Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Review: Welsh stalwarts Manic Street Preachers keep the faithful satisfied

Manic Street Preachers
Manic Street Preachers

It's hard to believe it's been 23 years since Manic Street Preachers first came to Belfast.

But the Welsh alternative rock stalwarts still remember their debut visit fondly.

At Saturday night's Ulster Hall show, bassist Nicky Wire gave a shout-out to DJ Johnny Hero, who chaperoned them back in 1990.

"Since the days of the Limelight, it's always been an absolute joy and a pleasure coming here," added frontman James Dean Bradfield. Time hasn't dulled the unique, vaguely cartoonish appeal of The Manics.

He may be 44, but Wire refuses to tone down the garish garb and can still scissor-kick for Wales, while Bradfield, also 44, continues to pogo, pirouette and crank out the riffs and solos with abandon.

Their audience, on the other hand, haven't worn so well, and the girls who found a pin-up in the band's late, tortured rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards seem to have moved on if Saturday's mostly male, fortysomething throng was anything to go by.

But the faithful couldn't fault a setlist that ranged from early punky numbers like Motorcycle Emptiness, You Love Us and Motown Junk to more acoustic-based material off the trio's new album, Rewind The Film.

Yet the highlight was arguably closing song A Design For Life, which is even grander and more anthemic in a live setting – and had the entire hall roaring back the words.

Manic Street Preachers crammed a lot into an hour-and-a-half, and left without going through the charade of an encore – perfect.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News


Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant


You could be given a work assignment that is radically different from anything you've tried before. Venturing into new territory will be refreshing. You may discover a hidden talent for writing or research. Are you looking for work? Apply for a steady position at a financial institution. Having regular pay will give you the funds for the luxuries you love. If you're not satisfied with the salary you are initially offered, negotiate for a better one. Your powers of persuasion are strong.More