Second albums are notoriously disappointing, but Gold Against The Soul, out only a couple of weeks, has been receiving a generally positive response so there's quite a buzz about the boyos tonight, and then again there's a tinny ringing sound as their punchy, cyclical riffing and melodic swirl comes bouncing back off the dodgy acoustics of a venue more suited to hosting seaside magic shows.
Not only that, but James Dean Bradfield's obviously been carrying too much of the burden of the band as he apologizes for the raggedness of his incendiary voice. Come on Richey, don't just stand there talking to the groupies, do something!
Amongst the new stuff, Life Becoming a Landslide stands up best, whilst other big intentions, like From Despair to Where and Roses in the Hospital swim about a bit like drowning men. By the time the glitter falls from the ceiling, its a case of 'Old Against the Gold' with their former standards like Slash n' Burn and Repeat stronger in the mind than the newer stuff. See, the Manics do do encores after all!