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Manics Paved The Way For New Welsh Bands - South Wales Echo, 25th August 1998

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Title: Manics Paved The Way For New Welsh Bands
Publication: South Wales Echo
Date: Tuesday 25th August 1998
Writer: Allison Stokes


They set to be to be the most important rock band of the 90s and on their form, the Manic Street Preachers, look like fulfilling their promise by the end of the millennium.

This week sees the release of the new single, If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next. The song, which was inspired by a Welsh farmer who joined the International Brigade to fight Franco's fascists in Spain, is already being tipped to topple Boyzone off the number one spot on Sunday.

Their fifth album, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, comes out on Monday, 14. and is their first since the Brit-winning Everything Must Go of two years ago.

Its title born on a wet Friday night on Tredegar mountain when bass player and lyricist Nicky Wire and his brother Patrick attended a celebration of the life of former local MP and NHS founder Aneurin Bevan.

"They were reading out his speeches and this was one of his favourite phrases," said Nicky.

"The album is also the first to be truly written without missing guitarist and song-writer Richey Edwards, whose disappearance more than three years ago brought the band to a crisis point.

After taking more than a year out they came back with Everything Must Go, which saw them make the transition from cult band to the arena filling rockers.

"I feel as if during the process of making this album freed ourselves from certain aspects of our history," said frontman James Dean Bradfield.

"This album is much more sure in its content, it's not the sound of a band struggling with itself."

"Lyrically it's just my world - the world I exist in and the things that make me sad and make me happy." said Nicky.

"With the last album we strived for a sense of beauty and purity and got it on certain songs. But there was still a sense of euphoria - that we were still together and actually making music, and still got that real Manics rush. You still get it on this album, but it's more subtle."

It's been almost 10 years since the from boys from Blackwood burst onto a music scene starved of Welsh greatness. It was 1989 and the charts were still getting over the reign of Cardiff's denim-clad rock'n'roller Shakin' Stevens.

Then came four teenagers who sat around one another's bedrooms listening to The Clash and reading poetry and got into trouble at school for sticking their hair up in spikes.

Nicky's penchant for wearing frocks and makeup earned him nicknames like Gaylord and Shirley from his classmates.

In their tight white jeans and makeup, they proclaimed to make one massive album, then split up.

That album, Generation Terrorists, came and so did three more.

"We took an amazing amount of stick and patronising in the beginning. Every mention of us contained the words sheep, leeks, daffodils and boyos." said Nicky, who still lives in the Valleys with his wife, Rachel and three Dyson vacuum cleaners.

"We took a lot of stick for the young pups coming out of Wales now," said Nicky, who proudly draped his Welsh dragon flag on the stage when they picked up their Brit Awards for best band and album two years ago.

"We've always been anti-fashion. We have always created our own fashion no matter how naff or stupid we looked."