It pleases me no end to say this: The Manic Street Preachers are BACK!
It has been a long time, and felt longer, since I last saw them when they gigged National Treasures at the O2 in London. I went down with my best friend (another Manics fan. He’s such a good friend he puts up with me wearing eye liner and a feather boa!) and we suffered an 8-hour bus trip from Manchester’s Shudehill station. But it was worth it.
And so this wait has been too.
Two years they promised. Two years through which silence would be maintained. They managed less.
First came the title track of the album, Rewind the Film, and its accompanying video. Both of which drip with nostalgic melancholia that go straight to your tear ducts. The decision to bring in the vocal talents of Richard Hawley is an absolute masterstroke. As much as I love James Bean Bradfield’s voice, I honestly do not think he would be able to do the verses as much justice as Hawley does. Lyrically, it is perhaps one of the most autobiographical efforts by Nicky Wire. The yearning for a simpler, less cynical time will strike you no matter your age, gender, whatever. I think you’d have to have an unbeating heart if this doesn’t stir something in you.
And then Bradfield’s entrance is stunning. Passion underscored by strings, some thunderous drumming from Sean Moore and delicate guitar playing in there that brings the chorus this song deserves.
Yesterday marked the official unveiling of the first single to be taken from Rewind The Film – Show Me The Wonder, which is to be released on the 8th of September. Suffice to say that this album (one of two!) is the more acoustic of them.
Show Me The Wonder</em) is a Motown tinged (oh the irony, some will no doubt cry. Heathens) upbeat number which continues the theme that emerged with the title track. I know that when The Manics released Postcards From a Young Man that it was their last crack at mass communication. I feel that this is now a premature, maybe even redundant, proclamation.
Rewind The Film is released on the 16th of September. And as soon as I have it, I’ll be listening to it as a fan, and then as a reviewer.