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Manics Goings On In Cuba - Glasgow Evening Times, 29th December 2000

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Title: Manics Goings On In Cuba
Publication: Glasgow Evening Times
Date: Friday 29th December 2000
Writer: Fraser Middleton

Manics goings on in Cuba

Manic Street Preachers' decision to premiere their new album in Cuba will be part of an campaign by the band to do things that little bit differently in future.

The Welsh group will unveil their sixth album at the 5000 capacity Karl Marx Theatre in the Caribbean island capital, Havana, in mid-February.

Manics bassist Nicky Wire said: "We're really rejuvenated in terms of songwriting, but all the other stuff that goes with bringing out albums has worn us down over the years.

"We've been making albums and touring for years, but now want to get off that treadmill and play gigs like the one in Cuba to give us something to look forward to."

"It's still early days, but we are planning to do loads of things that are a bit out of the ordinary from now on. We're getting a real buzz from the prospect of going to Havana and it's that sort of feeling about live shows that we want to keep up."

The Gwent group have revealed the as yet untitled forthcoming collection represents something of a return to the group's punky rock roots. That will come as a relief to many fans, including myself, who felt the group hit an all-time creative low with their 1998 album, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours.

"It's just a totally different type of record," says Nicky. "We perhaps stifled our natural instincts on the last album because we wanted to do something different, but we let ourselves go again this time."

The new collection will come out in late March, but Wire says all the band's efforts are currently being geared up to the Cuban trip.

"It's not a Che Guevara studenty sort of thing for us," he says. "Cuba, for me, is the last symbol of the fight against the Americanisation of the world. It hasn't given in."

Locals will be charged a mere 25 cents to see the Manics' show, which is the first by a Western rock band in the Communist state, and the concert is also expected to draw a huge influx of music media and travelling fans.

It's the sort of gig I really should be covering in the interests of, er, British rock music and its political role in the global picture of state against the soul and, er, all the other bits.