At The LP Cafe we like to celebrate local music past, present and future. The musical heritage of Watford has infected the lives of a disproportionate amount of people for its size and is something that we are proud of. So many names have come from Watford, whether they were born and raised in our town, formed a band in our town, or briefly passed through but left their mark. We are so happy to be running a blog series to celebrate Watford's musical legends, and our second installment will be remembering one of Britain's greatest Punk bands "Wire".
Wire formed in Watford where a collision of a group of hugely creative, progressive and ispired men at the Watford College of Art forged one of the most definitive art punk bands in Britain. Bruce Gilbert, older than the other band members, had been working at the college as an audio technician and had taken advantage of his access to equipment and guest speakers such as Brian Eno, to engage his creativity and expand his musical skill. Here he met Watford student Colin Newman, where they briefly formed a band "Overload".
By 1976, as first wave punk became a cultural phenomenon, Wire were formed with additional London-based members Robert Grey(Gotobed), George Gill and Graham Lewis. Their first rehersals were carried out in Watford, where they all used the equipment and resources available from the art school.
Their 1977 debut album Pink Flag was hugely acclaimed and is considered one of the most original pieces of punk rock to have come out of England, and without a doubt out of Watford! The success of Wire has been unprecedented, and their art-punk has seen unprecedented success in the post-punk world. Among many, REM and Sonic Youth have revered Wire as a key inspiration who have played a manor part in their creative endeavours.
Colin Newman, Wire's lead vocalist and songwriter, once said on his time studying at the college that 'Watford gave me three years in which to grow enough to find my feet in something that I wanted to do, and for that I shall be eternally grateful".
Wire are one of Watford's lesser know musical legends and yet as a cult band they are HUGE! Watford has a rich local punk scene with many bands sciting Wire as a massive influence, including many of LP's own staff - we highly recommend checking them out.
Many thanks to our friends and supporters at www.watfordmuseum.org.uk for their help researching Watford's Music Legends.
Member since: 20th November 2013
I am the owner of Watford's The LP Cafe, an independent record and coffee shop on The Parade, Watford High Street.
We reckon great coffee tastes better with great music. We don't think there is a better...