As Manic Street Preachers tour their 14th album, Resistance is Futile, Getintothis’ Peter Goodbody was at Manchester Arena to see they’ve still got plenty about them.
The Manchester Arena stop off was a sell out as 20,000 fans came to cheer on the Boys from Blackwood. It’s clear, even 14 albums in, they still have a massive draw.
Some of the early venom from the Richey years may have gone, but there’s still a passion and a sense of energy about them. Especially from Nicky Wire as he prowls around the stage, hardly ever stopping to stand still.
JDB has the voice to strike fear into anyone who gets too close, with a statement of intent right from the off as the band launch into International Blue from the new album – the kind of barnstorming, glam rock that seems to have been the Manics strong point over the years.
— Jonathan Cook (@Jmcook1975) April 28, 2018
It’s a spectacular show, that’s for sure. The Manics have never been lost for words and inspiring quotes are flashed onto the screen behind them, even before they take the stage.
“The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul” is the chosen adage to get the crowd in the right frame of mind while waiting for the band to appear. It’s a quote from the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, although quite what the crowd made of it is anyone’s guess. Then there was “Life is all memory except for the one present moment that goes by so quickly you hardly catch it going” from Tennessee Williams, albeit somewhat overlapping into Stephen Hawking ‘A Brief History of Time‘ territory.
This seems to be the way of The Manics. Always with something to say about anything you can think of. Let that continue. The world is a better place for them, even if, perhaps, they no longer have the shock value they once had and they no longer feel the need to carve 4REAL into their forearms, as Richey once notoriously did when asked the question by an NME journo. Nevertheless they still shout it loud from terraces and, mostly to good effect.
I F Y O U
T O L E R A T E T H I S
T H E N
Y O U R C H I L D R E N
W I L L
N E XT
Those words struck a chord 20 years ago, but resonate now more than ever.
Watching the #ManicStreetPreachers in Manchester.
— Poetry in Data (@PoetryInData) April 28, 2018
The Coral were tonight’s support and they too have a pretty impressive back catalogue from which to draw. They also have a new album to push. Move Through the Dawn is set for an August 17 release and tonight’s set was a decent advert for the new album – ‘Thanks, Manchester for getting here early to see us‘. To be fair, the Arena was nearly full for them too. Say no more.
Images by Getintothis’ Peter Goodbody