I've provisionally entitled the image Map ref.  Dublin Central as the shots are from an archive of photos taken of Dublin over the last ten years.  It was quite difficult to conceptualise visually how I perceive Wire's music, despite the fact that I've always found 154 a very evocative LP.  This was where I picked up on Wire; I was 15 at the time, a classmate lent me the LP (15 in 4th year -  there's a bit of synchronicity for you). It's no overstatement to say that it had a profound and lasting impact.  I'm fascinated by the manner, in which music registers itself on the brain when first heard.  It's something we don't fully understand yet, but it certainly is not a simple matter, I think it works a bit like a sponge, in that it soaks up range of contingent factors which become part of the experience of the music - emotional states, physical environment, events, seasons/weather   - all of these elements are imprinted on the music and become a kind of template for future listening.  Each time certain music is heard over the years, all the old synaptic connections are refired, the old passions inflamed.

Wire's sound was always very urban, to me. Not necessarily very industrial, but certainty evoking the anonymous spaces of urban environments.  Hence the chosen image.  This is probably not unconnected to the fact that the school I went to was set in Dublin's north inner city and the classrooms looked out through metal meshes to rooftops, industrial spaces, vacant lots and barbed wire.  I was one of those kids that looked out the window a lot. This view does sound rather bleak but it fascinated me, and has been an ongoing obsession in my work ever since. I even associate certain weather with 154 - various shades of dark grey clouds over a thin band of pale horizon.  Autumnal.  Leaves blowing.  Streets drying out after showers.  One doesn't want to be too prescriptive about these things, or too precious, but these conditions always complete the feel of the record for me, even to the extent that listening to it in summer sunshine just seems 'wrong', which does sound vaguely ridiculous, but there you are. Also I realise how Wire were (quite rightly) quick to distance themselves from descriptions of their music as 'grey noisescapes', which is far too reductive a term to do them any kind of justice.


Fergus Kelly