Review of Manic Street Preachers gig in Glasgow
There are fewer modern day British acts as big as the Manic Street Preachers or as they are more affectionately none, The Manics. So the fact that The Manics performed at, what they consider, one of their favourite venues in Glasgow Barrowlands, is bound to result in something good. Right?
OK, that opening paragraph looked like this was set-up for a bit of a perverse kicking of the welsh band. Nothing like it, this show was nothing short of special. Manic Street Preachers (to give them their full name, ha) played in full their haunting album, The Holy Bible. Obviously we have all heard the album at some point and mesmerised by its content, but to hear them play it out in full, some 20 years after release, was incredible. You could feel the excited tension in the audience as everybody listened in awe.
The Holy Bible was very personal to The Manics and is believed to reflect the issues suffered by guitarist Richey Edwards at the time. The highly charged record just seemed very personal and this was amplified by 100 hearing if live. The album was also their final release prior to their unexpected 1995 vanishing act. An even more poignant scene was the fact that the band deliberately kept the left of the stage vacant where Edwards would have stood.
This was an experience in itself.
Then in what felt like a completely separate set, the lights got turned up and the energy levels reached high octane levels. It was as if Manic Street Preachers had to do the album before they could move on. And move on they did. They performed tracks from their twelfth album Futurology. You could forgive them for letting standards slip after such a long time on the scene, but did they? Hell no. The highlight of the new stuff was the performance of A Design For Life. The crowd reacted as if it was an old favourite. They sang so loudly and as one that you feared the very structure of Barrowlands. The noise from the loud play of Manic Street Preachers was enough, but to then add the raucous, volume of the passionate Glasgow crowd and you had an experience that will be difficult to match.
Whether the Manic Street Preachers can repeat this anytime soon, I don’t know. But this show was immense. It is the reason you go to live music and is the kind of experience you would talk about for years. Hats off to The Manics – great performance from true legends.