday May 2, 2012 Barcelona Sala Razzmatazz 1
1. You Stole The Sun From My Heart
2. Love’s Sweet Exile
3. Motorcycle Emptiness
4. (It’s Not War) Just The End Of Love
5. Everything Must Go
6. She is Suffering
7. From Despair To Where
9. Empty Souls
10. Let Robeson Sing
12. Life Becoming a Landslide
13. Kevin Carter
14. Little Baby Nothing
15. This Is The Day
16. The Everlasting
17. Indian Summer
18. Stay Beautiful
19. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
21. La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)
22. Found That Soul
23. There by the Grace of God
24. Some Kind Of Nothingness
25. You Love Us
26. Suicide is Painless (Theme from MASH)
28. The Love Of Richard Nixon
29. Ocean Spray
30. The Masses Against the Classes
31. Roses in the Hospital
32. So Why So Sad
33. Postcards From A Young Man
34. Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
35. Slash ‘n’ Burn
37. Motown Junk
38.A Design For Life