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    Report from Paul Rabjohn on idealcopy:

    in the main set was maybe 5 or 6 new tracks (one EGL lead vocal) plus mr marx's table , i don't understand , agfers of kodak and comet from the last incarnation. also 2 oldies in the main set , being sucked in again and advantage in height. encores were ;

    #1 ; boiling boy / the 15th / 12xu
    #2 ; pink flag / 106 beats that
    #3 ; lowdown
    Sounds like just about the perfect show to me - thanks very much ATK - very much appreciated - and thanks for Paul Rabjohn too.
    That sounds excellent...glad the "oldies" are being mixed up a bit, and the new stuff has got to sound great live.

    As much as the setlist is interesting to see I also am hoping to get some impressions of the new guitarist!
    Wow...'The 15th' comes as a very pleasant surprise to me! I'm really hoping that I can catch Wire (in Atlanta, maybe?) this fall.
    New UK date announced - the Offset Festival in Hainult Forest, Essex on 30/31 August. Which almostmeets Covert's request for an East Anglian gig at the start of this thread.
    Just a (potential) heads up as to the Sled Island festival in Calgary. I made a few ticket inquiries to one of the organizers and the first show, on the 27th at the Royal Legion, should only be considered a maybe. Only the main stage show on the 28th is confirmed.
    hi there , should post my review up here i guess ;

    venue was a nice art-centre type place in a small town maybe 30km from brussels. nice and easy to get to , about 500 capacity maybe (and they sold it out). my hotel is overlooking the stella artois brewery (which is in Leuven) so it seemed appropriate to have a few. too many in fact as my head aches.

    the guys did proabably the longest set i've seen since Astoria 88 , a very energetic performance with 3 encores. i half expected this to be the whole new album with just a few "send-era" tracks as oldies but that wasn't the case at all. (had a chat with colin after and this is all down to technical reasons , a lot of the Object 47 tracks don't lend themselves to being performed live). so i guess to paraphrase , the guys don't wanna sit on chairs behind a pile of gadgetry , they wanna rock. and jolly well did they rock too.

    obviously its funny seeing a new member on board but it sounded superb , none of the old tracks "sufferred" in any way from the different line-up and there doesn't seem to be any trouble getting it to be full of wire-ness. in fact it was bursting at the seams with it. ms fieldler doesn't go in for any foot-on-the-monitor shenanigans , just stands and plays , at some points almost bursting with concentration as she eyeballs the other band members. that's the 4th time i've seen her play live (moonshake , laika , polly's band) , all those acts were quite "spacey" whereas wire is very "compressed" but she dugga-ed away with no little aplomb. nice one.

    i guess you wanna know what they played. in the main set was maybe 5 or 6 new tracks (one EGL lead vocal) plus mr marx's table , i don't understand , agfers of kodak and comet from the last incarnation. also 2 oldies in the main set , being sucked in again and advantage in height. encores were ;

    #1 ; boiling boy / the 15th / 12xu
    #2 ; pink flag / 106 beats that
    #3 ; lowdown

    the 15th was absolutely sublime , audience went mad for that.

    i gather manchester is sold out. ooohh it's going to be good , can't wait for that one. hopefully see lots of you guys there , should be a great get-together. maybe someone could suggest a pre-gig watering hole (don't ask me , only my 3rd ever gig in manc)

    first ever gig i've seen abroad , great trip indeed.

    Thanks very much for the review Paulrabjohn, great to read. Like everyone there - I would have gone mad for The 15th! Shame to hear that the Object 47 tracks weren't too good live, though I know from other gigs I've been to that some stuff just doesn't transfer well to the stage, despite how great they might be on disc. It really is fantastic to see that they are doing so many early tracks too - what a treat.

    Unfortunately for me they probably won't get to Birmingham (UK), where they last played in 1979! I can't travel too far due to other commitments, so it means I'll almost definitely not see them this time round - oh well. Anyway, thanks again for the review - I look forward to reading more soon.
    It's probably worth nothing with Object 47 stuff that it's all still relatively new. It's hardly surprising if Wire belts out Lowdown or Boiling Boy in a more convincing manner than, say, One Of Us. Personally, I think it's great that Wire's once again back to playing live with a significant number of unreleased tracks (even if, in this case, they've been recorded). Here's hoping I can make one of the gigs during the live run!
    I live in Birmingham as well, but I'm taking the National Express bus up to Manchester tomorrow, I've ever seen them live but i'm sure they will be good, I might go to the Offset Festival as well
    I wish I was coming with you Ian - I really do. It'll be a great experience for you seeing Wire for the first time - there's no one else quite like 'em!

    I agree Craig, the older songs will always be easier on the ear - especially when you've never heard the new stuff before. It's the same for the band and the audience. I'm sure Object 47 will be brilliant if Read & Burn 3 is anything to go by.
    Just back from the Manchester show. I'm a little tired and emotional so forgive the typos and faulty memories etc.

    It was of course a comeback in two halves.....

    The Wire 'In Conversation' event was..interesting! The band literally walked onto the Contact Theatre stage straight from their soundcheck at the Academy across the road, and Robert in particular looked less than thrilled to be there (and only spoke once when prompted!).

    John Robb spent the bulk of the interview getting them to reminisce about early days, Roxy/77/Pink Flag etc (which is clearly more his 'thing'). Graham Lewis made mincemeat of him, particularly when pressing him for an opinion of Read & Burn 3! It was also a bit farcical as only one mic was provided and Wire soon got fed up of doing the pass-the-mic bit so did without. It was filmed by the Futuresonic people with proper camera & boom mic so presumably a recording may surface?

    It was only toward the end when we got onto the subject of anything post 'Pink Flag' and the new album. They gave a fairly honest and detailed account of the Bruce issue (in short..he's contributed some 'gestures' to R&B 3 but doesn't like touring and has resigned. His leaving nearlly finished Wire for good....but didn't). Lewis mentioned it was strange to be back in MCR without Tony Wilson here to invite them to the Hacienda after the gig. Colin says Object 47 is going to be more like classic 'Wire' than anything else they've done recently and has at least one track on it which is their attempt at a perfect pop song in the vein of 'Outdoor Miner' etc. All sounds very promising. Talk also of a possible proper 'UK tour' (i.e 3 or 4 dates in a row!) maybe later in the year.

    The gig itself wasn't a sell out, Academy 2 is quite a large venue for a band who haven't played Manchester for 20 years but was respectfully full once they came on and crowd seemed a fairly good mix of us fans, curious old punks and some of the more clued-up young people of Manchester. The sound was a little wobbly for the first couple of tracks but once they launched into Mr Marx's Table there was no turning back. The new stuff, while having the power of the 'Send' stuff has some more (very welcome) variations in pace to it, less SHOUTING and a much poppier edge I thought. Some great Pink Flag style truncated endings as well!. Can't wait to hear these again. First half was good mix of new stuff and 'Send' tracks, with Advantage in Height thrown in. Margaret did an excellent job, filling in admirably for Bruce...great solid, economical playing and had all the necessary dugga and whomph!

    Encores much as the Leuven gig except a particularly monstrous Pink Flag was saved till last. Great to hear the 15th (albeit somewhat truncated) and 12XU is still as chaotic as when it was played at the RFH back in 2000.
    Absolutely excellent performance. Great to have Wire play in my hometown and great meet up with my fellow Copyists and looking forward to the next Uk show.
    Great review Tim - thanks very much. The interview sounds as though it might have been a bit uncomfortable, but the gig itself sounds great - particularly the 'monstrous' Pink Flag.
    I didn't hear their was an interview! I went and saw The Joy Division documentary which was great before the show, the review is pretty accuate.
    Posted a review of the Leuven gig on IC the other day, but like Paul I guess I should have posted it here, too.

    This was obviously also a gig of some significance in the history of Wire – not only was it their first date for four years (not for the first time in the bands history it had long since started to look like it was all over!), it was also the first with a different line-up with Bruce having left and being replaced by Margaret.

    It was perhaps inevitable therefore that this date (in a small and intimate venue in a picturesque Belgian city), should take a while to get going – literally at first with Robert having forgotten something or another and nipping off-stage before they’d even started. Still, as Graham pointed out in response to a ‘Come on’ from a member of the audience, ‘You’ve waited thirty years, you can wait thirty more seconds’. They opened with a new number from the forthcoming Object 47 LP, which showed the band going off in a more melodic direction than the Send-era material. Our Time followed, although surprisingly this was (if I remember correctly!) the only number they played from the excellent recent Read & Burn 3 ep. As you would probably expect from Wire, much of the set was made up of new material, most of which sounded promising as opposed to mind-blowing on first listen although I certainly know better than to write this material off. One new number featured Graham on lead vocals and featured a chorus that was (bizarrely!) reminiscent of Julian Cope, whilst another saw Colin and Graham on duel vocals for the chorus. There was also the odd oldie like Mr Marx’s Table (which was played early on and didn’t quite ignite for me) and Comet, whilst Being Sucked In Again also made a somewhat unexpected appearance.

    The gig really kicked in though with a couple of back to back Read & Burn 1 and 2 tracks, with Graham excelling on a ‘he means it maaan’ version of Agfers Of Kodack followed by a great version of I Don’t Understand, which with its classic Wire guitar inter-changes and Bolan-like swagger, has always been a favourite of mine. It was all over too soon although we did get treated to not one, not two, but THREE encores starting with a rare live showing of a Mk II Mute era track Boiling Boy (undoubtedly one of their finest moments from that under-rated period IMO). It was a nice, almost subdued version which kicked on nicely about halfway through when Graham suddenly injected a bit more oomph to proceedings. This was followed by the poptastic The 15th and a lightning fast 12XU. The other encores featured Pink Flag and 106 Beats That, and a great version of the classic Lowdown. They then left the stage with Graham leaving his amp on and creating some horrible mindf**k of a noise on constant loop.

    So was it a vintage show? No, being perfectly honest it wasn’t. Was it good to have them back? Yes, it certainly was - I certainly enjoyed seeing the metronomic Robert Gotobed drumming away, eyes closed, again! - and Margaret was most impressive chugging away on guitar. I think that with a few more dates behind them to iron a few glitches, they could soon be back to their best.
    As for Manchester...

    The interview with John Robb veered from the interesting to the cringe-worthy. Robb was clearly determined to talk about Pink Flag and very little else, and Graham didn’t exactly agree with all his views. Graham and Colin talked quite a lot. Robert answered one, but was clearly uneasy. Really don’t think Robb made a very good job of the interview TBH.

    As for the gig…Pretty much the same set as Leuven the other night.

    Sound on the opening number (Circumspect?) was pretty dire, for those of us down the front at least, and had me fearing the worst. The situation was quickly remedied though and the second number Our Time was much better. And by Mr Marx’s Table – which hadn’t really done it for me the other night - they were away. Great version tonight! Unlike the other night when they had ended with a new number iirc, they ended with a barnstorming version of I Don’t Understand. Same encores as Leuven - Boiling Boy / The 15th / 12XU followed by Lowdown / 106… and ending with a pretty awesome rendition of Pink Flag, with Graham continuing yelling after it finished.

    The new material is already starting to register. Margaret has settled in well, and indeed I thought the band seemed tighter tonight all-round, which is obviously understandable. It may be my imagination but Graham seemed to be enjoying it more tonight. My mates enjoyed it, too. One’s not into Wire, so I wasn’t sure if he would, whilst my other mate (who was a big fan of the old stuff but didn’t get Send), really enjoyed the new one which features Colin & Graham on joint vocs on the chorus (very catchy it is too – it’s lodged in my mind already). He also thought Agfers sounded ‘Krautrock’, and I guess it did.

    And that’s about it other than to inform the more fashion conscious folk here that Graham wore a very nice woolly hat with a star on it! ; )
    The drip drip drip of gig announcements is driving me crazy. After Wire's triumphant Tryptich gigs in Scotland in 2004 - as celebrated in The Scottish Play DVD - I'm surprised they have yet to announce at least one date north of the border. It will happen though, I'm sure of it. But make it Glasgow lads. My car was broken into at the Edinburgh gig last time and I had to drive back along the M8 with a smashed rear window. Have you heard the noise that makes? Dugga Dugga Dugga, indeed!
    Offset Festival sounds great - a 30 minute tube ride from London and cheaper than any of the other festivals taking place in the UK this year.

    Can't wait to hear them on stage at a proper festival. Will be incredible.
    Posted this on IC, but for those folk here who aren't on that list, here’s some pics of the recent Leuven and Manchester gigs.

    Apologies for the Leuven ones being dark, but hey…it really wasn’t that bright in there! (Wouldn’t normally include the last one of Graham with it being so dark, but I kinda like it!)



    If you only look at one from Mcr, look at the interview one. Sums it up quite nicely!!
    Just viewed both sets of photos as a slide show, Keith. Excellent. No offence to Margaret, but it just seems weird that the close-to-motionless figure of Bruce Gilbert is no longer there.