Manic Street Preachers think Richard Hawley is a ''great man''.

The 'A Design For Life' band are working hard on a follow up from 2010 album 'Postcards from a Young Man' and are thrilled with the contribution made by the Sheffield-born musician, praising his slide guitar skills and ''sincere'' vocals.

Drummer Sean Moore said: ''He's a great man. He played some slide guitar which none of us could ever, ever approach. And he's got such a wonderful rich and very sincere voice, which I think that was pretty evident on his last album ['Standing At The Sky's Edge'].

''Sometimes when you're asking other people whether it's collaboration or hired gun sometimes you've just got to let them flourish and not be too precious.''

The group - also formed of frontman James Dean Bradfield and bassist Nicky Wire - have worked with dozens of big names in the past, including Guns N Roses bassist Duff Mckagan, and the trio can't believe how successful they have become since first starting out 30 years ago.

When asked whether it feels odd looking back on their storied history as a band, Sean told www.tonedeaf.com.au: ''It does, because you know, obviously in those younger days we thought it was going to be one album and that was it.

''At the time if it had achieved the successes that we wanted it to do, then we probably would have called it a day, but then you realise that you wouldn't have carried on and you wouldn't have written those other songs.''