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    • CommentAuthoruri says...
    • (CommentTimeDec 17th 2011 edited)
    Surprised there isn't a thread on this.
    Got mine at the recent London gig. Had low expectations, what was a live performance of mainly Red Barked Tree material going to add at this point in time? The answer is quite a lot actually.

    Firstly, it sounds good. The apparent lack of post-production makes it buzz and crackle with freshness, a good performance. For me the vastly reworked 'Down to this' is a great improvement on the original. A totally different vibe more like wire and less like the githead sound of the original.

    Actually, there are a few gems on there, the newly envigorated Map Ref and my old fave Two People in a Room and good renditions of Please Take, Red Barked Tree and Smash. It fizzes with energy that is very much part of the wire live experience. A surprisingly welcome addition to the wire canon.

    If rumours of a recording or set comprising the never released 4th album material are correct, then based on what has been played live so far, we are in for a treat as there's enough material for two good albums.

    I played it twice & put it on the shelf, but then, that's not surprising as i'm no great lover of RBT! However, a decent version of the autumn gigs would be very welcome in this part of the world!
    It's a good recording and worthy of a release to capture Wire at that moment in their history, which is in a constant state of flux judging by the recent gigs. One thing The Black Sessions does reveal for me is that the RBT songs lack the imagination and quirkiness of the older stuff, including the 1980's recordings, when lined up next to them on the same record. A minor criticism and one which is perhaps inevitable when considering the quality of the back catalogue. I particularly like the way that Graham sings the radio friendly version of Please Take though, for the first couple of verses but then resorts to the swearing version later in the song. He probably either forgot or thought sod it the French audience won't complain? Overall to have two new albums released in the same year is great for a band who've been going 35 years, and a treat for us long time fans. Long may it continue. Roll on 2012!
    I presume that the cd doesn't have the host's babbling between tracks as in the broadcast version?
    Nope - the CD is bereft of babbling
    Finally got around to listening to this and was rather unimpressed. For a band that goes to great lengths to not over saturate the market with too many releases I'm kind of surprised to see Wire officially release something that feels kind of pointless. The "live-in studio" nature of the recording doesn't make this representative of the energy & fierceness of the live show and the unevenness of the mix makes these arrangements feel overly stiff and crammed. With other seemingly more interesting projects in progress or in the vaults (sherwood forest, albini sessions, D+E expanded) it's hard to get a sense for who the audience is for this release.
    "it's hard to get a sense for who the audience is for this release."

    Not really. People who want a record of what Wire sounded like live in the first half of 2011 will surely lap it up. Some might want it as a reminder of the gig they saw, or they may have missed out on the gigs but want an idea of what Wire were like. OK it's in the studio so maybe not as ferocious as the 'proper' gigs, but it's more than decent enough. Obviously it's not the most important thing that Wire will ever release, but then it I doubt anyone ever expected it to be. It is, however, a nice little memento, a stop-gap if you like, that I'm glad I bought.

    I agree that 'd like to see your other suggestions get released though!
    That's exactly my point though, I saw Wire twice in early 2011 and in my opinion this is not an accurate representation of their live show. It sounds like a very rough studio recording vs. a live performance.
    Actually I didn't see Wire 2011 so was curious to hear how they sounded now with the new material.

    Like Ari I thought it was a bit of a revelation in particular Down To This which had totally passed me by on RBT. I thought it was a new track! Here, without the muddy production it sounds as if it came out of Wire Mk1, yery very fresh (and worth a download).

    Maybe the release is actually a marker that the next Wire album is going to go back to more basic production?
    Anybody know why "Bad Worn Thing" never made it onto the offical release despite being played that night?