The Fall York Fibbers May 9th 2013

The Fall York Fibbers May 9th 2013
falltix Laura and I went to see The Fall last night at Fibbers in York. We had promised each other that we would attend a Fall gig as soon as the opportunity came, having missed the last couple of times they came to the north east. Laura was intrigued to see them because of their legendary status and because many of her friends are big fans, and for me it was a chance to catch up on a band that I hadn’t seen for 33 (!) years. I have to admit never quite getting The Fall. The only other time I saw them was at a gig at the Newcastle Tyne Theatre in 1980. So I felt it was definitely time to put that right. We arrived at Fibbers around 8pm as people were just starting to wander in. The support band …And The Hangnails are a local Yorkshire punk/blues outfit and warmed up the crowd well. They played a short set, starting at around 9pm. The Fall took to the stage around 10pm. I’d read some stories of Mark E Smith leaving the stage and singing some of the set from the dressing room, and mixed reports of recent performances. Last night Mark seemed to me to be on pretty good form. He snarled the vocals, and they were pretty incomprehensible at times, which I guess is par for the course. He seemed in quite a good mood, although he did leave the stage several times, returning pretty quickly on each occasion. The band all left after 7 or 8 songs, and we thought that they were not going to return, but they were soon back to play several encores. I can’t pretend to know their material but did recognise White Lightning, which the crowd all sang along to, and for which Mark was accompanied by another singer. Recent single Bury also went down well with Mark snarling and spitting out the words. Its always difficult to fully enjoy a gig when you aren’t familiar with the material, but I reckon that last night was a pretty good showing by The Fall. The crowd certainly seemed to enjoy it, and gave the band a good reception. I know that The Fall have some of the most committed fans of any band, and many will have travelled from far afield for last night’s gig. They won’t have been disappointed. I hope that the guy I chatted to earlier in the evening enjoyed it. He’d come quite far and had been a bit disappointed by a recent Fall performance at Clitheroe. Laura and I left during the encores just before 11pm and suspect we may have missed a song or two (now there’s a reason for going to see The Fall again 🙂 ). Got home around 12.30am. I think I’m starting to get them, and thinking about it, would like to see them again next time they play close by, but I really must listen to their material (which may be difficult as I see that they have released around 30 albums!). Setlist (from the Fall fansite): Victrola; Strychnine; Hot Cake; Chino; Sir William Wray; Hittite Man; Bury; Duped; Loadstones; Sparta; Kinder of Spines; Jetplane; Blindness. Not sure this is actually what was played. They certainly also played White Lightning and there may be a couple on that list that weren’t played.

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