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Manics Prepare For Millennium - The Western Mail, 31st December 1999

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Title: Manics Prepare For Millennium
Publication: The Western Mail
Date: Friday 31st December 1999
Writer: Tony Woolway

Two of the Manic Street Preachers sauntered down the players' tunnel and into the pitchless Millennium Stadium yesterday with just a touch of nerves ahead of tonight's concert. The third Manic, Sean Moore, presumably felt he has done too much preaching and left all the talking to the more loquacious members, Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield.

It is the biggest concert in the band's history, the biggest concert in Wales' history and is being held on a day of historical importance.

It's not surprising that the band have some worries ahead of the event.

"I'm worried about forgetting the words," said lead singer James Dean Bradfield.

"You've never worried about that before," bassist and lyricist Wire said to him. "But this time I am," said Bradfield, reflecting the importance of the sell-out gig to the band from Blackwood, who in 10 years have gone from playing pubs to selling out stadiums.

Wire said, "Ten years ago we did a gig in Cardiff to two people. Today we're playing in front of 57,000 people. I think that shows how far we've come, how far we have grown and how much Wales has grown."

The Manic Millennium concert forms the centre piece of Wales' New Year's Eve celebrations and caps off a decade of excellence from the most successful band ever to come out of Wales. The stadium, which resounded to the roar of rugby crowds during the World Cup, is now ready for its next challenge - to host the largest indoor concert ever held in Britain.

Tonight's line-up includes sets from Super Furry Animals, Feeder and Shack. The Manics will play for around two-and-a-half hours with a gap in the middle, to allow for the small matter of the millennium.

"It is pretty much a greatest hits package plus a few surprises,' said Wire. 'James will play an acoustic set after midnight and then we finish with the bigger hits."