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On the Box
April 20, 2012 2:20 PM   Subscribe

Little footage exists of early Wire performing live. Here is a full concert on German TV, from 1979.

The full set:

Another The Letter
The 15th
Practise Makes Perfect
Two People in a Room
I Feel Mysterious Today
Being Sucked In Again
Once Is Enough
Blessed State
A Question Of Degree
Single KO
Mercy
Forty Version
A Touching Display
French Film Blurred
Men 2nd
Map Ref 43 Degrees N 100 Degrees W
Heartbeat
Pink Flag
posted by swift (25 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

 
Available for purchase as Wire on the Box; includes cd and dvd if you like physical objects.
posted by LionIndex at 2:23 PM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


"We don't play requests."
posted by FrauMaschine at 2:50 PM on April 20, 2012


I've seen this DVD floating around, but I came in just to watch "Map Ref." Bruce Gilbert's lead guitar is criminally nonexistent in the mix. Still a very nice piece of history.
posted by mykescipark at 3:17 PM on April 20, 2012


This is awesome. Wire later had a Wire cover band open for them to play all their early requested stuff so they could just get one with the show.
posted by OmieWise at 3:18 PM on April 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


This was after they reformed in 1985, but my favorite TV appearance of Wire is when they did "Drill"on The Joan Rivers Show with Suzanne Somers guest hosting. She has no idea how to interview them at the end.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:34 PM on April 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is the best!! Great band and video.
posted by Isadorady at 3:36 PM on April 20, 2012


I've seen this DVD floating around, but I came in just to watch "Map Ref." Bruce Gilbert's lead guitar is criminally nonexistent in the mix. Still a very nice piece of history.
posted by mykescipark at 3:17 PM on April 20 [+] [!]


Yea, it's terrible. Oh man it is not the same song at all.
posted by basicchannel at 4:09 PM on April 20, 2012


Nice, thanks for posting! I was a big fan of Dot Dash, a classic single.
posted by carter at 4:48 PM on April 20, 2012


IS THIS SOMETHING I'D NEED A TV TO.... oh, different Wire. Thanks.
posted by gonna get a dog at 7:20 PM on April 20, 2012


This was after they reformed in 1985

I think that was the best period from them. The Ideal Copy, A Bell is a Cup and IBTABA are masterpieces to me.

Thanks for the post, love me some Wire.
posted by D_I at 7:58 PM on April 20, 2012


I also thought for several years that a group of snakes was called a 'serious of snakes' because of Wire. I am still disappointed that this is not the case.
posted by D_I at 8:06 PM on April 20, 2012


> I think that was the best period from them. The Ideal Copy, A Bell is a Cup and IBTABA are masterpieces to me.

The Ideal Copy is one of the best pop albums of all time and if anyone doesn't know that they're just missing vital brain structures.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:14 PM on April 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wire later had a Wire cover band open for them to play all their early requested stuff so they could just get one with the show.

1987 tour. They were called The Ex-Lion Tamers. Played the first album in sequence, they did.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 8:55 PM on April 20, 2012


The Ideal Copy is one of the best pop albums of all time and if anyone doesn't know that they're just missing vital brain structures.

Maybe. Except 154 slays it on pretty much every level.
posted by philip-random at 8:58 PM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


154? Nah. It's great, with several amazing songs, but overall is too ponderous and doesn't exude that creative tension that The Ideal Copy has.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:00 PM on April 20, 2012


"Chairs Missing" is one of my top ten albums of all time. A staggering piece of work. Way better than Joy Division. There. I've said it.
posted by Decani at 9:08 PM on April 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've seen "Map Ref" with two different sets of coordinates. On The Box lists it as 43 degrees north, 110 degrees west, whereas 154 has it as 41 degrees north, 93 degrees west. I'm partial to the latter, as those coordinates are in Centerville, IA and I spent lots of good years going to school in Iowa. The other coordinates would place you just northwest of Dubois, WY, and my memories of Wyoming involve coal, I-80, and breathing issues in Laramie.
posted by stannate at 9:24 PM on April 20, 2012


The mix is pretty awful, but watching a young Colin Newman is delightful. I cannot grasp that a band that was playing when I was all of 13 is still touring and writing outstanding songs. Last year's shows in New York were easily among the best I've ever seen.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 9:37 PM on April 20, 2012


It's the motor skills. So precise. There's hints of strangled melody, but it's amazing how mesmerizing the lock on the beat is.
posted by bendybendy at 9:45 PM on April 20, 2012


Back in the mid 00's, when all sorts of people were rediscovering Gang of Four because of Franz Ferdinand, I made a lot of fellow twentysomethings into Wire fans with Pink Flag. Gang of Four is a great band, but man, you could be listening to Wire.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:55 PM on April 20, 2012


154 is my favorite album. SO WHAT. WANNA FIGHT ABOUT IT?
posted by basicchannel at 10:32 PM on April 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


In a better world, kids would've split along new Wire verus old Wire factions instead of whatever the hell kids are arguing about.

At any rate, we can probably all agree that Manscape is not their best by a decent margin, even if it isn't actually about trimming body hair.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:37 PM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


1987 tour. They were called The Ex-Lion Tamers. Played the first album in sequence, they did.

I remember this tour as well (I saw them at Maxwell's in Hoboken). They even included a little pause at the spot where one would turn the record over (between "Pink Flag" and "The Commercial"), which amused the audience - we all knew exactly why they were pausing.

The Ex-Lion Tamers featured Chicago rock critic Jim DeRogatis on drums, and at one point were working on an album, to be called "Ink Lag" or "Flap King", but AFAIK this was never released, as the label (WMO) ceased operations.

More about the Ex-Lion Tamers here (including recordings and some comments from Colin Newman): http://gojohnnygojohnny.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/the-ex-lion-tamers-wire-the-amazing-story-via-cassette

Bickering about the best Wire album is futile. Pink Flag is the best, for its energy and sheer brilliance, followed by 154 for its experimentalism and moody intensity. But they are all good - even Manscape has its good bits.

I saw Wire the last time they played at the Metro in Chicago, and was amused to see Robert Pollard and Tobin Sprout in the audience. (I really wanted to go say "Hi", but didn't want to be "that guy").

I was also lucky enough to be in London for the "Flag Burning" event (Wire playing Pink Flag in its entirety) http://www.wireviews.com/reviews/live_reviews/0403_barbican_cg.html. I happened to be London on a business trip, was riding back to my hotel from the office on the tube, and there was a tattered newspaper on the floor of the train. I picked it up out of boredom, and saw that THAT VERY NIGHT, WIRE was playing at the Barbican. I thought - this MUST be sold out, but amazingly, there were still few tickets available, so I was able to go. I'm not that familiar with London, so when I was walking to the show, I wasn't sure I was going in the right direction, until I started seeing more and more folks with grey mohawks, so I just followed them, and got to the right place :-)

Final Wire-related comment: I really want this: http://editionsmego.com/release/DOME12345 but can't really justify dropping 120 euros!

Swift - Thanks for giving me an excuse to ramble on about one of my all-time favorite bands!
posted by crazy_yeti at 7:03 AM on April 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've lost count of the number of times I've seen Wire live. I was at Flag Burning. I was at the Reading Festival in 1990, where Graham Lewis strode to the front of the stage, stared out over the tens of thousands of festival-goers, and announced, "Number six on your hymn sheets, Abide With Me."

I'm another devotee at the altar of Ideal Copy. Pink Flag and 154 are explosively, eclectically brilliant. Ideal Copy is crystalline in its purity, beguiling and utterly uncompromising, and still takes my breath away.

They should do more TV. Particularly interviews.
posted by Hogshead at 1:36 PM on April 21, 2012


I think this.
posted by Decani at 8:32 PM on April 21, 2012


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