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They’ve been around for two decades,

They are from Wales

They’ve performed in Cuba and met Fidel Castro, the first band from UK to do so

They have released eight albums

They sing about peace, freedom, the working class, social critics,

They are regarded as the working class heroes

They are James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire, and Sean Moore

They are Manic Street Preachers, and they are coming to Singapore!

I’ve been waiting for this moment since I heard that they are coming to Singapore couple months ago. I even got my ticket way back then. Manic Street Preachers, often known as MSP or simply Manics, the welsh alternative rock band. I’ve come across with manic in my high school years with their single A Design For Life. The single which mistakenly regarded as drinking theme, probably because part of the lyrics said :

We don’t talk about love

we only want to get drunk

And the day finally came, November 24th, Manic Street Preachers will be performing in front of their fans at Fort Canning Park. The same place where I overwhelmed by the musical orgasm by Incubus on March. Dark clouds were hanging in the sky, spread a little worry that it might rain in the night. Oh yeah, it was rain or shine event.

So, 6 pm sharp, I hurried my ass back home, unfortunately I had to make a stop at 7/11, so I walked down the hilly street from my office to the nearest 7/11 on Pasir Panjang road, and waited for the bus at the bus stop nearby. It was 6.28 pm already when the bus arrived, it took about 20 minutes to get me home from the office. When I reach my house it’s already 10 minutes to 7 and the concert was scheduled at 8 pm. After Maghrib pray, I get down the street waiting for the bus to take me to Dhoby Ghaut, the closest bus stop to Fort Canning.

I arrived at Dhoby Ghaut at 8, with a little run, I climb the hill to Fort Canning Park, when I get there, the opening act just finished, one local band, don’t really care since I am not following local music scene. It took about 45 minutes for the crew to prepare the gear and everything related to the performance. And it’s 9 pm sharp… James Dean Bradfield, followed by Nicky and Sean enter the stage… the already restless crowd start cheering for their idols.

And Let the show begins!!

Without further ado, James Dean Bradfield started to rock Fort Canning with “Motorcycle Emptiness” from their debut album Generation Terrorist.

The crowd itself was a mix of multiple generation, from teenagers to 40 something. For most of the teenagers, this was like “what??!!” since some of them was just born by the time this song was released almost two decades ago. James was quite attractive with his guitar (somehow I personally think he was over doing it…). After this opening song, the next song was Autumn Song (latest album Send Away the Tigers, followed by La Tristesse Durera (2nd album, Gold Against the Soul) and Faster (3rd ablum, The Holy Bible).

A very short break, James try to interact with the crowd, one of the fans hands Nicky the flag of Wales. They start kicking back with Everything Must Go one of their hits from their 4th album titled the same.

Followed by You Stole the Sun from My Heart from their first ever chart topping fifth album “This is my Truth tell me Yours”

Again, James was pretty much energetic with his guitar through out these songs. This sixth song was quite familiar to most of the crowd and they couldn’t help to sing along with it, well not exactly singing but rather screaming. Followed with Ocean Spray from their 6th album “Know Your Enemy” and The Masses Against the Classes a single released in 2000 which draws the attention of the Cuban leader Fidel Castro and he was one of the attendance when MSP performed in Havana at Karl Marx theatre on February 2001.

You Love Us from their first album was the ninth song of the night, and the first half of the show was closed by a cover version of Nirvana’s Pennyroyal tea.

After a short break, the trio plus two additional player continue to mesmerize the audience with Send Away the Tigers from the latest album with the same title. Coming up after wards was my introductory song to Manics, A Design for Life from their fourth album.

Finished with A Design for Life, Nicky and Sean step down the stage and letting James takes the stage for his own for a while. He change his guitar with an acoustic one to perform Small Black Flowers that Grow in the sky from Everything Must Go and The Everlasting from This is My Truth Tell Me Yours.

After taking a break for about 10 minutes, Nicky and Sean with two additional musician step back to the stage to join James continuing with their performance with the latest hits from their latest albums, Your Love Alone is Not Enough, the original version of this song featured Nina Persson from the Cardigans. It would be whole lot better if Nina was touring with the band, but it seems to good to be true :D.

I was pretty much looking forward for the cover version of Rihanna’s Umbrella and my expectation didn’t fail me. I don’t know why, this song probably the most covered song of the year, from Alejandro Manzano with his acoustic version, All Time Low in punk version, Tegan and Sara did one too, and of course Manics version of the song. In my opinion all of those cover were much better than the original version. And they did play it after Your Love Alone Is Not Enough.

Time surely fly really fast, it was an hour already of the show so far, the crowd seems tireless and still pretty much energized. They continue to jump, sing and scream all the way. The manic take another break for a while. Five minutes later, the show continues with Little baby nothing from Generation Terrorists, 1985 from Lifeblood and Motown Junk the early released single prior to Generation Terrorists. If I did my count correctly it was the nineteenth song of the night. The next song, probably the most famous song of the band, the twentieth song of the night, If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next from This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours.

The song was about the Spanish Civil War, and the idealism of volunteers from around the world who joined the International Brigade fighting Franco’s military rebels against the Spanish Republic. The song takes its name from a Republican poster of the time. A photograph of a young child killed by Nationalist bombs is shown under a sky of bombers with the stark warning “If you tolerate this, your children will be next” written at the bottom. Various works on the Spanish Civil War were the inspiration for this song, most notably George Orwell’s first-hand account, “Homage to Catalonia”. Wire has acknowledged that he was also inspired by a song by The Clash, “Spanish Bombs”, which has a similar subject. [1]

And that concluded the show, it was a brilliant song choice to end an awesome night. The crowd still hungry for more and as usual, in every brilliant performance, they were screaming “we want more!”. I was also hesitated to leave the venue, hoping that they would play us some more of their music. But, it was just a hope. I walked home, overwhelmed and amazed.



The videos on this post were not the actual footage of the show. They were put there to give an idea of the ambience of the night. Photos are not available, since my SLR was held by the gate keeper.

Footnote :

[1] From WiKipedia



  1. “Your love alone … Is not enough … Not enough … Not enough …”

    Wish they came here, to Jakarta 🙂

  2. i n v u

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