All the gigs of my life

All the gigs of my life: Gig 143 – Manic Street Preachers, Thursday, June 22, 2017, Bristol Harbourside (Bristol Sounds)

A breezy harbourside Manics experience.

My 2017 Summer of Gigs continued with a jaunt to Bristol to see the Manics. This was my first time seeing the boys since my love for the band had been rekindled at the Royal Albert Hall the year before, and I was excited to see them again. However, things did not go quite as planned. In an epic display of stupidity upon arriving in Bristol, I misread the name of my hotel and trekked all the way across the city, only to find I was actually staying right next to the station. At least I can say I got my steps in that day, but maybe this misadventure marred my ability to enjoy the gig fully. From my diary:

‘Due to knackeredness following my epic hike across Bristol and back I didn’t arrive at the venue ‘til a quarter past eight, missing the Anchoress and most of British Sea Power. I was actually pretty chilly and I found myself shivering in just my Primark Bowie t-shirt, jeans and utility jacket. I stood about three quarters of the way back, Nicky side, and had a great view but a little disengaged from the action. Still, that didn’t bother me at RAH, did it?’

So, how were the Manics?

‘It was a great gig, a greatest hits set mostly. Maybe it was the coldness and the open air setting, but I didn’t really feel set alight by the gig. It was great to see them again, and I hollered along with “Motorcycle” and “Tolerate” and all the rest, but strangely it was some of the lesser-spotted classics that connected most with me, like “Indian Summer” and “Found That Soul” and even flippin’ “Show Me The Wonder”.’

So, a perfectly fine evening, but not one of the all-time greats in my Manics gigging history.

‘I think what I really want from the boys is a new album and a gig down Brixton Academy like days of old. Get on it, boys!’

A new album would be announced in a just a few months’ time, and though I have yet to re-experience the joy of the Manics at Brixton, I did get to see them play a wonderful show at the Royal Festival Hall the following year. But before all that, in October 2017, there would be a much better Manics gig in store for me at the Roundhouse.

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