Starting with Motorcycle Emptiness should have been a blistering and awesome move: rather it just felt like they'd let one of their best songs get away while the sound engineer was still fiddling. Songs from earlier in their career provided the majority of highlights, but felt awkward among the rest of the set list. It's nice to see a band mature, develop and make different, interesting music. But the Manics? They just don't sound that manic any more.
Six songs from new album Rewind The Film featured in the set, the title track itself being the most intriguing, boasting a 1970s prog-rock soundtrack vibe. It's not a sound that suits the Welsh trio particularly well, especially in its vocal parts, which make James Dean Bradfield's usually outstanding voice sound like any old bloke.
Before playing (It's Not War) Just The End Of Love, bassist Nicky Wire told the tale of how he wrote the lyrics a few years ago while drunk in Glasgow's Radisson Blu hotel. That's probably a pretty different setting from where the songs from debut release Generation Terrorists were written, and an interesting reflection of how things have changed.
Ending with a very typical but satisfying rendition of A Design For Life, it's clear how much this band have given over the years in terms of awe-inspiring musical output. But with this set list, it would be far too easy to mistake them for something much less special.