Manic Street Preachers

Edinburgh Corn Exchange on Fri 15th Apr 2005

This was the third time I had seen the Manics, and true to form, they did not disappoint. Very quickly after their sell-out arena tour of late 2004, this tour, titled Past/Present/Future, toured the smaller venues around the country showcasing a mixture of greatest hits, The Holy Bible, and new tracks.

So I found myself dodging speed cameras on the M8 while the doors to the ECE were opening, but eventually I arrived just as the support band were leaving the stage.

I liked the Corn Exchange, although it was not the Glasgow Barrowlands that I'm used to, it had the same long narrow hall, and the same capacity. I didn't like paying £3.30 for a pint of Tennant's (Carling for you English folk), but that's Edinburgh for you.

The Manics opened with Found That Soul, quickly followed by A Design for Life and Roses in the Hospital, with the crowd singing every word.

The band seemed to really enjoy the evening, with bassist Nicky Wire grinning far more than usual, while members of the crowd threw their feather boas to him.

The Edinburgh crowd showed a strange mix of fans of all ages from 15/16 year olds right up to the older members of the audience in their late fifties, but still up near the front and having a great time.

To let the crowd cool down a little James Dean Bradfield played an acoustic version of The Everlasting, and the set also included one of my favourites, Let Robeson Sing.

A stream of hits were played including Everything Must Go, You Love Us, If you Tolerate This..., The Masses against the Classes, and You Stole The Sun From My Heart, all interspersed with songs from their recently re-released album, The Holy Bible.

I wasn't instantly attracted to the new songs, however I hadn't heard them before, and they could be growers; but the three tracks they played from 2004's Lifeblood (1985, Solitude Sometimes Is, and Cardiff Afterlife) were the most poorly received by the crowd, who, like me, probably didn't know the songs.

Finishing on a high, they played Motorcycle Emptiness, and then Guns 'N Roses classic Paradise City, as an intro to Motown Junk.

For me the highlight of the night was The Masses against the Classes, and the atmosphere was amazing while the crowd were singing along to If You Tolerate This..., although I wish they'd played Australia and Tsunami.

After a performance making the songs seem as fresh as when they were released; James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire, Sean Moore and the band left the stage with a promise to return in two years, and I for one will be there.

article by: Henry Stafford

published: 18/04/2005 11:42

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