Welsh rock legends Manic Street Preachers hit heights at Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod 2017

Reporter:

Geraint Jones

Welsh rock legends Manic Street Preachers provided a triumphant end to the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod celebrations.    

With 12 albums and a host of hit singles under their belts, the Manics have gone from glam rock outsiders to stadum-filling chart heroes – with the band’s first performance in Llangollen showing why they have become so-well loved by music fans.

Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens warmed up the audience at the Royal International Pavilion with sets between acts, and served as compere for a night Manics fans will not forget.

Support act Reverend and the Makers cranked out some impressive sounds, including hit single Heavyweight Champion of the World and cuts from their new album.

If anyone was unfamiliar with the band, they were bouncing along by the final song, Out of the Shadows, and the five-piece Sheffield act left to a warm ovation.

The headliners kicked off with Motorcycle Emptiness from their 1992 debut album Generation Terrorists, and the trio from Blackwood then powered through the rest of a 17-song set packed with hits from the group’s extensive back catalogue.

A succession of well-known tracks followed, including Tsunami, Everything Must Go Your Love Alone, Kevin Carter and number one smash If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next.

Frontman and led guitarist James Dean Bradfield impressed with his superlative riffs and powerful voice.

He had the crowd in the palm of his hand as he remembered singing with a choir on the eisteddfod stage when aged 12, as well as reminiscing about the band’s former rhythm guitarist and lyricist, Richey Edwards, who disappeared 22 years ago. 

Bassist Nicky Wire still prowls the stage with great energy and charisma, while drummer Sean Moore provided the backbone to the band’s huge sound.  

Fan favourite A Design For Life had the whole arena singing along and the band received a rapturous send-off when they left the stage, as cannons fired off streamers and glitter into the crowd.

Llanfest also played host to numerous bands from North Wales and beyond, including Captain Zed, Y Gogs, Army of Skanks, Living Sounds, Buddy Holly and The Black Jacks, Roving Crows, Wilson and Skeet Williams.

Check out our brilliant pictures above from photographer Craig Colville.

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