James Dean Bradfield, the frontman, songwriter and guitarist with the Manic Street Preachers will headline the London Acoustic Guitar Show on Sunday 14 September, playing an intimate acoustic set at London’s Olympia.
Dressed in glam clothing, wearing heavy eyeliner and shouting political rhetoric, the Manic Street Preachers emerged from their hometown of Blackwoods, Wales, as self-styled “generation terrorists.” Their self consciously dangerous image, leftist leanings, crunching hard rock and an outsider status made them favourites of the British music press and helped them build a dedicated following.
The Manics were one of the key bands of the early ’90s. The New Art Riot EP appeared in the summer of 1990, followed by a pair of defining singles – ‘Motown Junk’ and ‘You Love Us’ – in early 1991 on Heavenly Records.
‘Stay Beautiful’ was the Manics’ first release for Sony, and it climbed into the British Top 40 late in the summer of 1991, followed early in 1992 by a re-recorded ‘You Love Us,’ which peaked in the Top 20. By the time they released their much-hyped debut album, Generation Terrorists, in February 1992, they had already cultivated a large and devoted following. The Manics had been claiming that they would disband following the release of their debut, yet it became clear by the fall, when a non-LP cover of ‘Suicide Is Painless (Theme from M*A*S*H)’ became their first Top 10 hit, that they would continue performing. They went on to release Gold Against The Soul (1993) and The Holy Bible (1994).
Following the disappearance of rhythm guitarist Richey James Edwards, the Manic Street Preachers returned in December 1995 opening for the Stone Roses. In May 1996, they released Everything Must Go, which was preceded by the number two single ‘A Design For Life.’
Everything Must Go didn’t just go multi-platinum – it established the Manics as superstars. They didn’t deliver their follow-up, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, until August of 1998.
Know Your Enemy followed in 2001, and then in 2004, they released Lifeblood. Both vocalist and guitarist James Dean Bradfield, and bassist Nicky Wire, followed this release with solo albums, and then reconvened in 2007 to record the edgier, punk-influenced Send Away The Tigers. After its release, the band quickly set to work on another album, Journal For Plague Lovers, using Richey James’ abandoned lyrics as inspiration. Postcards From A Young Man, the band’s tenth studio album, followed in 2010.
After releasing a compilation called National Treasures: The Complete Singles in the fall of 2011, the band plugged away in the studio, working on an ambitious project tentatively titled 70 Songs of Hatred and Failure. At one point they despaired of simply having written too much material, before hitting on the idea of releasing two very different albums. The first, a folky, almost entirely acoustic, emotionally raw effort entitled Rewind The Film, appeared in the fall of 2013, and the second, Futurology, is out fresh from the press and out now.
‘Futurology is the quintessence of the people we are when we’re with each other. How we react to each other. What we talk about. What we argue about. How we agree. Futurology is the people we are,’ says James Dean Bradfield.
With more than 40 singles – including ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’, ‘A Design For Life’, ‘Kevin Carter’, ‘Everything Must Go’, ‘If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next’, ‘The Masses Against The Classes’, ‘Your Love Alone Is Not Enough’ – as well as 12 studio albums, the Manics have carved out an enduring career fuelled by anthemic guitar riffs, making them one of the most important British rock bands of recent times. James Dean Bradfield’s headline acoustic set will demonstrate his lasting songwriting and performing prowess, playing a selection of hits from his back catalogue as well as new tracks from Futurology.
James Dean Bradfield plays the London Acoustic Guitar Show featuring Electric Live on Sunday 14 September 2014. The Manics’ Futurology is out now. Tickets for the show are on sale from lags.blazefuture.wpengine.com