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The Manics have recorded a track, 'Together Stronger (C'mon Wales)', which will be adopted as the official soundtrack to Wales' first football tournament in over 50 years.
To celebrate the Wales international football team’s qualification for their first major tournament in over half a century, the squad has teamed up with rock veterans Manic Street Preachers to record the official anthem.
Just like Christmas singles or James Bond theme songs, official football tournament anthems are a time-honoured tradition that’s very difficult to actually get right. Formerly solid reputations have been shattered (just ask Embrace), and only New Order can realistically claim to have done it really well.
Manics' bassist Nicky Wire
Continue reading: Manic Street Preachers To Release Wales' Official Euro 2016 Anthem
Dom Gourlay's Top Albums of 2014
10) Soft Walls - No Time
Multi-talented musician-cum-producer Dan Reeves divides his time playing in several bands with running a record label. This effort, his second as Soft Walls ranks as his finest collection to date. Although heralded as one of new psychedelia's finest releases, 'No Time' owes as much to Phil Spector and Suicide as it does anything else, and sounds all the more accomplished for it.
9) Temples - Sun Structures
Having spent the best part of two years touring the songs that would eventually go onto become 'Sun Structures', it was perhaps somewhat inevitable that the album would be every bit as good as we'd hoped. What happens next will be key to Temples long-term future, but for now 'Sun Structures' is a fitting document of the band's inaugural stages.
8) Cheatahs - Cheatahs
This cosmopolitan four-piece might display their influences quite brazenly. However, this debut bears all the hallmarks of a classic. Referencing the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver and Teenage Fanclub at regular intervals yet retaining a distinctive edge all the same, 'Cheatahs' is the sound of a band discovering an identity and using it to their advantage.
Continue reading: Dom Gourlay's Top Albums Of 2014
Ben Walton's Top Albums of 2014
10) Grant Nicholas - Yorktown Heights
Feeder's Grant Nicholas went down the familiar lead-singer-does-a-solo-album route this year, and the results weren't too bad in the end. Yorktown Heights is a more sombre and acoustic take on the recognisable sounds of his regular band but there is still plenty of bite and energy on tracks like 'Joan of Arc' and 'Time Stood Still'. On Yorktown Heights, Nicholas proved he could pen a tune with more emotional depth than anything about a CD player player player player player.
9) CJ Wildheart - Mable
Not exactly a surprise that a member of The Wildhearts did a solo album this year, but CJs first solo work in seven years is an absolute mother of a sonic gut punch. The power pop blitzkrieg comes thick and fast with songs like 'Better Late Than Never', 'Devil' and the album highlight 'Vitriol'. CJ took the opportunity of his second solo outing to prove that The Wildhearts was never a one man show.
8) Beck - Morning Phase
2014 saw the welcome return of the musical equivalent of Willy Wonka, Beck. Morning Phase revisited the acoustic sounds of his seminal 2003 album Sea Change, with an added dash of optimism. The four years Beck took out between this and his last studio album obviously did him some good as Morning Phase features some of his best songs, such as 'Blue Moon', 'Waking Light' and the gorgeous 'Heart Is A Drum'.
Continue reading: Ben Walton's Top Albums Of 2014
The band used an impressive 2,056 words in their first three albums.
A tasty chunk of news for the music nerds: Manic Street Preachers have been found to be the most lyrically diverse act in a study of Welsh artists. Wales Online conducted the study to celebrate the release of the rock act's latest album, Futurology, and found that 2,056 unique words were used in only the Manics' first three albums.
The band emerged as top of the study, beating fellow Welsh superstars Stereophonics and Tom Jones. As the news site so appropriately points out, "For a band who sang "libraries gave us power," it's no shock that their use of language and words to get their message across."
For comparison, Cynon Valley group Stereophonics also scored highly with 1,453 different words used in their early back-catalogue, but Tom Jones' early work in the '60s saw just 867 words used over the his three first albums, with his third most-used word being "pussycat."
The Manics closed last weekend's Welsh festival.
Manic Street Preachers brought this year's Festival No 6 to a highly anticipated and triumphant close: a true reward for all those who'd braced the lashing rain and blasting gales throughout Sunday's stormy weather.
Nicky Wire Has Spoken Of The Honour Of Playing At Portmeirion.
Portmeirion's festival weekend saw a mixed cornucopia of acts including Chic and Nile Rodgers, Daughter, My Bloody Valentine, Brythoniaid Welsh Male Voice Choir, John Cooper-Clarke and Johnny Marr perfor,m whilst The Staves, Islet and Sam Airey's shows had to be called off due to the torrential downpour and accompanying relentless wind that started at 7am and refused to let up.
A week in music videos... We caught up with Brooklyn band DIIV last week as they are currently enjoying the 2013 festival season. Talking to lead member Cole, he explained just how different it was playing festivals compared to club gigs, that it was more about coming into the world of the fans rather than bringing them into your own. He was also not shy about admitting that the pressure of working on a second album has lifted. 'People are gonna be way more patient and wanna hear what you come up with', he says. 'The first record you have to have a clear statement of purpose like a sound and catchy pop songs.' As well as taking the time to chat to us, we were treated with an uplifting live rendition of their song 'Human'. Watch the full interview here and watch the live video for Human.
With the release of their highly-anticipated sixth album 'Mechanical Bull' imminent, Kings Of Leon follow up the audio release of its first single 'Supersoaker' with a grainy, retro-style, artistically produced video. Just as we expected, 'Supersoaker' is made of the anthemic, driving and infectious stuff that previous international hits 'Use Somebody' and 'Sex On Fire' are made of and we certainly can't wait for what looks to be another well-loved record that will see us through the autumn. Watch the video for Supersoaker here.
A week in music videos... Manic Street Preachers teamed up with Richard Hawley for the nostalgic title track from their upcoming new album 'Rewind The Film'. It has that classic Preachers mix of anthemic melodies and melancholic undertones that have kept them high in the UK album charts since their debut in 1992. Looking at their latest track, this new offering is going to be just as impossible to categorise musically as usual - but we like it that way! Watch the video for 'Rewind The Film' here.
If a perfect summer 2013 song exists, it's Dan Croll's 'In/Out'. It doesn't feature on his debut EP 'From Nowhere' which we're hoping means there's going to be some talk of a debut album soon. We defy you not to move to this calypso inspired dance track, the video for which features karaoke style lyrics - if you don't find this infectiously upbeat tune catchy enough. Watch the video for In/Out here.
Using a tried-and-tested formula of acoustic versions and covers, this most recent instalment of the series sees further performances for Dermot O'Leary's radio show now available to own. The artists included cover a broad spectrum, from near-unknowns to arena fillers, and predictably results vary from the terrific to the terrible.
A brave and successful take on 'Eleanor Rigby' from Emeli Sande begins proceedings, while Will Young reminds us of his vocal talent on a lovely rendition of Blondie's 'Hanging On The Telephone'. The classic Jackson 5 number 'I Want You Back' loses its magic in the hands (or should that be voice?) of Rachel Sermanni, but the running is immediately rescued by The Do taking on Kings Of Leon's 'Sex On Fire'. They morph the rock anthem into a chill-out moment and in vocalist Olivia Merilahti have a fantastic talent. Of those presenting their own material, Florence + The Machine and Jessie J give solid presentations of 'Never Let Me Go' and 'Price Tag' respectively, while Robbie Williams' altered performance of 'Candy' does well to take it away from sounding like an advertising jingle and make it a folk-style sing-a-long.
An ill-advised attempt at Blur's 'Song 2' from Plan B begins the second disc in horrendous manner, something that becomes all the more surprising once you hear the beautifully soulful version of 'Empire State Of Mind' gifted by Maverick Sabre. Miles Kane gives a decent rendition of The 'Stones 'Play With Fire' before Dry The River provide a highlight of this release with a lovely cover of 'Homeward Bound', originally by Simon & Garfunkel. A trio of British bands close out this record and, for an act with such a fierce live reputation, Kasabian's 'Days Are Forgotten' is limp to say the least. By contrast, the Manic Street Preachers bring a raucous 'Your Love Alone Is Not Enough' and Athlete provide a stirring 'Wires' - a worthy selection as the latter book-end.
Courtney Love doesn’t have much of a track record when it comes to cover versions. With her band Hole, she would often play a version of Guns N Roses’ ‘Paradise City’ that she would abandon half way through. Same goes for Depeche Mode’s ‘Hungry Like A Wolf,’ though the band did release a brilliant cover of Velvet Underground’s ‘Pale Blue Eyes,’ it has to be said.
When we heard that Courtney Love covered Jay Z’s ’99 Problems,’ though, we feared for the worst. And, sadly, our fears were confirmed. “This either sucks or it’s genius, I don’t know,” she said as she introduced the song at her impromptu Sundance Film Festival set.
Nicky Wire, James Dean Bradfield and Manic Street Preachers - Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers Monday 22nd October 2012 The Q Awards 2012 held at the Grosvenor hotel - Arrivals
On realising that in this day and age, there is very little guitar music impacting on the top 40, The Manic Street Preachers are celebrating 21 years in the charts by playing 38 of their singles (with a few nit-picking omissions admittedly, such as Suicide Alley and the awesome P.C.P) at London's vast, cavernous O2 arena. Indeed, very few bands actually make it to almost 21 uninterrupted years of making music, so this celebration, dubbed 'A Night of National Treasures' seems entirely justified. What followed on the night was a 3 and a half hour thrill ride through a sprawling and eclectic back catalogue, with confetti, video screens and costume changes, making for more of a special event than just another rock show.
Continue reading: Manic Street Preachers, London O2 Arena, 17th December 2011 Live Review
To celebrate 21 years since the release of their first single, Blackwood's Manic Street Preachers are releasing the second compilation of their career (following 2003's 'Forever Delayed'), comprising of 38 singles. The album will be promoted with a one-off show at the O2 Arena on December 17.
As Great British institutions go, the Manic Street Preachers are surely up there alongside the likes of Twinings Tea and Coronation Street. Now approaching their twenty-fifth year of existence, album number ten having hit the record stores last month, and still as passionately outspoken as ever. Not to mention one of the most exciting live bands on the planet today, with arguably the most comprehensive back catalogue of songs to choose from almost anywhere you care to mention at this present moment in time.
Review of Manic Street Preachers album Journal For Plague Lovers
Continue reading: Manic Street Preachers, Journal For Plague Lovers Album Review
Review of Manic Street Preachers live at Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Monday 1st June.
Continue reading: Manic Street Preachers, Wolverhampton Civic Hall Live Review
Jackie Collins Existential Question Time video from Manic Street Preachers.
Manic Street Preachers
Continue reading: Manic Street Preachers, Indian Summer Single Review
A snapshot of Bath by @kierboyo https://t.co/azdJgTzgzI
Manic Street Preachers' 'This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours' tour arrives in London tonight for the first of two sold o… https://t.co/jX5ceee6P3
RT @RiffsandMeaning: Happy publication day! https://t.co/Lv0xDYrFM7
RT @RiffsandMeaning: As @Manics embark on thier Truth tour and I wallow in jealousy and envy here in Canada, I'll repost this anniversary t…
RT @RoughTradeBooks: Rough Trade Edition No.29 Patrick Jones - My Bright Shadow Pre-order now... https://t.co/MLukc7bLnG https://t.co/whQ…
A snapshot from Cambridge by @kierboyo https://t.co/F05QUaCcub
A snapshot from Dublin by @kierboyo https://t.co/G8ourvoWvJ
Dublin tonight... A snapshot by @kierboyo https://t.co/0vE6fqQ0E8
Dublin tomorrow... Footage by Kieran Evans. https://t.co/usE20FLU5L
The Manics' This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours tour kicks off at Dublin's Olympia Theatre this coming Sunday. Will you… https://t.co/rrlYEI5iat
The Manics will play two Japanese shows in September, at Zepp DiverCity Tokyo on the 26th and Toyosu Pit on the 27t… https://t.co/xy07TCy3QA
RT @AbsoluteRadio90: .@Manics originally released You Love Us on this day in 1991. Here they are performing the track at @absoluteradio's 1…
RT @NYcheesy: Manic Street Preachers - ‘You Love Us’ originally released on Heavenly Records today in 1991 RIP #RicheyEdwards https://…
The Manics perform 'Ready For Drowning' during a live session at Chateau de la Rouge Motte during winter 1997. Se… https://t.co/52F0Cfw03p
The Manics perform 'Ready For Drowning' during a live session at Chateau de la Rouge Motte during winter 1997. Se… https://t.co/KQCK887ujI
RT @SonyLegacyUK: #OnThisDay April 28, 2014: ‘Walk Me To The Bridge’, the lead single from @Manics’ 12th studio album, ‘Futurology’, is rel…
Manic Street Preachers play Sheffield's @tramlines on July 19th. check out the line up and get tickets here:… https://t.co/ZfoqK2D5OT
RT @NYcheesy: Manic Street Preachers - ‘Your Love Alone Is Not Enough’ (featuring #NinaPersson) from the album ‘Send Away the Tigers’ and r…
Manic Street Preachers play Sheffield's @tramlines on July 19th. check out the line up and get tickets here:… https://t.co/CQHmPTrgmo
The Manics headline @KendalCalling in the Lake District's Lowther Deer Park, on July 27th. Check out the full line… https://t.co/mIgx06O9zQ