And Bruce Gilbert tells us they're giving it all away at their comeback gig...

Legendary art punk pioneers Wire will give away brand new material on a limited edition CD when they play their first show for ten years at London’s South Bank Royal Festival Hall on February 26.

The CD will contain recordings from recent rehersal sessions where the band ran through old material and jammed on some new songs.

It’s likely Wire will be giving away three new tracks in all, but it’s unlikely they’ll appear as a commercial release through a record company.

Explaining the decision to reform after ten years, Wire guitarist Bruce Gilbert told nme.com: “We were offered a night by the South Bank people and after a discussion everybody was sufficiently fascinated to look into it.”

“We’ve had a bit of a ‘kick-about’ rehersal for three days just to check that the spirit was still there – if not the ability.”

“There definitely was which made us all more confident about it. Maybe three brand new things which will come out of the rehersals.”

“The rest of it will be some very old stuff. This is a retrospective view and it’s something that we’ve never done before, which is a good enough reason for us to do it. We’ve never really played our back catalogue.”

During the Wire gig, friend and collaborator of the band Michael Clark will stage a new choreographed ‘dance’ performance to two old Wire tracks.

The title and details of the performance are still to be finalised but Gilbert revealed: “I think it will involve two tracks, one will collapse at his intervention and another one will emerge from the debris. It’s all about collapse and then re-emergence.”

Gilbert also spoke of the 1995 dispute between Wire and Elastica which ended up with Justine Frischmann & co settling out of court with the band over the similarities between Wire’s’Three Girl Rhumba’ and Elastica’s ‘Connected’.

The guitarist said: “That was a business thing it’s do with publishing companies and they had to protect certain things over that.”

“Personally I have absolutely no problems with Justine or the Elastica project and I like the music.”

“It’s fascinating to some degree – it has to be flattering, really it’s quite curious. But if Wire did have an influence I’d rather it be from an attitude point of view rather than from a musical point of view.”

You can get tickets for Wire’s Royal Festival Hall show from the box office on 0171 960 4242 or from the internet at www.sbc.org.uk – click here – [url=]sbc.org.uk

In the meantime, Bruce and Wire bassist Graham Lewis will host a sound installation at Oxford’s Museum Of Modern Art from January 23.