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Nicky Wire On His Favourite Manics Duets - The New Cue, 5th November 2021

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Nicky Wire On His Favourite Manics Duets
Publication: The New Cue
Date: Friday 3rd December 2021
Writer: Niall Doherty

This week, the Manics posted the first in a new series of playlists they have curated for Spotify. Titled I Live Through These Moments Again And Again, it collects the many excellent duets from across their career. Personally, my favourite Manics duet is when me and Tim Butler performed This Is Yesterday in assembly in Year 10 but that’s not on there, although Gruff Rhys doing Let Robeson Sing with them at the O2 from 2011 is and that’s a pretty good substitution. I asked Nicky Wire to talk us through five of his favourites, over to you Wire!:

4 Lonely Roads (Cate Le Bon)
“Cate was living in LA when we sent her this song. When the file came back, we were all blown away, we didn’t need to change a thing, it all just fitted perfectly. We left in the sound of her shoes as she walks to the mic at the start of the song. Little known fact - it’s the only Manics track that I play drums on. It took me three days because I had to record each drum separately.”

Divine Youth (Georgia Ruth)
“Initially we wanted Georgia to play the harp on the track; we all adored her track Week of Pines and wanted to get the same kind of sound. After she agreed to play, we realised that her voice would work too, so she ended up doing both. She brought her harp to our studio and watching her play was a work of art in itself. This track features one of my favourite ever lyrics.”

Between The Clock and The Bed (Green Gartside)
“This was a case of working with one of our heroes. We were a bit scared to ask him as we were such massive fans. We didn’t really give him any guidance, the results are absolutely magical, his phrasing and his harmonies are out of this world. A properly sublime vocal. “

Nothing Left to Talk About (Sarah Cracknell solo single)
“This is the only time I’ve ever been asked to sing on someone else’s record. I’ve loved Sarah’s voice since we were on Heavenly with her back at the start of it all. I ended up putting a lot of effort into the vocal as I was so thrilled that I’d been asked. The song reminded me of care free days listening to C86 records.”

Little Baby Nothing (Traci Lords)
“The one that started it all. It was Richey’s idea, he wrote most of the lyrics and believed that conceptually it would be brilliant as a duet, which it does. We’re eternally grateful to Traci for taking the call - it’s remarkable that she agreed, especially at that point in our career. Three decades later it’s still one of the building blocks of our live sets.”

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