Gary Flockhart: Manics’ Holy Bible is great bash

Manic Street Preachers. Pic: PA

Manic Street Preachers. Pic: PA

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THEY say you should never mix business with pleasure, but what do ‘they’ know?

On Monday night, I trained it through to Glasgow to see the Manic Street Preachers kick-off a tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of their seminal 1994 album The Holy Bible at the Barrowlands.

I did so for two reasons. The first is they’re an incendiary live act who never fail to deliver. The second reason is that the Welsh titans announced the other day that, due to huge demand, they were adding a second string of The Holy Bible live shows for 2015 and, most pertinently, one of themis a visit to Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Saturday, 30 May.

Tickets, priced £32.50, went on sale at 9am this morning – so get your finger out if you fancy going.

Speaking before the gig, Nicky Wire said “There’s a state of mind with The Holy Bible that you have to be really physical. You have to go out with deep conviction, because you just can’t coast it.”

The Manics certainly had conviction as they played the album in its entirety in front of a crowd of die-hards, who were thrilled to hear 4st 7lb get its first live airing since 2005 and both Mausoleum and The Intense Humming Of Evil being played for the first time sine 1994.

There’s a chance the band will change up the setlist by the time they hit Auld Reekie, but the good news is that, in a whopping 23-song set, they throw in some crowdpleasers from their back catalogue as well – on Monday it was Motorcycle Emptiness, If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, You Love Us and set-closer A Design For Life.

Another surprise was the inclusion of the instrumental Dreamin A City, played live for the first time.

Far from being just another Manics Monday (see what I did there?), this was rousing stuff that whet the appetite for the Usher Hall.