The Fall, Komedia, Bath -30 Nov 2010

December 3, 2010

It’s nearly 30 years since I first saw the Fall, round about the time Hex Enduction Hour was released. That was a cold winter night too, but in a bleak northern city, when we were all younger men (the Fall audiences are always men).

I’ve seen them many times since, but not for a good few years, so I didn’t know what to expect from the 2010 version of the Fall.

The first thing I notice is how freaking gnarly the audience is. Whatever the opposite of ‘beautiful people’ is – this is it. The crowd look like they’d been rounded up from all the betting shops in the South West. So it must make them all feel better when they see the fucking state old MES is in these days. He always claimed the gift of second sight, so when he sang ‘The Man Whose Head Expanded” way back when, little could he have known he was singing about his future self as a hydrocephalic hunchback. The only thing more startling than the man’s physical decline, is the stunning beauty who is now on keyboards, Brix having been traded in for a younger model. Don’t ask me how.

Is it worth mentioning the rest of the band? I’ve no idea who they are. Ever since those old retainers Craig Scanlon and Steve Hanley decided they’d finally had enough, I’ve tended to ignore the ever changing band members. The remarkable thing, though, is that they still sound like the Fall.  Maybe MES was right when he claimed “if it’s me and your granny it’s still the Fall”

As usual the set was made of of mostly new tracks, but these sounded as good as anything in the Fall canon. And as usual we were treated to an unexpected old classic – in this case a real gem, “Muzorewi’s Daughter” from the 1978 album Dragnet – a track I haven’t heard for years.

Any other band with such a track record – ‘check the guy’s track record’ would be churning out the old crowd pleasers, but credit to the man, he remains as uncompromising as ever. And like that other great autodidact WB Yeats, he continues to produce great work in his later years – check out the last two albums if you don’t believe me.

For the best part of my life the Fall have been an education, an inspiration. In a world of ever growing banality they remain crucial.

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One Response to “The Fall, Komedia, Bath -30 Nov 2010”

  1. Not Karl Burns said

    Just (very belatedly)read ‘Renegade’ MES’s autobiography (of sorts) and it inspired me to scope the net for more recent reviews and I fell upon this one. Sounds like they were good – not seen them in a couple of years (they don’t seem to tour as much these days) -and it reminded me how exciting they were (and probably occasionally still are). Still, I wouldn’t want to spend an evening in the pub with him….

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