Wire - Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh - Tue 8 Feb 2011, (4 stars)


Art rock unit leaner, more urgent, yet more conventional than ever

The young lady ID’d on the door says much about the Wire demographic. Especially as she’s escorted by her mum and dad. The original art school punks may be well into their third decade, but their influence on the last couple of generations of Brit-pop artrockers is more obvious than ever. Now reduced to a core trio of donnish guitarist Colin Newman, Glengarry sporting bassist Graham Lewis and whippet-thin drummer Robert Grey following avant-boffin Bruce Gilbert’s departure, and with live sound fleshed out by touring guitarist Matt Simms, Wire’s quintessentially English marriage of plummy opacity and jangular guitars sounds leaner, more urgent, yet somewhat appositely more conventional than ever, even if no one ever sounded like this before them.

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