"We've Had Some Kind Of Revival" - Birmingham Mail - 7th December 2007
CONSIDERING they never really went away, it's odd to announce that the Manic Street Preachers are back.
After the Welsh trio released their seventh album, Lifeblood, late in 2004, the public saw a band seemingly coming to the end of their days - even their hardcore fans were disillusioned.
Their music had become formulaic, overly earnest and something an energetic, politically-charged group should never become - boring.
Thankfully, lifelong friends James Dean Bradfield, Sean Moore and Nicky Wire saw the same things, and decided to stop the rot.
So when they released their latest record Send Away The Tigers in May this year, they kick-started a resurgence that saw their best reviews in a decade. They've also won an armful of awards and a legion of new, young fans.
Only the combined pop powers of Beyonce and Shakira could keep them from the top of the singles chart in April, but whether it hit number one or not, Your Love Alone Is Not Enough, the Manics' duet with The Cardigans singer Nina Persson, is their best song in years and made music lovers sit up and take notice.
Their current tour, that sees them play Birmingham NIA tomorrow, seems like a perfect way to cap off a triumphant 12 months.
"It is, really," says singer and guitarist James. "There has been some kind of revival this year.
He appears solemn but James cracks self-deprecating jokes every other minute. For example, when explaining why he wanted The Enemy to join them as support on their last tour, he gushes about the young Coventry band's music and attitude, before revealing the real reason he offered the invite.
"I loved the fact they're all so short. When you've got a Napoleon complex like mine, you need a few fellow shorties around to empathise with!"
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Solo stuff is 'indulgent'
NICKY WIRE ON...
...releasing a solo record.
"The joy of it was that there was no pressure. With the Manics you get on a treadmill which gets mentally gruelling. The solo stuff is an artistic indulgence."
...performing Your Love Is Not Enough in concert. "James almost had a heart attack because there are so many words to sing. Live, it's rockier. We miss the subtlety of Nina. We make it more anthemic. There's no point James trying to impersonate her. It was written as a duet, a classic 60s duet, and Nina was always the first choice. She loved it.
... Coventry band The Enemy.
"They're the best new band this year. They are so fully formed. It's a great debut album and they're getting better and better. It's always hard for a three piece so they've done really well."
...the Manics' Christmas single.
"We wanted to record something in the style of Wizzard and Slade so we did The Ghost of Christmas which is a rock record with lots of sax. It's available as a free download as a thank you to our fans as we've had such a great year."
...the secret track on Send Away The Tigers. We used John Lennon's Working Class Hero as a warm up song when recording, and the engineers just taped it. The version on the album is totally live. The Plastic Ono Band album is one of the best ever.