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Reading! Steady! "Go"! - Melody Maker - 30th August 1997

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ARTICLES:1997



Title Reading! Steady! "Go"!
Publication Melody Maker
Date Saturday 30th August 1997


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MelodyMaker300897.jpg



STREET PREACHERS • T-shirt condemned Reading as "Cultural Chernobyl" , Nicky Wire greeted The Kids with "Vou don't 'arf stink, you lot" and hospitalised a security guard. In 1997, James Dean Br adfield describes Reading as "our spiritual home". This is nota volte-face. sell-out or turnaround: with this most contrary, contradictory of bands, both are astrue 'false as they ever were. tonight's show — a full Stop to the "Everything Must GO" era — could be either a reconciliation or a nuclear cataclysm. The war within the Mani fanbase has been simmering all weekend, the tiara-and-glitter Nation Of Richey kids and fake Ralph Lauren Polo squaddies eyeing each other with mutual suspicion (interestingly, the "Old Skool" fans are generally youngerthan the ones who are hereforthe "we only wanna get drunk" song). rm not above taking sides, not least when some degenerate tub of lard tries to steal my crown and I literally have to wrestle him for it, but this mass market is exactly what the Preachers always craved, needed, deserved. The day after the Manics have been in town , provincial shopping centres are full of townies with the words VIOLENCE FOR EQUALITY and HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE on their backs. That, my -4 children, is power, and, if t can be crass enough for a moment to put it like this, it's what Richey would have wanted. Whether this is the best Manics show ever seen I can'ttell you (although it's certainly in the Top 10). Whatl can tell you is that The Wire is frocked-up for the first time since 1993, flashing his packet through a transparent camouflage number (a tenner in the Warehouse sale this afters). And thatJames' pre-rambleto Motown Junk" , combining both The Supremes with The Situationists, is arguably the definitive Manics Moment. And that there' a new song. "Ready For Drowning" moves from a Stax organ intro into handsome, elegiac AOR. Like "Australia " , it's another escape song— "I'd go to Patagonia, but it's harder there" —and, as a drunken, bony finger-jabbing Wire will later explain in the bar, a deeply moral song. Another novel developmentis the Little & Large-style double acy between the twin frontmen (Alas Bradfield and Jones?). Wire: "Ooh, ooh, baby! So what crap have you got tomorrow? " JOB: "Hey, I like a bit of Metallica!" Wire: "Aah, where's your bloody dress?" JDB: " Just cos you wear a bloody dress, woooh! Slapstick aside, much of MSP•s set is almost unbearably shot through With poignancy — "Enola/ Alone" , "Small Black Flowers" , (Oh, Jesus) "No Surface All Feeling" — and "Yes" is almosttoo much even for James: he still skips that "Hurt get pain out' line, and can only manage 0 Everyone 10 Or hated always seems to leave" by pulling a Popeye squint and screaming. The "You Love filmshow—looking up at gorgeous, gorgeous Edwards, pogoing in white jeans and . black lace, then looking doWn 'atthe Wire, hands on hips, pouting incoherent • •-you arewells— does me in. The final freeze-frame reads FAKE " , but it doesn't get much ore 4 REAL than this.