Monday, March 31, 2014


Wire, Corner Hotel, Richmond. 21st Feb 2014
I probably first heard wire in 1977, when a mate made me a tape of the "Live at the Roxy LP".... "this ones dedicated to loopin Ada, and its called 12xU"..they played it when I finally got to see them (also at the Corner) first time they came to Melbourne.  Those early tunes (heard from mono cassette players under railway viaducts, by dark canals, or in dangerously driven and overcrowded first cars) were so of their time and so not:  angular and angry , clever and poppy , structured and deconstructed.
The band imploded after 1-5-4, an epic set of lush and truly fractured love songs to a deluded self that was the soundtrack to many of the mistakes, cruelties and naiveties I committed at that time of my life.  That album for a long time remaining the high point of their achievements for me.

The hits resumed again later in the 80's with the new electro tainted Wire once again subverting the norm with songs like Dot-Dash, Kidney Bingos, Ahead ("bring on the special guest: a monkey caught stealing") while settling down nicely next to it on the bench arm casually thrown around its shoulder.
I don't pretend to have followed the band into the naughties ( I knew they were there, but had other more important things going on.. like life and all that )  but I'm glad I did buy "Changes Become us" (as a 50th birthday present to myself), the songs are breathtakingly gorgeous and  echo through the years back to 1-5-4 and even earlier and bang!: like a kiss from my teenage sweetheart I'm lost again.
So how did it go meeting that teenage crush 35 years later? She looked older obviously, and while I could see (presumably as strangers would) the old bodies and thinning hair the inspiration, warmth and strangeness that informs every one of their songs left me as buzzing with excitement and joy as I had been as a pimply youth.

Its a stupid analogy, because if you really met your dream girl you wouldn't just turn your back at the end of the set and walk back to the train without even buying a t-shirt would you? How many mistakes, cruelties and naiveties can one guy get away with?

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