• Word Limits

    30th Jun 2021 by

    Warning: this article contains language some readers might find offensive. Derogatory references to race are contextualised and have not been edited as they are material to the subject under discussion. ‘If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.’ – George Orwell ‘Indeed, as… Read more

  • Nothing Is Nothing

    10th Apr 2021 by

    Barry Kamen’s contribution to The Holy Bible is easy to overlook. A respected figure in the world of fashion, his involvement with Manic Street Preachers’ third album seems to be nothing more than a happy accident. A friend of the design house responsible for overseeing the sleeve and booklet design for the record, Kamen visited… Read more

  • Revolutionary Positions

    6th Apr 2021 by

    “And you’ve organised the show around the polarities of love and revolution, isn’t that right?” “That’s right, it’s a quotation by Che Guevara that goes, ‘A true revolutionary is motivated by great feelings of love’. So you have this idea that to be a revolutionary you have to want to love something enough to want… Read more

  • Unconventional Redemption

    10th Feb 2021 by

    “Art is, in fact, always viewed after the fact, from outside, seldom at the moment it’s created – I’d say twenty years after. After that, one finally determines what effect the work and the artist had. How people then will talk about me, or won’t talk about me, that’s what will count.” – Martin Kippenberger… Read more

  • Desire and Anxiety

    30th Dec 2020 by

    ‘Love is part of desire and desire is always cruel.’ – Neil Gaiman ‘On to the female body have been projected the fantasies and longings and terrors of generations of men and through them of women, in order to conjure them into reality or exorcize them into oblivion.’ – Marina Warner ‘[A] Welshman called Ernest… Read more

  • Always Look for Shade

    22nd Oct 2020 by

    Note: this essay contains spoilers relating to Shade the Changing Man (DC Vertigo). In a special feature published in Melody Maker in December 1993, Richey Edwards selected his ‘Men of the Year’. One of those singled out for praise was Peter Milligan. As Edwards explained to interviewer Simon Price: “He’s the only comic book writer… Read more

  • Eyewitness

    1st Oct 2020 by

    No study of The Holy Bible, its artistic impact and its significance in the history of Manic Street Preachers should overlook the band’s live performances throughout 1994. The Life Becoming a Landslide tour early that year saw the group adopting the military look with which they would be associated for their third album, before any… Read more

  • Life and Death Sentences

    29th Aug 2020 by

    ‘Let a hard and just sentence be given and carried out, as the honour of the nation demands and its greatest traitor deserves.’ Resolution of Czechoslovak resistance organisation, demanding severe punishment for Father Jozef Tiso, November 1946 ‘We bear within us a reticent executioner, an unrealised criminal. And those who lack the boldness to acknowledge… Read more

  • Interfacing

    18th Jun 2020 by

    Richey Edwards and Nicky Wire first learned about artist Jenny Saville by way of a feature article in a weekend newspaper supplement. Wire told writer Dan Richards in 2010: “I remember the day vividly because we both bought the Independent on Sunday and in the magazine was a special on Jenny Saville – the first… Read more

  • Walking Sideways

    31st Mar 2020 by

    ‘Jung hardly went far enough when he said “Hitler is the unconscious of every German”; he comes uncomfortably near being the unconscious in most of us… The shock of discovering through Freud and Marx that when we thought we were being perfectly responsible, logical, and loving we were nothing of the kind, has led us… Read more

  • National Anathema

    1st Feb 2020 by

    ‘I use “America” throughout the text to refer to the United States. I choose to use the word America for its resonances as marker of a generic nation and mass-mediated political and cultural condition/terrain.’ – S Paige Baty ‘Away shallow USA’ The unusual, compressed typography of the track title ‘Ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayit’sworldwouldfallapart’ might possibly be traced back… Read more

  • Anatomies of Influence

    6th Dec 2019 by

    ‘By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson ‘[A]ny text is constructed as a mosaic of quotations; any text is the absorption and transformation of another.’ – Julia Kristeva ‘I don’t think people believe I read books.’ – Richey Edwards During his final tour with Manic Street Preachers, Richey… Read more

  • Faster (Further Downwards)

    21st Nov 2019 by

    This is the second part of an essay on the song ‘Faster’. The first part can be read here. ‘Faster’ may well have sent James Dean Bradfield in the direction of the Sex Pistols because of those traces of ‘Anarchy in the UK’. The words written by Richey Edwards and Nicky Wire contain an extraordinary… Read more

  • Faster (Precursor)

    13th Nov 2019 by

    ‘The primary imagination I hold to be the living power and prime agent of all human perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM.’ – Samuel Taylor Coleridge ‘Is this the IRA?’ Following a performance by Manic Street Preachers on Top of the… Read more

  • In the beginning was the word, and the word was ‘yes’

    6th Nov 2019 by

    ‘Of course, there are some people who sell themselves for money. That “some” constitutes 90 percent of the people I’ve known in my life, including myself. We all sell out some part of us.’ – Lenny Bruce Before the music begins, a man’s voice is heard. A pimp summarising what’s on offer in the sexual… Read more

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