LIVE REVIEW: Wire @ Riverside, Newcastle (03.11.17) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Images by Graeme Baty

I’ve been a fan of Wire for quite some time, although I must admit their releases in the last few years have slipped under my radar. I last saw them at a tremendous gig in 2011 after the release of their brilliant LP Red Barked Tree, and I couldn’t resist seeing them again in Newcastle, particularly as I was going in a bit blind.

With no support acts, Wire took to the stage early and opened with Ahead, an 80s dance-tinged track, which seems much more elegant with age, making for a slow-paced start to the set. The distinct vocal of Colin Newman, defined bass and quirky Airline guitar all combined with a sea of guitar pedals, which creates that rich and unmistakable Wire sound. 

As the set progresses they gradually step up the intensity. It’s a diverse and career spanning set list, largely ignoring the cult 70s albums, with the exception of 3 Girl Rhumba which makes a welcome appearance early on. They’re dissonant and delightfully hypnotic at times, with the lighting added to the drama. It’s a trippy, short, sharp and well-crafted set that builds up to an epic climax of Stealth Of A Stork.

Their legacy contains some brilliant and diverse albums and tonight I find myself once again engrossed in the songs, thoroughly impressed with the new material from new album Silver/Lead, with the standout being Diamonds In Cups. I think I’ve rekindled an old love. Long live Wire!

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