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"If This Album Doesn't Make Us Or Our Audience Happy, Then Perhaps We Should Call It A Day" - The Western Mail, 4th May 2007

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Title: "If This Album Doesn't Make Us Or Our Audience Happy, Then Perhaps We Should Call It A Day"
Publication: The Western Mail
Date: Friday 4th May 2007
Writer: Claire Hill


Manic Street Preachers are heading for their first number one single in seven years, but bassist Nicky Wire is still warning that the band might quit.

Single Your Love Alone Is Not Enough is currently in the midweek charts at number one and is set to make it the third time the band has reached the top spot.

But bassist Wire has said that while their eighth solo album Send Away The Tigers is a return to form it was also a last crack at the whip to get it right musically.

He said that if this album did not satisfy, then "perhaps we should call it a day".

It comes 15 years after the band made a youthful promise that they would "release the best album ever, sell 20 million copies, then split up". Of course that never happened and the Manics went on to commercial success despite to loss of their troubled guitarist Richard Edwards whose mysterious disappearance haunts the band.

Wire made the comments in an interview with Welsh music journalist James McLaren who tells all in today's Box Office supplement.

McLaren reveals that outspoken musician Wire was conscious that after a few lacklustre albums the band had one more chance to make something that was both a commercial success and satisfying to the band members. It needed to be good both personally and creatively.

Wire said, "There's an element of s*** or bust this time. If this one doesn't make us or our audience happy, then perhaps we should call it a day.

"Luckily, I think we might have pulled it off."

According to Wire the band lost their way for a while, but this new album is a return to what he sees as a "proper" band.

Wire said, "We wanted to reclaim all the things that kind of made us."

Wire calls previous albums like Lifeblood "confusing" as he admitted that the band didn't really know who they were.

Straddling the awkward line between commercial respectability and staying true to their roots has failed to give the band much pleasure over the past few years.

Album Lifeblood stalled at number 13 in the charts and the announcement that both Wire and singer James Dean Bradfield were embarking on solo careers seemed to bode ill for the band who are seen as one of the most successful Welsh bands.

But it seems the time apart on other projects and the mixed reaction to their seventh studio album has allowed the band to get back on track.

Wire said, "The last two albums haven't sounded like Manic Street Preachers. So it feels glorious to be back."

Based on a mutual love of Tony Hancock shared by Wire, and guitarist Edwards - who disappeared 12 years ago - the album title has been taken from the comedian's description of his alcoholism.

While the band is heading out on the road next week to promote the album the tour was nearly in jeopardy after lead singer Dean Bradfield nearly chopped his finger off while cutting a loaf of bread.

The Blackwood-born singer was taken to the hospital after the accident last month.

However, the injury was less severe than first feared and the tour will be going ahead as planned.

The band open in Cambridge on Tuesday before coming to Cardiff for two dates at the university on Friday and Saturday.

The band will find out this Sunday if they reach the top spot with single Your Love Alone Is Not Enough featuring vocals from The Cardigans' singer Nina Persson.

The song is their 29th Top 30 single and they have previously topped the chart with If You Tolerate This... in 1998, and The Masses Against The Classes in 2000.