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Manic Street Preachers have announced gigs in Australia so they can follow this summer's 2013 British and Irish Lions tour.

 

Their announcement follows news that 15 Wales players will be among the 37-man squad for the 10-match tour.

 

The "massive rugby fans" describe the prospect of watching the team take on Australia as an "once in a lifetime opportunity".

 

The band's song Australia was used in tourist board ad campaigns.

 

Bass player Nicky Wire told BBC Radio Wales: "The dangling carrot was that we'd never been to New Zealand. We could go to Australia, see the Lions and hop over to New Zealand.

 

"We've never been to New Zealand and we have a lot of Australian fans. It all came together in the most magical way."

 

The group called themselves "massive rugby fans" and the chance to play some gigs and watch the Lions play Australia was described as "an amazing once in a lifetime opportunity".

 

Wire added: "The Lions are a rare animal to see".

 

As for the show audiences, he said there would be a mix of "feather boas" and "middle-aged men in rugby tops".

 

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It all came together in the most magical way”

 

Nicky Wire

Manic Street Preachers

"We can't wait to play a selection of our greatest hits to our Australian fans and the thousands of Lions fans travelling Down Under."

 

The Manic Street Preachers travel to Australia in late June to play shows in Melbourne and Sydney to coincide with matches against the Wallabies.

 

They will also travel to Auckland, New Zealand, during a break between games.

 

In September the band are due to play Festival No 6 at the village of Portmeirion in Gwynedd.

 

It attracted 6,500 people when held for the first time last year.

 

 

Muse will release their new single 'Panic Station' on June 3rd on Helium 3 / Warner Brothers Records. The single is the fourth track to be taken from the band's platinum selling sixth studio album 'The 2nd Law' and sees the band take to the streets of Tokyo in the awesome accompanying video. The single also features a remix by French producer Madeon.

Having opened the BRITs this year with an incredible performance of their previous single 'Supremacy', the band also recently played an intimate show in aid of War Child at London's iconic Shepherds Bush Empire to celebrate 20 years of the charity. The performance received outstanding reviews from both critics and fans alike. 

The band are currently nearing the end of their US tour and, having just played two nights at Madison Square Gardens in NYC, will embark on their biggest stadium tour to date this May, with very special guest Dizzee Rascal appearing at all UK shows. Bastille will also join the band in Coventry on May 22nd, London on May 25th and Manchester on June 1st.

 

Storm Thorgers on, whose album cover artwork includes Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, has died aged 69, the band's management has confirmed.

A childhood friend of the founding members of the band, he became their designer-in-chief, fashioning a string of eye-catching creations.

He designed

the cover showing a prism spreading a spectrum of colour for The Dark Side Of The Moon.

His credits also include albums by Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel and Muse.

His family released a statement saying he died peacefully on Thursday surrounded by family and friends.

"He had been ill for some time with cancer though he had made a remarkable recovery from his stroke in 2003," it said.

"He is survived by his mother Vanji, his son Bill, his wife Barbie Antonis and her two children Adam and Georgia."

Pink Floyd guitarist and vocalist Dave Gilmour released a statement in which he said the artworks Thorgerson created for the band had been "an inseparable part of our work".

He said: "We first met in our early teens. We would gather at Sheep's Green, a spot by the river in Cambridge and Storm would always be there holding forth, making the most noise, bursting with ideas and enthusiasm. Nothing has ever really changed.

"He has been a constant force in my life, both at work and in private, a shoulder to cry on and a great friend. I will miss him."

'Simple idea'
 
A statement on the Pink Floyd.com official site said: "We are saddened by the news that long-time Pink Floyd graphic genius, friend and collaborator, Storm Thorgerson, has died.

"Our thoughts are with his family and many friends."

Thorgerson began his career with UK design group Hipgnosis, founded in the late 1960s and his distinctive style made him one of the industry's most recognisable artists.

There was the mournful-looking cow on the front of Atom Heart Mother, the burning businessman on the sleeve of Wish You Were Here, the giant pig flying over Battersea Power Station and the prism spreading a spectrum of colour across The Dark Side Of The Moon.

He told the BBC in 2009: "It's a nice but simple idea. Refracting light through a prism is a common feature in nature, as in a rainbow. I would like to claim it, but unfortunately it's not mine!"

The idea was sparked by Pink Floyd's keyboard player, the late Richard Wright, he explained.

"He said, somewhat provocatively, 'Let's not have one of your photos, we've had your photos before. Can't we have a change? A cool graphic - something smart, tidy, elegant.'"