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We Love ABBA! - Wales On Sunday, 17th October 2004

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Title: We Love ABBA!
Publication: Wales On Sunday
Date: Sunday 17th October 2004
Writer: Rachel Mainwaring

If you've been listening to Abba Gold, watching Top Gear and reading about suffragette Emily Pankhurst, consider yourself very cool indeed.

Because that's exactly what the Manic Street Preachers have been doing all summer. The Welsh rockers, founder members of the Cool Cymru clan, have revealed what's inspired them as they prepare to go on tour.

And for the Blackwood boys James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore, it includes tuning into hit American drama The West Wing, chilling out to the sounds of Scissor Sisters and reading about ex-US president Richard Nixon!

The band's latest long-awaited single, The Love of Richard Nixon, is out tomorrow and their eighth album Lifeblood is released next month. And in December, the group embark on a UK tour, stopping off at the Welsh capital on December 13.

Promoting their new tune, the Manics gave Wales on Sunday their definitive guide to cool Cymru 2004. When it comes to the airwaves, it seems the boys have got a rather eclectic taste in easy listening.

Depending on their mood, James, Nicky and Sean have been enjoying the sounds of old favourites David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, The Cure and even cheesy pop favourites Abba, with their greatest hits Abba Gold.

Current chart favourites Jamelia, with her award-winning album Thank You and Scissors Sisters self-titled album also get the nod, as well as indie act Belle & Sebastian, Razorlight's The Last Film and U2's Unforgettable Fire.

And when they are not checking out the chart opposition, the Manics have certainly been catching up with shows on the box.

But you can forget EastEnders, Coronation Street and shows like Five's The Farm.

These three intellectual lads would much rather pass the time watching BBC Four, Newsnight and Battlefield Britain.

But, though soaps aren't their thing, they are certainly partial to American shows like Seinfeld, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, West Wing and the Larry Sanders Show.

And the die-hard Welsh soccer fans also watched the BBC's interactive Olympics coverage, snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan and the Women's British Open!

And, if you fancy reading the same things as the Manics, get your hands on the poetry of Carol Anne Duffy and Elizabeth Jennings, and The Dark Tower author Louis McNiece.

They are also huge fans of suffragette Emily Pankhurst, the works of Brazilian architect Oscar Neiyemer and historian Niall Ferguson.