Leeds Festival - Manics Day - Sunday 26th August

Its the day everyone's been waiting for and the rumours are flying around. Will they split? Won't they split? Does anyone care if they split up? Reports from Reading suggest that they put on the career defining show but until later how can we separate our truth from their truth. Kicking off proceedings are fellow valley boys Terris who many tipped to be the next big Welsh band for 2 years on the run. Chart success may not be theirs just yet but Gavin has the confidence to take them to the next level. A few oldies for their cult fanbase and a splattering of newies suggesting that chart success is just a footstep away. He walks and talks like a preacher man. Join the congregation!!!!

Long before the phrase "NAM" was even coined, Gorky's were a band you good rely on for a good foot tapping tune that the milkman could whistle to. They could have been big you know but alas they look set to continue the tradition of Mark & Lard singles of the week while narrowly escaping the lower reaches of the top 40. New single "Stood On Gold" has all the Gorkies trademark sounds - gentle strummed acoustic guitar, lush violins and vocals that warm your heart. Euros an unlikely hero, but an hero all the same.

As far as Reading / Leeds core audience goes you just can't help but feel that the rock scene is just getting a little stale. Take Rancid for example who are just the archetypal shite garage punk band. Guys, it may be commendable that your the only truly independent rock band on the bill but have you ever thought this might be because you actually only have one recognizable tune. If I found one good reason to "Stop the Rock" I'd need look no further than this band. Back on the Carling Stage rock doesn't fair much better with scouse band Voy. Out Mansun-ing Mansun on a good day but today simply lame in comparison to their heroes.

Supergrass take time out from being extra's in Planet Of The Apes to play us some long awaited new material. "Can't Get Up" and "Beautiful People" returning to the youthful thrills of the debut with enough muso-twiddling to please the Mojo readers. Sadly though the 'grass will never see a return to that blinding first tour with the Bluetones. Maybe its just nostalgia but these Monkey boys just seem to have grown up to quickly.

"Hi, I'm Karl Marx and this is my favourite rock & roll band ever" - its the sort of intro that would be laughed at had it been done by anyone else but the Manics just get away with it and rightly so. Forget the Glastonbury toilet incident, forget the Coca Cola / Cuba press conference situation and please put an end to this whole Old Manics / New Manics nonsense. Tonight they blew all the competition away. "Little Baby Nothing", "Archives Of Pain", "Motown Junk" alongside "Tsunami", "Everything Must Go" and "Design For Life". An almost flawless set with the only low being current single "Let Robeson Sing" but for all the shock tactics of Marilyn Manson and Eminem the band that won through at the end of the day were the ones with the tunes.  They may be old but they're still beautiful as Nicky Wire proved with knee length socks, a nurses uniform and a bright pink hat - simply gorgeous as grown men were heard screaming to their girlfriends. People say its the end. I say its just the beginning of a new phase.

Alex McCann