Manic Street Preachers, Razorlight

Rob Winckworth 09/12/2004

Last night I trudged across town to see the Manics at Wembley Arena (Zone 4, f#cking annoying). I nearly didn't make it out at all having recieved from they 10th Anniversary Edition of The Holy Bible. I was tempted to sit in and watch the DVD. After stopping for food at Baker Street and getting a ticket for Zone 4, I got to the gig at about 7.30.

Razorlight bounded on, and I really did try to get into them and like them, honestly I did but aside from one or two of their songs, I just can't. Johnny Borrell has a very good voice, but the songs don't get me bouncing with joy (which was lucky for a few people in front of me). Between them and the Manics I perused the merchandise, turned my nose up at it and had a couple of beers, Carling of course.

The Manics then came on starting with '1985' and 'Faster'. It was a pretty good setlist, good to hear 'No Surface All Feeling' and 'Enola/Alone', though i'd rather have 'Kevin Carter' than 'Australia' and 'You Stole The Sun From My Heart' is still shit. They didn't play too much of the new album, I'm sure that they have faith in it, but tonight they only played '1985', 'Nixon', 'Solitude Sometimes Is', 'Empty Souls', 'I Live To Fall Asleep' (During which James stopped the song, though I couldn't make out why, was it because someone was smoking?) and 'A Song For A Departure', which is naff.

Aside from 'Faster', 'This Is Yesterday' got an airing, as did 'Die In The Summertime' and 'Yes'. James got asked to play 'PCP' and 'Revol' and during the acoustic break he playfully started singing the chorus to the latter. I say singing, in fact I don't think he knows any of the words now, but the first few rows reminded him. He also started playing 'Archives of Pain' before 'Small Black Flowers...'.

The Wire was very subdued, not saying too much, although he came back out in his skirt and started making a few more moves. In fact, it was down to James to speak most of the time and he was very amusing. I believe he dedicated 'La Tristesse..' to John Peel (my hearing is pretty bad)and afterwards he joked that the song titles weren't the best for dedicating to people. 'If we had a song called 'Go Fuck Yourself' we'd dedicate it to someone'. James also openly flaunted the non smoking rule in the auditorium, which was disgraceful.

All in all, it was a pretty good gig, i'm usually satisfied whilst watching the Manics, but I fear I can never be blown away by them simply because I was too late getting into them, and rather surprisingly, they didn't play Lincolnshire in 1992. They're seasoned professionals now, so it's unlikely that any of their gigs are going to be really crap, or that they're gonna sound really bad. What I would like, is that they played smaller venues, somewhere like the Forum or Shepherd's Bush Empire. Hopefully next year, they will do.