Saturday, 22 January 2011
MANIC STREET PREACHERS at the BRIXTON ACADEMY
I don’t dig the concept of guilty pleasures but an admission to liking the Manic Street Preachers often feels like one with any attempted justification sounding like frantic back peddling, so I’ll try not to. My name is Monkey and I like the Manic Street Preachers. There, said it.
Twenty years ago – to the day - they released “Motown Junk”. I bought it then and it still sounds thrilling now; considerably more so than latest single “Postcards from a Young Man” but let’s not quibble. They may not have included “Miss Europa Disco Dancer” but by the Manics often predictable standards this was thoughtfully put together set containing a handful of lesser played numbers. Ever since Richey left a gaping hole on the left hand side of the stage and filled it with memories and hefty emotional baggage its been a complex affair trying to enjoy their live shows - and “Roses In The Hospital” (“tear my fingernails out/ I want to cling to something soft”) and Nicky back in his leopard skin coat don’t help - but there’s no denying the pull of “Faster” or “Me and Stephen Hawking”, and “Motown Junk” back to back with “If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next” is as good a pairing as I could wish to hear.
Nicky turned 42 the day before. We’ve both been doing this over half our lives and it's been a rocky ride but we’re hanging in there. He with considerably better hair and make up.