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Without London band Wire, punk rock might never have developed beyond primitive three-chord thrash and cliched songs about tower blocks and dole queues. Arguably the first art-punks, the four musicians - Colin Newman on vocals and guitar, Graham Lewis on bass and vocals, Bruce Gilbert on guitar and Robert Gotobed (nee Grey) on drums - evolved fast from their groundbreaking 1977 debut album "Pink Flag", with its 21 short, sharp, minimalist bursts of noise and melody. They were catalysts in the shift from punk to post-punk, paving the way for the likes of Magazine, Gang of Four, Public Image Limited and Joy Division. Paul Lester's book will tell the story of this crucial transitional band, from their early days dodging hostile crowds at punk venues like the Roxy, through their attempts to inject some arthouse experimentation and Situationist subversion into an increasingly conservative punk scene, up to their split in 1981 and beyond their mid-80s return and their various solo projects.It will take you behind the scenes and feature interviews with the original members, following them up to the present, poised as they are to come back with a brand new album and filled with a renewed sense of vigour as one of the most important bands in the last thirty years.
Paul Lester was Features Editor of Melody Maker before leaving to start music and movie magazine Uncut where he was Deputy Editor until 2006. Since 2007 he has interviewed more than 100 musicians and actors for The Guardian, Guardian Unlimited Music, the Daily Telegraphm The Sunday Times and Record Collector. he reviews newspapers every Sunday morning on LBC and has written almost 150 sleevenotes on everyone from Elkie Brooks to The Sex Pistols. He has written nine rock and pop biographies including Damaged Gods: The Gang of Four Story (published by Omnibus Press) and has co authored the Virgin Encyclopedia of Rock.