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Nicky Wire on Heaney, O'Driscoll & Heaslip

Nicky Wire has joined in with the tributes to Seamus Heaney...

The Hot Press Newsdesk, 10 Sep 2013



Asked by our man Stuart Clark whether he was a fan, the Manic Street Preacher says, “Yeah, big time! I discovered Seamus Heaney’s The Spirit Level collection of poems through my brother, and for a couple of years during the ‘90s became obsessed with him and Ted Hughes’ Birthday Letters, which came from a similar sort of place.

"I think Seamus was to Ireland what R.S. Thomas was to Wales – some sort of barometer of culture and wellbeing in the nation, which is a fucking amazing thing to achieve at that level. I think music’s hard, but being a poet is the hardest art form to ever make a living from. It takes a fucking long while to get there and even then the rewards are not that big.

“He had a face that was just full of love, I guess,” Nicky continues. “Full of love and meaning…”

Wire, who arranged for the Manics to be on tour in Australia at the same time as the Lions, is dismissive however of another of our national heroes.

“Warren Gatland was absolutely right to drop Brian O’Driscoll,” he insists. “Personally, I think if he’d picked ten Welsh players from the start we’d have walked the series 3-0. I’ve got nothing but admiration for Brian O’Driscoll, but there comes a time when it’s about the team and not the player. The Aussies were quite sentimental; they picked George Smith, a big comeback and he was fucking knocked out in ten minutes. It was just a bad decision.”

Nicky’s mauling of our brave Irish boys doesn’t end there.

“Toby Faletau was just so superior to Jamie Heaslip,” he concludes. “I’ve no idea why he played the first two tests. Faletau came in and just fucking rampaged through the entire game. I’m sure it’ll be tasty when Wales play Ireland next!”

It could be tasty when the Manic Street Preachers play the Dublin Olympia on September 20 too! See the next issue of Hot Press for a review of their magnificent new album, Rewind The Film, and an interview with Nicky’s bandmate Sean Moore who, among other things, discusses their involvement in Arthur’s Day.

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