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Two Sides Of Manics - Wales On Sunday, 5th May 2013

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Title: Two Sides Of Manics
Publication: Wales On Sunday
Date: Sunday 5th May 2013
Writer: Nathan Bevan

Stars line up new albums

Man Street Preachers have announced that they are currently in the middle of recording two new albums simultaneously.

The Blackwood rockers, whose last record Postcards From A Young Man reached number three in the charts in 2010, added that they hoped both efforts - their 11th and 12th studio outings - would be ready by early next year.

News that one of the songs to be included, entitled Four Lonely Roads, is set to feature the vocals of Carmarthenshire psychedelic folk singer Cate Le Bon, was hinted at on the band's Twitter page late last month.

"We don't have any other definite titles yet, but I can tell you that both albums will be very different from each other in terms of style," said lead singer and guitarist James Dean Bradfield.

"One will be more acoustic and gentle in nature with lots of horns and a real Atlantic soul element to it, while the other's going to be way more spiky, with lots and lots of electric guitar on there," he added.

Bassist Nicky Wire added that while the success of the trio's previous CD would prove a hard act to follow, he was confident that they could pull it off.

"We're 10 albums in and all in our 40s now, so it's tough to try and stay relevant," he said.

"Even the greatest bands in the world have struggled when meeting that milestone.

"But we're all still completely in love with the idea of being in a band together - honestly, I can think of no better feeling than me, James and Sean [Moore, drummer] sitting in a room together writing songs.

"If anything, we've got too many ideas, which isn't such a bad problem to have when you consider than many of the bands that started out around the same time as us have split up, re-formed and spilt again or are on their third or fourth line-up change.

"I think we've lasted because we all grew up together," added Wire.

"Me and James have known each other since we were four and a half.

"It's unnatural to have had a best friend for that long."

The group, who've been recording around South Wales and in the same Berlin studio in which David Bowie created his classic Heroes LP, also recently announced they were to break their two-year-long performing dry-spell with a handful of Antipodean dates to coincide with the British and Irish Lions' tour of Down Under in June and July.

"We were last in Australia in 2010 but have never managed to coincide our schedule with a Lions tour before, that's the Holy Grail for rugby fanatics like us," he said.

"We'll be playing Melbourne and Sydney on the eves of the second and third Test matches - I'm also hoping we'll get the once-in-alifetime opportunity to play a few songs on the pitch before kick-off too."

Wire added that he couldn't wait to gig on their home turf again either - the Manics are scheduled to headline Festival No6 in Portmeirion, Gwynedd, in September. "I'm a home boy at heart and dare say that, given a choice, I'd have never left my bedroom, but I feel so privileged to have been able to travel all over the world with what I do.

"To write songs that connect with thousands of people, regardless of which country we might be in, is incredible. It's made our lives so much richer," he added.