Walking through Cardiff this Saturday bank holiday, there was a staggering atmosphere thick with pride. With Cardiff City shirts filling the pubs prior to the match the following day, the other emblem emblazoned across t-shirts was vintage Manic Street Preacher logos of merch old and new.
The Manic Street Preachers are a band that far outgrow a legendary status. From their beginnings in Blackwood, the outfit endlessly push boundaries with important messages that are not only relevant but fundamentally integral. As the Motorpoint filled and the lights began to dim, the audience was met with the words of Albert Camus, the first of a series of messages projected throughout the night.
Starting with ‘International Blue’, from their most recent album ‘Resistance Is Futile’, it was evident from the outset that The Manics don’t falter in producing tracks that sound as if they have been cherished for years. With the set list featuring favourites ‘You Stole My Heart From The Sun’ and ‘The Masses Against The Classes’, established and fresher Manics material were all united with poetic verse and immeasurable power.
In the ever more uncertain political climate, the performance of ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’ was an awe-inspiring spectacle that defined the urgency of change as prevalent now as back in ’98. Followed came a trio of acoustic solos from James Dean Bradfeild’s trio of acoustic solos with the injection of some Franki Valli.
As always, away from song Bradfield and Wire exchange piercing humour. With Wire’s gritty rendition of Sex Pistols ‘No Feeling’, the raucous behaviour ceased to waver.
What makes Manic Street Preachers so revered is their endless ability to represent the distress, sorrow, joy and angst felt of those who have followed their journey and resonate with their beliefs. Standing in the Manics crowd, there were families that spanned across generations cherishing every moment, best friends holding each other and tears streaming down the faces of those overwhelmed with sheer pride.
Not only did the Manic’s give a stunning performance of cathartic anthems, they proved once again that they are a band that represent the heart of a nation. Their history and voice in society documents movements that remain life-defining to masses. Forever and always.