MANIC STREET PREACHERS
Tonight, Manic Street Preachers made sense again. More than ever.
When MSP burst onto the stage, they are an object of hate. The band Molotov conventional musical, political and sexual expectations and so are met with a barrage of cans, bottles and insults. The pent up tension and barely suppressed fear as security prove unable to deal with the situation fuels the music and 'Sleepflower', 'From Despair To Where', 'La Tristesse Durera' and 'Life Becoming A Landslide' now really sound like Manics songs, convincing me of their worth.
Nicky, in his floral dress and head-scarf, proves to be a particular target for the artillery. Through the first five songs he dodges the missiles and returns the abuses "They fuck you up, your mums and dads... In South Africa, Zimbabwe, everywhere... You brainless wankers." However, during the sixth song ('Drug, Drug, Druggie')he is hit hard on the head by a can, and a blow from a bottle during 'Repeat' causes his grin to vanish and he smashes his bass against the speakers, brandishing the bottle and screaming at the dead-heads.
James delivers an ultimatum: "One more thing and
we're off." A can lands at his feet. He leads the band off.
After the Heineken promoter had appealed for calm the
Manics came back for four more songs, which hit home harder than any
missile. As another bottle missed a roadie by inches, anger and adrenaline
fired the band and they sounded better than I've ever heard them. 'Stay
Beautiful' was a bottle in the face of those hiding their deficiencies
in booze and belligerence, and the chorus could have been written for
the occasion. 'Motown Junk' followed, the ultimate comment on the brain-dead
brain-washed masses, only here to stop their brains thinking.. And 'You
Love Us* ("No you don't" added James) was totally appropriate,
the way it was meant to be, a glorious, self-confident, arrogant "fuck
off" to those too dazed and dazzled by beer and football, Queen
and country, mums and dads, to
It became obvious at the end that their performance had clicked with a few people. MSP had set imaginations alight. These few really did manage to wake up to the new flavour. Proving that the Manics are still more than mind-numbing entertainment. They're still very special, intelligent outsiders in a world of glitzy insanity : Spectator's of Suicide. And that made it worth raveling 226 miles to see 11 songs.
Yes. Manic Street Preachers really made sense tonight.