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    Hello Wire fans

    I have today flown from Sydney to Melbourne to see the first Wire Australian gig. I am flying back to Sydney at the crack of dawn and have a little time to make some observations while I wait for daylight.....

    Please take
    Advantage in Height
    Bad Worn Thing
    Red Barked Trees
    German Shepherds
    A Flat Tent
    Kidney Bingos
    Two People In A Room
    106 Beats That
    Encore 1:
    Boiling Boy
    Underwater Experiences
    Encore 2:
    Pink Flag
    Encore 3 (NOT PERFORMED damn, damn, damn)

    A pretty enthusiastic and large crowd, all things considered. I was at the front and had a good sound, but it was noted by many that Wire were not really LOUD. The support act 'My Disco' seemed to have their own PA which they wheeled of at the end leaving Wire with a rather small set of Speakers! (By the way 'My Disco' were rather good - a three piece with a bass player and occasional singer, who pretty much played the same bass note in every song (played it with conviction mind you!) over a drummer who played strong repetitive drum figures in each song, and a long haired head banging guitarist who churned out discordant repeating guitar chords. It was a mesmerising performance really- one I suspect Bruce Gilbert would have enjoyed!)

    Wire came on to a good response and played a set that referenced the new - Red Barked Tree, the very old - 'Advantage In Height' '106 Beats That'. 'Two People'; the middle period - Drill, Kidney Bingos, Boiling Boy, but curiously brushed over the Noughties (R&B' Send and Object 47) - ONLY 'Spent'.

    The oldies were well received! I was particularly taken with the glorious version of Boiling Boy. All in all I think the 2011 show was superior to the 2004 version being longer and more varied.
    Thanks for the report. Pretty interesting setlist I think!
    I must say I'm slightly disappointed with the 'oldies' in the set. Some have been in there too long for me. Nothing off Chairs Missing for example. Be good to hear the likes of Dot Dash & Mercy again intersperced between the new songs, which I'm looking forward to hearing live for the first time next month
    I'm glad that nothing from O47 is being played. It keeps things fresh. If you're only going to play one song from the earlier Wire mk III albums I think "Spent" is a pretty damn good choice.
    Thanks Ozwire, that looks like a great set list to me. Obviously we could all very easily come up with any number of songs we'd like to see added and maybe the set will change slightly as the tour progresses. I would think that if the band are recording all the shows for possible future legal bootleg releases they will differ some of the shows slightly.
    Encore 3 (NOT PERFORMED damn, damn, damn)

    Same thing happened on the first night at the Lexington.

    Or didn't happen , if you get my drift.
    Greetings my wire brethren!

    I was at the Melbourne gig last night and really enjoyed it albeit with some small quibbles.
    Graham seemed a bit disconcerted at the start, sweating (more than usual) and fluffing a few lines but quickly recovered to
    generally play a stormer (as they all did for the most part). There was a bit of tension emanating from the
    group (Graham, again!) in response to a request by a particularly oafish sounding chap to "go on! Play the
    Elastica song!"during a brief lull between songs, the aforementioned oaf then went on to shout "get on with it...
    grandpa!". Its a pity he didn't get a bass head to his thick head!

    The set-list was pretty good but would have preferred some more obscure/under-played numbers, i would
    love to hear "too late" as a set closer, think it would be brilliant but there's no pleasing some people i suppose!

    @ ozwire: I agree with most of your review but wasn't 'advantage in height' on 'the ideal copy'?
    And whats the point of listing an encore (3) if it hasn't been played? I would have loved to have heard it
    too but if it doesn't happen don't torture yourself ;-)
    seeing wire @ the the scala/ london feb 2nd, really looking forward to it, especially after seeong wire for the 1st time on the 2nd night at the lexington last year, dont recall lowdon or 1 /2 xu being played, that setlist looks great! somewhat similar to lex gig, i think?...............,still want to know if we will be able to buy STRAYS ep as a download somewhere sometime soon?????????????
    Advantage In Height was on Snakedrill and later welded to the CD version of Ideal Copy.

    Re: Strays. No plans for a standalone at this point, but it might happen in the future.
    lowdown and 12xu were not played at the lexington, but were on all other wire gigs i've seen in the last two years. personally i think they needed a rest, so i won't be missing them when wire plays here in europe. same applies to the 15th.
    And so to Wire in Sydney…..

    The show was tied in with the Sydney Festival at a temporary venue. “Beck’s Festival Bar (named after the beer sponsor) is a tent/marquee on the grounds of the vintage Hyde Park Barracks on the edge of the city CBD. A gravelled (parade ground?) area next to the tent had tables and chairs in the open air. (Graham welcomed everyone to the ‘Bacchanalian’ venue.) There was a great atmosphere.

    Support band were US based ‘Health’ who made a fearsome racket, and were a strong support for Wire (probably another band Bruce Gilbert would have enjoyed!). They are a four piece who toiled inn a crazy alchemist sort of way at heavily rhythmic soundscapes. A good drummer, a bass player with long black ‘Cousin It’ hair who alternated between strumming chords on a tattered Rickenbacker, banging on a kettle drum and twiddling knobs, two guitarists one adding occasional vocals, the other either adding guitar noise, banging on that drum or slumped over a little synthesiser tapping out walls of noise. Rather good!

    Wire then took the stage and played out the same set as Melbourne (see earlier post) except with the addition of ‘Comet’ as the extra (third) song.

    There were several hundred people crammed in the tent but as there was a breeze coming through it was pretty cool (blew away Colin’s set list). It was one of those ‘difficult’ crowds and the vibe was a little tense at times. I think the two opening tracks came over a bit sedate compared to the support act and a little heckling was evident. One shout ‘It’s not your day job, put some effort into it boys’ gives you the picture. Of course there were lots of requests too!

    One repetitive shouter drew Graham to remark (between encores): “For your reward you get ANOTHER new song”. (It always surprises me that these people know enough about Wire to know the songs, but not enough to know that Wire don’t play a greatest hits set)

    Enough of that! The band put in a tight performance and a cheesed off aggressive Graham was particularly strong. New boy Matt does a reasonable job of inserting Bruce-esq guitar squalling (without being quite as Bruce-ish as Bruce) but still he seems to enjoy his work quietly nodding away to the songs. The finisher ‘Pink Flag’ this time compared to last time show how Bruce is missed a little. I can recall a swirling maelstrom of a song 6 years ago that took 7 minutes to coil up and explode with a vast rippling sibilant interplay of guitars- the current version is somewhat shorter and a little tamer. Robert maintains his usual minimalist and basic tight groove. Colin was in good voice as well, needing a lyric sheet for some of the songs- which got blown away by that wind a couple of times!

    As for the songs- I’m still getting to grips with the Red Barked Tree CD, a couple of them are a bit flat live (‘Clay’, ‘A Flat Tent’). On the other hand ‘Please Take’ is a bit of a modern classic, and ‘Red Bark Tree’ is sort of a Son-of-Pink Flag stunner- nomination for best song for Mk III? A highlight of the set. Some of the older songs were revelations done live. A terse ‘Drill’, and ‘Advantage in Height’ were powerful. ‘Two People in A Room’ was a swirling beast and got a little moshing started, and ‘Boiling Boy’ was a mesmerising version that built to a great climax. ‘Kidney Bingos’ was one I underrate a little but was much better done live.

    Wire are now off to two(!!) shows in Hobart (a *much* smaller city that Sydney- so two shows will really test Wire’s pulling power), and one in Perth. I won’t be going to these shows so hopefully someone can fill in the gaps here.

    Phillip from Australia
    2 things I can never comprehend at gigs.

    1. Divs that pay £4 for a pint of beer then throw it up in the air during said gig.

    2. Attention seekers who heckle the band. Its happened at the last 3 London Wire gigs for some odd reason.
    A great review Ozwire, thanks very much. I'm guessing the RBT songs will get stronger in the set as the tour progresses.
    "Wire are now off to two(!!) shows in Hobart"

    Taking in a ODI by any chance?
    This is really good...

    This is better...
    Great! What is it with Australia and on-stage dancers?!
    Couldn't the young man find a shirt that fits him ??
    The Melbourne dancer was the son of one of the lady dancers from six years ago!!! I met them both hanging around in the 'groupie section' with me out the back after the gig.
    Thanks for posting those. I think they should bring the dancer back with them for the UK dates!
    Thanks for those links misterego. An absolute joy