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A Seaside Postcards From The Manics - Gazette, April/May 2011

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Title: A Seaside Postcards From The Manics
Publication: Gazette
Date: April/May 2011


After walking the dog - an "enthusiastic" seven-month old boxer pup - and popping to the butcher to pick up something for dinner, James Dean Bradfield picks up the phone for a quick chat.

While the passage of time may have seen the band members settle down a little, the enduring appeal of Manic Street Preachers certainty has not.

The band's latest album, Postcards From A Young Man, went straight into the top 10, following on from the success of 2009's Journal For Plague Lovers which featured lyrics left to the band by guitarist Richey Edwards before he disappeared in 1995.

Having formed at Oakdale Comprehensive School in 1986, the Manics exploded on to the music scene in the early with celebrated debut Generation Terrorists.

Their popularity grew over the next few years and continued to do so after Edwards' disappearance, the band winning Best British Band and album at the Brits in 1996 and 1999. Their 2004 album, Lifeblood, had a mixed reception but two years tater they were back on form again.

"We had a process at the start of the band where Nick and Rich would give us lyrics and Sean and I would spend time seeing if they inspired music," the singer continued.

"In 99 we started experimenting a bit more and between 2000 an 2004 we made some of our most patchy records.

"In 2006, with Send Away The Tigers, we went back to the source, writing the songs and then taking them into the studio. If the song didn't work in the first 15 minutes, if we instinctively bounce off each other, we knew that song wasn't going to work.

"I'm glad of the fact we haven't become a museum band. You have a lot of bands now reforming to play their best albums because they don't have the new material.

"But on the tour we did before Christmas we were playing at least five new songs and the two new singles went down the best all night.

"I think it shows we are still connecting with the audience. It makes you feel you are still a creatively viable entity."

Last month the band really did return to their roots. playing their first show in 25 years in their hometown of Blackwood.

"I'm still a Blackwood lad," James said emphatically, "My optician is there, I still go for fish'n'chips and my dad still works there so it's not as if I was going back and saying 'My god it's changed'.

'"It did feel different because were playing there for the first time since 1986. It was a lot more soothing - a comfy, warm experience which was the opposite to playing Newport Central which was a barnstorming gig with a drunken Saturday night crowd.

"Blackwood was like a family gathering, you saw people in the crowd you recognised from when you were growing up."