I don't think I ever found the time to write about going to Manchester to see No Manifesto: A film about Manic Street Preachers. It was a documentary that was largely recorded 9 years ago and has been stuck in post-production for several years for want of funding to get a cinematic release. This year it finally came together and in January and February this year it had a limited theatrical release. I was interviewed for the documentary in 2006 and suspected I'd made the final cut as I'd been in the theatrical trailer they'd released several months earlier. Sure enough, I appeared in the 'cast photos' the film makers put on Facebook and I can be spotted a couple of times - although if you blink/close your ears you miss me.
On a personal note, I adore No Manifesto. It's all the things I, as a contributor and fan, hoped it would be. It has a light touch, a wry look at the band and the fans that come with it. I sat with snapdragon_666 and we laughed and giggled and cringed and had a thoroughly wonderful time watching it - and in our day together either side of it.
No Manifesto has a wonderful line from Nicky Wire where he says "sometimes the fans hate us, and sometimes we hate them, and that's ok." And it really is.
Yesterday I attended the Manics Cardiff Castle gig which I had been so excited about since it was announced in December. Unexpectedly, it was broadcast on BBC 2 Wales and, for the non-Welsh, on BBC red button. It's available for the next 29 days on iPlayer too.
Even more unexpectedly - as I resolved to queue for no more than a couple of hours and decided I'd be quite happy not to be on the barrier - I ended up on the barrier. And, taking my place on Nicky [Wire]'s side of the stage as I always do, found myself in front of the crowd camera. I sent my parents a text to let them know they might spot me on tv. I didn't expect to find myself featured quite so heavily and got home to my hostel last night to a pile of twitter notifications from friends telling me they'd seen me (and our other mutual friends with whom I was standing) on the live feed.
I travelled home from Cardiff today, still feeling the afterglow of a thoroughly massive, energetic, energising gig, and as I was getting the photos off my camera, I watched the first half of the gig on iPlayer. And yep, there I am! Singing, dancing and generally having the sort of time I only enjoy when I'm crushed against barrier and bodies, screaming at Nicky Wire, without another care in the world.
This was one of the times we didn't hate each other. It was one of the times we bloody loved one another. Fans and band, running off one another's energy.
A Day Like This a Year
So yes, my last entry was rather melancholy. But, predictably, that doesn't reflect all of life.
And it's moments like these - laughing until I cry at a documentary in a cinema in Manchester with what felt like a room-full of friends, singing and dancing and cheering amid a mass of 10,000 bodies at a castle in Wales - that really make life. These are the moments that last. These are the moments that see me through. These are the moments - especially the moments yesterday and this morning with friends - that really matter.