The Fall/Rico @ Cambridge Junction

Having not been wildly impressed with Rico's recorded output to date---a major label vision of extreme guitar noise---I was hoping for a bit more grit and dirt live, and it was supplied. The production polish removed, Rico revealed himself (plus anonymous session band) to have a decent riff-bang-pow and swearing sound which was fine for a couple of songs but palled when it became apparent that was all there was. Closest comparison? Rico's vocals remind of Clint Poppie at times and the music is like a poorer version of PWEI stuck in mutation between grebo and industrial.

The Fall then, and MES also with rentaband in tow provided a pretty poor Fall performance, although nothing like as bad as they can be. While their last gig in Cambridge was a farce, Smith in and out of the stage door like it was the French windows---"Whoopsadaisy, it's the vicar!"---there was an understandable intensity about the soon-to-be-sacked band, all trigonometric grating jerkiness and the unmistakable charisma of the man himself. Tonight, though, the Fall-lite ran through the motions to a partisan crowd. Still, they did play a stripped-down version of "And therein" which forgives a lot in my book. But we still left early.

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