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Baker's Dozen

The Ideal Copies: Graham Lewis Of Wire's Favourite Albums
Luke Turner , April 15th, 2015 13:44

As Wire continue their five-night London residency as part of the tQ co-curated DRILL:LEXINGTON festival, their bassist and lyricist gives Luke Turner a tour of his top 13 records


Leif Elggren - Talking To A Dead Queen
He's a Swedish multi-disciplinary artist. I chose that to represent all of my friends, composers and people that I know who make extraordinary experimental work. On one hand it is a drone, and it's a really fantastic drone. It's a copper pipe on a pillar driven by it's own amplification - it's a fantastic sound. The other part is a reading of an autopsy of a Dutch queen when she dies. It's an old autopsy so it's got this great formality: it talks about the 'colouration' of the skin. The poetry is in the age of the language.

It's something that's absolutely fascinating but it also has no relevance, all it is is about it. It's a composition, it's a piece of imagination. One could mention 'The Gift' by The Velvet Underground. I remember the first time hearing that and it was split in stereo and thinking: 'God that's extraordinary'. Why do I not always sing my own lyrics? It seems to fit better to me. It's the proof that sometimes it's a good idea not to think about things too carefully. The way things roll is sometimes good. It's a funny thing to Wire, it's not what we thought about, it was a practical solution to a time when we were in need of writing material. I never learned to play the guitar, and it turned out to be an incredible device, this distancing, which threw it into interesting spaces. It gives it a theatrical quality that's not drama theatrical, but theatrical in the same way as you'd have with someone like Pinter, where you'd have very normal speech but because of the context that you put things into, suddenly you have something that's quite peculiar.