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Manic Street Preachers, O2 Academy Birmingham

December 16, 2010

The Manic Street Preachers are my favourite band, and one of the many reasons for this is their undeniably brilliant live performances and this show was no exception. Despite battling against the flu singer James Dean Bradfield managed his usual feat of vocal excellence, although at many points in the night he was almost drowned out by the fervent singing of the crowd in front of him who were clearly relishing the opportunity to see the band in a venue far smaller than the arenas they usually tour.

Nicky Wire made sarcastic references to their latest forays into television appearances, some of which were met with predictable cries of ‘sell out’ on their own website from fans. Personally, I think that ‘sell out’ should be reserved for those who choose to hawk car insurance, or butter. I’m looking at you Iggy Pop & John Lydon. “Anyone fancy a Chicken Kiev after the show? I’m cooking them, badly” made light of his appearance on Something For The Weekend and, once he’d made the customary change into a skirt after James’ acoustic renditions of ‘You Stole The Sun From My Heart’ and ‘Last Christmas’ he said he should have worn the outfit on Strictly Come Dancing, something that I’d have definitely liked to see. They played fan favourites from their extensive back catalogue, opening with ‘You Love Us’ and throwing in ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ early on, a song that draws high levels of applause and incites the crowd to sing just that little bit louder, and move that little bit more energetically . Highlights were the acoustic version of  ‘You Stole The Sun From My Heart’ and ‘Ocean Spray’, one of my favourite songs of theirs. The obligatory cover of ‘Last Christmas’, was made all the more festive by the freezing temperatures outside, it is touches like always playing this song near christmas that make the band’s live show truly special. As always, they finished with ‘A Design For Life’ and they finish triumphant, safe in the knowledge that both they, and the fans have had an exceptional night.

Set List

You Love Us
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
Motorcycle Emptiness
(It’s Not War) Just The End of Love
Everything Must Go
Roses in the Hospital
This Is Yesterday
Ocean Spray
Some Kind of Nothingness
La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)
Motown Junk
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
You Stole The Sun From My Heart (Acoustic)
Last Christmas (Acoustic)
No Surface All Feeling
Golden Platitudes
Suicide is Painless (Theme from M*A*S*H)
A Design For Life


Wayne Murray, the guitarist with the Manic Street Preachers currently has an E.P out with his own band, The Boy Who Cried Wolf who can be heard on his myspace HERE


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