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Manic Street Preachers: "We always wanted to be massive"

Twenty years and seven albums down the line, the Manic Street Preachers thought they might have hit the buffers. Then recording 2007’s Send Away The Tigers assured them that they had a future

There’s a story that Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire tells. It’s early autumn 2006, and he’s finished up the final rounds of press for his solo album I Killed The Zeitgeist and has taken the train from Wales to London. Among the items in his bag is a cassette tape and a sheet of handwritten lyrics. Manics singer James Dean Bradfield is still living in Chiswick, west London, so they meet at Paddington station. Wire has written what he feels is his first real song – including the melody and vocals – for the band, Your Love Alone, and also the words for a song that would become Rendition.

Sitting beneath the high eaves of the station’s Victorian glass and steel roof, pigeons becoming a blur of grey traces above the shunting of trains, Wire and Bradfield swap notes and arrange to reconvene that afternoon.


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From the archive

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