The Welsh alternative rock act’s 14th album, The Ultra Vivid Lament, went straight into the charts at No 1 last Friday, September 17, giving them their first chart-topper for 23 years and only their second ever.
In a throwback to the 1990s, it pipped pop group Steps to the post, forcing them to settle for the No 2 spot for What the Future Holds, Part 2, a sequel to their 2020 album of like name, just as their only previous No 1 LP, This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours, did back in September 1998.
That time round, This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours, their fifth LP, beat Step One by Steps to pole position by 95,000 sales, but it was a closer-run thing this time, with only 2,000 sales separating the top two, The Ultra Vivid Lament having sold 27,000 copies in its first seven days out.
Their 1998 album also did the double over Steps as its lead single, If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next, also held off Steps’ One for Sorrow to top the singles chart in August 1998, but there was no repeat of that feat almost a quarter of a century on.
The three-piece band, formed in Blackwood, near Caerphilly, in 1986 as a quartet, welcomed that achievement, issuing a statement saying: “It's amazing to be back at No 1 after 23 years. It was a titanic chart battle and we are absolutely over the moon. Thanks to all our fans, supporters and Sony for keeping the faith.”
The band – made up of James Dean Bradfield on lead vocals and guitar, Sean Moore on drums and Nicky Wire on bass – last appeared at Newcastle City Hall in 2005, though they’ve been no strangers to the city since, playing at its O2 Academy in varying guises in 2007 and 2010, outdoors at Times Square in 2017 and what was then the Metro Radio Arena in 2018.
Besides their two No 1 LPs, they’ve notched up five No 2s – Everything Must Go in 1996, Know Your Enemy in 2001, Send away the Tigers in 2007, Futurology in 2014 and Resistance is Futile in 2018.
The Manics’ show at the Northumberland Road venue this coming Sunday, September 26, will be their third, as they first played there in 1996.
Tickets are still available, priced £40.65 to £56.95. For details, go to https://www.academymusicgroup.com/o2cityhallnewcastle/
They’re also playing at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Tuesday, September 28; Glasgow’s Barrowland on Tuesday, October 5; and the O2 Academy in Leeds on Thursday, October 7.
The Anchoress, alias Catherine Anne Davies, will be supporting.