Rock's dead. Manics, you killed it

OWEN VAUGHAN: COMMENT
Last updated 14:07 02/07/2013
Manics
X Factor NZ / Screengrab

Close your eyes and pretend it's not happening.

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Manic Street Preachers, you've officially killed Rock.

Once you were the agitprop band of the 80s and 90s, now you're on X Factor New Zealand, playing to a crowd that really doesn't know who you are.

And those who did know who you were, that you hadn't just wandered in off the streets, bopped their heads in an embarrassing dad-dancing fashion - Mel Blatt, you know who I'm talking about.

You were probably booked by some forty-something TV producer who saw you at Glastonbury once and spotted that you were coming to the country.

But did you really have to say yes? In the same week the Rolling Stones played Glastonbury? It was like watching a once proud lion being forced to perform tricks at a dodgy zoo.

The fact you were singing If You Tolerate This made the spectacle seem sadder still.

It wasn't subversive; it was an exercise in submissiveness, of you putting record and ticket sales before your reputation.

You must have felt the embarrassment because only one of you stayed on stage to answer some awkwardly put questions and do the plug for your concert tonight in Auckland.

Your fans were embarrassed for you, if the following tweets are anything to go by.

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Those who hadn't the foggiest who you were chipped in as well.

But you've been hear before, haven't you?

You did Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One three years ago, and your fans - from whom you demand unerring loyalty - didn't exactly like it.

Comments such as "Manic Street Preachers on Strictly. Middle age is unforgiving for everyone apparently" and "The end of the world is here. The Manic Street Preachers are on Strictly Come Dancing" summed up the reaction.

X Factor New Zealand and Strictly Come Dancing are shows where careers go to die. If you were true to your roots you would have at least tried to subvert your appearance.

Nicky Wire could have broken his guitar, just as he did in 1991. Or James Dean Bradfield could have worn that balaclava he used to great effect on Top of the Pops in 1994.

Perhaps the whole thing was a clever prank, like the one you played at Glastonbury in 1999, when you requested your own backstage toilets as a joke - and somehow were taken seriously.

The least you could've done was turn up in The Voice Australia T-shirts. Now that's a proper show.

- Stuff

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