James Dean Bradfield played a solo, acoustic gig in a pub in Santa Monica, California, on January 15. He sang four songs at St Stephen's Green, a faux Irish pub, for an audience composed mostly of industry types from Virgin Records
and EMI Music Distribution.
Virgin is releasing the Manics' album, "This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours", on April 27 in the States - after Epic reportedly heard it and turned it down.
The unannounced gig came as a surprise to the pub regulars, who had no idea they were in the presence of greatness until Bradfield was introduced as 'the lead singer of the biggest band in Britain and soon to be America - James Dean Bradfield".
As the industry reps munched fish and chips and knocked back copious quantities of free Guinness, James launched into "You Stole The Sun From My Heart". The 100-strong audience were visibly impressed by Bradfield's mighty lung-power, reaching them through a surprisingly competent sound system.
The singer initially appeared a little nervous, but he quickly relaxed into the performance, following on with "The Everlasting", which highlighted his vocal abilities with its high-end, hymn-like pinnacles.
James introduced the third number, "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next", as "a song inspired by Barcelona". He had barely begun, when he was tripped up by a loose microphone stand. Bradfield tried to follow the
swivelling mic around as he sang, but gave up with a chuckle and a resounding "Fuck!" After tightening the stand, he started again and made a triumphant recovery, as he proved the song's effectiveness in the acoustic form.
Bradfield closed the set with "A Design For Life", which he noted, rather sheepishly, had become 'the world's biggest drinking anthem".
The Manics, meanwhile, have released details of their next single. Nicky Wire told Radio 1 's The Net that it will be "You Stole The Sun From My Heart", with "a really amazing mix by David Holmes as well", and it will be released
by Epic on St David's Day, March 1.
Their spokespeople have no details yet of the B-sides. The band also told The Net that they will perform at the Brit Awards at the London Arena on February 16.