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Wire

Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh
Tuesday February 9th
4 stars
The young lady ID’d on the door says much about the Wire demographic.
Especially as she’s escorted by her mum and dad. The original art
school punks may be well into their third decade, but their influence
on the last couple of generations of Brit-pop artrockers is more
obvious than ever. Now reduced to a core trio of donnish guitarist
Colin Newman, Glengarry sporting bassist Graham Lewis and whippet-thin
drummer Robert Grey following avant-boffin Bruce Gilbert’s departure,
and with live sound fleshed out by touring guitarist Matt Simms, Wire’s
quintessentially English marriage of plummy opacity and jangular
guitars sounds leaner, more urgent, yet somewhat appositely more
conventional than ever, even if no-one ever sounded like this before
them.

Material from the recently released ‘Red Barked Tree’ album fits
seamlessly with the band’s back catalogue, with a magnificent ‘Kidney
Bingos’ giving way to the swearily caustic ‘Please Take.’ They may be
clad in 57 varieties of arts mandarin black, but this bunch of
fifty-somethings leaves the legion of whippersnapper wannabes wanting.

The List, February 2011

ends

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