By Laura Ellis in Britain:
Live music: The Manic Street Preachers
Saturday 5th April 2014
02 Apollo, Manchester/Touring
The Manic Street Preachers are certainly marking a return to form – and their history – as they tour the country.
This gig is very much about the band’s own past and the south Wales mining towns where they grew up, even though the slogan “future is our only objective,” flashes up on the backdrop before the Manics set so much as a foot on stage.
2014 is the 20th anniversary of the Holy Bible album, peerless in many fans’ eyes. The Manics have shied away from playing too many songs from this era on previous tours but a beautiful acoustic version of This Is Yesterday tops off a trio of Bible songs, including Die In The Summertime and Archives Of Pain, much to the crowd’s delight.
Pre-Holy Bible classics such as Motorcycle Emptiness and You Love Us are proudly thrashed out and sound as good as ever, while the original music videos running behind give a reminder of where the Manics are from. And although they’ve come a long way from being angsty teenagers in Blackwood, they’ve not forgotten their roots.
Growing up in a mining community destroyed by Margaret Thatcher’s vicious government in the 1980s still has influence. Footage of the miners’ strike is projected on to the huge backdrop during their anti-Thatcher song 30-Year War and at that point I zone out of the music – a picture really is worth a thousand words.
Rewind The Film is another highlight, although it was the haunting music video – filmed in former mining village Trehafod, another nod to south Wales – which overshadowed the performance. Check out the music video on YouTube, it is that good.
This music video is called Manic Street Preachers – Rewind the Film ft. Richard Hawley.
Lyrics are here.
The set was peppered with some of the Manics’ most commercially successful songs including Everything Must Go, If You Tolerate This, Masses Against The Classes and A Design For Life – the latter ending their set, complete with more projections of thought-provoking quotes.
They play only two songs from forthcoming album Futurology, lead track Europa Geht Durch Mich/Europe (Dreaming A City) and Futurology. But they’re somewhat buried among numbers that so thrillingly stand the test of time.
Touring Britain until April 12, details: www.manicstreetpreachers.com/events.