Live review: Manic Street Preachers at Shepherd’s Bush O2, 17/05/19

Twenty years on from their landmark ‘This Is My truth, Tell Me Yours’, Manic Street Preachers have opted for another anniversary tour in celebration of the triple platinum seller.

While it had a transformational effect on the band and propelled them to the highest echelons of British music, it’s never easy to judge how it will go down when played in full, live 20 years on.

One thing that was for certain is that James Dean Bradfield and Nicky Wire would not go down wondering, and somehow reinvigorated the whole record with fresh energy despite entering their 50s.

The record does suffer its lower points, dipping in energy through certain moments, an issue the band have tried to address but shuffling the guest list.

Opening with ‘The Everlasting’ and offering a rare outing to tracks including ‘Be Natural’ and ‘I’m Not Working’, the set naturally reaches its high points when the Manics touch on old classics such as ‘You Stole The Sun From My Heart’.

The gig eventually moves on to become a veritable greatest hits medley, a move helping to appease the broader Manic fans that does in turn give spine tingling moments such as ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ still so powerful and fresh. While pandering to the masses, the band also take the chance to stick some of their own favourites into the mix, creating a fascinating second-half of the gig.

While not a perfect gig by any means, you get the sense that really The Manics do not care. This was them doing what they done for three decades, and doing it justice in every sense.

 

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