Feature /// Manic Street Preachers: Glory Of Genuine Music


When you come from a small town in Wales, the environment is sure to shape you in a certain way. For Manic Street Preachers hailing from Blackwood meant turning into one of the most influential UK alternative bands. Life in a small place brought the feeling of isolation and disconnection from the big world, so the boys broadened their minds by reading books, magazines and discovering the music culture around them. The future cult musicians were very different from most of their peers, so they didn’t feel the pressure of following the rules of ‘the cool’ and could fully dedicate themselves to making music.

Almost 30 years in, Manic Street Preachers are a genuine rock band with a lot to say. Their initial desire to record only a couple of albums led to years of making high quality alternative rock. Hardly did Manic Street Preachers know back in 1986 that they would go through thick and thin to only stay on the scene that long and remain relevant and loved by a great number of people.

On 16th September 2013 the release of 11th Manics’ album ‘Rewind The Film’ marked the beginning of a new stage in the band’s life. Having great life experience and the responsibilities of family men, the musicians are less controversial in their behaviour than a couple of decades ago, but still pepper it with honest, rebellious spirit in the songs. Intellectual stories for those who like their music clever form the basis of ‘Rewind The Film’. Manics boldly mix political, social, cultural and personal issues in a very artistic way very few can rival. These emotional stories are delicately framed into acoustically driven, tender, intimate melodies – something very fresh and new for Manic Street Preachers.

The tradition to invite guest vocalists continues on ‘Rewind The Film’. Lucy Rose (‘This Sullen Welsh Heart’), Richard Hawley (‘Rewind The Film’) and Cate Le Bon (‘4 Lonely Roads’) bring in new, refreshing colours into the vocal performance on the album. The band also pay tribute to the missing Richey Edwards on ‘As Holy As The Soil’. As confessed by the musicians, it’s so far the most open they’ve ever spoken about one of the founding members of Manics whose disappearance in 1995 marks the most tragic page in the collective’s history.

When Manics started out, time was not such a luxury as it is now and the band had the chance to develop properly over the years, explore their sound and put their feet firm on the ground. While the scene of today is overcrowded by pretentious, commercial products, Manic Street Preachers still make real music and are not influenced by the number of #1 singles under their belts. Commercialism is not for them: they’d rather properly attack it, than give in to it. And it’s absolutely priceless to have real music to rely on in today’s world.

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4 Responses to “Feature /// Manic Street Preachers: Glory Of Genuine Music”
  1. Jamie says:

    I was quite surprised by their latest album, it’s far more ‘commercial’ than expected. They had said that their previous album would be their one and only ‘big hits’ album.

    • Well, I think it was just where exploring the sound took them. There’s another release planned for early 2014 and it’s going to be, as they said, ‘nastier and dirtier’ and more alternative. They ended up with two bunches of songs – acoustic ones and heavier ones and divided them between two albums. I think if they’d used some of the dirtier songs on this album, it would have been very different. It’s quite surprising to have Manics with electric guitar in one song only, that’s why it sounds a bit more commercial than people expect it. But I think it’s just experimenting and growing up as a band and people, maybe.

      • Jamie says:

        Thanks for that reply, Olga. Manics are appearing on a well known TV music show tonight over here so I’ll catch them and see which of their new songs they play. Personally I prefer their ‘dirtier’ side.

      • Yeah, it’s interesting to see what they’re playing live now. Let me know what you think then 🙂
        I do like their dirtier side a lot, but I don’t mind this one either. I really can’t wait to hear their 2014 album 🙂

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