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The Rebirth Of The Manics - Planet Sound, 23rd December 2007

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Title: The Rebirth Of The Manics
Publication: Planet Sound
Date: Sunday 23rd December 2007
Writer: John Earls

"If you don't have a genuine hit like Your Love Alone Is Not Enough when you're older, you just want to crawl away."

It's been a triumphant year for Manic Street Preachers, with Your Love Alone giving them their biggest hit for years and a new generation of fans.

As Nicky Wire says: "You can make a living from playing to the same old people, but it doesn't mean so much."

Recent album Send Away The Tigers was a deliberate attempt to revive Manics.

"We realised it was down to us," admits Nicky. "You can moan about downloads and record companies, but we knew if we came up with a record that was good enough, we'd reclaim peoples' hearts.

"It's not like me to be OTT positive, but it's great when you've got a plan and to pull it off, especially when you're 38 and on your eigth album."

Nicky attributes part of their success this year to Nina Persson's guest vocals on Your Love Alone.

"That was the crowning glory," he says. "When her vocals sounded so effortless, we knew then it would be our year.

"We were confident Tigers would make us loved again, but Nina's vocals being so perfect - that was the outside element that suggested we'd get the luck you need to do well too."

Speaking of luck, Nicky admits it's played a part in the Manics' career.

"A lot of it's timing," he says. "Like, how did Travis sell millions of records and Teenage Fanclub didn't?

"The period after Gold Against The Soul was an odd one. Where did we go next? What kept us going before we had the idea for The Holy Bible was Chemical Brothers DJing us and their Tristesse mix. It gave us a hidden credibility."

Nicky is getting used to a new breed of Manics fans where he lives in Newport.

"A different generation come up to me in town," he laughs. "And there's mums my age with their kids saying hello.

"They think the Manics are a new band whose tall bassist lives locally. At the moment, those kids think we're all anthemic rock. Little do they know what will happen to them in six months' time when they find Archives Of Pain."

The success has reignited their gigs.

"You may as well be brutal, it's a relief," he says. "On the Lifeblood tour, songs we love like Live To Fall Asleep just didn't work, because fans want more energy from us playing live.

"With Tigers, we've got songs we can play for the next 10 years. We're like an indie Stones, we've got so many singles, the gigs keep getting longer."