MANIC STREET PREACHERS : 4 REAL, 1991-1994
Along with a couple of shots that have become iconic in Manics hagiography, it primarily includes a treasure trove of very rarely seen photos from early gigs, some of which I went to and others I really wanted to go to.
As the pamphlet flipped open at the centre pages, I jolted to see myself staring back, looking aloof at the Christmas Diorama show of 1991 in my pristine white denim jacket (now spray painted but still worn to Manics shows), a chaotic, on the edge, brilliant gig which somehow always seemed on the edge of erupting into violent disaster, but somehow never quite did.
At Downing College Ball, the band are pictured being escorted by penguin suited, superior looking students, ready to play their four songs, before being escorted out again, this time less politely. This was a gig I watched out of my Cambridge bedroom window, only catching the fireworks, literal and metaphorical, from 2 miles away, being unable to afford the hundreds of pounds needed for a ticket. It's wonderful to finally find a decent photographic record of these two important concerts, which seem to have been barely documented.
Justin Thomas appears to share R*E*P*E*A*T's philosophy that the audience are an important part of the live nusic experience, and I love the shots of the toffs, tarts and toughies in the crowd : the besuited, bemused and befuddled Cambridge students, the laddish music journalists trying to impress with Fabulous at the Diorama, the struggling security and then the 'Stay Beautiful' balloon bouncing party at the Hibernian.
Spot future fanzine editor...
These, mixed with some gorgeous band shots from the University of Sussex gig on new years day 1992, and a few more from 1994 (Glastonbury and the Clapham Grand), make this a precious collection for all fans of early MSP. It has special relevance to those who went to the early shows and are now kicking themselves for dancing and moshing and generally being young, instead of sensibly taking photos.
Those like me.
I just wish there were more of it ...
This is a limited edition of 250 so get your skates on and order from https://hangingaroundbooks.com/
The band, the book, new R*E*P*E*A*T Cd (with MSP connections - see here) and the Swansea rain.
Look at R*E*P*E*A*T's Manic Street Preachers from 1991 to the present here