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Us: Bruce Gilbert.

Bruce Gilbert

Bruce Gilbert

Bruce Gilbert, currently resident in London, is a co-founder of Wire, and responsible for much of the band's guitar work and many of its lyrics. Having spent several years at various colleges in the late 1960s, Bruce began painting seriously—large abstracts—in his flat, before settling on a 'proper' job as a technician at Dacorum College in Hemel Hempsted, a job that then led to a position at Watford School of Art as audio/visual aids technician.

Usefully, the previous technician had built up a sound studio, and Bruce used this to work on his true love: audio. He'd first acquired a tape recorder in 1959, using it to make crude loops; this passion re-emerged in earnest at the college, in collaboration with Ron West, with whom Bruce created an electronic piece that utilised oscillators, tape loops and delays. During this period, Bruce also moonlighted on slide guitar in a blues duo.

In 1976, a band formed around a nucleus of Bruce, George Gill and Colin Newman. Initially performing mainly Gill's material, the band expanded to a five-piece and became Wire when Graham Lewis and Robert Grey joined, the classic four-piece being achieved upon the sacking of Gill and his material. Subsequently, Bruce and Graham consulted and collaborated closely, on the visual identity of the group (record sleeves, posters and stage design) and often when writing texts, either individually or together.

Alongside Wire, Bruce has always continued to work on his own projects, which tend to be filmic, abstract and somewhat experimental in nature. Several of Bruce's solo recordings are based around commissions for modern dance productions and films, while more recent work is entirely standalone in nature, perhaps echoing Bruce's "fascination with the possibilities of sound". Throughout, a live component has also existed in Bruce's work. He's been involved in a number of art and sound installations and pieces of performance art, and also had a stint as a DJ (DJ Beekeeper), which Bruce noted was a means for him to manipulate other people's music. He also co-founded Dome with Graham Lewis, worked on Duet Emmo with Lewis and Daniel Miller, and collaborated with Angela Conway on the haunting album One Of Our Girls Has Gone Missing.

In 2004, Bruce left Wire to concentrate on other projects.