By Jonathan Taylor
Tonight The Manic Street Preachers take to the stage at a sold out O2 Ritz in Manchester, celebrating their career, with a series of intimate shows bench-marking the 20th anniversary of their 5th studio album ‘This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours’.
The combination of this album that includes such hits as ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’, ‘You Stole the Sun From My Heart’ and ‘The Everlasting’ and the fact that this is a band who usually grace the stage at arenas and headline music festivals made the experience of watching the Welsh rockers in the 1500 capacity venue a real treat for any fan of music.
The set opens with the beautifully melodic ‘Everlasting’, which demonstrates perfectly the tenderness to James Dean Bradfield’s voice. This is followed by the uplifting anthem ‘You Stole the Sun From My Heart’, which whips the crowd into a unified sing along whilst Nicky Wire proves that even though the years have passed, he still has the same captivating presence and energy on stage.
Before breaking into ‘Ready For Drowning’, Bradfield jokes that the last time the band played at the venue it was before the birth of the mobile phone and everyone’s fixation with a screen, which just goes to demonstrate the bands longevity and service to music.
‘Tsunami’ is followed by ‘My Little Empire’ and the set continues with the band playing some of the album’s songs live for the very first time. Before this tour, the likes of ‘I’m Not Working’ and ‘Be Natural’ had never been included in any of the band’s previous set lists. As well as a complete rendition of the album ‘This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours’, the audience are of course treated to the classics and big hitters, including ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’, ‘You Love Us’, ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’ as well as new songs such as “Love Alone Is Not Enough” and “International Blue”.
The set draws to a close with the number 1 hit ‘A Design For Life’ showcasing the sheer power and distinction Bradfield’s vocal with the crowd singing along and hooked on every word.
The audience tonight was a combination of those who have been on the journey with The Manic Street Preachers from the beginning, going through the highs and the painful lows that the bands musical journey has taken. To those who have got on board enjoying a back catalogue of albums that spans nearly 3 decades. Regardless of the stage they joined the musical journey. Every person in the Ritz tonight will undoubtedly be grateful that they were along for the ride.