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Manics Wallow In Nostalgia And Celebrate Their Design For Life - The Western Mail, 24th July 2002

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KAREN PRICE Arts and Media Correspondent

THEY may have faced a long and often arduous battle to get to the top but now Manic Street Preachers are releasing a Greatest Hits album and embarking on a UK tour as they celebrate 13 years together.

The album, Forever Delayed, will be released on October 28 and on December 1 they will kick off their 10date tour in Dublin. It will end at Cardiff International Arena on December 15.

But despite the release of a Greatest Hits album, the Blackwoodbased band says it does not signal the end for the Manics.

Bassist Nicky Wire told music website nme.com that ``no decision about their future had been taken.

``Greatest Hits albums are something I've always loved. It's an excuse for us to wallow in a bit of nostalgia, said Wire, who is also compiling a new book of images by Manics photographer Mitch Ikeda to coincide with the album's launch.

The tour will also provide the group with a chance to relive their memories as the set will be largely drawn from their 27 Top 40 hits.

Last year the Manics performed a warm-up gig at Cardiff International Arena before headlining the Carling Festival at Reading and Leeds. They also performed a concert in Havana, Cuba and embarked on a mini-UK tour before the release of their album Know Your Enemy. But the new shows will make up the band's biggest arena tour since they released the Everything Must Go and This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours albums. Ian Brown will provide the support.

The Manic Street Preachers are now one of the biggest bands in the UK, having topped the music charts with their albums and singles and ac-quired a mass of industry awards. But they have faced a number of hurdles in their quest to make the big time, the biggest of which was the disappearance of the band's fourth member Richey Edwards on February 1, 1995.

Edwards, who had suffered depression, had been due to fly to America to take part in a series of media interviews but instead left his room at the London Embassy Hotel in Bayswater, drove to his Cardiff Bay flat, where he left his passport, and vanished. His silver Vauxhall Cavalier was later found at the Severn View services near the Severn Bridge.

The future of the Manics was in doubt but the remaining band members - James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore - later staged a comeback with their biggest hit at that time, A Design for Life, which became a rock anthem. One of their greatest moments was undoubtedly their performance at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on New Year's Eve 1999.

Thousands of fans crammed into the venue to welcome in the new millennium with the Manics.