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Manic Street Preachers at Cliffs Pavilion, Southend

Last night reminded me why I loved the Manics so much in the first place.

I don't know if it's just because I'm getting old (thirty now) or if I'm settled down and have less time to devote to music, gigs etc. but the excitement levels pre-gig weren't as high as they might have been even five years ago. The venue too seemed strange considering eleven years ago I saw them in the Millennium Stadium. It definitely seemed like a gig for older people, looking around it was difficult to spot any obvious Manics fans, apart from the ones at the barrier - there were quite a lot of grey haired people about!

The only obvious fans were at the barrier.
The support act were British Sea Power. Hmmm, yeah. I'd seen them once before but can't remember where or anything about them, and this was pretty much the same I'd have to say. They had a violinist on stage but I couldn't hear it anywhere in the mix. I did like their T-shirts though, one said 'Heron addict' and the other said 'I just don't get it'.

British Sea Power.
We positioned ourselves on the far right of the stage on Nicky's side, but not too far in because Anna obviously can't get bumped around. We had a pretty decent view, but then anywhere in there would have had a decent view!

Then the Manics came on and the first three songs were You Love Us, Your Love Alone and Motorcycle Emptiness, not a bad start(!) They did four new ones, and one from Journal For Plague Lovers. Surprisingly there did seem to be a few people around us who knew all the words so we didn't feel too silly singing along. Some songs were a surprise - Ready For Drowning I haven't heard in a long time, yet I could still sing all the words!

Overall it far exceeded my expectations, and I had a huge smile on my face throughout, even during Everything Must Go! This was the setlist:

  1. You Love Us
  2. Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
  3. Motorcycle Emptiness
  4. (It’s Not War) Just The End of Love
  5. Peeled Apples
  6. Roses In The Hospital
  7. Postcards From A Young Man
  8. This Is Yesterday
  9. La Tristesse Durera
  10. Some Kind Of Nothingness
  11. Ocean Spray
  12. Masses Against The Classes
  13. Everything Must Go
  14. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
  15. Ready For Drowning (acoustic)
  16. You Stole The Sun From My Heart (acoustic)
  17. Faster
  18. No Surface All Feeling
  19. Golden Platitudes
  20. Suicide Is Painless (Theme From M*A*S*H)
  21. Motown Junk
  22. Tsunami
  23. A Design For Life
Finally, it was nice to be able to get home without having to run for a train! Would be great if more bands played here, I never thought I'd get to see Blur and the Manics at the Cliffs!


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