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April Blog - www.manicstreetpreachers.com, 17th April 2007

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ARTICLES:2007



Title: April Blog
Publication: www.manicstreetpreachers.com
Date: Tuesday 17th April 2007


April 17th 2007, a quick audience with Nicky Wire, a hotel room in London. England are playing South Africa at cricket n silently in the background. He is drinking hot chocolate.

We did the first gig of the campaign, our first official gig I'd say, in Cologne on the weekend. It was heart-warmingly full...scarily so. There were some brilliant hardcore fans from the UK there, the true Secret Society Girls. I must add that they were dressed in cheerleader outfits with TEAM WIRE written in glitter across their chests. I think James and Sean just took that one on the chin. There was lovely kid from Ireland there... actually, to be honest it was a lot of the people who turned up at all of my solo gigs! There were some lovely German fans we've known right from the start. I did my usual bit of German speaking, post "I Killed The Zeitgeist". 'Sehnsucht!' 'Ich heise Nicky Wire, das ist der Manic Street Preachers!" I got worried that it made it sound like I was saying it was my band. When we were in Germany, I got given this brilliant book that has been being compiled for years, which is pieces of art by alternative rock stars - mine's the best in there, obviously! It's a beautifully done book. Maximo Park's one is brilliant, very architectural. Ricky Wilson's is good, it's quite Matisse like I think I was the only one who sent them the physical painting too. I was tactile...

Shit, England are f**ked there...

Anyway, that was really good, the first gig, first time we've properly played tracks off "Send Away The Tigers". We did 5 new tracks, a few oddities as well. "Freedom Of Speech Won't Feed My Children", I don't think we've played that in about 6 years, that was really good. Off the new record, we played "Send Away The Tigers", "I'm Just A Patsy" "Autumn Song", "Your Love Alone" which James is finding really hard without Nina, 'cos he's literally getting out of breath, having to sing all the words, all the replies, it doesn't leave him much room to move... we did "Underdogs" as well. 5 new ones, plenty of old ones. As far as first gigs go, there were no real disasters. Then we drove all the way back to Heathrow, dropped Sean off, flew to Dublin, did a load of promo, James did a couple of acoustic sessions. We've got a Top 20 airplay hit in Ireland, very good reaction over there... we just confirmed Electric Picnic over there too. Nina's coming in tomorrow, we're doing E4, T4 - you know, whatever all those f**king young children's programmes are (due to be broadcast the weekend of the 22nd April). We're doing 'Transmission' down in Swansea, in the Brangwyn Hall. We played there on the second 'Lifeblood' tour, it's got these huge murals on the wall, it's really beautiful. We're back in Swansea doing Fflam later in the year too. We're hoping Nina will be good to do a couple of festivals with us, hopefully Hultsfred in Sweden and Glastonbury. V Festival, we'd love her to that but that's a bit far away to plan...

England just lost another wicket - for 8 - the World Cup is over. This is the last chance saloon for England, imagine they'll be sent home, imagine the coach will be sacked from the one day side after this, 'cos it's been awful...unless they bowl South Africa out...

Coming back from Germany, we had a great service stop. I do think I am the person who should stand up for British service stations, there's always some cunty chef on BBC 2 saying how "As a kid I was driving through France and there were these great services where they served beautiful bread and free range chicken." Yeah, where's the f**king fruit machines and video games, where's the f**king M&S food shop, where's the brilliant stationary shop where you buy any magazine. You go into one in France and they've still got Betamax videos and some dusty fucking antiques, just 'cos you can buy a belly of pork people think it's great. Services are are fantastic. Reading services are f**king genius. I could fucking live there. Costa Coffee... food that's just been there, getting crisp for hours on end, a breakfast that's been there for 8 hours, dried out and shrivelled up, I f**king love that...

On the bus, the whole 'garden shed' bus journey, consisted of repeated listens to "Marquee Moon", the first Goldie Lookin' Chain album... you forget how much that record makes you smile. The tour bus now, and this is how much things have changed, the bus has a hard disc facility with 300 films on it. Sean was in his element. We watched "25th Hour", "Blood Diamond", "Equus" (the Richard Burton version which was really f**king grim), "The Thick Of It - the whole first series. Listened a lot to the Bright Eyes album, which I've absolutely fallen in love with. The first four songs are awesome. The lyrics... I have to say I don't think there are too many people who write better lyrics than me but he really does write some amazing words. The rhymes he gets out of words too...

The other week, I had a very rare night out in London, dragged kicking and screaming by all of James' mates to the Jon Savage book launch. It was a brilliant turn out for the boy - Johnny Marr, Edwyn Collins, Nicky Wire. Jon was in a beautiful checked lilac jacket mixed with a lilac polo neck. He looked on fine form. The book is brilliant, highly recommended by me, a heavy read, really f**king good...

So other than that we're about to start another load of rehearsing, we've got about 6 radio sessions coming up. We're trying to rehearse in London then weu'll be on the never-ending tour - the Bob Dylan Manics tour of the UK. Now it's less Springsteen, we're more like the 'Rolling Thunder Revue' At the moment, support wise, I think The Enemy are doing a few, Fear Of Music are doing a few. Davo is roadie-ing for us AND playing support as Johnny Boy on 3 nights which is a big call for him. The Little Ones are supposed to be doing a few but there is a question mark at the moment over them. The Enemy were on Soccer AM the other day talking about doing it, the singer is really f**king bright in interviews. F**king young too...

Finally, one brilliant thing for us, this time around we've actually got a release in America. That's the first time in a while. Red Ink are putting it out there. There you go - Nicky Wire's f**king solo career pays dividends again!!!