the fall - The I-94 Bar

The Fall live - not once or twice but thrice - in Melbourne

mark e smith barry douglasMark E. Smith - Barry Douglas photo 

Seeing a band three nights in a row rather reminded me of when I used to see interstate bands like the Laughing Clowns play the Tivoli in Adelaide; how I afforded it I cannot really recall, but I never had enough to buy any drinks…

The Thursday night would usually be fairly sparse, the Friday a bigger crowd, and the Saturday the joint would be full to bursting. The Thursday and Friday I could usually dance without biffing into people, the Saturday night it would be too crowded up the front, which I spose is is why I think that anyone dancing extravagantly at a packed front of the stage is just rude (as it forces other folk away). Call me Mr Polite, then, go on.

Never was an LP title more prophetic: “The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall” was the band’s seventh album, released in 1984. Thirty years ago, The Fall looked like being about to “cross over” but … nope, after numerous minor hits, Mark E. Smith and his band has never had one in the Top 10. Perhaps that’s partly Mark’s idiosyncratic approach to recording, singing in a manner which either causes confusion or a swift twiddle of the knob.

The Fall live in Sydney

the fall metro

There are very few bands that could get away as a warm-up for The Fall. The last Australian tour I saw, it was Dave Graney. That worked, as he has the chalk on the boards, credibility and of a similar vintage. He has cynicism but it comes from a different place. 

I missed tonight’s opening band.  I heard they were good.  The main support is Gold Class who assembled on stage with The Metro almost half-full.

The band is polite. They are pedestrian and they are safe. I am sure they have very good record collections.  Suppose the fault lies with promoters.  This band really would be ideal openers for Coldplay or New Order; certainly with the right audience they would excel. I would like to check them out again. I’m just not convinced about them at this stage.

The Fall: New Facts Emerge & The Fall: Singles 1978-2016 - The Fall (Cherry Red)

newfactsemerge thefallR.I.P. Mark E. Smith, 1957-2018

"New Facts Emerge" came out in late July last year; the singles box (Seven discs! Eight hours!) came out four months later; they're my Christmas present from me to me. 

"New Facts Emerge" - it merits seven bottles, if not eight. Bludgeoning, bruising, then it takes you on a short cruise: bloody hell this is good. It also grows on you with repeat listenings. However - and this is critical - while many long-term Fall fans seem contemptuous of the band's turn to powerful cranking rock, most Fall fans would find it difficult to come up with a Top 10 of the band's best 10 songs - you won't have that problem much with Judas Priest, or Alice Cooper, will you?