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Monday, 18 November, 2002, 15:41 GMT
Manics fans treated to intimate gig
Manics at Cardiff's St David's Hall
The band came back to play Cardiff's St David's Hall
The Manic Street Preachers revisited one of their teenage haunts on Monday when they played at the Cardiff venue where they used to busk as teenagers.

The Welsh trio performed in St David's Hall in front of an intimate crowd of 800, as part of a series of gigs which takes successful bands back to their roots.

Nicky Wire
Nicky Wire busked outside as a teenager

The hall was where the band members saw their first concerts when the artists who inspired them, such as The Alarm, Gary Numan and Spear of Destiny, visited Cardiff.

As a schoolboy, drummer Sean Moore was in a brass band which performed there.

Guitarist and singer James Dean Bradfield and bass player Nicky Wire busked outside when they were teenagers.

Speaking before the gig, Nicky Wire said: "Busking outside was pretty tough and on a good day we'd make enough to get a train home.

"I'd advise people to busk on rugby or football international days.

"People are generally drunk and give you more than they otherwise would.

Pound coins

"We used to get pound coins instead of five pence pieces because people were confused."

He added: "After playing the Millennium Stadium, St David's Hall is is quite intimate for us really.

"Most of the set will be acoustic - and we'll be sat down on stools although I really prefer jumping about."

The name of the band, which was later to make them famous, came from one of their sessions outside the hall, when a passer-by called Bradfield a "manic street preacher".

Tickets for Monday's show, due to be broadcast by Channel 4 at a later date, had not been on sale, but fans did have the chance to win them from a music website.

Pop star Gary Numan
Gary Numan inspired the band

The trio, brought up in Blackwood, are used to playing to much bigger audiences - next month they are due to play two nights at Cardiff International Arena as part of their Greatest Hits tour.

In August, they headlined the V2002 festival, which saw 180,000 attend a two-day event staged in Essex and Staffordshire.

Last month, nearly 100 people braved stormy weather to queue outside Cardiff's Virgin Megastore, the first shop in the UK to sell Forever Delayed, the Manics' greatest hits album.

Some queued for more than 15 hours until the store opened at midnight.

The band recently performed in front of a crowd of 75,000 at the opening of the Wales versus Italy football match at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium in an Euro 2004 championship qualifier.

In the wake of the performance, Wales notched up a historic win, defeating Italy 2 -1.


More from south east Wales
See also:

02 Aug 02 | Wales
28 Oct 02 | Wales
31 Jan 02 | Entertainment
10 Sep 01 | Wales
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