JAMES BRADFIELD UPDATES PROGRESS ON NEW MANICS ALBUM Manic Street Preachers Tickets

[a]Manic Street Preachers[/a]' singer James Dean Bradfield has revealed details of the band's forthcoming album...

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Manic Street Preachers' singer James Dean Bradfield has revealed details of the band's forthcoming album, describing it as the sound of their "past, present and future". He told NME: "We've just passed the middle mark. We've still got one or two songs left to write, but we've got about 18 written."

The band recorded most of the album in France with producer Mike Hedges, who also worked on 1996's 'Everything Must Go'. Some mixing was completed at former Beatles producer George Martin's Air Studios in London, and further tracks were recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales.

A final choice is still to be made about which songs will be included on the album, but the process is well on its way, Bradfield said. The album is scheduled for release in early September with a single due in the summer.

Bradfield said that, contrary to previous reports, the album sounded nothing like 'The Holy Bible'. "That's completely wrong, it's nothing like it at all. That would seem really sad... no, it's like something from our past, something from our present and something from our future. It's the same songwriting set-up as it ever was, minus one member, obviously."

The new album features a song about the 1988 Hillsborough football disaster. Sources describe the track as the most "epic" the band have recorded. The Manics played at the Hillsborough Justice Concert at Anfield last May with all proceeds going to the Hillsborough Families Support Group. They also appeared on the live album of the concert, 'You'll Never Walk Alone', with the tracks 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head' and 'You Love Us'.

Meanwhile, the Missing Persons Helpline has confirmed that the family of missing Richey Edwards were behind an appeal placed in the Welsh edition of The Big Issue on January 19. A photograph and description of Richey appeared in the paper's regular 'Missing' column, with an appeal for information about his whereabouts. It came just before the third anniversary of Richey's disappearance. He went missing on February 1, 1995, when he checked out of the Embassy Hotel in Bayswater, London, on the eve of an American tour. He has not been seen since and no body has been found.

Anyone with information about Richey or any other missing person can ring the Missing Persons Helpline on 0500 700-700.

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