Thursday, 29 October 2009

Wire en Espagna

Joy Madrid Setlist (October the Eighth)

Our Time
Mr Marx's Table
Being Sucked in Again
Perspex Icon
Mekon Headman
Advantage in Height
The Agfers of Kodack
Silk Skin Paws
All Fours
One of Us
Boiling Boy
The Fifteenth
106 Beats That I Don't Understand

Here they are again: He Knows Pink Flag

And again! Lowdown Underwater Experiences

There was no time for the second encore in El Puerto de Santa Maria (The Ninth), but they segued He Knows skyward into a spectacular Pink Flag with Venus and Orion overhead. Lowdown was not there in Apolo, Barcelona (The Seventh).

The players:
Colin Newman: singing, "moronic" guitar, silly dances, loops
Graham Lewis: bass, metaphor, emotion, flag sirens
Robert Grey: heartbeat, will live
Margaret Fiedler: fast guitar

*Dislocated Memories of Three Wirecidents*

1. Graham Lewis' bass strap breaking during the first song in Barcelona as he stood up to the mic to sing. He battled on to the end of "Our Time" and then called for gaffer tape. It was described by Colin: "This is what we in Wire call a 'strapcident.' I can't believe I just said that!" As Lewis repaired his instrument Colin informed the Catalonian audience in English that they were witnessing a very private moment. "This is proof that god does not exist!"

2. A short conversation with Graham Lewis before the Barcelona performance, in which he informed me that this was the third time they'd played in the city and that Brian Eno had turned up to see them last time. He also opined that the sound upstairs in Apolo was not very good. I had no problem with Apolo sound, but the other two gigs sounded better.

3. The way "Advantage in Height" always gets the young Europeans moving and grooving and looking a hell of a lot nicer than the ubiquitous overweight middle aged men who come to Wire gigs in Uncool Britannia.

4. Before encore in Barcelona, Graham said, "Life is a STRANGE THING, TWENTY YEARS AGO I almost came to live in this city." I was standing nearby and informed him that he'd just used Buzzcocks and Magazine song titles in the same sentence. He replied, "I'll tell Howard when I see him."

5. "One of Us" finally coming together after some relatively ropey renditions in Belgium, Tilburg and Strasbourg on the last Euro tour. The song sounds so much better played live now, with loops that aren't on the studio version, that they should just rerecord a full band version. In fact all of the more recent songs were much stronger than on the last tour.

6. An incredibly fast and violent "Underwater Experiences" near the end of the Madrid onslaught. The backdrop in Joy had a mock Catholic pseudo religious look to it, and I pointed it out to Graham after the gig as he'd been introducing the song as an attack on Catholic guilt, to bemused looks from Colin. This is Wire's one weakness; on angry songs Colin is just acting, unsure what he's supposed to be angry about! He usually pulls off a good act.

7. Listening to "Send" on tape during train ride into El Puerto de Santa Maria. As I stepped off the train, "99.9" ground to a slowed halt as the batteries died.

8. Colin Newman's hilarious dancing to Kraftwerk as Wire set up on stage in a grand monastery open to the clear night sky, after Silver Apples set had been cut short by technical difficulties. I doubt I'll ever see Wire in a nicer venue than this illuminated monastery close to Africa, where the people are more free from the shackles of the repressive illusion of time.

9. Lewis berating the monastery lighting man twice for putting on a stunning display at odds with the aesthetic Wire wish to make a noise with. Newman then requesting that they stop the smelly meat barbecue until Wire finish their set.

10. Lewis deadicating streamlined "Silk Skin Paws" to bankers with no morals, to which I heckled, "Hang 'em high!"

11. Extended renditions of "The Agfers of Kodack" and "I Don't Understand Spanish, People" in Joy, becoming more monstrous the next day under the stars, where I shouted some backing IDUs from the floor; avert your gaze. A beady Lewis eye on me in Madrid during "I Don't Understand" in Madrid. Ha!

12. Graham Lewis howling, "Hypnotised!" to the vivid constellations during the most emotive "He Knows" I've witnessed in El Puerto de Santa Maria.

13. This number is considered unlucky by superstitious British so I'll deadicate it to the hideous retards of the BNP. If that's what the master racelooks like then Colin is right: no way does god exist!

14. Madrid and Santa Maria blessed with the best "Pink Flag" onslaughts I have heard and they've played that number at every gig I've heard them do. How many aren't?

15. 66.6 Pulsating Venus on my sonar, visible above Wire in El Puerto de Santa Maria as the witching hour approached. 66.6

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