The Fall at Swn 2011

The Fall's gig on the third day of Swn is one of the events in the festival where separate tickets were available, still even with those extra sales the Great Hall is not at capacity. As their intro track plays the rest of the band appears before Mark E Smith and he only saunters on just before he's required to contribute his trademark vocals. It becomes unfortunately clear right from this moment that this is not going to be one of the sets of the festival.

It must be said here that the last time I caught The Fall live was at least 15 years ago when Smith still had edge and attitude, so this performance came as even more of a shock; tonight his vocals are completely unintelligible and he looks like a shell of a man, shuffling round the stage, fumbling with which ever microphone he can get his hands on first then failing to be able to put them back on the stands properly. It's almost distressing.

There isn't a great deal else to look at either unfortunately, there's no in between song chat from the front man (although that's to be expected) and the rest of the band are static, as is the majority of the crowd. However let's be fair, The Fall's tunes have never been particularly easy to dance to, although in the latter part of the set it's mostly just those who have had one to many to drink who are still going for it.

Towards the end of the gig the slow trickle of people exiting the venue turns into stream, and those leaving can be heard saying that it was the worst gig of the day and they're not wrong, this was a terrible performance, completely lacking atmosphere and I was left wishing I'd made different plans for the night.