Appearing around the time that the Manic Street Preachers took to the stage to help celebrate Heavenly’s eighteenth birthday last month, here is a great interview by Simon Price with Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield. It focusses on their time on the Heavenly label, and includes some reflections on the group’s first London outing, promoted (I use that word in its loosest sense) by ‘mod English eccentric’ Kevin Pearce. Bob Stanley wasn’t the only one laughing that night – the Manics compelled a reaction, and the laughter was instinctive; pleasure that they were as over the top as they were, mixed with an undercurrent of derision (for they seemed ludicrously deluded), and possibly an edge of hysteria at what might happen next.
There are honourable mentions in the interview for the Claim and Bullfrog fanzine (edited by Chris Jones who is discussed elsewhere in these pages), apparently a favourite of James’. The tone of the interview is affectionate and humble, and it’s hard not to smile at the idea of Jeff Barrett and Martin Kelly as an indie version of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor.