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Wednesday, 20 December, 2000, 10:46 GMT
Manics create Havana history
James Dean Bradfield
James Dean Bradfield will lead the Manics in Cuba
The Manic Street Preachers are set to make rock history by becoming the first band from the West to play in Cuba.

The Manics will be showcasing tracks from their sixth album, Know Your Enemy, with a concert at the Karl Marx Theatre in the capital, Havana.

The event will be limited to 5,000 fans, who will be charged just 25 cents - 17 pence - to attend the event by the band, whose hits include A Design For Life and If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next.

Cuba for me is the last symbol that really fights against the Americanisation of the world

Nicky Wire, Manic Street Preachers
Band members have taken a hand in organising the show, which takes place on 17 February.

Their manager Martin Hall, of Hall Or Nothing management, has travelled to Cuba to lay the groundwork for the band's first concert of 2001.

Bass player Nicky Wire said: "It could be a disaster. There might be no PA or whatever, but it's the idea that it's a bit of an adventure.

"So many bands these days just come back in the usual way and that's one thing that we're not going to do this time," he told music paper NME.

"It'll be like Wham! in China."

Fidel Castro, Cuba
Fidel Castro has previously frowned on Western music
The Manic Street Preachers last live appearance was a Millennium Eve gig at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, captured on their Leaving The 20th Century video.

The event - watched by 60,000 fans in the brand new 120m venue - was a far cry from the band's latest ambitions.

The band's most recent single, Masses Against The Classes - which stormed to the top of the charts despite an absence of promotion - had a Cuban flag on its sleeve.

Wire added: "It's not like a student Che Guevara sort of thing. It's just Cuba for me is the last symbol that really fights against the Americanisation of the world."

The band are also lining up live dates in the UK this year.

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