Manic Street Preachers

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.

John Walsh: Geishas might not do what you think

The niche eroticism of the Japanese never ceases to amaze, does it? Given the historic vulgarity of the professional British horizontale, the weirdness of Nipponese sexuality has always intrigued us. The 17th-century shoguns set up "pleasure quarters" where gentlemen could visit prostitutes (and wives were OK about it) but Japanese girls kept dragging the arts into the basic eroto-financial transaction, until male visitors could hardly find a genuine harlot anywhere among the dancers, singers, lute-fingerers and exponents of calligraphic skill.

The Beatles for sale once more

The news this week that Terra Firma, the troubled equity company and current owners of EMI Records, is trying to sell Abbey Road Studios, in St John's Wood, London, has music fans around the world justly concerned about the fate awaiting the recording facility. When John, Paul, George and Ringo named their last album after the EMI studio facility in 1969, they turned the zebra crossing into the most famous rock landmark in London and a tourist magnet. But, even before the Fab Four, the grand Georgian house that EMI bought for £100,000 in 1929, had seen its fair share of historical moments in its three studios. In November 1931, Sir Edward Elgar conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in a performance of "Land of Hope and Glory" to mark the opening of Studio One. The following year, the composer invited a 16-year-old Yehudi Menuhin to record his Violin Concerto in B Minor for EMI's HMV label. The Second World War saw the recording of government propaganda and also the last session by bandleader Glenn Miller in September 1944.

Just another Manic Street Preachers road trip

The Manic Street Preachers followed their recent creative revitalisation with their first American tour in a decade. The novelist John Niven travels with a band still hungry for new challenges

Twiggy at 60

The super-skinny model who found fame in the Sixties has finally come of age. Anna Slater lists the triumphs, the tragedies and the trivia

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Album: Delays, Everything's the Rush (Fiction)

Influenced as they are by the Manic Street Preachers, it's no great surprise that Delays should err on the side of overstatement throughout this third album – though tempering their grandiose tendencies was never likely to happen with Youth as producer.