Manic Street Preachers bring Shockwaves NME Awards Big Gig to climax

Bagpipes, flags and star guests come out for the Godlike Geniuses

NME‘s newly-crowned Godlike Geniuses Manic Street Preachers played a triumphant headline slot at the Shockwaves NME Awards Big Gig at the O2 Arena in London tonight (February 28).

Following sets from The Cribs with Johnny Marr, Klaxons, Bloc Party and Kaiser Chiefs the band took to the stage after an enormous line of kilt-clad bagpipers and drummers opened the epic set, playing a crowd-wowing instrumental blast before the Welsh rockers took to the stage.

Opening their set with 2000 Number One single ‘The Masses Against The Classes’, James Dean Bradfield and co played with their trademark Welsh flag draped over an amp, with bassist Nicky Wire sporting fetching white trousers and gold glitter eyeliner.

“We’re very fucking happy to be here,” Bradfield said, before playing ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ to huge applause.

After finishing the fan favourite, Bradfield introduced Tom Clarke from The Enemy, who joined the band on guitar for a rousing rendition of ‘You Love Us’. Bradfield called Clarke a “fucking genius” before he left the stage.

“This song is fucking genius,” Bradfield said later in the set. “We loved it so much we ended up doing a cover of it,” before leading his band through a rocking rendition of last year’s massive chart hit ‘Umbrella’ by Rihanna.

During the rendition – currently available for free with this week’s issue of NMEWire shed his trousers to show off a lovely white skirt with pink designs.

Bradfield then dedicated ‘Mowtown Junk’ to “Mr Richard James Edwards“, who was an original member of the band and who disappeared in 1995. The crowd responded with huge cheers.

“Can you welcome on stage, all the way from Nashville and West Wales, miss Cerys Matthews,” Bradfield then proclaimed, before the ex-Catatonia singer, clad in a striking white outfit, joined the band for a version of ‘Your Love Alone Is Not Enough’, as she did at the awards earlier in the day.

The singer paid tribute to the other bands on the bill before leading the trio through regular set closer ‘A Design For Life’, prompting a huge singalong from the crowd as cascades of glitter tape was released over their heads.

Manic Street Preachers played:

‘The Masses Against The Classes’

‘Motorcycle Emptiness’


‘You Love Us’


‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’

‘Everything Must Go’


‘Send Away The Tigers’

‘She Sells Sanctuary’/’Motown Junk’

‘Your Love Alone Is Not Enough’

‘You Stole The Sun From My Heart’

‘A Design For Life’

For all the awards coverage head to NME.COM/awards now. We have exclusive picture galleries, live webcams, minute-by-minute blogs straight from the ceremony and Big Gig and video interviews with the biggest names at the ceremony.

That’s just the beginning – the ceremony is being broadcast on E4 at 11pm (GMT) tonight (February 28), with highlights following tomorrow (29) on Channel 4 from 11.50pm.

Meanwhile, next week’s issue of NME – on UK newsstands from March 5 – will contain the ultimate coverage, interviews and photos from the 2008 Shockwaves NME Awards.