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'We want to be the flowers of hat

Febnmnyl 991


The Manic Street Preachers had played less than 40 gigs when I spoke to Richey Edwards, a few weeks prior to their Glaswegian debut. With their abraswe manifesto and glam punk image, they had already made a splash, but had yet to find a sizeable audience.

Richey, only a few months away from his infamous ’4 REAL' arm slashing, was polite, intelligent, articulate and eager to expound on all areas of the lvlanics’ compelling but flawed philosophy: 'We want to be the flowers of hate that clear everything away'.

Rounding off the interView with the usual innocuous inquiry about future plans prompted a surprisingly considered reply. ’We’re going to put out two more singles in Britain, tour, go to America in the summer, tour there, start recording a double LP which will take about three months, put that out, tour solidly for six months and by then we’ll be the biggest rock band in the world, and after that we'll Just disappear. So that’s our plan, which Will come true.’

Keen for more lvlanic manifesto, I tried to speak to Richey at their modestly attended King

113 THE ”ST 27 Aug--


l0 Sep 1998

Tut’s gig —. but he was too pissed to string a sentence together. (Fiona Shepherd)

75 May 7997 Having described ’You Love us’ as ’a motherfucker of a sing/e’, the NME sends Steve Lamacg to cover their Norwich gig. When the journalist questions the Manics’ commitment, Richey carefully carves the words ’4 REAL’ into his left arm with a razor-blade. Six days later they sign to Sony for [650,000. ’The credibility of indie labels is shit,’ says Nicky

70 February 7992 Double album Generation Terrorists is released to hyperbolic reviews. Breaking their promise to split up following this debut, the Manics comment that ’our level of hypocrisy is on the same level of the media and the press.’

Junel 993


The first day of the Glastonbury Festival where, among Britain’s sun-kissed, cider-pissed youth, positive vibes reign supreme. Nicky Wire isn’t there though. He’s sat in a hotel room in An English

Town, making typically cheery state of the nation Judgements like ’We think our generation has been utterly pathetic in coping With modern life, letting everything fall into disrepair’.

Back then, on the eve of the release of Gold Against The Soul, the second album the Manic Street Preachers swore they’d never make, he was lucid, candid and kinda . . . fun. Here was a band who were alive to the posSibilities inherent in walking like an indie Bon JOVi, yet talking like the last revolutionaries on the barricades. Here was a man who didn’t care if James Dean Bradfield had to play his bass parts for him in the studio, yet agonised over exactly how to give v0ice to his personal crises in the lyrics.

’I like bands With a lot of fuck-ups, who flirt with disaster,’ he opined. ’lt Just shows that they’re fallible. All humans are fallible, after all. And we’re just a reflection of that.’ (Craig McLean)

7 December 7993 -— Philip Hall, the band’s manager, mentor and close personal friend dies of cancer. A band statement reads: ’Without his help, motivation and generosity, it is doubtful whether we, as a band, would have carried on.’

April 7994 —— A trip to Bangkok becomes an exercise in debauchery Richey visits a brothel and, having been gifted a set of knives by a Thai fan, takes the stage with a bleeding torso.