Skip to content

Read: Wire legal bootleg series.

Over the years, many Wire concerts have been recorded, circulated and traded by ardent fans. But with the unexpected success of the 1979 Rockpalast concert (released as Wire: On The Box 1979), and subsequent requests from Wire fans for the band to release more from the archives, Pinkflag has been hard at work on a project to make available live material, from the highest possible quality source material, remastered and sympathetically presented.

Pinkflag proudly presents The Wire Legal Bootleg series. Curated by long-time Wire fan Mark Bursa, the series aims to make available the very best Wire gigs, for an affordable price, and with both new fans and avid collectors in mind.

Each gig (bar bonus items) is available individually, in digital format, for £8.99. Fans can save money buy purchasing 'batches' of three gigs, for £24.99, which include one from each decade Wire performed live in.

However, for the biggest Wire fans, we offer a series subscription for the special price of £66.99, which includes special bonus items.

More information about each item so far released can be found below. For further information about the Wire Legal Bootleg series, read the FAQ.

Wire legal bootlegs: series two (2013)

Recycling Sherwood Forest

Recycling Sherwood Forest
Buy now | Details

A re-imagining of the set Wire played at the RFH in 2000, a combination of a rather poor 8-track recording of the Nottingham show and a lot of post-production in swim studio, which has already become a bit of a cult classic on the pinkflag forum.

This is a bonus item for subscribers to the second series.

  1. Silk Skin Paws
  2. 40 Versions
  3. Boiling Boy
  4. Art of Persistence
  5. Lowdown
  6. Madman's Honey
  7. Advantage in Height
  8. He Knows
  9. Being Sucked In
  10. Strange
  11. Serious of Snakes
  12. Another The Letter
  13. 12XU
4 April 2011, WFMU - 13 April 2011, KEXP

4 April 2011, WFMU - 13 April 2011, KEXP
Buy now | Details

Two radio session performances from the US tour of 2011 that really came to life with the mastering process.

This is a bonus item for subscribers to the second series.

  1. Down To This
  2. Please Take
  3. Adapt
  4. Pink Flag
  5. Clay
  6. Bad Worn Thing
  7. Kidney Bingos
  8. Moreover
12 Nov 1978 SO36, Berlin

17 Feb 1978, West Runton Pavilion
Buy now | Details

17 Feb 1978, West Runton Pavilion

Live recordings of any quality of this antiquity are pretty rare. This is only two months after "Pink Flag" was released and apart from "Live at The Roxy", which was professionally recorded, is the oldest live recording we know about. Two days ago it was 35 years old! The set is classic Wire, and it being so soon after the release of "Pink Flag" doesn't dim the band's enthusiasm for the new as ten of the 21 cuts were "new" at the time. From the point of view of the obscurist, this set is also interesting in that it contains the only known (so far) live versions of four songs that were only ever demoed but never officially released. Needless to say, given its antiquity, the recording quality is not stellar, but re-pitching and mastering of the original audio has improved it a lot.

  1. Champs
  2. Ex-Lion Tamer
  3. Options R
  4. 106 Beats That
  5. Reuters
  6. Three Girl Rhumba
  7. I Am The Fly
  8. Oh No Not So
  9. Strange
  10. Brazil
  11. Culture Vultures
  12. Lowdown
  13. It's The Motive
  14. Practice Makes Perfect
  15. Mannequin
  16. Pink Flag
  17. Marooned
  18. Love Ain't Polite
  19. Sand In My Joints
  20. 12XU
  21. Too Late
12 June 1987, Maxwell's, Hoboken

12 June 1987, Maxwell's, Hoboken
Buy now | Details

12th June 1987, Maxwell's, Hoboken

Another fascinating window into a different time. This was near the beginning of the first '80s tour of North America, during 1987. The gig was at the special request of the Ex-Lion Tamers (this was their "home" venue) in a much smaller venue than Wire would normally play in the NYC area. The band is pretty tight and powerful and the audience pretty loud throughout! This gives a sense of intimacy not so present in recordings in larger clubs. In terms of the set, the band are already, in time honoured Wire fashion, debuting songs that would end up on "A Bell Is A Cup". The set also features a full-band version of "Still Shows" and two versions of "Drill"! A good recording that mastering has really brought to life.

  1. Intro
  2. Silk Skin Paws
  3. Advantage in Height
  4. Come Back In Two Halves
  5. Cheeking Tongues
  6. Madman's Honey
  7. Ahead
  8. Kidney Bingos
  9. Over Theirs
  10. Still Shows
  11. A Serious of Snakes
  12. It's A Boy
  13. Ambitious
  14. Drill I
  15. A Vivid Riot Of Red
  16. Drill II
21 May 1990, Hibernian, London

21 May 1990, Hibernian, London
Buy now | Details

21 May 1990,  Hibernian, London

Although Robert had left the band by the time this gig took place, this is very much a Wire gig rather than a Wir gig. All the drums and percussion you hear were programmed by Robert and he had only quit a few days prior to this show. The seven shows that year were the only ever in which songs from "Manscape"  were played live and the set also shows some witty re-invention: Eardrum Buzz and Kidney Bingos are mashed up into "Kidney/Buzz"; "Small Black Reptile" has the riff from "I Am The Fly" as its intro; "Ahead" turns into a kind of hip-hop; "Want To Drill You" (a precursor of "In Every City" from The Drill album) mashes up "12XU", "Drill" and an electro style baseline into something almost sexy; and "Advantage In Height" is strangely beautiful. Finally, "Underwater Experiences" was the song in which all the smoke in the smoke machine was put on the stage (you can hear it hissing out during the beginning of the song) and has an actual chorus (as opposed to just shouting).

  1. Patterns of Behaviour
  2. Kidney Bingos (Kidney/Buzz)
  3. Small Black Reptile
  4. Goodbye Ploy
  5. Sixth Sense
  6. Stampede
  7. You Hung Your Lights In The Trees
  8. Ahead
  9. What Do You See?
  10. Want To Drill You
  11. Advantage In Height
  12. Underwater Experiences
  13. Torch It

Wire legal bootlegs: series one (2010–2011)

25 October 1978 Bradford University

25 October 1978 Bradford University
Buy now | Details

WIRE - 25 October 1978 Bradford University (pfb 701)
Chairs Missing meets proto-154. Raw versions of familiar songs

This set was recorded during the tour to support the release of Chairs Missing but already included early versions of songs that would turn up on 154 as well as Stepping Off Too Quick which was dropped before 154 was recorded.

  1. Indirect Enquiries
  2. Men 2nd
  3. Lowdown
  4. On Returning
  5. Being Sucked In
  6. I Feel Mysterious Today
  7. The Other Window
  8. A Mutual Friend
  9. Former Airline
  10. Mercy
  11. Stepping Off Too Quick
  12. Strange
  13. Another The Letter
  14. Sand In My Joints
  15. French Film Blurred
  16. I Should Have Known Better
  17. Practice Makes Perfect
  18. Reuters
  19. 106 Beats That
21 July 1988 Astoria, London

21 July 1988 Astoria, London
Buy now | Details

WIRE - 21 July 1988 Astoria, London (pfb 801)
Wire in full 80s pomp!

A full hour-and-a-half set featuring material from the A Bell Is A Cup.../IBTABA period. Fresh from a big US tour, this fearsomely efficient set gives lie to the theory that the '80s was a fallow period for Wire.

  1. The Queen Of Ur
  2. In Vivo
  3. Kidney Bingos
  4. The Finest Drops
  5. Silk Skin Paws
  6. German Shepherds
  7. A Public Place
  8. It's A Boy
  9. The Offer
  10. Eardrum Buzz
  11. Boiling Boy
  12. Drill
  13. Ahead
  14. Over Theirs

WIRE - 08 Dec 2000 Queen's Hall, Edinburgh (pfb 001)
The crucial 00s gig, with the first airing of new material and reworkings of old classics

Not only does this recording pre-figure the Read & Burn series by including an early version of Germ Ship and a version of Ally In Exile that proved an inspiration for I Don't Understand but also it contains the only recording of the atmospheric instrumental Zoom released in any format to date. Also included is an early version of He Knows an unreleased song that has been a highlight of sets from 2008 onwards.

  1. Zoom
  2. Heartbeat
  3. Ally In Exile
  4. Germ Ship
  5. Boiling Boy
  6. He Knows
  7. Advantage In Height
  8. Lowdown
  9. Another The Letter
  10. 12XU
  11. Pink Flag
  12. Drill
10 Nov 1979 Jeanetta Cochrane Theatre, London

10 Nov 1979 Jeanetta Cochrane, London
Buy now | Details

WIRE - 10 Nov 1979 Jeanetta Cochrane, London (pfb 702)
Wire's most legendary show of the '70s

In the annals of Wire history the four nights at the Jeanetta Cochrane Theatre in London are legendary. Wire in both performance art & rock band modes in a striking, angular set designed by students at what was then theatre wing of The Central School of Arts (now part of the University of Arts, London). Had the band had the resources, this would have been a great gig to have recorded for posterity. However to our knowledge only one recording exists of the show (on the 11th) and it has been a labour of love to find the copy closest to the source of that recording. Frustratingly we have never been able to track down the original but this is way better than anything out there.

  1. Crazy About Love
  2. Remove For Improvement
  3. The Spare One
  4. Two People in A Room
  5. Lorries
  6. Underwater Experiences
  7. A Blessed State
  8. Ally In Exile
  9. Over My Head
  10. Our Swimmer
  11. On Returning
01 Dec 1987 Town & Country, London

01 Dec 1987 Town & Country, London
Buy now | Details

WIRE - 01 Dec 1987 Town & Country, London (pfb 803)
"The Rover's Return"

The last show of Wire's most extensive year of touring during the '80s featuring material from The ideal Copy but also debuting much from from the yet to be recorded A Bell Is A Cup. Wire in transition to full '80s pomp!

  1. Silk Skin Paws
  2. Cheeking Tongues
  3. Freefalling Divisions
  4. Ahead
  5. Come Back In Two Halves
  6. Madman's Honey
  7. Over Theirs
  8. Kidney Bingos
  9. Follow The Locust
  10. A Serious of Snakes
  11. It's A Boy
  12. Boiling Boy
  13. Drill
  14. Ambitious
  15. A Vivid Riot Of Red
19 Apr 2002 Fleece & Firkin, Bristol

19 Apr 2002 Fleece & Firkin, Bristol
Buy now | Details

WIRE - 19 Apr 2002 Fleece & Firkin, Bristol (pfb 003)
The debut of the "Send" set

The warm up to the ATP-headlining shows of 2002 this was the debut of whist was to become the 'Send Set' played to much effect throughout the world over the following two years. The final form is however not reached as the show opens with a version of DJ Fuckoff on which every band member played guitar!

  1. DJ Fuckoff
  2. Read & Burn
  3. Germ Ship
  4. Mr. Marx's Table
  5. First Fast
  6. The Agfers of Kodack
  7. Comet
  8. In The Art Of Stopping
  9. Spent
  10. I Don't Understand
  11. Lowdown
  12. Pink Flag
12 Nov 1978 SO36, Berlin

12 Nov 1978 SO36, Berlin
Buy now | Details

Wire: 19 Nov 1978, SO36, Berlin (pfb 703)
From Wire's first ever European tour. Legendary Club

Even though Wire had been gigging solidly in the UK throughout 1977 & 1978 and had even made a short visit to the USA, it was not until November 1978 that Wire would start to play in continental Europe. For the band, this tour was a game-changer; the band had never felt so welcome or understood, especially in Dusseldorf (see the book on the Legendary Ratingerhof Club by Ralf Ziegermann) and Berlin, where the band played at the then uberhip S036 with its industrial interior. On one of the two nights, artist Martin Kippenberger was sent flying through the glass door during an attack by neo-anarchist punks.

17 Dec 1985 Paradiso, Amsterdam

17 Dec 1985 Paradiso, Amsterdam
Buy now | Details

Wire: 17 Dec 1985 Paradiso, Amsterdam (pfb 804)
Wire's infamous 5th Gig of the '80s

Wire's "year zero" re-start in the '80s was not met with universal acclaim. Far from it. Until subsequent albums established a set of material, audiences were not quite sure what to make of a Wire stripped of all familiarity. In fact the band received some hostile receptions, none more so than at the Paradiso. A show to a packed auditorium where many felt short changed by the lack of familiar material and the set's presumed brevity. In fact the urban myth that the band played less than half an hour is rendered untrue by this release which clocks in at a little over 46 minutes. Short by Springsteen standards but pretty standard even for late '70s Wire.

02 May 2000 Great American, San Francisco

02 May 2000 Great American, San Francisco
Buy now | Details

Wire:02 May 2000 Great American, San Francisco (pfb 004)
The "Historic" Y2k set at its most eloquent

Having re-grouped for the Royal Festival Hall show and cemented the re-emergence with an appearance at ATP, Wire then set out on a short tour of the USA where the visitors to the "Desert Island" set about the process of re-inventing their back catalogue as a prelude to the next phase. Two days of production rehearsals at the "Great American" were followed by two nights' performances in the same venue.