My Writings: Manic Street Preachers Concerts I've Been To

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London Carling Hammersmith Apollo - 19 April 2005

The following is reproduced from my journal entry of 12 May 2005. The full set list is below.

If the previous night was all about my friends, Matt and Christian, the thrill of seeing the Manics for the first time in over 5 years, and trying to see the band amongst the bouncy people around me, the second night was an entirely different thing!

I decided that day to do nothing else, but join the queue for the show kind of early. I got to the venue something after 4 PM. There were already a bunch of people there. First, I talked to two ladies who were sitting away from the queue, then I went and stood in line. It was about 5 PM. I ended up meeting some nice people who were standing around me. At some point, the boxes with the CDs that were being given away that night, appeared. I don't know what happened, but suddenly, the CDs were being passed around in the queue. I made sure I got one for myself, one for Matt (since he asked for one), and one for those people in Ohio who I had bought the T-shirt for the previous night (they also had asked for one). Good thing I got mine then - there weren't any being given away at the door!

BTW, I love the CD! It's only three songs, but I think it's the best thing the Manics have came up with since "The Masses Against The Classes" single back in 2000. I've played the new CD many times since I got it, usually twice in a row, each time.

Anyway, we - me and my new friend, the nice woman who was standing right behind me in the queue outside - stood third back from the barrier/stage at the show! The advantage of getting there early. Anticipating a real problem with my ears, I put lots of tissue in both ears just before the support act, the Delays again, went on. I liked them the second time around, also.

When Nicky's microphone stand was put in its place on the stage, and people clapped, my new friend mentioned that it's the only mic stand in the world to get its own ovation. Very true!

The Manics' set was a different experience from the previous night. The set list was a bit different, for one. And they were on longer - from 9 until 10:40, 10 minutes more. I did cry this time during "Cardiff Afterlife". They played a bit of another song (not one of theirs) before it, which had the lyric, "you can't put your arms around a memory". It hit me that was that for Richey, and I started getting teary. During CA, the tears were flowing. (I felt a bit silly, but I don't think anyone noticed.) I was pretty much in front of Nicky to start, and eventually, was even more in front of him, as the crowd in back of me pushed me in that direction during the night. James and Nicky talked to each other a bit, (there really wasn't much talking the night before), but I couldn't understand most of it. Probably because of the tissue in my ears, and maybe a bit because I was too close to the speakers. I didn't have to worry about seeing through people, though. I could see James, and sometimes, Sean. And I even saw the band's official photographer, Mitch Ikeda, snapping away. The crowd seemed a bit more subdued than the night before's. Maybe it was just because of where I was standing. But, this was the third time I'd been to a show that was the last of the tour, and it always seems that the last show is calmer than the others, both the band and the audience.

After the show, I decided to try to meet some of the people that I thought I recognised from the foreverdelayed forum. Well, one person said she wasn't who I thought she was. Another one was, but she just turned away from me, right in the middle of me talking to her. Obviously, she felt she had better things to do than to be nice to a stranger. Right after that, some of the colourful bracelets that had been on the world's most famous mic stand, were thrown to the crowd that was lingering. I couldn't get any. I almost got one, but some guy stepped on it and snatched it away before I could pick it up. (They looked like they were just cheap, plastic things, anyway.) Feeling deflated, I went outside.

I was determined to get an autograph from Nicky, if nothing else. So, I joined the people who were standing at one side of the venue. (I think I recognised some of them, also, from the fd forum, but I wasn't up to talking to any of them). Soon enough, Nicky came out, and started going down the barrier that was up, giving autographs and talking to people. I stuck my arm out, and got my CD signed. Then, hiding behind people in case Nicky would notice the same person trying to get another autograph and wouldn't do it, I stuck my arm out, and got another thing signed - the cover of the band's greatest hits CD, that I had brought with me to the show, specifically to get signed. [See pictures below] Then, I noticed that some people were going around the barrier. I was feeling a lot better at this point, so I went around the barrier, also. And, soon, Nicky got up to me. Well, since I already had two things signed, I decided not to get too greedy and ask for yet another one. (I could have gotten my ticket signed.)

Here's what happened between me and Nicky. I wrote it down later that night on a McDonald's bag, (I'd hardly eaten anything all day). The italics are for where I couldn't remember precisely what Nicky said:
Me: I just want to shake your hand.
Me: I came all the way from America for these shows.
Hey, do you have any intention of ever playing there again?
Nicky: We might. Maybe. We're doing this documentary...
Me: Yeah, the one with Elizabeth. Yeah, I know.
Nicky: So you never know. Maybe.
Me: 'Cos last time I saw you, I had to go up to Toronto, Canada to see you and now here. I'd love to see you in my home country.
Me: There are American Manics fans.
Nicky: We know.
Me: We'd love to see you guys again.
(Nudges me on my arm)
Nicky: Thanks for your support.
(Walks away)

The poor man! I did get a bit carried away there, didn't I? It was as if I thought that if I asked him enough, he'd decide the band would come to America! But other than that, I wasn't too stupid sounding. I just don't get too bad around famous people. Probably because of all those years of hanging around baseball players.

Anyway, after I met Nicky, I left for the tube, which was closed (so, I had to take a taxi). It was just around 11:30. Interestingly, I met Daniel Ash for the first time around 11:30 at night, also. Will there be more to come with Nicky?

I wish I had had my camera with me. I would have loved to have gotten a picture with Nicky. Oh, well. I don't have any pictures with any famous rock stars, even though I've met a few of them.

The front cover of God Save The Manics CD, signed by Nicky Wire       The front cover of Forever Delayed CD booklet, signed by Nicky Wire

Set List

Found That Soul
A Design For Life
Roses In The Hospital
Everything Must Go
My Little Empire
Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier
Of Walking Abortion
Let Robeson Sing
You Love Us
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
The Everlasting (acoustic)
Archives Of Pain (semi-acoustic)
You Stole The Sun From My Heart
Stay Beautiful
You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory/Cardiff Afterlife
Motorcycle Emptiness
Paradise City/Motown Junk

Copyright © 2005 Vivian Campbell. All rights reserved.

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