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    I plumped for the Leeds drill. Good crowd in although not at capacity - I can't help thinking the lack of detail in the publicity might have confused or put people off as Wire can normally fill the Brudenell - it certainly made me think twice about going but I'm glad I did.

    I wasn't able to make it down for the early sets but arrived in time to see Clinic who are still dressing up in scrubs and face masks and doing their grimy, Scouserock radical new change of direction but they're always good value. Leeds scene stalwarts Bilge Pump are good. They grind out some insanely complex, grungy math-rock but they win me over with their unpretentious and likeable stage patter...I like their style.

    Shobaleader 1 is Warp Records Drill n' Bass megastar Squarepusher with a 4 piece live band. When they start playing I'm immediately reminded of the scene in 24 Hour Party People when Rob Gretton is watching ACR new direction "They're playing fookin Jazz!". The musicians are hidden behind sort of fencing masks with LED lights built in which are programmed to respond to the music or play back cryptic messages. It makes for a brilliant spectacle. Re-tooled for Live - Squarepushers tunes basically become Jazz Fusion/Thrash with added breakbeats and bleeps = this a lot more fun than it sounds and it goes down a storm It's not the sort of thing you'd expect to hear before Wire and this hammers home the fact that Drill is a festival not a regular gig.

    I'm a bit surprised to see that come showtime (10pm) Wire and crew are only just humping their gear onto an empty stage, Drums, amps, the lot. Not only that, it would appear that they're going to do the Pink Flag Orchestra thing too which seems a bit ambitious on a fairly small stage, but sure enough amps are being lashed together with yards of masking tape and multi-socket adaptors are in short supply.

    Wire finally get the mill wheel turning around 10.40 (a time when Mark E Smith usually retires for a mid-set nap) and - oh joy, it's Boiling Boy again...but given that Wire haven't had a soundcheck you can't blame them for easing in with this one. I'm immediately struck by the fact that even though the band have literally just loaded all their gear in off the van the sound is glorious (it usually is in this venue).

    Given the late start I was worried we might get a severely truncated set, in fact we get the full repertoire from the recent gigs including Three Girl Rhumba, Small Black Reptile the 'Strays' version of Underwater Experiences. I wonder if Matt had an influence on the choice of older songs...he turns '...Reptile' into a sort of My Bloody Valentine churning beast of a song. 'Red Barked Trees' sounds superb, and the main set ends with 'Over Theirs' which sits well with the slower, brooding feel of the new stuff. We get a full encore with Silver/Lead (love Matt's underwater guitar on that one), a stirring 'Ahead' (which I filmed and will share) and quick blast through '...Stork.

    So by now it's gone midnight and a lot of people have had catch transport home - Colin jokes that there may be more people on stage than in the audience but nevertheless the Orchestra file on including the (preposterously well preserved) Michael Rother who is lurking at the back behind numerous guitarists from the Leeds DIY scene. It is, of course, a magnificent noise.
    I feel sorry for anyone who was on a bit of a curfew tonight as they'll have missed a stormer.
    and as's Ahead:
    Thanks for that report, RS.
    And the Ahead clip gave us less fortunates a glimpse into how the Leeds Drill Festival sounded.
    Loved your line about amps being lashed with yards of tape!
    Bit crowded up there.....
    Cheers @Stephen Hope
    Alas I wasn't able to stay another night to see Michael Rother with Slows and Immersion (I believe Graham, Matt and Colin joined him for a bit too..anyone who follows Graham on Facebook will have seen the Bass blisters fingers talking) but hoping to catch Michael this week as he's coming to my town.

    On the plus side on the way home I visited the excellent Wall of Sound records (in the basement of the also mighty fine Crash Records)..passed on the Record Store Day offers but instead bagged very reasonably priced and pristine copies of the promo 12" remix of In Vivo/Illuminated, A.C.Marias 'Time Was' and less Wire-related - but in a similar ballpark the 2nd Modern English album and The Lines 'Therapy' album so well worth a trip to Leeds.
    Thanks for this. Was there any merchandise / music available to buy? Planning to see em at The Garage next week. Hopefully both nights (are they likely to play differing sets?)
    @youngsimon Yep there was a merch stand with new T-shirts - the Silver/Lead sleeve on either white or black tees, handful of grey t-shirts of the 'Wire' album sleeve left over from the last tour.
    Loads of CDs and some vinyl, the new album all formats, plus most of the Pink Flag catalogue on CD, Colin's solo reissues and some Immersion/Swim releases.
    Quick mention for Richard Formby who opened proceedings. Interesting, engaging often soothing electronics that you could lock into, but which was somewhat too brief.

    I bowed out late afternoon / early evening for a film at the nearby Hyde Park Picture House but managed to get back in plenty of time for Shobaleader One, which I could take for only about twenty minutes. At a guess, I'd say a fair few were in attendance at the event specifically for their set.

    Although reasonably well attended, I think that perhaps the scheduling of the event whilst the students were away (LS6 is an area densely populated with students) may have kept numbers down. Additionally, although I expect promotion these days has moved beyond flyers and posters, I saw little in the way of those archaic means around the city centre or local environs. Plus, as RS alludes to above, the uncertainty as to what exactly was taking place and when, over the course of the three days, wasn't ideal.