“Where on our sixth album – we had just done a comeback gig in the middle of London 0 we would feel as if we’d just wasted an opportunity. We have a massive sense of history, we would like to look back at our career and know that we tried at every level to make chapter 22 or chapter 24 of our book interesting,,,” reflects lead singer James Dean Bradfield as the driving reason behind the band’s Cuban adventure. Of course there were many reasons to play, Nicky Wire offered “It seems important that we should go there, while there is somewhere that is actually fighting against the Americanisation of the world.”
A few weeks later the Manics walked out on the Karl Marx theatre stage silhouetted against the Cuban and Welsh flag backdrop and made history.
‘Louder Than War’ contains nearly three hours of footage, including the full un-edited meeting with the world’s longest serving leader, one Fidel Castro. Where Clive James failed in is hunt to find him, the Manic didn’t it seems, have to try.Complete with translator, Fidel\Castro showed unexpectantly a few hours before the show and also later he met an awe-struck band.
As you’d expect, the DVD also features the full live show and what an impressive set it is too from the Havana venue. Including Nicky Wire’s lead vocal debut on ‘Wattsville Blues’. But my personal highlight features the skills if Cuban trumpet player Yasek Manzano who adds an extra dimension on a good few tracks on which he feature, most notably on ‘Kevin Carter’.
as one of the most anticipated music video releases of the year ‘Louder Than War’ does not disappoint. only grumble I’d like to see a little more of Cuba. But the mixture of backstage footage, the many interviews and the show itself, still provide an engaging insight into the views and the politics of the Manic Street Preachers. Could any other band have done this as a launch of their new album? A cynical friend back in February dismissed the Manics Cuban launch as a cheap holiday in someone else’s misery.” He could not be more wrong. You don’t play a concert in Cuba for gain, this whole adventure was conceived and executed from the heart. For that and many other reasons, I salute them, it would be a much sadder place without dreams like this. 8.8/10