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Should Manic Street Preachers Play 'The Holy Bible' In Full? - NME, 28th June 2014

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Title: Should Manic Street Preachers Play 'The Holy Bible' In Full?
Publication: NME
Date: Saturday 28th June 2014


It's the 20th anniversary of the band's classic album...

Yes says NME's Ben Hewitt
Never mind 'should': if you'd asked me couple of months ago whether the Manics ere even capable of pulling off The Holy Bible live, I'd have laughed and thrust a copy of the gentle, tender Rewind The Film under your nose. How could these three men, the ones who'd been dousing themselves in MOR and Richard Hawley's velvety croon, pull off that old anger and fight again? But since hearing new album Futurology, that's all changed: the fire and the fury and the fight are back. So they can do it, no question. But should they? For me, one of the greatest things about the Manics is how they've always been proud of their legacy; just think of the way 2009's Journal For Plague Loves used lyrics written by late guitarist Richey Edwards. They're a band who are justifiably proud of where they've come from and what they've done, and a group who know that even the most forward-thinking artists can pay tribute to their past if there's good reason. And there's a great reason for them to dust off The Holy Bible at Glastonbury this year, one that goes way beyond mere anniversary: it may have been written 20 years ago, but with all that's wrong with the world right now, that anger and despair feels more relevant than ever.

No says NME's Emily Mackay
Coming no soon after the recent EU elections made it clear how strong an influence far-right political parties are across the continent, I'm only too aware how deliciously appropriate it would be for the Manics to build a bypass of the blackest historical guilt-trip across Glastonbury's good vibes by playing all of The Holy Bible. It would be awesome. It would be so Manics. And yet, no. Because why not just play some of The Holy Bible's songs to make that point? Why not pair Intense Humming Of Evil and 'Mausoleum' with If You Tolerate This... and new track Europa Geht Durch Mich? They don't need to play it in full. They've moved past its stark extremes to the muddier greys of maturity and hard-won happiness long since. But it's a bleak monolith that some Manics fans won't move past - for them, it would be just a nostalgia or negativity trip. And when, from the days of You Love Us to the ongoing no-encores policy, was this a band who were about giving people what they want? With a new, exciting album called - AHEM! - Futurology coming out, now is not the time to look back. Play that in full instead! Keep the fuckers on their toes, boys.