Wire - Live At The Roxy, London (April 1st & 2nd 1977) Live At CBGB Theatre, New York (July 18th 1978)

Historic performances from home and abroad

Previously only available as bootlegs or as part of the limited edition Wire: 1977-1979 box set, this is the first time these historic live recordings have been made widely available. Their importance lies in the fact that they catch the band live at two pivotal stages of their evolution.
Caught on tape some five months before recording Pink Flag, Disc One comprises both complete 25-minute sets from the band’s appearances at the Roxy’s punk festival. Interestingly enough, they include covers of JJ Cale’s After Midnight and the Dave Clark Five’s Glad All Over.
Not actually recorded at the legendary punk rock hovel (but just around the corner, in front of a small audience in an old run down theatre, by long-gone NY radio station WPIX), the CBGB recording offers a fascinating contrast. With CBGB’s owner Hilly Kristal credited as executive producer, the sonics are fuller and the performances considerably more assured across the 11-song set, made up of tracks from Pink Flag and the yet-to-be-recorded Chairs Missing. As the sleeve notes reflect, this would most likely have vanished off the face of the earth had the radio station not given the band a cassette copy of the recording.

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

Pink Flag | PF 9/PF 10

Reviewed by Grahame Bent
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