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  1.  
    Somewhere there was an anecdote about a Question Of Degree suggestion, and Colin implying that it might actually happen.

    I'm not sure I want to know if that comes true, as I won't be able to make any of the upcoming shows.

    But damn, if it does happen? Blinding jealousy of those who attend!

    (Speaking of Question of Degree, here's yet another vote for a single and b-side roundup compilation - I know they are all easily had on the old EMI editions of the first three albums, but considering the annotations and care put into the new PF editions of the albums, I'd gladly take advantage of a new rerelease...)
  2.  
    I must admit I'm not really that interested in hearing current versions of old classics - 'Being Sucked in Again' at the Scala, well, sucked, in my opinion. Perhaps that's too strong (not to mention obvious) a criticism ... it was OK, but, in reality, completely superfluous to the set. Leave the past where it was, Wire are hardly lacking in creativity, I'd prefer to hear an improvised jam rather than a psuedo-jam with the lyrics of an old favourite sung over it.

    Or if people really want nostalgia, maybe do more shows like the Barbican, where they did the whole of Pink Flag as a set - but didn't the second set that night just destroy the first one? Didn't it have so much more energy? Not to say the Pink Flag material wasn't better, in its day, but tired versions of old classics, well ... as I said above, and as Colin stated at the Scala, "we're Wire, we won't play your favourite song badly". In my opinion, they played a whole fucking album badly - or at least without much enthusiasm - at the Barbican!
  3.  
    "It would have been nice had the Scala encores not been songs already played earlier in the set."

    Er, precisely one of the encore songs had already been played. In fact, technically speaking, none of the encore songs had already been played. The duplicated track was Our Time, and that second encore wasn't planned—Wire only came back on because the crowd made such a racket.

    "Speaking of Question of Degree, here's yet another vote for a single and b-side roundup compilation"

    Last I heard, there were some strange rights issues blocking the re-emergence of some of the tracks, but some kind of 'and the rest' compilation or purchasing option has already occurred to Wire. If it can happen, it will.

    "I'm not really that interested in hearing current versions of old classics"

    For me, it depends on the track and what the band does with it. I'm not keen on hearing early EMI-era stuff, but what the band's currently doing with its early Mute output (especially Boiling Boy, but also Silk Skin Paws and Advantage in Height) is exceptional.
  4.  
    Interesting. I rather enjoyed the revitalization of older cuts that I've heard in the sets that I've seen, for it being Wire I had imagined - and witnessed - further exploration and refined execution, not the moldy jukebox revivalism that plagues other bands that choose to go the "Greatest Hits Live" route.

    I've never been much for nostalgia myself, and having waded through a few conversations about the recorded vs. live issue it is no secret that I admire both. I mean, I could always stay home and listen to the records very loud, perhaps spill some beer on myself, make a t-shirt and pay myself too much money for it...

    But if an energy is brought to an older cut that I never had a chance to witness "in its day", well I'm all for it. Doesn't sound like that occurred with the Pink Flag set, which is a pity, but I don't know if I'd take that as a blanket indication that they shouldn't try at all. I admired their old policy of not looking back, but I also loved hearing Advantage In Height live.

    I was tempted to make a comment about Wire not seeming to me to be a jam band, but since (if memory serves) "jamming" more or less gave birth to Drill, it might indeed be a sight worth seeing.

    As for rights to singles, also particularly interesting. I'm surprised that some of the EMI stuff might fall under some other category than the albums, but as I've noted before I have no clue how contracts and such as relates to recorded output works. Or perhaps this applies to Our Swimmer (Rough Trade)?
  5.  
    "moldy jukebox revivalism"?....not sure to whom you're referring.......Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Ray Davies and many others constantly rework/ re-tool their old stuff and that's the beauty of music, it's not set in stone. it happens in time and if it's
    a sturdy song why not try a slightly different version, or even a radically differently version. i don't think i ever heard lou reed play "sweet jane" twice the same way. they're all good.

    now if you mean the sex pistols for one, then no way. don't think i'd pay to see old johnny slosh through the old stuff for the umpteenth time. (as good as NTBHTSP is). to me, that's just laziness.

    i was lucky enough to see Wire twice last year, both free gigs, and quite enjoyed both of them. to my ears it was a perfect mix old and new. decent opening acts as well. had i'd been playing top dollar i would have preferred a few more songs, but would not have been disappointed either way.
  6.  
    I think I probably meant the Police show I went to see in Buffalo, NY last year.

    They couldn't have been more visibly bored, and neither could I.

    Serves me right I guess, and what exactly was I expecting?

    Yes, I'm sure someone saw a stellar set somewhere. Yes, the show I saw was towards the end of a however-many-month tour and I would probably be just as sick of the hits as they seemed to be. But wouldn't that be an appropriate time to shake up the set list a little bit? It was their second time coming through the area (after Toronto the year before), so I"m willing to bet the bulk of the crowd that wanted the Big Hits experience had already had it.
  7.  
    "In my opinion, they played a whole fucking album badly - or at least without much enthusiasm - at the Barbican!"

    I think they played it as tightly and precisely as they could have, but the venue was wrong, and the Chapman's atrocious set design didn't help matters.
  8.  
    Perhaps tight and precise is enough for you Fergus, my reference was to feel, hence the addendum, "or at least without much enthusiasm", rather than the technical accuracy. And let's face it, the show was sold on Wire playing Pink Flag, so a bit of effort woiuldn't have gone amiss - either that or say "we're Wire, we won't play your favourite song badly". Also, playing Pink Flag in a technically flawless fashion hardly deserves a round of applause, particularly in regard of the level of musicianship the band has developed over the last 30 years since that album's inception - Pink Flag is hardly Zappa-esque in its degree of difficulty. But apologies if I wasn't clear in my criticism.

    What I would say, with confidence, though, is that when Gang of Four played a similar retro set (the Entertainment album) in the same venue, it was played with far more balls and enthusiasm. Wire, to me, appeared to want to get Pink Flag out of the way at the Barbican then get onto the second, rather excellent, set. However, one has to note the paucity of new material in Gang of Four sets, so maybe they just loved themselves back then (and Gill plainly still does today) and could give it all they've got til the end of time!

    And is that right Craig, only one of those encore numbers was a repeat? Fair enough, a lot of the material did sound samey to me that night - though a form of samey I personally still enjoy greatly, Wire's noise being in my blood. But for them to only expect one encore after so long an absence? Nah, they owed us a bit more than that IMO.
  9.  
    "And is that right Craig, only one of those encore numbers was a repeat?"

    I have a set list here and a recording of the gig. Believe me: only one song was repeated, and that was Our Time.
  10.  
    Well, as I said in my review, there was a sense of going through the motions, foaming at the bit to get to the Send set, the real piece de resistance of the evening. Indeed technical mastery does not necessarily a great gig make if the feel isn't right in the playing. So, no, precision on its own isn't enough for me. As for the Gang Of Four, well, they do attack the material in a very different way, Jon King is like a man possessed, especially when he knocks seven shades o' shite out of that microwave...
  11.  
    It was a rhetorical 'is that right' Craig, it's plain you are up to speed on these things. You give me the impression that I can trust your accuracy of statement implicitly, even if I might not always agree with your opinions - you would be a rare man if I did, no offence meant.

    And Fergus, you have raised an interesting new point - which came first, King and his microwave or Wire and the Jeanetta Cochran cooker? Fuck it, if Wire can sue that horrible little Elastica bitch, maybe they can get a slice of King's, and particularly Gill's, enormous sociocapitalist wad.

    Another point, again linking Wire to Gof4: I made the second night of that 'art rock fest' (pffft) in Essex (Gof4) but chose not to go to the previous evening's Wire night. My reasoning was that, had Wire been shite (and having been to their gigs for over 30 years I know full well that, for all their general excellence, they CAN be shite), then I would not want to go to the Scala gig a week or so later - I might potentially miss out on the chance of two gig outings in one month! A major concern in these times. Craig, oh wise one, I take it you will have attended - would you, or anyone else who did and also attended both gigs, be so kind as to tell me a little about the Essex show, was it essentially the same set as the Scala etc? Be most grateful.
  12.  
    "It was a rhetorical"

    Fair enough. I've barely had enough time to spit this past week, and so I've been scanning messages on the forum. And, no, I didn't go to the Essex show.
  13.  
    >>And Fergus, you have raised an interesting new point - which came first, King and his microwave or Wire and the Jeanetta Cochran cooker? Fuck it, if Wire can sue that horrible little Elastica bitch, maybe they can get a slice of King's, and particularly Gill's, enormous sociocapitalist wad.<<


    Mr King was whacking various shades of whatever out of stuff in 1979/80. I seem to remember it was a metal chair back in them days. Too poor for cookers in Leeds.

    REM very pointedly paid homage in 1989 on World Leader Pretend. At least Wire got some royalties out of Stipe & co.

    I think Mr King's sociocapitalist wad is bigger than Mr Gill's. And not very socio.

    http://www.brandrepublic.com/News/520190/Publishing-Agency-names-King-new-MD/?DCMP=ILC-SEARCH

    Capital, it fails him not.

    Mark
  14.  
    No worries Craig. And how dare you challenge Comrade King's ethics Mark!
  15.  
    Copyrightin' cooker bashin' ?? Ha ! That's gas.. (or electric).

    Perhaps that should read Burger King rather than Comrade King...



    I'll get me coat.
  16.  
    Cheeseburger to go!

    Mark
  17.  
    I hope they keep down the price of gas
  18.  
    Lean and mean, the fat burning George Foreman Gill!
    (Sorry.)
    (No I'm not, pompous bastard - shame he's such a good guitarist.)
  19.  
    The show last night in Cologne was a good one, but man, was it hot in there. The Blue Shell was packed to the rafters, and since it´s not a big place to begin with, it got warm quickly. No ventilation in there, thank goodness there was a no smoking policy in place or it would have been unbearable.

    I was quite close to the stage and the charming 2nd guitarst (what´s her name?) and must say the sound was quite good for such a boxy venue. The band was animated and the on stage energy level high.

    The venue opened it´s doors around 9, more than an hour after the time noted on the ticket, and there was a big line of very cold people outside when it did. We have shit weather in this town and yesterday evening was around 8 celcius..luckily I had a parking spot nearby and could at least wait in the car. Still, it´d be nice if someone would have apologized or at least explained why we all froze instead of being allowed in the club. WIRE were still soundchecking around 8:30 so I wonder if they were delayed or something on the drive from the previous gig. No one mentioned anything about the late start, or the postponement of the Jan. show ( sure nothing the band could do about it, shit happens).

    Luckily they spared us the opening act and just bombarded us with dub reggae which kept everyone mellow.

    Around 10 WIRE climbed up on stage (no backstage mind you, this is a tiny place) and ripped through about an hour of non stop tunes including at least 4 from Object 47. Not so strangely, the crowd was kind of quiet in between numbers, this is normal in Germany and probably was made more so by the fact that you could barely move your arms in the crowded venue. Anyway the usual clapping and calls for 3 Girl Rhumba took place as you´d expect. WIRE is quite austere on stage, but a few smiles crept onto their faces from time to time. Anyway, the band was tight as you´d expect and the sound powerful, especially the bass!

    I made my way towards the rear, having had enough to be honest, when the band came out again and did a two song encore. They may have played another couple, but with the heat, the crowd, the long wait in the cold, and it being a Monday night I was happy to get out with having ticked the box and seen WIRE live finally.

    Next time WIRE come back to Köln I certainly hope they play a larger venue, they easily had 200 last night and probably would have sold more somewhere slightly bigger. I would also hope they could come on some other night than a Monday...none of us in the audience are teenagers anymore!

    Anyway, the music was great and that´s what counts.
  20.  
    I've seen the Hamburg gig. Very good. Liked it much better than the warm-up gig at Cargo. Good sound and good execution. Venue small and quite packed, and it was sold out easily long before the show so i guess they could have managed to fill a bigger venue.
    Audience quiet as indeed usual in Germany but not too quiet. Even some "dancing" during the fast numbers. There was a drunken guy next to me shouting "Kidney Bongos On the Run" all the time (i guess he really thought that's how the song goes).