Manics to play Cuba in comeback gig

The Welsh pop group Manic Street Preachers is staging a comeback concert in Cuba, the first time a western rock band has been allowed to play in the communist country.

The Welsh pop group Manic Street Preachers is staging a comeback concert in Cuba, the first time a western rock band has been allowed to play in the communist country.

The group confirmed it would premiere its album Know Your Enemy on February 17 and would charge 25 Cuban cents (17p) admission to the gig at the Karl Marx theatre in Havana.

The band said they decided on Cuba because it was the "last place that holds out against the Americanisation of the world" - and the admission was set at an affordable level for local people. They added that they were feeling jaded with the whole process of releasing records.

Bassist Nicky Wire said: "It could be a disaster. There might not be a PA or whatever, but it's just the idea that it could be a bit of an adventure. So many bands these days just come back in the usual way and that's one thing we're not going to do this time."

Speaking on Radio 1, he said: "The Manic machine has ground to a halt for too long so now it's grinding into action again. It was my idea back in the summer. We did it all ourselves, no record company involved, just us - it couldn't be more fitting. Cuba is the last place that holds out against the Americanisation of the world so that's why I'd love to go out there and play the gig."

A spokesman for the band said the concert had been organised by their manager, Martin Hall, of Hall or Nothing management, who travelled to Cuba to negotiate terms. The group has been out of the public eye since releasing the single The Masses Against the Classes in January.

In July last year, the band denied they were splitting after failing to show at a 50,000 capacity concert in Belgium. The band later blamed ill health for the cancellation of the performance.


Keith Perry

The GuardianTramp

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