I was determined to see the Manics live this year after several years of missing out. The morning the tickets went on sale I made sure I was on a fast internet connection and had my credit-card number in a paste buffer. I even put off going for a wee, just so I could be sure of a ticket. My relentless F5-ing of the sales page paid off and I got a pair of tickets less than a minute after they were released.
I’d like to have been able to claim all this effort was necessary, but it turns out it wasn’t – I was able to buy another pair of tickets for the same night later in the day with no problems.
Yesterday (the night of the gig) rolled around and two people called off at the last moment. A taker was found for one ticket, and one was spare (was too late to really drag anybody else to London).
We queued, we got in, we let the leopard-print and glitter fans surge to the front, and we took up positions on a slightly raised platform by the mixing desk.
Beer – “real ale”, Â£3.50 a pint, ice cold and in plastic glasses. One was more than enough.
The warmup act were instantly forgettable, they shared a producer with the Manics, but were just noise live. Very very loud noise.
The Manics came on and played though the whole of the new album – Journal for plague lovers. The high points (for me) being “Me and Stephen Hawking” , “She Bathed Herself in a Bath of Bleach” and Nicky Wire singing “Williamâ€™s Last Words”.
That was the better part of an hour, then they took a short break and came back with another hour of their older stuff:
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
No Surface All Feeling
You Love Us
La Tristesse Durera
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
Little Baby Nothing
You Stole The Sun From My Heart
Stop In the Name of Love into Motown Junk
Everything Must Go
A Design For Life
I did my best to stop a couple of small girls getting squished when the pogoing started up near us in the more popular tracks. The tinnitus still hasn’t totally gone. Ear plugs next time. I shall go again. 9/10