The Black Session: Paris, 10 May 2011

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The Black Session was recorded approximately 34 years after Pink Flag debuted, but original members Colin Newman, Graham Lewis, and Robert Grey (joined by touring guitarist Matthew Simms) are still a tightly wound unit, and oddly enough, this is a much better indication of their prowess on-stage than mid-career outings like Document and Eyewitness and It's Beginning to and Back Again. Taken from a 2011 performance for the French radio show C'est Lenoir at Maison de Radio, this recording concentrates on pop-oriented material, mainly from 2010's Red Barked Tree. Otherwise, there are three late-'80s numbers (from Ideal Copy and A Bell Is a Cup…Until It Is Struck), and three late-'70s landmarks (from 154 and Pink Flag). Fans of the oldies are treated to an enthusiastic ten-minute encore of "Pink Flag" for sticking it out, and even when Wire focuses on their not-so-classic material, they sound great in a live environment.

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