Manic Street Preachers performed the final night of their Holy Bible anniversary tour with an epic homecoming show at Cardiff Castle last night (Friday 5 June). Check out the full report, setlist and footage below.
The Welsh arena-punk heroes have spent much of the last year touring to celebrate 20 years of their 1994, seminal post-punk masterpiece - with the climax taking place in the fittingly iconic Cardiff Castle.
The first half of the set comprised of the band playing The Holy Bible in its entirety before, as James Dean Bradfield put it, "the second half is all dancing and sandwiches and shit" consisting of a collection of greatest hits and rarities.
The power of The Holy Bible tracks was only amplified in the historic setting, from the rumbling vitriol of 'Yes' to the echoing spite in the closing lines of 'Of Walking Abortion' proving louder than ever, with the sold out crowd hollering back "Who's responsible - you fucking are" with an incredible compulsion.
"Just one thing," bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire told the crowd, paying tribute to The Holy Bible's missing architect, Richey Edwards. "This album could never have been made without the beauty, the genius, the intelligence, the ferocious journalistic skill - will you give it up for the greatest lyricist, Mr Richard Edwards," before kicking into 'Revol'.
Introducing the bittersweet 'This Is Yesterday', Wire continued: "This song is about dreaming, it's about melancholy, it's about reading R.S. Thomas and Philip Larkin, and Elizabeth Jennings, and kind of feeling comfort in coffee, chocolate and tea."
After an explosive rendition of 'PCP' and a short break, returning in an all black suit, Bradfield opened the second set with a stripped back, solo acoustic performance of This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours' epic 'Everlasting, flanked by a string quartet. It was gorgeous.
"Welcome back to the stage, currently standing at 10feet tall, the best centre defender Wales never had, on lyrics, bass and music, the sabre-wrattling, red, white and green, Mr Nicholas Alan Wire," said Bradfield as the band rejoined him, before the anthemic 'Motorcycle Emptiness' and early deep cut 'Condemned to Rock N Roll' - which Wire said they played for the first time in Edinburgh earlier in the week.
Watch the broadcast from the concert below
"He could have been a scientist, he could have been a Formula One driver, he could have invented something, but instead he came and gave his need for speed and his blood, sweat and tears to Manic Street Preachers - in the engine room, forming half of the greatest rhythm section, from Wales, Mr Sean Anthony fucking Moore-o," Bradfield added in tribute to drummer and cousin Sean Moore, before smiling "for anyone with post-election blues, this one is for you," introducing 'Golden Platitudes' from Postcards From A Young Man
One of the most memorable points of the night came when Bradfield played the Welsh National Anthem on guitar, inviting the swelling homecountry crowd to holler it back in full voice before bursting into 'You Love Us'. Traditional set closer 'A Design For Life' was followed by a firework finale, and Bradfield assisting Nicky Wire in destroying his bass guitar. A perfect full stop in an incredible and historic night.
Manic Street Preachers played:
Of Walking Abortion
She Is Suffering
Archives of Pain
This Is Yesterday
Die in the Summertime
The Intense Humming of Evil
The Everlasting (semi-acoustic with string quartet)
Walk Me to the Bridge
Condemned to Rock 'n' Roll
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
Sex, Power, Love and Money
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
You Stole the Sun From My Heart
You Love Us (Welsh National Anthem Intro)
A Design for Life
Watch Manic Street Preachers' Nicky Wire discussing The Holy Bible and what the future holds with Gigwise below