Red Ink ENOLAD001 / ENOLAT001: 18th September 2006
1. Break My Heart Slowly (Single Version)
“It was cold, the night was black, you could feel her freezing hands, exiting a life of chance, painted dead a million times”
2. Derek Jarman’s Garden
“A tiny piece of precious land, made of shingle and made of sand, oh nuclear power, so picturesque, the tears rain down like lovers leaving home”
3. Casual / Glam
“So put on all your rags, come on it’s all we have, put on your lipstick and glitter, it’ll make you feel cleaner”
Hot on the heels of James Dean Bradfield’s successful launch of his own solo career, we have another Manic Street Preachers off shoot from Nicky Wire. Conventional wisdom has it that James is the professional rocker, the master of the pop tune and Nicky is the gloriously shambolic Bass player covered in bad makeup and possibly wearing a pink dress. But behind the punky attitude and the gravel-raw croaky vocals on ‘Break My Heart Slowly’ is a simply great pop tune with a deliberately anthemic sing-along bit in the middle “If your life has changed, if it makes no sense… etc”. The lyrics are about being visited by Dora Maar who was Picasso’s muse. The album version has one of those great sampled voices at the start speaking lines like “It’s scary to watch someone you love go into the center of himself and confront his fears” but it’s sadly been snipped off for this ‘Single Version’.
‘Derek Jarman’s Garden’ is simply about multi-media artist Derek Jarman’s garden and what Nicky believes it meant to him. ‘Casual/Glam’ is one of those great tunes that just reels off place names. It even mentions Carlisle where I was born (‘Panic’ by The Smiths and ‘Skimbleshanks, The Railway Cat’ name-check it too). Both songs are of almost equal quality to the A-side.
Some people might have doubted that Nicky could sing or write music to equal his lyrics. But I didn’t doubt him, because I adored ‘Dying Breeds’ (A Manics B-side from last year that, Nicky sang on), so this brilliant release simply confirmed what I’d been expecting.
Click here to view a Flickr presentation of photographs from ‘Derek Jarman’s Garden’. Also here are links to watch several of Jarman’s music videos for ‘The Queen Is Dead’, ‘Rent’, ‘It’s A Sin’, ‘Broken English’, ‘The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan’ and ‘Tenderness Is A Weakness’ on YouTube
Before Nicky Wire went solo he sang lead vocals on three Manics B-sides, which I’ve included links to below: