Manic Street Preachers frontman James Dean Bradfield wound back the years to the band's very early days last night at Spillers record shop in Cardiff for just 50 fans. They had won a competition to say in less than 100 words why they should be there, writes Neil Collins.
Bradfield said: "The whole band has loved Spillers for such a long time. We used to come here regularly from the age of about 14 and used to buy everything from Husker Du to the June Brides, so it's great to finally have the chance to play here." Camera phones were thrust above heads and song requests were barked out in anticipation of the singer's arrival "on-stage" at 6pm.
Armed with just his acoustic guitar Bradfield belted out a short and sweet half-hour set consisting of six songs - three classics from the band's extensive back catalogue and three more tracks from the imminent ninth studio album Journal for Plague Lovers.
The performance came as supermarkets said they would be selling copies of Journal For Plague Lovers in a plain case because the cover image - a portrait by artist Jenny Saville - shows someone with a facial disfigurement. Bradfield said the situation was "utterly bizarre".