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MANIC STREET PREACHERS made a triumphant return to the live arena this evening with a Greatest Hits performance at V2002.

The Welsh trio, who have spent much of this year out of the public eye, working on new songs to be included on their forthcoming compilation ‘Forever Delayed’, headlined the NME Stage at Hylands Park, Staffordshire. They were a last-minute addition to the bill after a stage shuffle brought about from the cancellation of Main Stage headliners Travis.

Despite the fact bassist Nicky Wire recently told NME.COM the band had written 14 new songs, including potential new singles ‘Forever Delayed’ and ‘There By The Grace Of God’, their set contained no new material.

Opening with ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’, a track singer James Dean Bradfield had performed solo at the Virgin Radio Tent earlier in the day, their set featured songs from the classic early singles ‘Little Baby Nothing’ and ‘You Love Us’, up to recent single ‘Ocean Spray’ – a song written by Bradfield, inspired by his late mother.

Bradfield remained tight-lipped throughout most of the rest of the evening, although before ‘Masses Against The Classes’, he somewhat bizarrely announced “I used to be a wedding singer, I’m going to try to lead you in this song”.

Manic Street Preachers played: ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’

‘You Stole The Sun From My Heart’

‘Masses Against The Classes’

‘Scream To A Sigh’

‘Kevin Carter’

‘Little Baby Nothing’



‘From Despair To Where?’

‘Suicide Is Painless’

‘Stay Beautiful’

‘Everything Must Go’


‘Ocean Spray’

‘Motown Junk’

‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’

‘You Love Us’

‘A Design For Life’

The show capped a busy day of activity for the Manics, who earlier saw the biggest crowd of the day at the NME Signing Tent. Thousands of fans waited for up to two hours to meet their heroes, and despite signing autographs for twice their allocated time, some fans were left disappointed.

From here, the Manic Street Preachers head north to Weston Park, where they will play the second date of V2002.

The band’s set remained the highlight of an otherwise fairly uneventful day in Chelmsford. Liv Tyler, who watched Supergrass play in London earlier in the week, turned up to see them again, while sunkissed fans were treated to greatest hit sets from other bands including Ian Brown, Alanis Morissette and Badly Drawn Boy.