Tramlines Friday 2019: Manic Street Preachers @ Nulty’s Main Stage

Quick bit of nostalgia: the first gig I ever went to was the Manics performing at the Octagon in 2007 – and they well and truly blew me (and particularly my ear drums) away.

James Dean Bradfield’s guitar-playing virtuosity, the crowd’s adoring commitment and the seemingly endless vault of hits struck me like a bolt from above. I was converted. Live music was the best thing the world had to offer.

That in mind, it made for a special moment to see that they’d lost none of their magic when they played the Tramlines main stage. The Welsh band of brothers hit the ground running, riffing out ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ and ‘You Stole The Sun From My Heart’ to start things off before playing ‘The Everlasting’ from the album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, which they’ve been marking the 20th anniversary of.

A relentless pursuit through their greatest hits followed until they unexpectedly belted out a version of Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Sweet Child O Mine’, which fitted in seamlessly and harked back to the group’s never-too-far-away halcyon days.

The underrated ‘All Surface, No Feeling’ was followed by the inevitable set-closer ‘A Design For Life’, which proved that the Manics’ irrepressible relevance and ability to send a crowd into raptures must never be underestimated.

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