The Fall (the band, not the TV show) played at the Metro last Wednesday night, and boy, was this an experience.
The Fall is a seminal post-punk band that were pretty big in the 70s. The band’s lead singer, Mark E. Smith, is renowned for being a bit of a drunkard on stage, slurring his words and causing havoc. The Fall were playing at the Metro and a friend of mine had a spare ticket. Not really knowing much of The Fall’s music, I was in two minds. I had more of a listen and liked what I heard, this along with Mark E. Smith’s reputation and the free ticket proposition, I thought, why the hell not?
Orion and Gold Class were the two support bands (also in the post-punk genre). Gold Class were great and I highly recommend giving them a listen if you’re an Ian Curtis or Joy Division fan. They had a very different style and stage presence, quite different to the bands you see these days. I thoroughly enjoyed them, have a listen here.
Back to The Fall. My friends and I got a pretty sweet spot at the front, highly anticipating Mark E. Smith and his band to appear in front of our faces. The Fall came on stage sans Mark E. Smith, but then his voice filled the room speaking words I could not understand (it was a drunken slur). Smith’s fragile 58 year old body finally appeared on stage and the crowd went nuts. And yes he was drunk. They played their set and two encores while Smith was stumbling around the stage, knocking things over (the poor roadies constantly had to pick things up after him), changing instrument settings, singing with multiple mics, and being a pest to the other band members (one being his wife on the keys). This was something I have never seen before in my life. I couldn’t help but giggle a few times during the show because it was beyond me how Smith got away with some of the things he did on that stage. Anyway, I had an absolute blast seeing The Fall, it was one of a kind. I got a sense of why The Fall had such an influence on bands in the 70s and why they’ve got such a cult following, and I also got to experience the craziness that is Mark E. Smith. Props to him though because he is still making music despite being drunk all the time, and he’s still able to function.
[Photo cred: themetrotheatre]