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Manics' New Art Riot 'Offensive' - NME, 31st March 2001

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Title: Manics' New Art Riot 'Offensive'
Publication: NME
Date: Saturday 31st March 2001


Burghers of Cardiff won't tolerate new artwork

Manic Street Preachers artwork containing expletives and images of male genitalia is being investigated by police after it was pulled down from a Cardiff advertising hoarding.

The 20ft by 10ft painting by the artist who painted the album cover to the Manics' new album, 'Know Your Enemy', was pulled down from an advertising hoarding shortly after it was put up. Cardiff County Council said there had been complaints and removed Neale Howells' painting from the Millennium Walkway two hours after it was put up.

A spokeswoman for Cardiff County Council told NME: "We had complaints from the public about the offensive nature of the artwork. It had been put up on council land and permission had not been applied for."

Asked what further action might bo taken. the spokeswoman said: "It's in the hands of the police."

The Manics had wanted the piece to be put up in tho Cardiff Bay area of the city but that was blocked by a billboard owner, who said the nature of the painting could lead to prosecution. In his work, Howells uses materials including slurry, house paints and body fluids to reflect tho angst-ridden cynicism Of the world. Nicky Wire asked the artist to paint the album sleeve after discovering his work at an exhibition.

Manic Street preachers' spokeswoman told NME: "They have not arrested Neale yet but he's been getting into trouble since he started. This time they didn't like having the word 'fuck' on a poster. The band are away in Europe but they just let him get on with it."

Meanwhile. "Know Your Enemy' failed to reach Number One in the album chart, losing out to singer-songwriter Eva Cassidy Who died in 1996. Cassidy's posthumous 'Songbird' album remained at Number One, while 'Know Your Enemy' went in at Number Two.