(This page is about the British band. For the music magazine of the same name, see Wire(2)).
Map ref 43 degrees N 110 degrees W WIRE 16 18

Map ref 43 degrees N 110 degrees W WIRE 16 18

Map Ref. 41ºN 93ºW

Wire are an English rock band, formed in London in October 1976 by Colin Newman (vocals, guitar), Graham Lewis (bass, vocals), Bruce Gilbert (guitar), and Robert Gotobed (drums). They were originally associated with the punk rock scene, appearing on the Live at the Roxy WC2 album—a key early document of the scene—and were later central to the development of post-punk (read more at Wikipedia)

Links To Peel

Peel was a strong supporter of Wire, particularly during the band's initial run of three groundbreaking LPs on Harvest between 1977 and 1979, which coincided with their first three sessions for his show. The third session, featuring a single abstract piece called 'Crazy About Love', stood out as a landmark in Wire's rapid evolution away from their early punk sound, as Colin Newman later recalled:

Wire - Crazy About Love

Wire - Crazy About Love

“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."(Mick Wall, John Peel, p92)[1]

Peel continued to play releases featuring band members during Wire's subsequent hiatus, with Lewis and Gilbert being booked for a session, but appears to have largely ignored the band's return in the second half of the 1980s, apart from a further session in 1988. Following a second extended spell of inactivity, Wire again featured on his shows in the early 2000s, including a fifth session, recorded 14 years and 4 months after their previous visit to Maida Vale.[2]

Widely viewed as one of the leading bands of the post-punk era, Wire were a major influence on many outfits played by Peel in later years. Britpop band Elastica eventually reached an out of court settlement over similarities between their 1994 single 'Connection' and the Wire track 'Three Girl Rumba'.[3]

Peel, together with many other artists and music celebrities of the time, makes a 'cameo' appearance in the video for the group's 1989 single Eardrum Buzz.[4]

Festive Fifty Entries


Five sessions, plus one by Lewis & Gilbert. Official releases:
- 'Crazy About Love" from #3 on Crazy About Love, 12", 1983 (Rough Trade ‎RT T123)
- #1 on The Peel Sessions EP 12"/CD, 1987 (Strange Fruit SFPS041)
- #1, #2, #3 on The Peel Sessions Album LP/CD, 1990 (Strange Fruit, SFRLP108/SFRCD108)
- #4 on Coatings 2xCD, 1997 (WMO, WMO 14CD)
-'I Am The Fly' from #1 on Various Artists: Mixed Peel Cassette, 1987 (New Musical Express NME 033)
-'I Am The Fly' from #1 on Various Artists: Best Of Peel Sessions (Par Bernard Lenoir) CD/LP, 1990 (Franc Music FC1)
-'The Other Window' from #2 on Various Artists: Movement: BBC Radio 1 Peel Sessions 1977-1979 2xCD, 2011 (EMI ‎– CDPEEL 7779)

1. Recorded 1978-01-18. First broadcast 31 January 1978. Repeated 17 February 1978, 21 February 1980, 19 August 1986

  • Practice Makes Perfect / I Am The Fly / Culture Vultures / 106 Beats That

2. Recorded 1978-09-20. First broadcast 03 October 1978. Repeated 31 October 1978

  • The Other Window / Mutual Friend / On Returning / Indirect Enquiries

3. Recorded 1979-09-11. First broadcast 18 September 1979. Repeated 24 October 1979

  • Crazy About Love

4. Recorded 1988-04-24. First broadcast 10 May 1988. Repeated: 01 June 1988

  • German Shepherds / Boiling Boy / Drill

5. Recorded 2002-07-21. First broadcast 17 September 2002

  • Spent / I Don't Understand / 1st Fast / 99.9
G Lewis & BC Gilbert

1. Recorded 1980-09-11. First broadcast 07 October 1980

  • Anchors / Norde / Quicken Your Step


  • 1. Broadcast: 11 April 2000. Recorded: All Tomorrow's Parties, Camber Sands.
  1. Boiling Boy
  2. Lowdown
  • 2. Broadcast: 25 April 2002. Recorded: All Tomorrow's Parties, Camber Sands, 19-21 April 2002
  1. Ten Years After
  2. Lowdown

Featured in shows

The list below was researched only from the database of this site, Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive and Ken Garner's Peel Sessions (pg219). It is almost certainly incomplete. Please add further information if known.

Post Peel
Dome (Lewis & Gilbert)
Cupol (Lewis & Gilbert)
Duet Emmo (Lewis & Gilbert)
He Said (Graham Lewis)
Colin Newman

See Also


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