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"Now We Can Focus On The Future" - Glasgow Evening Times, 8th July 1996

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Title: "Now We Can Focus On The Future"
Publication: Glasgow Evening Times
Date: Monday 8th July 1996


The cloud which has followed Manic Street Preachers for 16 months is finally giving way to the odd ray of sunshine,

The return to form of the Welsh stars on their recent Everything Must Go album vindicated their decision to carry on regardless following the mysterious disappearance of guitarist Richey James in February 1995.

In more simplistic terms, it's also demonstrated that the band could function as a three-piece after losing one of their two most influential members.

Everything Must Go is an album to be proud of - and bassist Nicky Wire only hopes Richey is still alive to hear it.

"I know in my heart of hearts that he would share our enthusiasm about the record. There was never any doubt in our minds that we would carry on without him - it's what he would have wanted us to do, as well."

There's now signs that the Manics are tiring of reflecting back on the events surrounding their guitarist's disappearance and subsequent whereabouts.

They'd like to look to a brighter future and now display slight irritation when the past is brought up.

Nicky says: "I can understand the intrigue because Richey's not surfaced, but people have to understand that we have to go on regardless of whether he's dead or walks in the door tomorrow."

Opinion is divided on whether the latter is likely, but one suspects a hand-on-heart poll wouldn't reveal encouraging results.

It all seemed so different early last year, when James had recovered from a variety of medical disorders, mostly drink-related, and seemed hell-bent on making up for lost time with the band.

The Manics had been continuing an extraordinary run of popularity and plans to record Everything Must Go were being put in place.

Nicky admits: "It stunned us for a good few months. We kept hoping for him to turn up."

"But after a while we just had to pull ourselves together - Concentrating on our work was a good way of getting over that initial shock."

"This album has been the hardest to complete emotionally, but I'm glad we've proved we were capable of making it."

Reaction to Everything Must Go and to the band's recent sell-out UK tour has been fantastic - much to Nicky's relief.

He says: "We were a bit tense before the album came out, but its reception has given us a real buzz and maybe now we can really focus on the future."