Followers of this Blog will have found out that I’m a bit of a late-comer to the Fall; I’ve always been aware of their awkward spidery charm, and owned a couple of their records, but never quite “got” them. Until recently, that is with the rediscovery of This Nation’s Saving Grace, Grotesque and Bend Sinister, all records I’ve enjoyed this year.
So where do you go, faced with this history and your own status as a part-timer? The pub’s always a good place, I reckon, so having found that they weren’t due on stage until fairly late, we decamped across the road for a couple of drinks.
We did come back over for the support bands, but, as with a few gigs I’ve been to recently, they weren’t really worth watching. Time clicked on smartly, however, and it wasn’t long before the band came on and a slightly fragile looking Mark E Smith stumbled on stage. Someone at some point described the Fall’s sound as a glorious racket to me, and this was just how it was. A really tight band ploughed through a furious hour and a half of punchy noise, over which Smith ranted, screeched and occasionally crooned. All of the features of a Fall gig that I’d been assured would be present were indeed there – drunkenness, leering, amp twiddling, the mic being passed around the audience during “Blindness” and an amount of falling over.
I’d love to pretend I recognised all these songs and indentified them all immediately but I doubt I’d be fooling anyone. There’s a huge website called the Fall Online which is a good starter for anything Fall-related and perhaps not surprisingly a very active forum there, with people posting about lots of the gigs, including a whole thread on the Bristol gig here.
A jolly good time was had by all, and for once I managed to record the whole gig without talking over the recording or switching it off half way through. I imagine there will be people interested in this, so here’s the set in its boisterous entirety:
Wolf Kidult Man
I’ve Been Duped
Cowboy George / Scenario
50 Year Old Man
I’m Not From Bury
And two .rar files of the whole evening: