Even through struggles with chords and a collapsing
keyboard, I remember clearly the flying gob and spraying beer. Perhaps
you forget those things when they're coming at you if you're grappling with the music. The white
spots you see on the print are not photographic faults. They were manufactured in people's throats.
The roadies had their work cut out trying to maintain a decent sound while courteously accepting helpful advice from the floor at the back. Half way through our set, we noticed a sudden change in the stage sound. One creative punter in an altered state had stumbled by the mixing desk and with one large hand pulled down all the carefully set graphic equalizer settings (carefully adjusted to help the room sound) to zero. One of the roadies took the piece of lead pipe that lived defensively under the console, and went off to discuss further business. The blood on the floor at the back of the club that shone when the lights came up wasn't the roadie's new business partner's. But it might have been our colleague's, without due precaution.
Yes, that was a rough crowd, just down the road from where I grew up. It included my brother Anthony. I drove back to his Sunderland home afterwards, where I crashed. For some reason, it seemed appropriate to drive round the roundabouts (traffic circles) on the right rather than following local leftie rules. Terribly sorry, officer, I thought I was back home (didn't come to that, thankfully).
We didn't feel inclined to do many encores; perhaps we did one. Good Northern beer helps the soul but not the memory. The audience wanted more than the Wire corporate board was inclined to dispense after being spitted at. The dressing room door was at the back of the stage, better that way we thought as the pint beer glasses (empty) smashed against it while we waited out the mood of the diminishing crowd.
- MT June 2001
at the Stereo Society (selected
Wire discography (to 1991)
to download Wire historical memorabilia, text or hi-res graphic.
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