Manic Street Preachers

Leciester Arena

June 2

Well, in my opinion the support band were cack. Just not my sort of thing at all. Can't remember the name except it was something long winded and pretentious, bit like the music really. Bzzzzzt, next please.

Well, after a wait that was way too long, given the temperature in the venue, they emerged to a backing tape which was playing a very orchestrated version of A Design for Life. The wait was worth it though with Nicky Wire announcing that Wales were 5-0 up against San Marino at that point, which given our recent form is a godsend and a miracle. Err, anyway, back to the gig, Australia off the new Everything Must Go album kicks things off, and from that moment really it's just a greatest hits selection. I guess that in a way is the trouble for the band these days. With four cracking albums under their belt, and still only playing 1 1/4 hour shows with no encore, they can only really fit in alot of the hits. But anyway, we get, in not the correct order, Faster and Yes from The Holy Bible, From Despair to Where, Life becoming ... and La Tristesse ... from the Gold Against the Soul album and Little Baby Nothing from Generation Terrorists.

During all of this, James proves, again, that he is the musical driving force behind the band, combining as he does, all guitares vocals, and nearly all the movement on stage. Nicky Wire is still as gangly as ever, and seems to put in intermittent bursts of energy, but Bradfield is the man that carries everything.

Everything Must GO, the title track of the current album, receives a good ovation, and is one of the mose upbeat and postiive sounding tracks they;ve recorded, although with a lyric of 'We just hope you can forgive us, Everything must go...' you do wonder if there is a little more to the meaning than meets the eye.

Enola/Alone, and the last song of the album whose title I can't think of at the moment were also played, as was the acousticy song, during a 3 song solo acoustic section by Bradfield. 'We have the acoustic guitar, we are serious artist - nah, bollocks' as he put it. Except it was in like a mock spanish or something accent, with of course his Welsh accent thrown in. It's a bugger to try and get rid of.

Motown Junk gets one of the biggest responses of the night, and some of the most energy from Wire, and, predictably enough, Design for Life and Motorcycle Emptiness seem to go down fairly well with the crowd, to the extent that possibly a pair of knickers are thrown on stage. At least Wire was laughing and said 'he's becoming Tom Jones', then handed said garments over for Bradfield to tie round the neck.

Kevin Carter, one of the best moments of the new album is surprisingly played, no Interiors though :( and You Love Us as ever finishes things, with Wire on his knees, doing er, karaoke version of the song, and once more they leave not to return.

Nice to see them back.