No Manifesto: A Film About Manic Street Preachers review – intelligent fan’s-eye-view

No glitz, no glamour, just a measured, unpretentious documentary for the faithful

Almost 30 years after forming and 20 years after the disappearance and presumed death of their rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards, Manic Street Preachers have become the subject of a sympathetic documentary from Elizabeth Marcus – in the fan’s-eye-view style that is becoming de rigueur, and which has been applied to the Stone Roses, Pulp and Morrissey. The emphasis is on a supportive approach that doesn’t mythologise: the camera shows rehearsal, recording and live shows, with fans of all shapes and sizes being interviewed in the same unpretentious, respectful way as the band members themselves. Speaking as someone who knows nothing of the group’s music, I found that Manic Street Preachers seem intriguingly to inhabit a world outside the usual one of celebrity obsession: they have become hugely successful (more slowly than they hoped), but there is no glitz and glamour, no hanging out with A-list celebrity fans (although there is a meeting of minds with Rush). About Richey, the band are reflective but unsentimental, calmly considering the possibility that his departure might even have enlarged their creative scope. It is a measured, intelligent film, though it primarily addresses the faithful.


Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Manic Street Preachers: Rewind the Film – review
Their lyrics are as blunt as ever, but the Manics seems to have discovered a new subtlety musically, writes Maddy Costa

Maddy Costa

12, Sep, 2013 @9:00 PM

Article image
Manic Street Preachers: Futurology review – startlingly fresh and different

Alexis Petridis: The Manics' exhilarating, krautrock-tinged 11th album is unmistakably theirs, but unlike anything they've done before

Alexis Petridis

03, Jul, 2014 @1:59 PM

Manic Street Preachers: Generation Terrorists (20th anniversary edition) – review
The Manic Street Preachers may have been anti-nostalgia, but they certainly brought back the spirit of punk on their debut album, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

06, Dec, 2012 @9:45 PM

Article image
Manic Street Preachers: Eurostars find a new strasse

John Harris: The Manic Street Preachers are going to Glastonbury with a new album, Futurology, that's full of European influences, from Russian avant-garde and Krautrock to early Simple Minds

John Harris

26, Jun, 2014 @5:07 PM

Article image
Manic Street Preachers: Resistance Is Futile review – defeat and defiance
The songs on this 13th album are heavy with a sense of uncertainty about a place in the world

Emily Mackay

13, Apr, 2018 @8:00 AM

Article image
Manic Street Preachers – review
To a backing choir of 16,000 voices, the Manics perform all 38 singles and nearly take the 02 roof off, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

18, Dec, 2011 @1:03 PM

Article image
Manic Street Preachers – review

This is a band on rum form: fast, loud and full of significance, writes Malcolm Jack

Malcolm Jack

30, Sep, 2013 @12:55 PM

Article image
Manic Street Preachers: ‘Jobs give us meaning – Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t understand that’
Their new album is entitled Resistance Is Futile, but the Manic Street Preachers aren’t accepting things lying down. Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield share their thoughts on nostalgia, Francis Bacon and why they considered splitting up

Alexis Petridis

12, Apr, 2018 @11:30 AM

Manic Street Preachers: Rewind the Film – review

Manic Street Preachers embrace austerity with their best album in years, writes Paul Mardles

Paul Mardles

14, Sep, 2013 @11:05 PM

Pop review: Manic Street Preachers, Barrowland, Glasgow

Barrowland, Glasgow
An absent friend hangs heavy over Manics' triumph, says Ian Gittins

Ian Gittins

26, May, 2009 @11:01 PM