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    OK If you've not been to a show on the current tour and want to keep the element of surprise... look away now!


    I've been to quite a few gigs at the Brudenell Social Club and it's an excellent venue and I couldn't resist catching Wire there even though I'd already been the Manchester date. Nathan puts on an extraordinary line up of bands, but the venue still functions as a traditional social club and community space, everything about the place is welcoming and inclusive, including the bar tariff. Next weeks 'turns' range from Oneohtrix Point Never to Black Lace. It is unique.

    As I arrive there are 30 tickets left and yep, it's rammed in there.

    As those of you who've seen one of the Autumn tour shows will have worked out, the new Wire set leans heavily on tracks from the 1980 Electric Ballroom live set as captured on Document & Eyewitness, and indeed some of the additional tracks collected on the Turns and Strokes compilation.

    The set is slightly re-ordered from the Manchester show where '5/10' was the opening number. Wire instead crash right in with 'Ally in Exile'. This works far better as an opening track as it has much more impact but it still has effect of setting out the stall for what follows.

    The sound mix is fantastic, much better than Manchester ( I think Wire are using house engineers rather than taking their own). From where I'm stood I can hear every nuance, every detail, it's exhilarating stuff.

    'Part of our History' is a real highlight for me. It's great to hear it fully fledged after only having heard a scratchy live version. It could have easily slotted onto 154, and it confirms that Wire probably had enough material to do a great follow up to 154 before they went on hiatus.

    Drill is, as ever, a fluid thing and having been re-set for 2011 has now stepped up a gear. Graham and Matt get busy with their pedals and various boxes while Colin reduces the 'chorus' to 'GRINDER...MILL...EXERCISE...DRILL!' It's spellbinding. There are a fair few old Punks in the crowd, someone brushes past me wearing a Stiff Little Fingers tour jacket..but by now everyone seems gripped as the band ramp up the tension before throwing the complete curveball of playing one of their sweetest and most poppiest moments, Map Ref.

    Another little surprise is that the slower version of 'Underwater Experiences' is played, as heard on the 'Behind the Curtain' compilation. It's immense. You'd have to be a heck of a Wire fanboy/fangirl to know what it was but the audience give it the respect it deserves.

    5/10 arrives later in the set as the first encore when it works far better, as a slow burning track to build into the next song and it's great to hear it at this point in the set rather than in Manchester when they were still sorting the sound out. Graham wryly dedicates it to the late Jimmy Savile which gets a huge cheer! When it was played in MCR I thought the clanking percussion was on a loop..tonight I realise Robert is tapping a bell or something..truly he is the human metronome!

    Underwater Experiences gets a second airing, which is perhaps bloody minded even by Wire standards, but this time it's the mad, fast D&E version that they were playing earlier in the year. Well they never could decide which version was best so why not play two? It goes down a storm anyway.

    When they return for encore 2 (enthusiastically demanded by the crowd...a 'Proper Yorkshire welcome' says Colin), there are a few shouts for '12XU' and 'I am The Fly (to which Graham retorts 'I am the Pie'). Colin suggests that since Wire never really had any hits, and nobody can agree on the best songs, that they might as well choose the ones they think are best. It takes some gall to then launch into one of the slower songs from RBT but duly they go into 'Adapt', but they pull it off..not least because it sounds so convincing. We close with a Pink Flag, so intense and huge you could probably see it from space, and it ends with Colin doing some electronic gubbins on his iPad, Graham sending great stabs of noise out of his Korg Monotron and Matt hunched over his pedals creating sheets of pink noise. I can't see what Robert is doing, but I note he raises his hands above his head and waves to the audience and gives us a happy beat farmer.

    The set list I think (from memory) was:
    Ally In Exile, Another The Letter, The Spare One, Lorries, Please Take, Part Of Our History, Smash, Drill, Clay, Map Ref, Moreover, Witness To The Fact, Two People In A Room, Boiling Boy
    Underwater Experiences (slow version), 1st enore: 5/10, Underwater Experiences (fast version), 2nd Encore Adapt, Pink Flag
    Why doesnt someone start a new thread for set lists only. So for those of us who want to know what they did can go there.
    Very exciting and interesting developments w/r/t these setlists. Never in a million years did I think that deep cuts like these would be played live.

    Marc Riley directly asked Colin & Graham today about all of these new "old" songs and they seemed reluctant to give him an answer and said it would make sense in due time. Here's my speculation: Wire intend to re-record these songs to finally assemble what would've been the 4th 70's album. What do you guys think?
    Certainly seems to be the case. Could be interesting, though personally I'm not sure what I think of a Bruce-less Wire doing an album that would have featured him.
    Why would Wire want to re-record these songs when Colin has already been plain enough about it in interviews:

    Newman foresees further activity next year - reissuing elements of the Wire back catalogue – and the historically pivotal 1980 live compilation “Document and Eyewitness” is definitely earmarked.
    “There’s Document & Eyewitness per se, and then there’s Document and Eyewitness Naked – which is the original (Electric Ballroom) gig without the edits and all the tracks rather than just some of them, and the stuff from the other gig from the other side of the record (Notre Dame Hall). It could be a double CD, or a CD and a download – it’s just a matter of deciding."
    I was aware of the possible d&E re-issue but in listening to live recordings of recent shows these tracks are quite different than they were in their original incarnations which leads me to believe there might be more to it than just this re-issue. I think re-recordings of these tracks would not only be interesting I sincerely think that they could pull it off.
    What is the new merch. like?, hopefully the t-shirts are a bit better than the last design.
    Glad to read this as I just went to the Brighton show and couldn't identify some of the songs (D&E I've never played that much tbh)

    The show got moved from the Concorde 2 which was a pity, though the sound was broadly OK at the haunt, which is a smaller venue. This doesn't say much for the show ticket buying taste of my fellow townsfolk.

    The Pink Flag version ended with an ipad beatbox, which was novel.

    Someone shouted for map ref after they'd done it - not sure if this was a postmodern statement or applied haplessness.

    Hello to any idealcopiers who may be reading.

    @Kevin - that statement by Colin was a good few months ago and I imagine they might only have rehearsed the D&E set a few weeks before the current tour. It's not beyond the realms of possibility they might have been pleasantly surprised at the results (I certainly was) and maybe they'll capture some studio versions (a-la 'Strays'), or they'll form the basis of some new material or part of a new LP.
    Might seem far fetched, but then I never expected to see Wire open a set with '5/10'!

    @wIRISH - the Merch is the 'Black Sessions' CD which is well worth grabbing a copy of. The T-Shirt is black with 'Wire' repeated 3 times in bold capitals, in grey & white. Quite nice. Better than the Object 47 shirts anyway!
    My interview with Colin (the one with the passages quoted) took place on August 3rd - so R Swimmer may well have a point. He did make a jokey aside as to playing the fourth album live - but they would have to devise a tracklisting as they never got round to formulating one!
    He also said during the interview that the RFH set would form the basis of the set for the November tour - so there's obviously been a few rethinks - unfortunately no "Outdoor Miner" which was played at the RFH.....
    R Swimmer says...(CommentTime1 day ago edited)
    @wIRISH - the Merch is the 'Black Sessions' CD which is well worth grabbing a copy of. The T-Shirt is black with 'Wire' repeated 3 times in bold capitals, in grey & white. Quite nice. Better than the Object 47 shirts anyway!

    Thank you for that good Sir, I shall look forward to picking both up in Dublin on Saturday night!
    Gig (@ Xoyo, London) - excellent. Black Sessions (bought, but yet to play), probably just as good. Other merchandise - poor! been wating for years for a plain (black?) polo with the Pink Flag logo on breast! Now that would be class!!!!!
    agree gig at the xoyo excellent. new setlist works very good. i think smash, adapt and clay deserve a rest, though. i would have rather heard down to this and/or red barked tree. and at least one song from send, like spent or so.
    By the way - the video cameras were out at Xoyo - does that mean there's a live dvd in the offing?
    and from the same source,

    A cracking version of Witness to the Fact.
    The people with the video cams were from:

    So I think there's a good chance the gig will show up on their website soon. (?)
    I spoke to Graham before tonights gig in Sheffield and he confirmed that WIRE will be recording what he described as an 'unusual' album next year. Sounds interesting. He also said that they wouldn't be touring next year, which is not that surprising I suppose. I wonder whether Matt will be included in any studio recording sessions. I would hope so as he's added an extra dimenson to the sound this year. I noticed a huge difference from the Nottingham gig I was at back in February, and of course the set list has changed considerably, for the better in my opinion.