I must admit I’ve never really got the Manic Street Preachers. I’m putting this down to them ‘making it’ whilst I was an 18-year-old and them essentially succeeding whilst the band I played in back in the late 80’s struggled to play 3 gigs and failed.
Music is a tough business. There are large elements of luck in bands getting signed. Look how many awful bands sell lots of records albeit perhaps briefly. This is where I must begin to admit that I was wrong about the Manics. I’ve never seen them live although I did go to see them at a pulled gig at the Barrel Organ (Birmingham) in the late 80’s. At that pulled gig there was a sense of punk in the air – I can’t really explain it – it felt good.
Listening to the Manics singles the other day it did strike me what a strong back catalogue they have. Not only that but the songs mark times in one’s life. Not that many bands can do that. The band enjoyed huge success in the ‘Britpop’ mid 90’s, but they are not a ‘Britpop’ act, they’ve gone way beyond that. Longevity and wisdom has, with time, made me reconsider my opinion of the band. This and something quite lovely and personal.
The Manics are now a very credible band and deserve this wide regard. ‘Rewind The Film’, the bands new single is understated and very well-arranged. On first listen two things went through my mind. The first was that it sounds akin to Aidan Moffat & Bill Wells’ – The Copper Top, this might be just me. The second was just how powerful James Dean Bradfield’s voice has become. The contrast with Hawley made his vocal cut deep (in a good way) – it’s practically a hairs on the back of your neck moment when his voice brushes Hawley aside. Coupled with the band recent legal action against EDL I feel long-term respect is due to a band that have never really been on my radar. For the first real time I clicked with their sound and I must admit it sounds better than ever. The band do not need the charts and as they move into doing what they want their artistic value, for me has really shone through. A video that may bring a lump to ones throat only underlines where the band are at artistically. A great single and a forthcoming album that will definitely be worth checking out…