I am an architect

I realised today that I never actually commented on the Manics‘ concert at Nottingham’s Rock City at the end of May. They were, it must be said, bloody marvelous. It was the eleventh time I’d seen them and it was right up there with their best. The venue was absolutely packed and the atmosphere was remarkable for a band who appeared to have slipped out of the mainstream with ‘Lifeblood‘. The comedy middle-aged baldies congregated in the middle of the floor and virtually ever person in the place seemed to know all of the lyrics. Certainly a different experience to the crowd at the ‘Past, Present, Future‘ gig I attended in Derby, back in 2005. The passion was back this time, not only from the audience but the band also.
Material from the new album, ‘Send Away The Tigers‘ sounded like it had been in their cannon all along, while vintage joys such as ‘Sleepflower‘ were dusted down to keep us keenos happy. In short, it was 100 minutes of delight on an otherwise dull Thursday evening. It certainly rejuvenated my interest in all aspects of the band.
I’ve since been attempting to track down a selection of early Manics singles via eBay and the like. I had everything from ‘A Design For Life‘ onwards and the six singles from the ‘Generation Terrorists‘ era, but nothing from the ‘Gold Against The Soul‘ and ‘The Holy Bible‘ periods. I remember coveting these rare CD singles ten years ago and being aghast at the high prices being asked for them. However, online auctions and marketplaces have reduced the reliance of guide prices and now things simply sell for whatever they can get in a certain time. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve tracked down the 2CD sets of ‘Revol‘ and ‘She Is Suffering‘ as well as the CDs of ‘La Tristesse Durera‘ and ‘Roses In The Hospital‘. ‘MASH‘, ‘From Despair To Where‘, ‘Faster‘ and ‘Life Becoming A Landslide‘ are all in the post. I can’t deny that there is a certain satisfaction in being able to fulfill a youthful ambition, however materialistic. On top of all of that, they had some bloody good b-sides. ‘Love Torn Us Under‘ and ‘Too Cold Here‘ are standouts from these discs, and yet they weren’t on the b-sides compilation, ‘Lipstick Traces‘. Manics history tends to get revised and shuffled quite a lot, so the best way to make up your own mind is to do as I have done: keep an eye out for auctions that finish mid-week, ideally in the morning and have fun. These can all be picked up cheap and there’s much to enjoy.

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