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Wire plugs into "expanding" audience

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Things have changed considerably for Britain's Wire since 1977, when the group released its influential debut album "Pink Flag."

"The demographic of our audience seems to be expanding," says singer-guitarist Colin Newman, who remains from the original Wire lineup with bassist Graham Lewis. "When we just played out on the West Coast, there were more younger people, more women -- much more women, women coming on their own, not being dragged by their boyfriends. It's kind of fascinating.

"And, of course, you have people who just don't get it at all and people who totally love it. I've said, half-joking but actually true, that if 99.9 percent of the world has no idea who Wire is, the other .10 percent has no idea why the world doesn't think this is the best band ever. It IS like that."

But Newman contends that he and his mates -- who released the band's 14th studio album, "Wire," in April -- can't be bothered with trying to please...anybody, really.

"Wire is not the result of a focus group," explains Newman, 60. "There is nobody sitting there saying what the audiences really wants to hear. We do what we do, and we always have. Some people think that's willful, and to an extent it is willful, but Wire has never been concerned with, 'This is what the audience wants.'

"To us that's all just...absurd. This is supposed to be an art form which has some kind of connection with the genuine. So why would people expect the people creating it to behave like they are just entertainers, your Saturday night guy in a suit standing up and telling terrible jokes? No thank you."

Wire does have a slew of work on tap for the future, according to Newman. It plans to release the eight additional tracks it worked on for the "Wire" album but didn't include for Record Store Day in April of 2016. And with its 40th anniversary looming in 2017 the group will record another studio album and eyeball some other commemorations -- including new editions of its occasional Drill Festival, which Newman says the group has considered putting on in Detroit at some point.

"I'm very fascinated with Detroit," he notes. "It's one of the more interesting stories of development in the USA, I think. It's like in downtown L.A., those places where you had the flight from the center, but the center is the heart of the city. The suburbs aren't the center. Give the center a chance and things will develop, and that seems to be happening in Detroit."

Wire and Julian Lynch

Tuesday, June 9. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Populux, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit.

Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 day of show.

Call 313-833-9700 or visit www.populuxdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.populuxdetroit.com

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