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Talkin' 'bout Our Inspiration - The News Of The World, 13th May 2007

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Title: Talkin' 'bout Our Inspiration
Publication: The News Of The World
Date: Sunday 13th May 2007
Writer: Tim Barr

Manics admit who influenced new LP.

Rock rebels Manic Street Preachers have gone back to their roots on their new album...after being inspired by THE WHO.

The Welsh outfit - who play Glasgow's Barrowland tomorrow night - are back in the charts with Your Love Alone Is Not Enough.

But frontman James Dean Bradfield and bassist Nicky Wire admit they were forced to take stock after the relative failure of 2004's Lifeblood.

The pair embarked on short-lived solo careers but Nicky revealed: "I did five gigs and, apart from 200 hardcore fans that followed me around,there was no one.

Utterly disastrous. It made me face all the fears I faced when I was young."

The 38-year-old added: "It was time to get rid of the doubts, stop trying to be another band and get back to being Manic Street Preachers."

So when Nicky, James and drummer Sean Moore began work on the new Send Away The Tigers LP, they took their cue from the legendary My Generation act.

The 6ft 2in make-up-wearing rocker explained: "I'd been reading a lot about Pete Townshend after doing Quadrophenia and how he realised that he'd lost touch with what Who fans loved about The Who.

We've been through a process of destroying what we are - and all great bands do that - but ever since Everything Must Go and This Is My Truth we've been trying to reduce ourselves to a pile of rubble.

"When we started this album it was the three of us, in a rehearsal room, making a right old racket. We just felt liberated."

Your Love Alone Is Not Enough - kept off the top spot last week by Beyonce and Shakira- even owes its sound to The Who.

According to Nicky, the song, written about guitarist Richey Edwards who vanished in 1995, features "Keith Moon drums, Pete Townshend power chords".

But we can reveal the Manics - who also headline the Rock Ness festival next month - borrowed inspiration from north of the border too, in the shape of newly- reformed Dunfermline punks The Skids.

Nicky admitted the track Rendition, tipped to be a future single, is "a modern- day take on Jeff Beck's Bolero...with militaristic Skids guitars."

And James is in no doubt about the result of their back-to-basics approach.

He insisted: "I definitely think it's our best album since Everything Must Go.

It's another anthemic, guitar-driven record."

Nicky added: "I know we've made s**t records and absolutely brilliant records.

"Our career has always been hugely f*****g disparate. Sometimes we sell millions of records and sometimes none.

"Forever Delayed sold a million, then Lifeblood barely did 200,000.

"When we announced this tour, it was the fastest our tickets have sold out in ten years, 40,000 tickets in a weekend.

"The process of reconnecting with our fans is beginning."