Fans of The Fall probably won’t be surprised to hear that the gig consisted of Mark E Smith rambling around the stage twiddling with amps, reading lyrics off a sheet and wandering on and off stage, while simultaneously giving the audience the rawness they wanted.
It was a nostalgic gig for most of the gig goers. Mark E Smith initially came on stage to Gapa, one of their newest songs. It was clear from the get go that he was a bit worse for wear. Putting his glasses on, he picked up his lyrics and began to sing in his usual charming manner. The venue was packed out, with no hope of getting near the stage.
The set continued on with the popular Strychnine, fans soon becoming engrossed by Mark E Smith’s constant disappearing act on stage. He walked off stage three different times, mid-song, with the band having to stop playing to go and find him. If it was any other front man audiences would have been angry, but fans of Smith expect nothing but chaos and disorder.
You don’t go to a Fall gig for a pleasant evening, you hope for mess and rawness and that’s what people got in The Button Factory. He did manage to get through Cowboy George, Bury and I’ve Been Duped, but his final disappearing act came during Systematic Abuse, never to return to the stage. Elena took the honours of singing that song. I was a little disappointed not to hear classics Mr Pharmacist, Reformation and Totally Wired, but it was good to see Mark E Smith. He’s still going, just about! As someone in the crowd commented after the gig- ‘It was definitely an experience’.