Hello and welcome to the first newsletter to be hosted by the Wireviews website. Wire Mail Order is still in operation but only functioning as a mail order site for WMO, Origin and Thousand titles. Credit card facilities are now in place for USA orders only. We would like to thank all those who wrote to us about our pending closure as a label and expressing your thanks and praise for the work we have done. We cannot thank you all individually but it is appreciated and heart-warming.
Following last newsletter's great news came the following announcement on 24th September:
'It is with great regret that Wire have to postpone their evening 'It's all in the brochure' at the Royal Festival Hall on 30th October. This is due to the unavailability of Robert Gotobed who has sustained a shoulder injury whilst hay bailing. To give Robert's shoulder time to heal and enable him to get fully fit the evening will be rescheduled to to a date early in the New Year. Details of ticket transfers and the new date will be made available as soon as possible. Wire would like to apologise to all those who have bought tickets and made arrangements.
Bruce Gilbert, Robert Gotobed, Graham Lewis & Colin Newman'
This event has now been rescheduled to 26th February 2000.
Mike Thorne's Stereo Society web-site continues to grow with the inclusion of his memoirs regarding 'Outdoor Miner' as well as a lengthy piece about 'Wire 1977-79' by Kevin Eden. Also available here is the Wire discography.
Wire's Just Don't Care and TV, both taken from Behind the Curtain, turn up on a new compilation Live from the Roxy on the Castle label (esmcd 772).
A fairly quiet period for Bruce with only two remixes now out. The first for Madrid appears on their 12" single Remixes on the Paper Plane label. Other remixes on this record are from Pan American and Leverkusen.
Bruce's second outing appears on the new Hecker CD [r*]iso|chall on the Austrian Mego label.
Graham has written soundtracks for two new pieces. The first is for Atomic, a butoh dance performance by Susanah Åkerland. Susanah studied butoh for six years in Japan. The dance was premiered in Uppsala on 16th and 17th October.
The second soundtrack was featured a week later in Susanah's short film with co-director Gunilla Leander, Universal Body. It was premiered at the Uppsala film festival on 22nd October.
Ocsid ventured to Munich on 12th and 13th November. The first night they played at new venue L-O-K for a five-hour show. The second night they only played for four hours at Der Neuen Sammlung Staatliches Museum fur Angewante Kunst (the museum of design, to non-German speakers). Graham reports that Taklamakan 'murdered the kids on both nights'.
Our previous report that Graham is not featured on Russell Mills' Pearl + Umbra CD was incorrect. Graham is credited with Bunker Emissions.
Colin and Malka's brief jaunt to North America went off well by all reports. For those who haven't followed the correspondence on the Ideal Copy mailing list here's what one US paper wrote:
'For the set, it was just the two of them plus a CD player from whence comes the bass and drum tracks. They played for an hour, choosing songs from both Newman's and Spigel's catalogs. They played gently entrancing songs that hovered between a couple of chords or notes, rocking back and forth. Newman did say hello to the audience, but he and Spigel aren't about give-and-take; they do what they do, looking down, mostly, and spin the musical web. There was a nod to eastern music; there was one chiming number that actually recalled Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. Vocals happened occasionally, bits about being 'scared' and, the best line, 'I have an idea—a concept you wouldn't understand.' It was fairly simple stuff, but as we all know, simple stuff in the pop world can be incredibly riveting. See: Velvet Underground.
Newman and Spigel moved in and out of that orbit. They were enticing at times, too lulling at others. Near the end of the set, Newman wisely stepped on a pedal kicking up the volume and the grittiness, lending a welcome Wire-y edge. It was, on the whole, an evening of modest off-center pleasures.'
Next up for release is the eponymous Symptoms CD due in January.
Dome's Yclept was finally released on 1st November following production delays beyond our control. Apologies to those who ordered it in advance and were kept waiting. We're now working at getting gilbertpossstenger manchesterlondon released in 2000. This will be our final release as announced in the last newsletter.
Long time Wire associate, Claude Bessey, sadly died on Saturday 2nd October 1999, following a long battle against lung cancer.
As a French exchange student Claude went to the USA in the late 70's but 'jumped ship' and stayed in California where he eventually became editor of punk 'zine Slash. He also sang in the short-lived group Catholic Discipline.
As Ronald Reagan came to power, Claude saw the writing on the wall and relocated to London where he worked in the press office of Rough Trade records. He finally decamped to Barcelona in the mid-'80s.
Claude's last public appearance was providing the gruff voice on Wir's Naked, Whooping and Such-like from The First Letter.
Graham Lewis kindly provided us with this text:
'I received a note from Claude a couple of weeks ago. He'd rallied a bit and was hoping to be strong enough to commit some reading to tape for the rescheduled RFH (February 26th 2000). He had been extremely ill and in a great deal of pain of late... but his death is still hard to accept. He is one of the rare people one has met who truly wished to live. I feel honoured to have been able to count him as a friend. Our thoughts are with Philli, Claude's constant companion in love and in life.'
During the summer of 2000 Philli will take Claude's ashes to the Greek island where they spent many happy times together. His ashes will be laid to rest in his favourite spot.
So, from a very busy and somewhat turbulent 1999 with plenty of ups and a few downs, we wish you all the very best for a new millennium and hope all your PCs can still receive us when we return in March with a full report of the rescheduled It's all in the Brochure Royal Festival Hall event along with other news.
This newsletter © 1999 WMO Limited.