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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


Bangkok group picture, by river
That's toward the end of the trip. We needed a full band shot for the cover because I was forever putting either Richey or Richey and Nicky up. They had a very cohesive look then. Bands moan constantly, and they were moaning because of the heat. I needed to do the shot in the daylight, and it was so hot and humid, the river stank, it was pretty grim really. When you're shooting a band you can only really look at two of them at a time, so when I looked up to see if I should move anybody I realized Nicky wasn't there. He was bent down behind them being sick into the river, because of the heat and the stench. He wanted to go back to the hotel but we needed to carry on with the shoot, so afterwards we had to adjust the colour of the picture because Nicky looked so green.

I like it, the military look. They understand the rock aesthetic. I liked the way that they changed their look to suit whatever music they were playing, and I liked the fact that they dressed as a band and they thought about it. I think in a way when Richie disappeared, it was very odd for me to work with them again. I went to L.A. with them for their first time as a three-piece, and they were just dressed in normal street wear. It was kind of like it had knocked the stuffing out of them a little bit. It seemed like they weren't sure what they wanted to do. It wasn't a dressing-up look, it was dressing down and being respectful. It was very odd for me.