It's an odd world when 2 becomes 4
A curiously blunt stab at a rock icon
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."
According to the rock-band cliché: "We just make music to please ourselves and if anyone else likes it, it's a bonus." For the Manic Street Preachers, that sort of talk has always been an unforgivable, bourgeois conceit. If you've got something worth saying, you want it to be heard by the maximum number of people. That, at least, is half the story.
On Tuesday, the nation's premier music awards will announce the best British album of the past 30 years. The shortlist, though, has been met with derision. We asked the experts for some more fitting suggestions
As the FA is forced to shelve its campaign against homophobia, Ian Herbert asks why stars are too timid to tackle this taboo
Chart veteran Paul Weller is to receive a top honorary prize at this year's NME Awards, the annual Godlike Genius title, it was announced today.
The singer Joss Stone, Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes, magazine editor Jefferson Hack and My Summer of Love actress Natalie Press were out in force on Monday night for the private view of Rankin's exhibition Destroy at London's Phillips de Pury Gallery.
Their new album, performed in its entirety, easily stands up to the Welsh rockers' greatest hits
Manics rise to a challenge from across the decades
The Manic Street Preachers' new album showcases the lyrics of the unforgettable Richey Edwards, writes Elisa Bray
Who said satire was dead? In the US, at least, plenty did. Once President Bush left office, they argued, political comedy would be moribund, irrelevant – specifically that scourge of the Bush administration, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.