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Cardiff You Tolerate This - Melody Maker, 19th September 1998

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Title: Cardiff You Tolerate This
Publication: Melody Maker
Date: Saturday 19th September 1998
Writer: Paul Mathur
Photos: Stephen Sweet

MM190998 (1).jpg

So you thought the festival season was over? Well almost but not quite...We go to Cardiff and see the Manics, Ash, Robbie Williams and Republica blow the roof off the Radio 1 tent

Manic Street Preachers have gone way beyond promises. And a short set on home turf compromising "Australia", "If You Tolerate This.", "Everything Must Go" (retitled "Bobby Gould Must Go" for the night), "Tsunami" and "A Design For Life" isn't about to introduce any spanners into the works. The "Wales, Wales" chants are truly thrilling, crash and burn blitzpop remains entirely irresistible and the whole is playfully invincible. Next year, you'll see how they deal with circling beyond drama and bravado to become what they were when they started. Only this time, the loose cannons have a recoil that can crumple the stars. It's going to be interesting.

The truth, the whole truth. Backstage with Sean and Nicky Manic

How are you?

Sean: "Fine, thanks."

Nicky: "Yeah, not too bad. A bit tired. It's very early. I wanted to lie in bed and watch the Commonwealth Games this morning, but I had to be dragged down here to do a soundcheck."

What are you first impressions of the set-up here?

Nicky: "I actually came to see Super Furry Animals down here, I think it was two years ago, and they did a tent thing. It was only 2,000, but it was fantastic. So I'm sure today will be good as well."

What are your memories of Cardiff gigs? The first gig you played in Cardiff...

Nicky: "There were two people there - one was Richey's sister."

Sean: "At The Square Club"

Nicky: "And the other person there was our manager. Who was actually mental." How much time have you spent in Cardiff in the past?

Nicky: "Absolutely loads. All our shopping trips were down here. James used to bush here all the time. And then we'd busk together."

Sean: "And we recorded `The Holy Bible' here as well."

Can you remember any gigs that you went to around here?

Nicky: "Yeah, I remember seeing Sonic Youth in the university. Bob Mould. Sean went to see Gary Numan in St David's Hall." How's it been going for you over the last week.

Compared to "Everything Must Go", has it been more relaxed this time?

Nicky: "Not at all. It seems like the most hectic I've ever been in my life. I'm so disorganised. I'm a very organised person and I just don't know where the hell I am. We've been to Madrid and Stockholm and everywhere else in the last couple of days. We had a day off yesterday and now it's back into it."

You can't enjoy not being at home very much...

Nicky: "I hate it. I got home yesterday. I did a bit of cleaning and then I tried to pack and then I wanted to take the dog for a walk and then I wanted to go and see the ice hockey. So it was cramming everything in."

Any great European interviews?

Sean: "I was asked what was my favourite Black Sabbath line-up and I had to admit that I didn't like Black Sabbath."

Nicky: "Well, it has to be the first line-up. The classic line-up."

Sean: "That's what I said. it has to be Ozzy. Or nothing." You had some champagne when you were Number One.

So have you rediscovered alcohol?

Nicky: "No, it made me feel terrible actually. But it had to be done. It's not very often you're Number One. It's probably our first and last time."

How did you cope with getting up the next morning?

Sean: "Actually I got up at 8am. And I did my soundcheck at 'TFI' and went up to 'TOTP' and did it all fine. Very professional."

Nicky: "Whenever Sean gets wrecked he makes a point of showing he's hard the next day. Whereas I'm lying in bed going 'cancel everything'."

Whose idea was the Truth Box?

Nicky: "Kind of ours and our product manager, Angie, who we're very close to. We've done ours and they're mainly concerned with James' feet."

Favourite tracks off the album?

Nicky: "`My Little Empire'."

Sean: "'Tsunami'. 'The Everlasting'."

Has James learned all his lines?

Nicky: "You ought to have heard him in Ireland. 'Doo da doo doo da doo, la tristessa: Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine, he was. Mind you, I couldn't remember the bass parts, so I can't have a go at him."

How do you function as a band just before you go onstage? How do the nerves manifest themselves?

Nicky: "Toilet for me. You just get very nervous. Number ones."

And James?

Nicky: "You hear him doing a bit of an operatic warm-up."

Sean: "He normally screams his head off."

Nicky: "He does his warm-up and then he has a whisky and a fag."