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The Agitator, Barfly, London<br/>Manic Street Preachers, Hard Rock Caf&#233;, London<br/>Gang of Four, NME Awards Show, London

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Manic Street Preachers, Brixton Academy, London

The savage rip in the Manic Street Preachers' life was, of course, the disappearance and likely death of Richey Edwards in 1995. The loss of their friend and bandmate still brought Nicky Wire close to traumatised tears when he spoke of it last year. Musically too, there was the rupture of the giant stadium-filling singles they wrote afterwards, the almost guiltily ironic achievement of the subversive dreams they and Richey had. Tonight's tremendous, happy gig shows that that scar is healing over.

The Great British Faith, Radio 2, Monday<br/>No Angel, Radio 2, Saturday

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Richard, By Ben Myers

A curiously blunt stab at a rock icon

Hurts, The Ritz, Manchester<br/>Everything Everything, Scala, London

Emotion is always hovering near the severely tailored surface of Eighties-inspired duo Hurts

Diary: Manic street preaching

Do the members of the strident Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers volunteer their political insights in interviews, or do their interlocutors feel obliged to request them? Earlier this month lead singer James Dean Bradfield gave his considered opinion on the Coalition, specifically the "disingenuous snakeyness" of Deputy PM Nick Clegg, to Wales on Sunday (you'd almost think he had a new album to promote). His bandmate Nicky Wire chimed in: "Surely someone must be inspired to say what a [dreadful fellow] Nick Clegg is? He is the David Brent of [ahem] politics. He's like a bad motivational speaker." Now, Wire expounds upon the mental state of former PM Tony Blair, to Spinnermusic.co.uk: "You just see something in Tony Blair's eyes and you just know he's forever broken," said the bassist, speculating on Blair's guilt about the Iraq war. "You can see it in his eyes. A shell of a man, really." Wire admitted he hadn't actually read the great man's memoir, A Journey, because he "[doesn't] like hardbacks, really."

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