It’s late 2000, and Melody Maker is on tour with Eminem and Limp Bizkit.

Two Welsh rock stars were in the news this week, with James Dean Bradfield stopping an assault on old man, while Kelly Jones solo tour was given a “cautious welcome” by fans giving their opinions to Melody Maker.

Ash have announced that everyone will love their upcoming new album.

Suede were in Iceland to perform at a festival, a trip described as “farcical”.

There are four pages dedicated to Eminem and Limp Bizkit, with Melody Maker giving it to Limp Bizkit, slightly, for the best act.

Ten years after their first release, Alex and Graham from Blur look back at the band’s ten finest moments.

In reviews, Melody Maker visits Muse, The Bluetones, Coldplay and Idlewild in concert.


Beastie Boys are the cover stars, as Vox looks back at 3 festivals during the summer of 1994.

In news, the BBC announced plans for a music festival called Music Live 95, to be held over the late May Bank Holiday in Birmingham.

Suede have decided not to split, following the departure of Bernard Butler.

Eric Clapton dressed up as Batman to raise money for charity, while Oasis are going on a UK tour this month following success festival appearances.

Video CDs receive a boost in sales following releases from Queen, Tina Turner, Pink Floyd, Kate Bush and Tina Turner.

VH1 launches, and will be broadcasting repeats of The Old Grey Whistle Test, while MTV (parent company of VH1) are considering bringing back the show on MTV.

Vox predicted big things for a band from Dublin called Blink. As it turned out, their main contribution to music history would be to copyright the name Blink, and force and American band called Blink to become Blink 182.

There is coverage of the Edinburgh Festival, doing a joint interview with Donna McPhail, Stewart Lee and Dorian Crook, labelling them the three hottest talents at this year’s Fringe.

The 3 main festivals getting covered are Phoenix, Lollapalooza and Glastonbury with a combined 15 pages covering these 3 events.

Terry Hall, formerly of The Specials gets a double page spread as he launches his solo career, at the same time he quits smoking.

With the World Cup over, and the Premier League not yet started, Vox comes up with a novel idea, of Team Tabs for your favourite bands, and a league table to chart their progress, complete with cartoons of Paul Weller, Jay Kay, Michael Stipe and Sinead O’Connor in football kits.

Vox looks at the history of t-shirts in music, asking Louise Wener, Sonya from Echobelly, Malcolm McLaren and James Dean Bradfield to talk about their favourite t-shirts.


We begin this week’s round with a JJ and a JD born this week in history. JJ Burnel of The Stranglers, 62 this week.

While this week, JD Bradfield, or James Dean Bradfield to give him his full name, lead singer of Manic Street Preachers turned 46.

He has a brief solo career in the mid 00s. That’s No Way To Tell A Lie is a brilliant song.

And anyway, back to his day job.

James Dean Bradfield shares a birthday with another Welsh singer, Charlotee Church. The singles off her debut solo album were rather good you know.

And in a tenuous link that TOTP would be proud of, she was big in 2005 …….. like James Blunt

And from big in 2005, we go back a few decades to big in 1985 (well, 1983 actually, but don’t let that ruin a link) with Howard Jones.

And staying the 1980s, Quiet Life by Japan is just brilliant.

Meanwhile, George Harrison would have been 71 this week. Unfortunately, there is a lack of Beatles and solo appearances on Youtube, so I compensate by posting a cover when there is a Beatle Birthday.

As he’s my favourite Beatle, he can have Siouxsie and the Banshees doing Dear Prudence. I’m still to decide which Beatle gets Candy Flip.

Ally McLeod would have been 83 this week, but 78 is his, erm, lucky number, as it was 1978 he got immortalised in song by Andy Cameron.

You can tell the audience members who were told to turn up with tartan scarves thought they were going to see The Rollers.

Almost near the end of this week, two more pop stars celebrating a birthday today. First, Steve Harley ……

DISCLAIMER : Introduction features Jimmy Savile.

…… and Rozonda Thomas from TLC

And finally, it’s 38 years ago this week since the death of LS Lowry. A painter, not a singer, he has inspired sone songs, first by Brian and Michael …….

……… and a very young Status Quo, who had yet to discover Double Denim.


After a four year absence, Manic Street Preachers returned to Belfast for a gig at Ulster Hall, the venue where they played their last Belfast gig in 2009.

They jumped straight into “Motorcycle Emptiness”, with James Dean Bradfield too busy dancing, he forgot to sing the first verse. It didn’t matter, the crowd did that for him.

Both Bradfield and Nicky Wire were dancing while playing their instruments. If there was a competition, i’d say Nicky Wire was the best dancer in the Manics, with James bordering on Dad Dancing at times. Sean Moore didn’t dance, as he was stuck behind his drum kit.

You got the feeling, if the gig lasted for ten more minutes, Sean Moore probably would have started dancing while playing drums.

Despite his dodgy dancing, Bradfield was at home on stage, revelling in the role of frontman.

Inbetween songs, there was small talk, but not the usual concert stuff, as Nicky Wire, wearing sunglasses indoors and with black stars on his face a la Marc Bolan, spoke about their early Belfast gigs in The Limelight, while Bradfield dedicated a song to local(ish) singer Andy Cairns.

Most bizarre anecdote was Nicky recalling their first visit to Belfast, where they were given a guided tour of the city by Johnny Hero, which resulted in Sean going missing, Nicky getting into an arguement, and others being drunk.

For “Your Love Alone Is Not Enough”, James just sang Nina Persson’s parts, which was strange, as they performed “$ Lonely Roads” from their current album with support act Cate Le Bon (no relation to Simon)

You would have thought she could have done Nina Persson’s bit in “Your Love Alone ……”

In the middle, James did a solo acoustic set. He made a mess of “This Sullen Welsh Heart” so made up for it with a version of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Andy Williams, before performing “The Everlasting”

Due to the 11pm curfew, there was no encore. There didn’t need to be.

The Manics spoke (and later tweeted) about how they loved Belfast, and Belfast, loved them back.

Photo Album

Manic Street Preachers Live At Ulster Hall 2009

Manic Street Preachers Live At Ulster Hall 2009 Photo Album