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Live: Manic Street Preachers - Horse And Groom, London - Melody Maker, 7th October 1989

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ARTICLES:1989



Title: Live: Manic Street Preachers - Horse And Groom, London
Publication: Melody Maker
Date: Saturday 7th October 1989
Writer: Bob Stanley


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MM071089.jpg



Uptight, everything's alright. Fresh from their "Suicide Alley" debut single, this is the first London date of Manic Street Preachers. Bluntly, they are a four piece from South Wales with a '77 fixation and more than a few cutting melodies – I'd hesitate to call them angry you men because I don't believe the drummer was even born in 1977. They also have a natty line in shirts, all spray painted with slogans like "suicide beat", "classified machine", "England needs revolution now", reminiscent of primetime Ago Of Chance but I’m sure they’d mash my face if I suggested it. They look so intense as they hurtle through the barbed-wire jagged "New Art Riot" (so much snarling and synchronised kicks in the air, detractors could claim them as a triumph of attitude over content), I feel like shouting "lighten up!" But they do anyway: after the first song the singer – with regulation sharp haircut – shyly stammers "Th-thanks, that’s the most applause we’ve ever had." And I’m won over. As for the rest of the audience, come are almost hysterical but then that could just be nostalgia.

Right now, Manic Street Preachers are too reverential, they’ve got to loosen up and translate their undoubted ferocious potential from their shirts to their guitars. As it stands they already have the attitude, tunesmanship and hungry youth to show laff punch merchants like The Family Cat and Mega City 4 where to get off. Given enough rope they could become champions.