Manic Street Preachers have decided to continue as a trio. They will enter the studio next month to begin work on their fourth album, despite the continuing absence of guitarist Richey Edwards.
In a statement issued by the band last week, Nicky Wire explained: "We've sat down and discussed whether to record or not at great length, among ourselves and with Richey's family, and basically decided we would have a go. We have been rehearsing regularly for the last few months, and have over 20 new songs which have been written over the last year. The last six months have been very difficult for us, but we feel ready to start recording. We're just going to go into the studio and see how things go. There's no rush."
Manager Martin Hall added: "The police have followed up every lead they had, and their investigations have brought us no nearer to knowing Richey's whereabouts. There's been a lot of media speculation, and rumours flying around - but the facts are that since Richey walked out of the hotel on the first of February he hasn't contacted anyone, and there have been no 100 per cent positive sightings of him."