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GALLERY: Kevin Cummins' Manics Shots
Danny Riley , November 13th, 2014 15:45

Before tQ editor John Doran interviews him at Manchester's Louder Than Words festival this weekend, Kevin Cummins talks us through some of his best shots of the Manic Street Preachers from his upcoming book, Assassinated Beauty


First NME cover
When we came to do the NME cover a few months later (after first shooting them) I felt they still didn't have a cohesive look that would work for a cover shot, so we concentrated on Nicky Wire and Richey and put them on the cover. In a way it was quite a bold move for a music paper not to put the lead singer on the cover. I wrote "Culture Slut" on Nicky in lipstick and Richey, not to be outdone and always wanting to shock, was in the dressing room scratching "HIV" in his neck. Because he did it in the mirror it was back to front. Everyone kept saying, "What does 'VIH' mean?"

Their androgynous style appealed to me. I'd grown up with glam rock, and going to art school you'd look at people like Bowie and Roxy Music. To find a band who had that aesthetic, that actually came along when everybody was wearing 30-inch-wide jeans, suddenly here's a band that said, "Fuck that, we're gonna be very different." I like that they were a band that learned in public. As they changed their style with each album, they eventually came to a look that suited all four of them.