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2004 archive

This page contains edited versions of all the news pages from 2004 that appeared on this site. Please note that links to external sites may not work, but were active at the time of writing. Internal links should all still be active, but if you find a dead link please inform us by using the contact form.

December 11: The Scottish play

Posteverything has announced Wire's The Scottish Play: 2004, documentation of the band's live forays in Scotland earlier this year. As with Wire on the box: 1979, the set comprises a DVD and CD, so you can play the audio away from your television.

Filmed by visual artist Tom Gidley, the DVD contains the entire visceral set, and, according to the posteverything, concentrates on "giving the viewer the closest of contact with a band often misrepresented as enigmatic, cold and distant". In addition to the gig, bonus items include a portion of Wire's excellent Es Devlin collaboration at The Barbican in 2003.

There's no release date as yet—"2005" is all that's currently known. Oh, and we're reliably informed that there will be track markers on the DVD this time...

Posted by: Craig Grannell

December 09: Githead website

A fledgeling Githead website is now online at

Posted by: Craig Grannell

December 01: Toucaen review

Rather belatedly, Wireviews finally reviews Toucaen's synesthetic experience, Once Somebody's Baby Boy.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

October 28: Colin Newman on John Peel

(Reprinted with permission from

John Peel: The Passing of a Legend

A lot of words have already been written about John Peel in the hours since his death was announced, some of them a bit hypocritical to say the truth, but there is no doubt that his passing has touched many, as he touched many in his life.

For those of us lucky enough to be involved in non-mainstream music—and old enough to have been both audience and content in his highly influential shows—something has changed that will never be the same, because, despite his increasing marginalisation at the normally dismal Radio 1, he was still the one place on national radio where you could hear stuff you couldn't hear anywhere else; and, even more importantly, where young bands, with literally no other place to get themselves heard, could find a sympathetic ear who would judge them on the strength of their intent, not the ability of their radio plugger.

Back in the 1990s, a friend of mine, Graham Duff, who writes comedy, often about music, had a radio series charting the story of a Welsh indie band glorying under the name of "Sandpaper". One plot involved them trying to get their demo to John Peel by climbing over his garden wall after dark, hoping for it to be the first thing he finds on the doormat the following morning. Of course, it all goes awry and they end up crashing through his greenhouse roof and being discovered by the man himself in his pyjamas who naturally greets them affably and plays their demo the next day! The thing is that if that had happened in real life, I couldn't imagine the outcome being any different! You know he'd have played their demo and had a good chuckle about it!

His presence will be sorely missed.

Colin Newman

Wire John Peel Sessions: 1978 (2), 1979, 1988, and 2002.

Many other tributes continue to pour in for John Peel (in a manner that no doubt the great man would have been highly embarrassed by), and another of Colin's also forms part of The Guardian's We lost our surrogate dad piece:

"We once did a Peel session and instead of the usual four songs of three minutes we did a 12-minute song, which was the antithesis of everything the Peel show was about: short, punky, unpretentious. A rumour reached us that he wasn't pleased—but fair play to him, he played it twice. I would like to think he thought, 'What a bunch of chancers' and had a good laugh. He was always incredibly personable, just like some bloke you'd meet down the road."

Posted by: Craig Grannell

October 26: Legendary DJ John Peel dies

It's very rare that Wireviews reports on anything not directly related to Wire, but in this case, we'll make an exception. We just learned that the legendary DJ John Peel has sadly passed away at the age of 65. In this age of dreary mainstream musical pap, it was wonderful to have someone on BBC Radio 1 who was still totally committed to championing new and exciting music.

Peel's influence on popular music cannot be understated, and he was instrumental in the development of the careers of countless bands. He was one of a rare breed whose total commitment and utter passion for the medium was immediately obvious to anyone, and he'll be sorely missed.

The BBC has placed online an obituary for John, and tributes are already pouring in.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

October 20: Headgit review

Wireviews checks out Githead's debut, Headgit and also puts the lyrics online for good measure.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

September 28: Githead special offer

Posteverything reports that Githead's debut is now ready to order (although it won't be in shops for another month). The confirmed tracklisting is: Reset, Fake Corpses, To Have & To Hold, Craft is Dead, Profile, 12 Buildings. For orders made through posteverything, the buyer will also receive a copy of Malka Spigel's My Pet Fish. This album features a collaborative track with Scanner, which, as posteverything suggests, may very well be viewed as Githead mark I.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

September 23: A houseguest's wish

Way back in 2001, we brought you an announcement regarding a compilation of Outdoor Miner interpretations from the Words on Music label. Now entitled A Houseguest's Wish: Translations of Wire's 'Outdoor Miner', the album is due for release on November 9, but is available for pre-order now from Timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the original release of Wire's seminal pop song, which has been sitting high in our very own A List right from the start, the album includes contributions from nineteen artists, including Swervedriver frontman Adam Franklin, Polar, Lush and Flying Saucer Attack.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

September 22: Virgin Prunes reissues

Mute Records sub-label The Grey Area is to reissue five Virgin Prunes albums, including the Colin Newman-produced If I Die, I Die. Additionally, a Newman remix of Baby Turns Blue is available on the limited edition 12" An Extended Play. More information can be found on the Mute Records website.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

September 12: Rockpalast revisited and more reviews

Wireviews reviews Wire's new DVD, Wire on the box: 1979.

Two Wire-related reviews have been added: the John Duncan/Graham Lewis collaboration, Presence, and Dead Man Ray's Landslide single, which includes a Colin Newman remix.

With regards to Presence, Jan Noorda forwarded us the poetic/surreal promo blurb for this release, which we've reprinted below:

The alternatives still held considerable potential
The essential sway or ppphhhhooot!
He felt completely vulnerable
The protection of the narcotic curse was gone
and the inclusive was only empty, black and total
Measuring boundaries is human but...
Faking dreams was God-like...
All purpose stimulated
All presence amplified
It was like this
That was understandable
-- Edvard Graham Lewis

On the live front, there's another report of Wire's recent Aberdeen gig, while Alistair Tear offers some Githead photos from the band's recent support slot for Coil.

Finally, we've been made aware of a couple of Wire photo archives at and, and our very own A List has been updated with many new votes and a new top-20 solo chart.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

August 27: He was once somebody's baby boy

It's been a very long time coming, but Toucaen's debut album is finally set for release on Swim. Entitled He was once somebody's baby boy, this is an album we've been seriously looking forward to since hearing Toucaen's Swim debut, Lecci on the Grande Jatte, on the Swim Team #2 compilation. Described as both "a narrative and a soundtrack the album" whose "trajectory arcs through an arrhythmic year's hop on synthetic celluloid", the album is set to be one of contrasts: simple, yet complex; electronic, but organic. You can sample its delights for yourself on October 4.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

August 26: More Wire DVD news

Posteverything confirms that Wire's Rockpalast DVD (On the Box: 1979), which is now described as "the first in a series of archive research releases" is to be released on October 4, 2004. It includes both the original gig (track list below) and a half-hour interview. The DVD footage is sourced from the original master tapes, and the audio has been painstakingly remastered. The disc is not region encoded, but is NTSC (the USA standard, although the majority of relatively modern worldwide DVD players and televisions can cope with the format). The set also includes a CD of the performance, so you can listen to it away from your TV set.

Track list: Introduction, Another the Letter, The 15th, Practice Makes Perfect, Two People in a Room, I Feel Mysterious Today, Being Sucked in Again, Once is Enough, Blessed State, A Question of Degree, Single KO, Mercy, 40 Versions, Former Airline, A Touching Display, French Film Blurred, Men 2nd, Map Ref. 41°N 93°W, Heartbeat, Pink Flag.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

August 12: Githead's Headgit

Colin Newman, Malka Spigel and Robin Rimbaud's Githead project is finally to get an outlet on CD in the form of the Heatgit EP. Due in September, tracks should include Reset, To Have and to Hold, Fake Corpses, Craft is Dead, Profile, and 12 Buildings. We imagine some of these were played at the Swim ICA gig, which bodes well, because although the sound quality was poor that night, the songs certainly weren't. Also, a full Githead album is due in 2005, although it remains to be seen whether the band will do a Send and put the EP tracks on the album, too.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

July 20: Wire DVD: On the Box

The Wire DVD announced on this site last month now has a name, but currently lacks a release date. Entitled On the Box, confirms that the set comprises a DVD and CD. The DVD includes the entire Rockpalast gig and an unscreened interview, while the CD enables you to play the gig audio away from your TV set. The price is set at a very reasonable £15, and we'll let you know what we reckon to the package as a whole as soon as a copy comes our way.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

June 29: Send end

New on the site today: Fergus Kelly's review and photos of Wire at the Triptych Festival.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

June 09: Ordier

Bruce Gilbert's Ordier has finally been released on Table Of The Elements, packaged in a wooden box. Apparently recorded in 1996 (the cover's photo was taken in 1996 at the TOTE festival at the Empty Bottle, Chicago), the tapes were once thought lost. According to reports, the album is reminiscent of Gilbert's Ab Ovo/In Esse period. Thanks to Doug Wittner for the heads-up.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

June 06: Wire DVD: Rockpalast

One of the upcoming pinkflag releases will be Wire's late-'70s (Valentine's Day, 1979, to be exact) performance on the German television program Rockpalast, which has long been in circulation as a bootleg. Colin Newman explains:

"This item is more definitive than anyone right now can imagine. Although there have been countless multi-generation VHS copies floating around this is something else. We have the original broadcast masters and have made up the DVD from them. Furthermore we have re-mastered the audio from the stereo audio track to give an item which has a clarity of sound and vision which has got everyone who has seen it very excited indeed. If you think you've seen this, you haven't! Furthermore, in addition to the full hour performance (including encore) there is a half hour interview, which has never been seen before anywhere.

"The DVD itself will be released in NTSC only (most new European DVD players play NTSC even the cheap ones, whereas no one in N. America can play PAL) with a limited edition in digipack which has the performance audio as an additional CD.

"This DVD represents the highest quality version of the only definitively captured full performance of '70s Wire on camera. For that reason it should be in every Wire fan's collection!"

No release date has been announced, but we will keep you posted. We should also point out that the DVD will be region free.

Posted by: Jack Alberson

June 05: Githead and Wire news

After the promising performance at Swim's birthday bash at the ICA, it's heartening to hear that Githead has concrete future plans. Next up is a support slot for Coil's only UK gig of 2004 (July 25 at Ocean in Hackney, London); an EP should also appear sometime during the summer.

Wire also have some plans for live appearances during the summer. So far, the band have been confirmed for Denmark's famous Roskilde Festival (on July 1), and also for two festivals in Italy: Estate Palermitana Festival, Palermo (July 28); and Soundlabs Festival, Abruzzi (July 29).

Posted by: Craig Grannell

June 04: New reviews and updates

As you may have noticed, Wireviews has had a bit of a face-lift. If you find any problems, email us. Most things remain the same, but the lyrics are now in their own section, and a handy search box has been added. We've also made some inroads regarding accessibility. Anyone looking for the WMO newsletters should head for their new home: the articles section.


The most recent Swim CD, Desde Que Nací by Aurelie, finally gets the Wireviews treatment, and we also have live reviews of Wire's Aberdeen gig and the Swim Records birthday bash at the ICA in London. Alistair Tear also sent us some photos of the Swim night.

A new team member

Finally, please extend a very warm welcome to Wireviews' new editorial assistant, Jack Alberson.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

May 15: gmb-H

gmb-H (E.G. Lewis, CM von Hausswolff and B.C. Gilbert) will perform kaoss v kaoss for two nights on Monday, June 21 and Tuesday, June 22, at Podewil, Berlin. This performance is part of the "Spring Improvisation" season. More information:

Posted by: Craig Grannell

May 14: Wire rumour mill

More news continues to trickle through about upcoming Wire releases. Rumours suggest that the forthcoming Wire book will include a CD, which will comprise material from live 1970s Wire gigs, but at a much better quality than any available bootlegs. We're also hearing about the possibility of at least one Wire DVD, and I'm sure the more imaginative amongst you might guess at possible contents...

Posted by: Craig Grannell

April 9: to release new book is now working on a new Wire book about the EMI years and is interested in receiving for possible inclusion any archive material (reviews, tapes, photos and memories). Credit will be given to suppliers, and items from overseas are especially favoured. In the first instance, you can contact, or send items to, c/o Swim Records, PO Box 3459, London, SW19 6ES.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

March 15: To swim and to swim

Swim Records, the label headed by Colin Newman and Malka Spigel, celebrates its ten-year anniversary of "erratic, cross-genre excellence" with an event at London's ICA. April 16 will see various label stalwarts come together for a live show, including the debut of Githead, Colin and Malka's new band with Robin Rimbaud (Scanner).

Other live acts on the night are Lobe, Symptoms, Rhodes and Silo, while Beatkitten, Akatombo, Immersion and Søren Dahlgaard are likely to present video work. To finish up, Yoshio Maeda (dol-lop) and DJ Morpheus will be on decks. ICA: +44 (0)20 7930 3647.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

March 08: A githead this way comes

As announced by Scanner on posteverything, he has formed a new band with none other than Colin Newman and Malka Spigel. Dubbed Githead, this rock-tinged act apparently bears no musical resemblance to the solo projects of any of its solo members. More news soon.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

February 13: Another the interview

In the art of sending: interviews Colin Newman and Graham Lewis.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

February 05: Sackbut Blues and more Wire live news

Sackbut Blues, the editorial arm of PostEverything has opened its virtual doors today. On it you will find "news, reviews and stuff", and, according to the site, "over the coming days, weeks, months and millennia, there will be more news, reviews and stuff". PostEverything goes on to say: "Giving a voice to the underground, giving the finger to mediocrity and giving a large dose of salt to readers of press releases, it will rock your world. Abstractly.

In other news, Wire are to make an appearance at this year's Roskilde Festival. The festival runs from July 1 to July 4 and dates for individual performances are still to be confirmed; however, the festival Web site already boasts a line-up including Bowie, Korn and Santana.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

February 03: Wire at Triptich

PostEverything reports that Wire is to play 2004's Triptich Festival across three cities in Scotland. The Mute Records/Blast First-associated bill will be completed at all venues by Finland's finest aggro beat-mongers Pan sonic and the finest products of Brooklyn's millennial 'cusp future punk explosion' Liars.

The dates in full are:

Ticket prices are £14, except at the Glasgow gig, which is £15. Your extra quid there gets you John Peel on DJ duties.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

January 08: Wire wins Brainwashed award

The Brain's 2003 reader's poll includes its fair share of surprises, but one of the best is a lifetime achievement award for Wire (along with being named ninth best live act, and Send winning best compilation by a single artist). Here's what some of the Brainwashed contributors had to say about the lads:

"Bravery, integrity, absolute courage and energy, and more ideas and concepts than 15 rock bands have in their lucid wet dreams." - Rob Devlin.

"Seeing them in NYC this year, the vibrant boys and girls in the mosh pit right up front were probably not even wiping their own ass when Wire split up a second time. This says a lot about Wire's power and the power of incredible music that's not made by pretty young people who are marketed to youth weaned from Barney and Power Rangers and mall rock." - Jon Whitney.

"Wire is still managing to be relevant and influential, making strides in their sound and execution and proving that great bands never die. A wonderful precedent that has inspired other brilliant bands like Mission of Burma to give it another go. From then to now, a solid body of work." - Michael Patrick Brady.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

January 07: Wire to tour Japan and down under

There have been rumours floating around for some time regarding a possible Wire tour down under, and we can now confirm this as fact. The dates below are confirmed at the time of writing, but are subject to change:

Sometime before the summer we should also see Read & Burn 03, which sees Wire moving in a new direction.

Posted by: Craig Grannell

January 06: The narrativ

Tom at ELP (Electronic Label Pool) from Offenbach, Germany, has discovered a few copies of The Narrativ, a collaborative 12" from Izzo and Newman. If interested, email

Posted by: Craig Grannell

January 01: Happy new year!

Just a quick note to wish all Wireviews visitors a happy 2004. We're hoping this will be a good year for Wire fans.

Please note that WMO is now closed for business. For the time being (due to lack of time), the WMO pages are to remain on Wireviews, but soon the editorial content will be integrated into the site and the merchandise pages removed.

Posted by: Craig Grannell