Sunflower Bean’s Julia Cumming says “virus who shall not be named” ruined plans to join Manic Street Preachers at Wembley

The singer recently collaborated with the Manics on their single ‘The Secret He Had Missed’

Sunflower Bean’s Julia Cumming has shared that she almost performed with Manic Street Preachers at Wembley Arena last year before COVID forced her to change plans. Watch our full video interview with Cumming above.

Speaking to NME for the latest ‘In Conversation’ interview, the singer discussed her experience singing with the Welsh rock veterans on ‘The Secret He Had Missed’ from their 14th studio album, ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’.

“I think that the Manics have an amazing way of writing great pop, and rock, and just art songs, and I got to be a part of that record,” she said. “It was the first Number One record I’ve ever been a part of.”

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Manic’s bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire spoke to NME about the band’s duet with Cumming last year.

“It’s probably the most ABBA-influenced track on the album, the piano track especially,” Wire said. “It all came out really naturally. It’s what we would call pop in our world – that glacial kind of controlled energy that comes out in something melancholic, but up-lifting.”

Cumming was set to join the band on stage at their acclaimed Wembley Arena gig back in December to perform ‘The Secret He Had Missed’ live, but had to call off her travel plans because of the pandemic.

“It was a day or two before Omicron was announced. I had my tickets and everything,” she told NME. “I was going to perform with them at Wembley but it could not happen due to the virus who shall not be named.”

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Despite having to cancel plans last year, the Brooklyn trio shared that they’ll be returning to the UK this spring and announcing more shows for the summer. “I’m not sure what we’re able to share, but we do have a lot more dates,” the singer explained when asked about the band’s festival plans. “We’re just going to continue to announce them as we can and as the world continues to allow things to happen.”

Sunflower Bean will release the follow-up to 2018’s ‘Twentytwo in Blue’ with ‘Headful Of Sugar’ arriving on May 6 via Lucky Number. You can pre-order/pre-save the album here.

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