Queuing for Wire had me apprehensive. Greeted by a sea of silver hair, waves of weather beaten leather and the well aged faces of post-punk patrons, I struggled to imagine a crowd swarming with energy, packing punches, not civilised, peacock pate lunches. A good gig needs a good crowd, raring for the hustle and bustle of the sweating mass, free from inhibition and ready to share a reasonable dose of loving. Wire's music is noisy, messy and youthful, and the queue clientele filled me with gnawing doubt.

At first, my fears materialised. After a ropey, drum-fumbling start from modern post-punk party bag Negative Pegasus, the main support act, Madensuyu, humbly stumbled into the stark lighting. A two-piece with a miraculously massive sound, they slotted escalating vocals into aggressive, stabbing guitar which mushed the mind into a post-punk pulp, freeing the head from the humdrum of convention with thundering drums and animalistic yelps. They beautiful sandwiched vocal harmony between thick-cut, granary slices of heavy distortion and the booms of base, leaving me weak at the musically maltreated knees. However, the crowd, filling the space like an office disco with dodgy sausage roles and a ropey stereo clive from human resources thought would 'bring down the house', zapped the on-stage energy. As the guitarist's face pulsated with passion, a regatta clad woman ate jelly beans from a small plastic cup. As the drummer cuddled insanity like a long lost brother, a man carefully counted loose change and begrudgingly considered removing his jacket. Certainly, faces were filled with admiration and brimming with respect, but this just gave an art-gallery-air. The crowd appeared to be observing a noisy, abstract painting, splashed zealously with colour, scared by the aggression of the misshapen sounds and crazy textures. It was evident Madensuyu craved movement but the band and its punter were worlds apart. It was like watching Bernard Matthew's pitching pork pies to a crowd of animal adoring veggies while he simultaneously banging a very large drum.

By 9.30pm, the only question remaining was whether Wire could finally incite chaos? They strolled on, blacked out like men of mystery by colour-drained outfits and choice lighting, cool as post-punk cucumbers being tossed into a civilised caesar salad. Though the mild beer bellies and reading glasses hung inversely, their mere presence shook the room. A dressing of nostalgia was drizzled over the crowd, lighting up eyes, encouraging the tapping of feet to reverberate up the body and timid voices to shout and scream. The gigs importance finally bomb-shelled my brain. The reason so many had dragged themselves away from a hard days work and life's responsibilities was escapism. Pouring the past over themselves, the crowd were once again drenched head to toe in the revelry of youth and succulent ignorance, amerced in golden memories and musical mischief.

Wire opened with 'Smash', admirably modern in its ethereal synth sounds, conventionally catchy vocals and tight rift. The crowd loosened, smiles flashed rhythmically as the stripped down lighting pumped with passive aggression. Wire's whole stage presence was beautifully sculpted, the minimal stage banter, invigorating fast-paced rhythm on Colin Newman's mint coloured, cadillac aspiring guitar and the precise, crowd smothering execution of every song. In many respects it lacked the post-punk rawness fondly associated with troublesome youths and the wonderful imperfections of anarchy, but simultaneously gave the performance a maturity, mirrored by the focused and centred recent album. 'Please Take' was a particular highlight, the repeated lines resonating between the ears and leaping across lips. It was a wonderful insight into Wire's journey, from political anarchy and the messy freshness of post-punk, to the mature, rounded sound of the new album. They yo-yo'ed between past and present, thrashing guitars with harsh intensity during 'time' and inversely aligning themselves with the contemporary indie scene with 'bad worn thing', full of rolling guitar and sombre modern sounds. This decade straddling set seemed to unite the crowd, causing chaos in middle class minds and slipping the younger members the shoes of their parents past. Wire began their set facing a sea of softly nodding heads and left clapped out by a crowd of panting punters, bruised by admittedly civilised mosh pits and engulfed by the photo of their youth.

Wire built-up the crowd beautifully, intensifying lighting, turning up distortion and loosening their own bodies at an encouraging rate. They ended their set, after a second encore, with Pink Flag, the iconic hit from their first album. The crowd lapped up the past tune like the pints struggling to remain in their plastic cups and left contented. One man trundled over, beaming like a mischievous child after a successful playground wedgy and remarked 'they never play a set people want to hear but that's bloody marvellous' a tribute to the bands conditional relationship with its punters. Wire were excellent, a beautiful reminder of our heritage. Flashes of Blur, Kings of Leon, Placebo and Bloc Party all reiterated the overlooked fact that new music is not new, we owe oodles of love and respect to our post-punk ancestors for smashing stuff up and making music bloody fun. Wire are certainly more than worth a punt, but please, no jackets and jelly beans.