John Harris

Journalist & Author

Manic Street Preachers: Eurostars find a new strasse

The Manic Street Preachers are going to Glastonbury with a new album, Futurology, that’s full of European influences, from Russian avant-garde and Krautrock to early Simple Minds

See all our Glastonbury 2014 coverage here

It’s a wet weekday night in Brussels. Blacked-out cars are criss-crossing the city as European leaders gather for what amounts to a post-election crisis summit. Nigel Farage will soon be in town, to meet the Italian comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo to discuss what news reports call "a potential alliance of Eurosceptic parties in the European parliament". The newspapers that litter the city’s Eurostar terminal are full of angst about the pan-European triumph of parties of the populist right (and left), and another crisis for an already troubled EU.

At the 1,800-capacity Ancienne Belgique, meanwhile, something quite remarkable is afoot: five musicians, on a stage bedecked with two Welsh flags, performing a song so at odds with the political moment that it sounds like a work of consummate bravery.

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