While we're all, I'm sure, very concerned at the news of Manic Street Preachers frontman Richey James' illness (he was hospitalised last month with a diagnosis of "nervous exhaustion") and hope for a full and speedy recovery, can we please have a bit less of the snivelling, moaning, groaning and all-round revolting self-pitying whinging from the rest of the band which is currently plastered all over the music press. People who have this attitude to the world are virtually guarantee that they're going to make themselves sick.
The fact is that the Manics are a less talented and competent band than most South Wales outfits, elevated above their ability. They should think themselves lucky to have made names for themselves at all. All this self-loathing "we hate rock" posturing doesn't even have the saving grace of being original, but then, neither does their music.
None of which means that they might not develop into real musicians: you know, the kind who actually have a feel for the music, can exploit the full potential of their instruments and have something to say apart from how much they hate everything to do with the craft which is their trade. They really ought to have outgrown this adolescent posturing by now.
The Preachers nihilistic ranting is, of course, the very essence of rock. It's just their hard luck if they don't have the talent or the ambition to control and transcend rock's self-indulgence and create something original. Like any other artform, rock has the potential to expand our personal awareness and understanding of the world and ourselves, or it can degenerate into mere pop pap. Which is where the Manics are headed. Get better soon, Richey, and for God's sake get real, Manics.
The new Manic Street preachers album The Holy Bible is now out on the Columbia label. The band are scheduled to play the Cardiff Astoria on October 20th.