Horribly self indulgent today, as in less than two hours we’re travelling to Swansea to see Manic Street Preachers at their last (I think) 20th Anniversary Everything Must Go gig. I am so excited I have been telling random people in exercise classes, on work emails and generally squeeing in happiness every couple of minutes.
I’ll make this vaguely work-related but it’s the weekend so I know you don’t care too much about marketing and social media management at this point anyway. Life is too short to work all the time.
Every anniversary release of a Manics’ album frightens me a little. 10 years since The Holy Bible? Ok, feeling quite old but liveable… 20 years since Everything Must Go? Oh my god. This is the big one. Everything Must Go was the seminal Manics’ album for me. When I was first getting into indie and music generally (let’s not count my Jason Donovan and Cliff Richard obsessions), Richey Edwards was already missing so the anticipation of the Manics’ comeback was a big topic in the music press.
I started to get curious, and luckily got to hear the Manics’ From Despair To Where on a free cassette from Select magazine. It spiraled from there. A bootleg tape of the Reading Festival gig in 1994, the Gold Against The Soul CD… and suddenly A Design For Life hit and I was obsessed. And I never looked back.
It’s not just the energy, the intelligence, the guitar riffs and my unabated crush on James Dean Bradfield (I still love him and I don’t care what you say), but the community of seriously lovely, fiercely passionate Manics fans. I had so many lovely penpals, and our letters were filled with glitter, leopard print, stickers and quotes.
And it was these references that made you look into authors and poets, read a few more books, learn to understand the world and your place in it. And occasionally get angry too. Whenever I think I’ve lost my fire and become complacent, it’s usually around the time I realise that I haven’t listened to the Manic Street Preachers in a while. There’s a lot of injustice in the world, even at a tiny tiny level – I had to say goodbye to my son’s lollipop man yesterday, who’s contract has been terminated through council cuts, even though he offered to stay on voluntarily and was visibly devastated by the change – you might not feel you can do much, but you can always do something, even if it is just talking.
All of this fuelled my love of words and communication, which still hasn’t stopped 20 years on. Which is why I love Manic Street Preachers with all of my heart, and I’m off to pack my eyeliner, feather boa and glitter for what is going to be an amazing gig.
Freelance Marketing Consultant, especially that Social Media stuff.