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The Fall @ King Georges Hall - Blackburn

(22nd September 2002)

I'm never sure whether it's right to look at Elvis's fat jumpsuit years as he thankyaverymuched his way towards immortality/ the toilet and think anything other than 'geez, this man used to be God'.

That's kinda how I felt tonight watching one of the 20th Century's greatest heroes veer from talismanic majesty to aimless shambling. At the same time it's hard not to forgive the misadventures of Mark E Smith and feel uplifted by the whole experience.

Sure he disappears from the stage many times to be replaced by one of two Stunt Marks TM - but that unpredictability IS the M.E.S experience. Would you rather see him on Jools Holland grooving with the big band ferchristsake? Y'see the purpose of the Stunt Marks TM who lurch out into the spotlights to bellow their way through a track is to allow M.E.S to rejuvenate - in much the same way as James Brown used to fall to his knees, only to come back stronger. And with each 'comeback' he inspires even more adulation.

Or maybe he was just going for a piss.

Tonight was a perfect example of why we should be grateful to the Fall for going the extra mile for music, for entertainment, for cultur-ah. A whole ninety minutes of vintage pop music (and who can say that the Fall ain't pop?) the occasional anthem, a bit of mic juggling and nary a duff tune.

Hey Student! Learn yr history (I suggest A-Sides, Live at the Witchtrials and Code Selfish for a crash course) and go see 'em.

(Martin A Crabtree)

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