Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Gig #3: Sat 22 January - Manic Street Preachers, Brixton Academy

Wow, what can I say?  The curtain rose to reveal a luscious red back drop and glitzy stage props, illuminated one by one by spotlights before the Manics entered the stage. From the moment they opened with Slash 'n' Burn we knew we were in for a good night.  This gig was rescheduled from October when James Dean Bradfield was taken ill and unable to perform - I'd luckily managed to buy a standing ticket for the rescheduled date and am so glad I went.  James said they'd pay the audience back in kind for having had to change the date, and they did through a series of their greatest hits, with a few newbies thrown in for good measure.  Inevitably there were songs they didn't play which I was itching to hear (I was especially disappointed that the Friday audience got This Is Yesterday sung acoustically by JDB and we got Small Black Flowers - pah!), but when you've released 10 studio albums, I suppose you can't please everyone.  

I've seen the Manic Street Preachers more times than I can remember, but this gig was definitely up there with my first time seeing them at Reading Festival in 2001.  They're as good as they've always been and don't get the recognition they deserve.  I've followed this band for 16 years so it's difficult to be impartial, but the audience was a mix of staunch Manics followers and newer fans of their recent material and everyone seemed to be having a great time.  They know how to put on a show with the right mix of upbeat and slow brooding songs.  One thing's for sure, this gig has set the bar high for the rest of the year.  Perhaps Arcade Fire at Hyde Park will be a strong contender for gig of the year.....

British Sea Power supported the Manics and played a great set spanning their releases.  Highlights for me were the tracks from 'Do You Like Rock Music' - No Lucifer, The Great Skua, Waving Flags and Canvey Island.  Seeing them again reminded me to revisit their old albums and check out their new album 'Valhalla Dancehall'.  Perhaps I'll catch a headline gig of theirs later in the year.

Watch: You Stole The Sun From My Heart (acoustic)  ignore the terrible singing from the guy recording it!
Watch: Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky
Listen: Manic Street Preachers myspace
Homepage: Manic Street Preachers
Listen: British Sea Power myspace
Homepage: British Sea Power

Manic Street Preachers set list
Slash 'n' Burn
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough 
Motorcycle Emptiness
(It's Not War) - Just The End Of Love
Everything Must Go 
Roses in the Hospital 
My Little Empire 
Postcards From A Young Man
You Love Us
Suicide is Painless (Theme from MASH) (Johnny Mandel cover
A Billion Balconies Facing the Sun 
Motown Junk 
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky (Acoustic)
You Stole The Sun From My Heart (Acoustic)
La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)
Some Kind Of Nothingness 
Me And Stephen Hawking 
A Design For Life 

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