Taking the stage with a 6-strong set of accomplished rockers, the Cambridge Corn Exchange was host to The Manic Street Preachers, The Manics as they are affectionately known, on Tuesday night.

Not deviant or raucous but clear in their message and delivery. They are levelling in somewhat somber tones that the band tends to exist in. The Manics always hint at the sorrowful and are equally serious in nature, which is a constant undercurrent running through. They don’t pander with unnecessary showmanship, just technically brilliant music delivered with confidence accompanied by thoughtful backstories and dedications.

The Manic Street Preachers – On Tour

The band are on tour and while they are playing the stand-outs, they are including plenty from their recent album, ‘Resistance Is Futile’ which celebrates The Manics impressive trajectory as artists that spans decades.

Frontman James Dean Bradfield tackles each song with an impressive set of rotating guitars which he dominates with ease. The setlist varied in tempo. There were classics from albums Everything Must Go, Generation Terrorists, A Design For Life as well as less-adored albums such as ‘Lifeblood’.

Sing-a-longs ensued with ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’, soon followed by ‘Sleepflower’ with its weightier tones. One of the highpoints came with ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’, as expected, with the eloquent rockiness it always delivers. With the memory of lost band member Richey Edwards never far from mention or dedication from the band, you can see The Manics taking stock as they make their way through their discography.

The final song in their musical offering, ‘A Design For Life’, was accompanied in full by the crowd as the band bids their farewells. With plenty of humble gratitude and love going back and forth, The Manics always deliver and never disappoint.


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Dana Miller