The news headline and coverage from Ukraine these past few weeks have been heartbreaking.   After one particular grim bulletin, I was thinking that I should somehow use the blog to reference the war, but it just felt as if I was being tactless.   The images of carnage made me think of the poster which inspired this:-

mp3: Manic Street Preachers – If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next

Nicky Wire‘s words backed by James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore‘s music.

Incredible and indeed mind-blowing fact.  This ode to the idealism of Welsh volunteers who joined the left-wing International Brigades fighting for the Spanish Republic against Franco’s military rebels, was hi-jacked by the far-right British National Party in 2009 for use as part of its campaign against what it described as the violence, hatred, fragmentation and despair happening in London as a result of multiculturalism. Click here for more background, where you’ll also be relieved and happy to read that immediate action was taken to have the song removed.

I bought one of the two CDs that the single was issued on back in 1998. It was the one with two remixes:-

mp3: Manic Street Preachers – If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next (Massive Attack Remix)
mp3: Manic Street Preachers – If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next (David Holmes Remix)

The remixes are exactly along the lines of what you’d expect from those involved.  The Holmes mix is epic, coming in at over ten minutes in length.

Thank you for reading and listening today.


45 45s @ 45 : SWC STYLE (Part 22)


24 – Love’s Sweet Exile / Repeat UK – Manic Street Preachers (1991 Columbia Records)

Released as a single in October 1991 (Reached Number 26)

So it was at around number 24 that I realised that there was quite few records that I had omitted from this list that probably should have been on it. So what I’m going to try and do is package them all together and try and crowbar them into the posts somehow, these records are definitely as good and probably as influential as ‘Love’s Sweet Exile’. I hope that makes sense.*

Anyway…Let’s talk about The Marquee. The Marquee was a legendary venue on Charing Cross Road, London (well eventually, it had other locations as well). It had a capacity of about 500 I‘d say and facts fans will know that it was the location of the one of the first ever Rolling Stones gigs and for over 30 years The Marquee wrote itself into rock heritage by hosting amazing gigs. It shut in 1995 and by 1996 a Wetherspoons pub had moved in (The Montagu Pyke) and firmly shat on that hard earned 30 years musical heritage by immediately banning juke boxes inside it and selling burgers that taste like they’ve been licked first by tramps.

As a young lad I saw loads of really good bands at the Marquee. I saw Pop Will Eat Itself there two nights in a row, where they played exactly the same set both nights, ending with a pumped up version of this

Wise Up Sucker (1989 RCA Records, Number 41)

The Marquee was also famous for secret gigs. In 1990 Metallica played at The Marquee as a support band under the name ‘Vertigo’, and were introduced as a new band playing only their second ever show.

Famously, Motley Crue played the venue under the moniker ‘the Four Skins’ (oh my sides…) without knowing that this was also the name of a popular London skinhead band, whose fans all turned up at the gig, and looked rather bemused when some hairy arsed cock rockers wobbled onto stage.

In 1991 I saw a band called R.S.P.C.E. play there. They walked on stage and immediately burst into this

Sheriff Fatman (1989, Big Cat Records, did not chart, reissued in 1991, Number 23)

And finally, in 1993, my friend Martin bought me an 18th birthday present, it was a ticket for a gig on July 4th 1993 at the Marquee Club, London, the act were a band called ‘Generation Terrorists’. The price £7. I had ticket number 0004. It was a week before the Manics released the second album ‘Gold Against the Soul’.

And it was amazing. The band ended with a stunning version of ‘Love’s Sweet Exile’.


*JC adds………….

This means you’re about to be treated to at least 145 45s @ 45 over the coming weeks….I’ve been lucky enough to have received everything up to, and including #10….the chapters of the life of our south-west correspondent will gradually be revealed….lots of laughs are on their way (exactly what we need at this point in time).


There are days when I just want to wake up to something upbeat and glorious…..something which makes me think of sunshine and summertime and not the bleak midwinter that I’m looking out onto when I pull back the curtain, wondering whether I’m going to get down the hill to the railway station with falling over and possibly breaking my ankle, all the while wondering how late and overcrowded the train will be.

I played this on such a day last week and felt a whole lot better:-

mp3 : Chic – Everybody Dance (12” mix)

Takes me back to Sunday nights in a draughty church hall. I might have been happier in the bedroom that I shared with my brothers listening to my new wave 45s, but you had to get yourself down and on the floor of St Joe’s if you wanted the girls to take notice of you.

I didn’t know until gathering some background info that the tune had supposedly been borrowed somewhat by a Welsh beat combo on a single released in 2010:-

mp3 : Manic Street Preachers – (It’s Not War) Just the End of Love

Hmmm…there is a bit at the start where it can’t be denied, but it’s not a blatant rip-off is it?




from The Sound of Being OK

I have been meaning to write an ICA for a while, the last time I did one it was on Coldplay and it was like I’d spat in the faces of the indie glitterati in doing so. I had somehow managed to stab David Gedge, give Stuart Murdoch a wedgie and dish out a Chinese burn to the drummer from Teenage Fanclub all at the same time. So I’d backed away for a little bit.

I’d started one a while ago on the Strokes but never finished it and then partly as a joke I’d started one on McFly but again never finished it. I stopped because it was getting semi serious and Dom reminded me that there was no way that McFly could ever win the ICA World Cup.

So when Badger had the latest one of his great ideas, I signed up. His idea was that we the TSOBO three write an ICA each but the subject of that ICA is chosen by someone else. Which is why I am sat in the office kitchen about to roll a dice.

The plan is simple – If I roll an odd number the subject of the ICA will be chosen by Badger’s Ipod. This is the best case scenario, he has better music taste than SWC, and by better I mean less obscure and less reliant on bands from California who no one apart from him like (and yes I mean Death Grips) or are signed to something called Saddle Creek Records. If I rollan even number it’s the worst case scenario and SWC’s iPod. So I roll and it’s a two. SWC grins, usually never a good sign. I swear under my breath.

Part two of the idea is that as usual for some reason as yet explained to science, whoever the 11th song on the ipod is by, is who we have to write the ICA on. Badger’s rules go on to say that the ICA must ‘contain no more than 4 singles, at least two B Sides, Cover versions or remixes and no less than 4 album only tracks. Nice and easy then.

An hour or so later an email pings up on the screen.

“you lucky thing – track nine was a band called Childhood and track ten was Panjabi MC which would have been ridiculous. Track 11 is ‘Ocean Spray” by Manic Street Preachers.

Well that’s not too bad I say to myself.

I have seven albums by the Manic Street Preachers although I would imagine this album will be largely made up of tracks from their first five (after which, according to SWC, they went a ‘bit Phil Collins’).

Side One

So let’s start here

A Design For Life (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Mix) – Single

The first time I heard this (not this version) I was sitting in a café in a small place called Chudleigh which is just outside Exeter and I was waiting for my sister to come back from the dentist. I was fifteen (going on sixteen) and it was played on Radio 1. I love every second of it from the opening bit about “Libraries giving us power” to drums, the strings and the twinkly bits at the end. The remix I love even more, especially the way the strings are brought to the forefront and the emotion of James Dean Bradfield’s voice is wrung out to devastating effect.

Black Dog on My Shoulder – From This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours

The Manics have always come across an intelligent band who are well read. Here the band turn their hand to depression, a subject very close to their hearts – I mean obviously you have all the stuff with Richey Edwards, which I’m going to do my best to skirt over, largely because it is still so desperately desperate sad, but also it appears that other members of the band have struggled (particularly Nicky Wire) with. In this track they use Churchill’s battles (“Melodrama here in my kitchen sink”) to give us a beautiful subtle track.

Archives of Pain – From The Holy Bible

‘The Holy Bible’ is easily the Manics album which my two colleagues rate the highest. Me – it’s a close third. But I’m probably being harsh because my sister claims it is the best album ever made (when she’s not going to Ed Sheeran live that is). ‘Archives of Pain’ is a real highlight from it though. Besides any song that samples the wonderfully crazy ex Corrie battleaxe Ivy Tilsley is just fine by me.

Wrote For Luck – from ‘Roses In the Hospital Single

My very first Manic show was in 1996, I was nearly 17. About halfway through their set Nicky Wire (bedecked in a very fetching pink boa and red and black frock) told the crowd that this was a song by a band who “you lot don’t love anywhere near as much as you should” and burst into ‘Wrote for Luck”. Frankly if the Happy Mondays version was anywhere near as good as this version we would have still loved them, but it isn’t.

4st 7lb – From The Holy Bible

One of the gloomiest songs ever recorded and therefore an obvious way to end Side One. It is also if you ask me Richey Edwards’ finest five minutes, if that’s even the right way to put it. It is put simply a gut wrenching, tear jerking lament about Richey’ struggles with anorexia that tell us that wants to be “So skinny that I rot from view”. It is magnificent but Christ its bleak.

Side Two

You Love Us – From ‘Generation Terrorists’

The thing that first made the Manic Street Preachers interesting to me was a review in the NME which referred to them as ‘Part Cardiff City Centre drag act, part the Clash”. I was never into either of these things but they sounded fascinating. This review sums up their debut album (and this track particularly) perfectly if you ask me. More than 25 years from its release it has barely aged. It is still angry and slightly contrived but most of all it has lost none of impish brilliance.

Patrick Bateman – B Side to La Tristesse Durera (Scream to Sigh)

“If you are putting a B Side in, it has to be ‘Spectators of Suicide’” says SWC on the same email which tells me I am writing an ICA on the Manics. Well, no actually, I’m putting this in instead. A six minute rant themed around notorious ‘American Psycho anti hero’ Patrick Bateman. Apparently most Manics fans hate it.

Motorcycle Emptiness – From ‘Generation Terrorists’

Let Robeson Sing – From ‘Know Your Enemy’

I think I have two singles left so I’ll use that to post two of my personal favourites – firstly ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ is put simply six minutes of utter perfection. It is seductive, compassionate, elegant and heartbreaking. For the first time you hear James Dean Bradfield sing, or croon, rather than shot, and the guitar solo, is just wonderful.

‘Let Robeson Sing’ is another example of a song in which is a simple out and out pop song, that showcases Bradfield’s talent for actually singing. It’s remarkable and a fitting tribute to a wonderful individual.

SYMM – From This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours

If ‘The Holy Bible’ shone a torch into the darkest depths of Richey Edwards soul, then ‘This is My Truth…’ kind of does the same for Nicky Wire (who has always been my favourite Manic). I’ll highlight this one and again it’s not a happy subject to end on but Nicky Wire manages to take a subject as dark and depressing as the Hillsborough Disaster and make it feel personal and that is a skill only a very talented writer can achieve.  JFT96.

Thanks for reading.



The record companies really had us over a barrel in the 90s. Not only were CD singles usually retailing for £3-£5 a pop, but they were also issued in multi-formats meaning that fans/completists sometimes had to spend almost as much on one single as they would for the LP that it came from.

Sometimes I was foolish enough to buy the different formats, but quite often I would take my pick of one or the other. As I did back in 1996 when I bought something by Manic Street Preachers for the first time. Yup….confession time….my first purchase was the really big breakthrough hit.

It wasn’t that I had any dislike for the Manics in their early years, but they were very much a band that I could take or leave in equal measures. I was never moved enough by any of their first three albums or near twenty singles to spend my hard-earned cash on them – but equally I would never argue in the pub that they weren’t all they were cracked up to be. Like most music fans, I was intrigued by the appearance of band member Richey Edwards, and assumed the incident would be the end of the group.

But this, the ‘comeback’ single in April 1996 was something that I found pretty astonishing on first listen, which must have been on the radio in the morning before going to work. I recall chatting to a colleague later on in the day who I knew was a big Manics fan to tell him how impressed I was with it all, and I recall him raving down the phone that if someone like me ‘had seen the light’, then at long last the rest of the world was going to come to realise that the Welsh combo were indeed the best band that walked the planet.


Anyways, I did go out that same day to buy the single and I was faced with the dilemma of paying £3.99 for the one in the silver sleeve with four different songs on it, or the one with the gold sleeve that had an orchestral version of the single plus a track mixed by The Chemical Brothers.

I went for the latter – something I don’t regret as I’m still quite fond of everything, and I still reckon the single is the best thing the band ever did:-

mp3 : Manic Street Preachers – A Design For Life
mp3 : Manic Street Preachers – A Design For Life (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Version)
mp3 : Manic Street Preachers – A Design For Life (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Instrumental Version)
mp3 : Manic Street Preachers – Faster (Vocal Mix – remixed by The Chemical Brothers)




JC writes…….

Last time round I changed the title of this series which was a bit naughty of me.  This is the third and final part of what happened after SWC visited the Oxfam Charity Shop in Totnes and bought the then recuperating Badger some indie vinyl on the premise that he write about them for T(n)VV.

Badger writes………………

The fifth, sixth and seventh records are a lot better than the third and fourth ones;  two were by bands that I know and like and one was a band that I had never heard of, but one which led SWC into another one of misty eyed tales from the past. He’ll take over in a bit after we talk about Record Five.

SWC’s daughter unwraps the fifth record and it is a mash up of different colours and swirling images it also has some writing on it, in red pen. I look at and then I tilt the record sideways to try and read what it says.

“Is this signed?” I ask SWC.

He nods enthusiastically, “That record has been touched by four bonafide rockstars” he tells me. Bonafide rockstars is pushing it a bit, but all the same, this is exciting news. I own three signed records, (well four now), one is my pride and joy a vinyl picture disc of ‘The Holy Bible’ signed by Richey Edwards, the second is a Carter USM 12” signed by Jon Fat Beast (RIP) and the third is splodgenessabounds 7” signed apparently by band member ‘Baby Greensleeves’. The authenticity of that is dubious at best.

The record is ‘Is It Too Late?’ by Senseless Things. It cost £1.99 and that includes the signatures of all four members of the Senseless Things which as SWC adds “Probably increases the value by at least 50p”.


mp3 : Senseless Things – Is It Too Late

Senseless Things are a band dear to my heart. They feature on the WYCRA 200 both in this guise and in one of their off shoot bands Delakota.

‘Is It Too Late?’ was one of the band’s early singles, their second or third I think. It has a sleeve designed by Jamie Hewlett the guy behind Tank Girl and Gorillaz and it is a brilliant couple of minutes of punky pop.

The interesting thing is that a few years back Senseless Things released a singles compilation and this record wasn’t included on it, I imagine this is because of record company rules and the like but it almost feels forgotten about, which is a massive shame.

I’ve also attached two of the three B Sides which are pretty much the same thing, two minutes shouty indie punk pop with thrashy guitars and sneery vocals. All excellent and a welcome addition to any record collection I would say.

mp3 : Senseless Things – Andi In a Karmann
mp3 : Senseless Things – Ponyboy

Next up I’ll hand over to SWC

“There was this kid at college, we’ll call him Jeremy in case he is reading. Jeremy told everyone he was in a band, I think in an attempt to impress impressionable girls, his band were always playing gigs in London and around the South East, they were supporting larger acts in proper venues (rather than just playing in the same old dreary Maidstone pubs). They were called Spartac – with the R the wrong way round to make it look Russian, which isn’t a bad name for a band to be honest – yet something didn’t add up, no one had seen this band, apart from Sad Gary, the bloke who no one listened to, he told us he had seen them. Jeremy tried to convince me that his band Spartac had played at the club I DJ’ed at and they supported a band called Tiny Monroe. They didn’t because Tiny Monroe never played at the club, they were supposed to, but they actually did cancel due to illness. The support band that night were called Torque and I know that because the lead guitarist in said band was my mate Dom and they needed the ‘exposure’. The general feeling was that Jeremy was a bullshitter but he was a convincing one because people started to believe him a couple of other people started to mention that they had seen them and they were playing a demo CD of his band.

Anyway, I said, to Jeremy that if he provided me with a demo tape I would get them a gig in the next few weeks, we had a few decent bands coming up at the club and I could probably get them a support slot when Delicatessen play. “Oh I know them, we played with them in London a few weeks back I’ll dig you out a demo, is a CD ok”. Yup absolutely.

About a week later, Jeremy gives me a demo. I play it that evening at home, it sounds familiar. I have heard this before, I know I have, I just can’t place it, maybe, at a party somewhere, maybe he was in a band. I mean it sounded like a demo, it was pretty badly recorded.

About two weeks later, my mate John and I went to London to see a Pop Will Eat Itself gig at the much missed Marquee club. The support band that night was a band from the same next of the woods as them, they are called Scorpio Rising and they come on and bugger me sideways the opening song they play is track 2 on Spartac’s Demo CD – Scorpio Rising call it ‘Watermelon’ Spartac call it ‘Inside Her’.

The next weekend John tracks down a copy of ‘Watermelon’ by Scorpio Rising in a record shop and we play it to a couple of our mates, and then I play Spartac. There is general disbelief and laughter, John then tells me that I should play this at the club the next time we see Jeremy there, which isn’t often to be fair, he’s probably off playing live at the Viper Rooms in LA or something.

We don’t do that. Deciding that it would be cruel and besides like me and a load of others Jeremy would be leaving the area in October to go to University (in Huddersfield if I remember rightly), we let things lie, smug in the knowledge that we know. Around August, Jeremy announces that his band have split due to ‘musical differences’ and that three of them were continuing without him and the drummer under a different name. Shame, another great lost band, like the Badgers I suppose.”

And now it’s back to Badger….

Yes although that’s quite enough of them.

Record Six is ‘Saturnalia EP’ by Scorpio Rising and is kind of ace in warped wobbly kind of way – the recording is not great – the B Side is ‘Watermelon’. Price £1.50

mp3 : Scorpio Rising – Saturnalia
mp3 : Scorpio Rising – Watermelon

…and finally we come to record 7 – another day another remix 12” but this one is slightly different in that it is actually quite good, I won’t bang on about this one because I have to be somewhere in fifteen minutes and I’m running late, but I’ve saved the best for last.

Record 7 – Price £2.50

mp3 : Manic Street Preachers – Australia (Lionrock remix)




A guest contribution from xxxjim


Hey JC

This is a change from an imaginary compilation, but I’m pretty sure I could do one for almost every singer/band mentioned – now there’s a challenge!

Anyway, a comment made a while ago got me thinking. It was on a Wedding Present / Cinerama related posting and it was along the lines of David Gedge being someone that the commenter, paulb3015 would most like as a friend.

I know it’s never a good idea to meet your heroes but I still think it would be great to spend an evening in the company of these musicians. I guess they all seem quite approachable to me and the sort of people that have a lot of stories and would be fun to be around.

So I give you the eight musicians I’d love to spend an evening with, be it for a beer or two or a meal all round a table, shooting the breeze. Eight seems about the right number – enough that you’d get to talk to everyone but not too many that no one can hear what anyone else is saying. And it would have to be the right mix of musicians – not too many egos.

They are not necessarily my all time favourite musicians or my favourite bands – in some cases they are – I just think they are all interesting people. One thing a lot of them have in common is that they like to tell a story when you see them live – I know that it can be the same story every night but as long as it seems like it’s off the cuff, I’m happy with that.

I haven’t worked out a seating plan but obviously there’s be two seats reserved for Mr and Mrs Vinyl Villain.

Kristin Hersh

Her music has been a constant in my life since I was about 18 – I’ve kind of grown up with her. I’m not an obsessive fan but I do try and see her whenever she performs. One of only two famous people to reply to me on Twitter (not that I use it very often), which makes her an all round nice person. (The other one was David Gedge)

mp3: Kristin Hersh – Sundrops (from ‘Hips and Makers’ LP)

Colin Meloy

Because he seems like a good bloke – a lot of The Decemberists’ songs are stories and he spins a good yarn on stage so I’m sure there would be plenty to talk about.

mp3 : The Decemberists – The Rake’s Song (from ‘The Hazards of Love’ LP)

David Gedge

I don’t need to explain this one – I’m pretty sure that every reader of TVV would want to have a beer with David Gedge.

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Give My Love To Kevin (acoustic) (from ‘George Best (plus)’ LP)

Leonard Cohen

I thought maybe Prince would be entertaining but I imagine everyone would just sit there dumbstruck thinking ‘Bloody hell – it’s Prince’ and no-one saying a word. Either that or he’d play ping pong with everyone and thrash them. But I thought it would be good to have an absolute megastar at the table, and someone much older – and someone who has been a hero of mine since my art student days. He’d bring a touch of wisdom to proceedings and his fantastic gravelly voice. And you never know he might feed us tea and oranges that come all the way from China.

mp3 : Leonard Cohen – Slow (from ‘Popular Problems’ LP)

Viv Albertine

A year ago she wouldn’t have been a dinner guest but her memoir ‘Clothes, Music, Boys’ is great – the best music book I’ve read this year – better than Kim Gordon and better than Eddie Argos (seriously). And she seems like a nice person – and normal. And because I love this song which is one of my favourite songs of the year (even though it came out a while ago, it’s new to me).

mp3 : Viv Albertine – Confessions of a MILF  (from ‘The Vermillion Borders’ LP)

Gruff Rhys

Because he took a puppet around America to try and find a Welsh-speaking tribe of native Americans. And he made a powerpoint presentation about it. And an album. And he weaves it all into a great story. And obviously because he is a Super Furry Animal.

mp3 : Gruff Rhys – Iolo (from ‘American Interior’ LP)

Holly Johnson

The first pop star that I really idolized – about 10 years ago I saw him in a shop and I was too star struck to go and say hello. His memoir is also worth a read.

mp3 : Frankie Goes to Hollywod – Relax (7” single)

Nicky Wire

The second Welshman – he’d make sure that it wasn’t all back slappery and coziness. Plus, if all else fails we can talk about sport – and he can give my daughter tips on applying eyeliner.

mp3 : Manic Street Preachers – Europa Geht Durch Mich (from ‘Futurology’ LP)

Anyway, I hope you like it – and it’s the sort of thing that fits in well on TVV.





With thanks to SWC for mentioning these yesterday.  Covers of songs that are so well-known that I can be lazy and not provide background notes:-

mp3 : China Drum – Wuthering Heights

mp3 : Futureheads – Hounds Of Love

mp3 : Oasis – I Am The Walrus

mp3 : The Streets – Your Song

mp3 : Manic Street Preachers – Umbrella

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Back For Good