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Manic Street Preachers - from The Concert Review Thread

The Crippler

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Manic Street Preachers - Waterfront Hall, Belfast - Monday 6th December 2004


After locking myself in the train toilet for about 10 minutes and getting myself in a blind panic, I hoped this wouldn't be a taste of things to come. I was worried I'd go and see a band who have been a big part of my life since I was in my early teens and be disappointed. Luckily I wasn't.


We arrived at the Waterfront, which is a spectacular looking building after 7 and the support act, Cathy Davey, took to the stage at around quarter to 8. The hall was about a quarter full, if that. Cathy and her band weren't bad. A couple of my friends didn't really enjoy it but I thought she was pretty good. Better than Razorlight (who are supporting the Manics in mainland Britain) would have been. To me, Razorlight are one of those new bands who have been hyped just a little too much without and real reason.


Anyhow, onto the main event as it were. The set was all white and at around 9pm a video came up on the large screen in the background. After a few moments Nicky Wire, Sean Moore and James Dean Bradfield came walking on to a loud ovation from the crowd. The Manics were also playing with an extra guitarist for the first time since Richey Edwards' disappearance in 1995 but he kept an extraordinarily low profile, standing behind the amps and well away from the band. Richey's "space" on stage had not been filled. This was probably a good move from the band to avoid people being upset that they were maybe trying to replace Richey.


The band opened with '1985', a song off the new album. The video was set to a backdrop of iconic images from said year with Margaret Thatcher, rioting and Morrissey and Marr appearing. Things started getting really fun though with the next song, 'Faster'. The place was bouncing from this track from the classic 'The Holy Bible' album and it was fantastic to see the venom with which Bradfield barked out the words to.


The set was nicely split half way through with an acoustic version by Bradfield of 'Small Black Flowers That Grow in the Sky'. I was never a huge fan of this song but just Bradfield on the acoustic playing it was superb. He did have to stop the song half way through when a be-spectacled bouncer jumped into the crowd and aggressively pulled someone out of the crowd. Bradfield said to the bouncer "I used to wear glasses as well and I'd get bullied in school but at least I didn't let it affect me when I got older. You need to go home, put your slippers on, drink some ovaltine and come to terms with yourself". This got a huge cheer from the crowd as the bouncers/security had been assholes all night. Bradfield then finished off the song to great applause.


The rest of the band then returned, Nicky Wire having made a change of clothing. He was now wearing even more eye liner, a skirt and had his stockings pulled up to his knees. The band then stormed into a rousing version of 'PCP'.


The band were on great form and seemed to be really enjoying themselves, even indulging in a bit of banter with the crowd. Wire brought up Northern Ireland's "lucky" draw with Wales a few months back which got some good natured boos from the crowd followed by a "Healy" chant.


The extra guitarist made the band's sound a lot fuller and let Bradfield concentrate more on his lead work. With the exception of 'Empty Souls', 'The Love of Richard Nixon' and '1985' (all received good receptions), the new songs were met with polite applause and definitely didn't go down as well as stuff from 'The Holy Bible' or 'Generation Terrorists'.


The band then finished with two classics - 'Motorcycle Emptiness' and 'A Design for Life'. They then thanked the crowd profusely and promised they'd be back a lot sooner next time.


All in all, this was a brilliant gig. It was tremendous to see a band I've been listening to since I was 11 or 12 and who've had a big impact on my life. They didn't disappoint at all.


Great show. I'll leave the setlist and a couple of pictures I took below.

1. 1985

2. Faster

3. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next

4. No Surface, All Feeling

5. Empty Souls

6. You Love Us

7. Yes

8. The Love of Richard Nixon

9. Australia

10. La Tristessa Durera

11. Enola Alone

12. Die in the Summertime

13. Solutude Sometimes Is

14. Masses Against the Classes

15. Small Black Flowers That Grow in the Sky (acoustic)

16. PCP

17. You Stole The Sun from my Heart

18. A Song for Departure

19. Tsunami

20. I Live to Fall Asleep

21. Motorcycle Emptiness

22. A Design for Life





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We arrived at the Waterfront, which is a spectacular looking building after 7 and the support act, Cathy Davey, took to the stage at around quarter to 8. The hall was about a quarter full, if that. Cathy and her band weren't bad.


How was the sound for Cathy's singing? When I saw them In Liverpool the sound wasn't too good, you couldn't hear what she said, her Album is very good thou (I can hear the lyrics! lol).


Glad to hear you had a good time, wouldn't mind going to see the Manic's one day, nice to know there great live, even if their latest album was a let down.

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