MANICS RETURN TO LIVE ARENA

The Manics performed their two new singles for broadcast on 'Top Of The Pops'...

MANIC STREET PREACHERS made a triumphant return to the UK live stage last night (February 8) at a filming for the BBC music show ‘TOP OF THE POPS’.

The band recorded both of their new singles, ‘So Why So Sad’ and ‘Found That Soul’, at the BBC studios in Elstree, to an invited crowd of ticketholders and competition winners.

The Manics recorded both tracks twice, once for broadcast this evening (February 9), and one for later use on the program. For the first filming, the stage was backed by a massive Cuban flag. The band themselves have made no significant change to their image, with each dressed in neutral-coloured casual clothing. Bassist Nicky Wire also sported sunglasses.

The Manics played their songs completely live, and opened with main single ‘So Why So Sad’, backed by a three-piece male gospel choir. They looked slightly nervous and occasionally rooted to the spot, but by the time they played sister single ‘Found That Soul’ it was business as usual, with bassist Nicky Wire performing his trademark backing vocals and scissor kicks across the stage, and singer James Dean Bradfield singing with venom.

The band then took a ten-minute break, before returning to record the songs again. The tracks were almost identical, although the flag was replaced by a huge screen displaying the video for ‘So Why So Sad’. The video is set on a beach, and shows a violent war taking place while sunbathers are oblivious to the carnage around them.

Speaking informally to NME.COM following the band’s performance, Wire said it was “great” to be playing live again, although he “didn’t feel like any kind of star at all”. He commented: “It’s just part of the job. Cuba will seem like the start.”

When asked if he was bothered that the band’s first live performance of the year wasn’t in front of loyal Manics fans, he joked, “I don’t mind that, it’s a relief sometimes.”

‘Top Of The Pops’ will be broadcast from 7.30pm this evening on BBC1. Following the show, the band will take part in their first ever Internet webchat with fans. To register a question, log on to www.bbc.co.uk/livechat.

‘So Why So Sad’ and ‘Found That Soul’ are released simultaneously on February 26. The album, ‘Know Your Enemy’, will follow on March 19 via Epic.