REAL GONE GOES OUT: MANIC STREET PREACHERS – Dreamland, Margate, Kent 19/7/2024

The last night of their double headlining tour with the mighty Suede finds Manic Street Preachers visiting the seaside town of Margate. The Welsh heroes have been here before, but not for some time. They first played here as part of a Radio 1 Roadshow in 1993, a day Nicky Wire remembers well. “I lost a lot of money on the diddlers”, he tells the audience, before clarifying his Welsh slang refers to the town’s slot machines, and James Dean Bradfield reminds everyone to “gamble responsibly!” to the amusement of a sell-out crowd.

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Watch ‘Rock N Roll Seduction’ – the new video from Gwailo

Gwailo aren’t messing about when it comes to riffs on their current single ‘Rock N Roll Seduction’. This four minute blast from the Sunderland rockers is a celebration, but more than that, an acknowledgement of how music can be a true mistress – how its sounds charm and win over the listener, and have the power to transform any mood.

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THE REAL GONE SINGLES BAR #61

Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore some of the more interesting mp3s and individual tunes that’ve landed in our inbox over the previous few weeks. In proper Singles Bar tradition, this week’s column covers a lot of musical ground by taking in country and a couple of singer songwriters alongside some extreme metal. There’s even time to introduce a new rock band. It’s unlikely that everything here will appeal to everyone, but as always, we hope you find something new to enjoy.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS – Can’t Seem To Come Down: The American Sounds Of 1968

Between the release of The Beach Boys ‘Pet Sounds’ in May 1966 and the first Woodstock Festival in August 1969, the American rock and pop scenes went into overdrive. With the groundbreaking ‘God Only Knows’, Brian Wilson had shown how grand “pop” could be in the hands of a master; the birth of psychedelia meant that garage rock grew into something much bigger and more interesting than a selection bands churning out variants of ‘Louie Louie’, and the blues morphed into sprawling jams which birthed a generation of guitar heroes. A prolonged period of experimentation arguably reached its peak in 1968, with The Byrds releasing their last works with David Crosby (at least for a time), Moby Grape issuing a double LP (‘Wow/Grape Jam’), the arrival of Spirit’s debut (helmed by the fantastic ‘Fresh-Garbage’), The Velvet Underground’s ‘White Light/White Heat’ proving their Warhol overseen debut wasn’t just some arty fluke, and the Grateful Dead issuing their show piece ‘Dark Star’ as a single. Even Simon & Garfunkel got a little out there on their fourth LP ‘Bookends’, with their masterful folk-pop joined by the vaguely psychy ‘Punky’s Dilemma’, and feeling brave enough to include Art’s audio verité ‘Voices of Old People’ as a key album track.

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OCTAVIAN WINTERS – Nebula / Velveteen (Mark Pistel Remix)

Following a run of enjoyable digital singles, Octavian Winters released their debut EP ‘The Line Or Curve’ in October 2023. Rounding up the band’s previously available tracks and premiering the excellent ‘Velveteen’, its five songs explored an old school goth sound, but by blending that with a much tougher post-punk influence, the release shared a superbly dark mood laced with very strong melodies throughout. One of the EP’s highlights, ‘Surreal’ managed to bring the cold brilliance of ‘Faith’ era Cure into the realms of the more modern, potentially making it amenable to fans of bands like Lacuna Coil, and the combination of Jay Denton’s huge bass melodies and Ria Aursjoen’s soaring 80s vocals resulted in something atmospheric. With slow but wondrous melodies underscored by ringing guitar, it showed how classic 80s goth rock riffs and melodies could sound just as thrilling forty years on.

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