Impatient Bastards – Wire live in Edinburgh

Wire – The Mash House, Edinburgh – Monday 6th November 2017

After the comparative disappointment of Sunday if there was one thing that I was hoping for in Wire’s set on Monday, it was have been subtlety. And that’s what I got as I moved from the show I’ve seen Wire play with the worst sound to the show with the best.

Everything seemed much more focused either whilst at the front taking photographs or (much) further back thereafter but the whole, career spanning, set felt so much more cohesive than the previous night with the new songs in particular shining.

Yet the better sound (and reduced volume) didn’t deny the band any power – the closing ‘Over Theirs’ remained one of the real highlights whilst ‘Underwater Experiences’ benefitted from the clarity. There really was no down-side.

It certainly wasn’t a comfortable experience though. There was curiously a bit of space around the stage (at least whilst I was there for the first few songs) but I don’t really like standing so close to the stage when others are much smaller than I am. But finding a comfortable spot further back was well on nigh impossible as, even with the crush, there were folk standing outside the doors of the venue. Oversold? More than a little.

Perhaps surprisingly the shout for the punk number came in Edinburgh rather than Dundee but the request for ‘12XU’ was dismissed by Graham as “That wasn’t witty in 1977!”.

The other audience incident of note was Graham returning to the stage for the encore to find that someone had lifted his setlist. The culprit rather sheepishly pushed his way forward to return it – before the band played the encore they’ve been playing almost every night!

Finally, on the audience, it was a surprisingly diverse bunch. Certainly, there were a number of the older guard but there was also a big swathe of much younger people. Which in itself is testament of the band’s continuing relevance as they do everything possible to remain a contemporary, rather than nostalgic, act.

Setlist:

  1. Ahead 2. Diamonds in Cups 3. An Alibi 4. This Time 5. Three Girl Rhumba 6. Art of Persistence 7. Brio 8. Underwater Experiences 9. Red Barked Trees 10. Small Black Reptile 11. Keep Exhaling 12. Split Your Ends 13. Playing Harp for the Fishes 14. Short Elevated Period 15. Over Theirs

Encore

  1. Silver/Lead 17. Used To 18. Stealth of a Stork

Some photos from the show:

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The gallery of photos from the two shows in Dundee and Edinburgh is here.

3 Comments

  1. The poor quality of the sound at Beat Generator in Dundee the previous night spoiled what should have been a great gig. It was far too loud and distorted, making it nigh on impossible to hear the lyrics and uncomfortable on the ears.

    Having gone to the Filthy Tongues gig last week it’s not the physical venue that is at fault as I’m assuming Wire had their own guy on the mixing desk?

    The Filthies have their own sound guy who makes sure throughout the gig that the sound is optimal. I’ve seen/heard him do this at big and small venues – Liquid Rooms, Voodoo Rooms and Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh.

    Not surprised at the number of young folk at the Edinburgh gig. The last few Wire albums are excellent.

    1. Yeah, can’t disagree with any of that. The Wire engineer clearly did a better job on Monday! But pete did a fine, fine job on Friday night. One of the best sounding sets I’ve ever heard at the venue and I’ve heard a few good ones.

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