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Title: Stylus, Leeds
Description: Wednesday, 2 November 2011


gizmoman - November 2, 2011 11:42 PM (GMT)
Another disaster, started off promising with 'Werewolves of london' yes, the Warren Zevon song, but went downhill rapidly, Smith well oiled staggering round the stage, went off after 20 mins leaving the band to do an extended 'i've been duped' then 'latch key kid with Eleni on vocals, Smith returned occasionally to mumble his way through the songs usually from backstage. Got a reasonable version of 'printhead' at one point but overall an embarassing spectacle. Played about 50 mins total with Smith on stage 50% of the time. Since this is the first night of the tour God knows what the rest will be like.

flickeringlexicon - November 2, 2011 11:48 PM (GMT)
Printhead? Werewolves Of London? It seems like the walk-off was the only 'normal' event in this show... :D

Thanks for the report, GM. :beer:

rainmaster - November 2, 2011 11:50 PM (GMT)
How did Tim shape up? I assume Tim was playing in place of Pete. :unsure:

exiledmanc - November 2, 2011 11:50 PM (GMT)
My last Fall gig was Oldham 18 months ago-the best I’ve seen them. Tonight was the worst by a long way. Lower crowd than last time and the sound was awful. They start badly with a crap new song. Tim looks very nervous and we soon find out why as MES staggers on, grabbing mike sands and missing then mumbling about Dracula and werewolves. Nate follows and the rhythm section gets going and I think things might turn out OK. But they don’t MES is off his face. Hot Cake and Taking Off (I think) are next. Eleni’s keys are way too loud and her playing is terrible. Strychnine comes next,Eleni dashes across to MES to stop him falling over. Another crap new song follows and MES walks off. The band play Duped and walk off. Then they come back and do Latch Key with Eleni singing a few of the words. Someone gets on stage to remonstrate with the band and MES reappears looking like a bucket of water has been poured over him and they do another new one which also sounds crap. Then MES walks off again. He is heard mumbling into the mike from backstage and the band come back on and do Printhead with him ‘singing’ from offstage. Then he staggers back on grinning gormlessly and shaking hands with people at the front. They do the dirge like Greenway and that I hope was that. An utter shambles and a total rip off. Dave and Kieron did their best to keep things going and I felt sorry for Tim. MES needs to sort himself out fast. He was a pathetic figure tonight and it was very sad to watch. Eleni was concentrating on him most of the time but she ruined it for me too.
See you in York!

exiledmanc - November 2, 2011 11:57 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (rainmaster @ Nov 3 2011, 11:50 AM)
How did Tim shape up? I assume Tim was playing in place of Pete. :unsure:

Tim did fine- although I wouldn't blame him if he was heading for Manchester Airport right now!

gizmoman - November 3, 2011 12:02 AM (GMT)
Band were great, real troupers including Eleni, could have been a great gig had Smith stayed semi-sober. Even the pint of beer thrown on him as he returned didn't sober him up, he just smiled like a simpleton.

Philh - November 3, 2011 12:03 AM (GMT)
It was very messy.

Smith appeared really arseholed, with Eleanor uneasy from the start and visibly concerned. He managed 4 or 5 then disappeared, and the band had to put 'Duped' on a loop. It's no favourite of mine but it was as good as I've ever heard tonight.

After that it was on-off with Smith back initially to accept being sprayed with beer and briefly engaging (hand touching!) with the audience. He soon left . . . . and the band got him back again a couple of more times . . . . and played further numbers with him singing from off stage (upright or horizontal, who knows?)

So a shambles. But the band was fantastic - Presley seemlessly back in the fold, and, in a Fall sort of way, that was quite a gig. I'm at York on Saturday and Manchester later in the month and we will see what we will see.

Having said all this, I'm bloody uneasy about the state Mark was in tonight.

Richard1961 - November 3, 2011 12:09 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (exiledmanc @ Nov 3 2011, 11:50 AM)
Someone gets on stage to remonstrate with the band and MES reappears looking like a bucket of water has been poured over him


What actually happened was that as Dave began playing, somebody lobbed a full pint - let's hope it was beer - at the stage, and he took it full force, at exactly the same moment that Mark was walking up behind him.

You think tonight was a shambles, imagine what it would have been like if it had been Morrissey stood up there.

Little Frank - November 3, 2011 12:11 AM (GMT)
Not a very good gig at all. People accuse Mark of being 'pissed' all the time, but it's very rarely true. Tonight he was - too pissed to perform, and I think the worst I've ever seen him. There's a world of difference between a good set with an early walk off, like Cardiff, and a short, sloppy set that Mark struggles to get through. Tonight we got the latter. I spent most the gig worrying he was going to fall, which I've never had before.

Band were, as usual, very tight. Tim playing well, adding his own take on Pete's stuff rather than playing verbatim.

exiledmanc - November 3, 2011 12:12 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Richard1961 @ Nov 3 2011, 12:09 PM)
[[/QUOTE]
You think tonight was a shambles, imagine what it would have been like if it had been Morrissey stood up there.

Not sure what Morrisey has to do with it?

Blue Jam - November 3, 2011 12:14 AM (GMT)
Yep, total garbage from start to finish - second only to the Leeds/Reading festival shambles in 2000 in the 'worst Fall gigs' stakes. Only one highlight - MES managed an old-style scream during 'Strychnine'. Didn't think he still had it in him.

Eleni spent the whole night looking as if she wished the ground wouls swallow her up, and who could blame her? Oh, and there was a stage-diver....happy days.

More words tomorrow, I'm off to bed now!

High Tension Line - November 3, 2011 12:22 AM (GMT)
I thought Cardiff might be a blip, but not so.

It's a shame as I like the idea of a cover of Werewolves in London, and the new one is the best since Fall Heads Roll, and maybe less arguably RNFLP.

It's a shame for the band and for all those who made the effort to go.

Notebooks out apologists!

Richard1961 - November 3, 2011 12:23 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (exiledmanc @ Nov 3 2011, 12:12 PM)
Not sure what Morrisey has to do with it?

Morrissey famously walked off stage when he was hit by an empty plastic cup.

Anyway, here's some visual evidence of the incident.

user posted image

If I was being unkind I might suggest that Smithy probably looks like this most of the time these days.

High Tension Line - November 3, 2011 12:25 AM (GMT)
[QUOTE=exiledmanc,Nov 3 2011, 12:12 AM] [QUOTE=Richard1961,Nov 3 2011, 12:09 PM] [[/QUOTE]
You think tonight was a shambles, imagine what it would have been like if it had been Morrissey stood up there. [/QUOTE]
Not sure what Morrisey has to do with it? [/QUOTE]


I think he means Morrissey would have walked off there and then. From what I remember, he walked off in Liverpool when someone bunged a drink at him during the first number and didn't come back.

Buy Kurious! - November 3, 2011 12:29 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (High Tension Line @ Nov 3 2011, 12:25 AM)
I think he means Morrissey would have walked off there and then. From what I remember, he walked off in Liverpool when someone bunged a drink at him during the first number and didn't come back.

It was an empty plastic cup, I think. And yeah he fucked off after one song.

High Tension Line - November 3, 2011 12:33 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Buy Kurious! @ Nov 3 2011, 12:29 AM)
QUOTE (High Tension Line @ Nov 3 2011, 12:25 AM)
I think he means Morrissey would have walked off there and then.  From what I remember, he walked off in Liverpool when someone bunged a drink at him during the first number and didn't come back.

It was an empty plastic cup, I think. And yeah he fucked off after one song.

No, there was drink in it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tLUI7IGb38

Buy Kurious! - November 3, 2011 12:35 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (High Tension Line @ Nov 3 2011, 12:33 AM)
QUOTE (Buy Kurious! @ Nov 3 2011, 12:29 AM)
QUOTE (High Tension Line @ Nov 3 2011, 12:25 AM)
I think he means Morrissey would have walked off there and then.  From what I remember, he walked off in Liverpool when someone bunged a drink at him during the first number and didn't come back.

It was an empty plastic cup, I think. And yeah he fucked off after one song.

Oh yeah. Classic. :lol:
He always bangs on about gigs feeling dangerous to him and he can smell assassination before going on and all that crap... then walks off after someone throws a plastic cup. Twat. :lol:

Mark E Smith Made Me Cry - November 3, 2011 12:53 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Buy Kurious! @ Nov 3 2011, 12:35 AM)
QUOTE (High Tension Line @ Nov 3 2011, 12:33 AM)
QUOTE (Buy Kurious! @ Nov 3 2011, 12:29 AM)
QUOTE (High Tension Line @ Nov 3 2011, 12:25 AM)
I think he means Morrissey would have walked off there and then.  From what I remember, he walked off in Liverpool when someone bunged a drink at him during the first number and didn't come back.

It was an empty plastic cup, I think. And yeah he fucked off after one song.

Oh yeah. Classic. :lol:
He always bangs on about gigs feeling dangerous to him and he can smell assassination before going on and all that crap... then walks off after someone throws a plastic cup. Twat. :lol:

God, he must be imagining the smell of assassination and danger, as surely no attention-seeking nutter would even bother assassinating Morrissey these days as nobody would really notice or care would they?

elvischomsky - November 3, 2011 01:07 AM (GMT)
So one person didn't like this gig?
FFS! :devil2:

misterrogers - November 3, 2011 01:10 AM (GMT)
how then does the whole health thing figure in this? id like to hear a gig w tim but evidently this isnt the one. i dont like the tone of the comments im hearing ..marks not getting any younger..it gets harder to handle.
back to back bleak reports now..


if he really would be on monocard or any heart/hbp meds... any significant intake of booze would be hard to manage


never can get too good can it?

TheBigBopper - November 3, 2011 01:13 AM (GMT)
Messy indeed - still well worth the solo drive from Wirral.

Cheers to chap in Unknown Pleasures T shirt for cheap ticket outside and photo of set-list.

Came on early at 945 instead of advertised 10.

Exiledmanc had the antics about right, I reckon they played....

Werewolves of London (apparently as above, I'm not familiar with Warren Zevon to my shame)
Nate
Hot Cake
Taking Off
Strychnine
Laptop Dog
(walk-off)
Duped (no MES)
Latch Key Kid (no MES)
(pint chucked!) Cosmos 7
(walk-off)
Printhead (MES singing offstage)
Greenway (MES left half way through)
(5 minute gap)
Bury (MES singing offstage)

About an hour (including gaps!)

Musically great, keyboards high in mix.

Anyway you'll all probably be able to hear it in due course via ....http://tonkroachmentyarbles.blogspot.com/ although I was testing a new mike so won't be perfect, don't complain.


kiespijn - November 3, 2011 01:14 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (elvischomsky @ Nov 3 2011, 02:07 AM)
So one person didn't like this gig?
FFS! :devil2:

Well, I had a fantastic time - and have returned home happy tonight. I feel concerned for Mark though, because it seems clear that he has a real problem staying on his feet. Drunk? I don't think so, at least not especially. At one point it looked like Elena was chiding him for bending low to pick up lyric sheets, or mics, and he waved his arms as if to say it was all ok, but after the next song he had to leave the stage. Reappearing later, he appeared to have trouble walking. I don't know for sure. It's just that I preferred to see it as the effort he was making to continue with the gig.

flickeringlexicon - November 3, 2011 01:16 AM (GMT)
I like that they played Greenway without Greenway actually being there... :D

kiespijn - November 3, 2011 01:16 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (TheBigBopper @ Nov 3 2011, 02:13 AM)
Anyway you'll all probably be able to hear it in due course via ....http://tonkroachmentyarbles.blogspot.com/ although I was testing a new mike so won't be perfect, don't complain.

cheers :beer:

Surplus Derek - November 3, 2011 01:28 AM (GMT)
The reviews sound pretty grisly, and don't bode well.

Some folk will enjoy that, without attending - they know who they are.

I'm glad Bopper had a good take on events.

I only hope MES is merely pissed instead of ill.

kiespijn - November 3, 2011 01:44 AM (GMT)
I don't mind the venue. It's ok, if you don't mind weaving your way through wolf packs of students. A bizarre twist to approach a Fall gig past wide windows of college life - a free jazz dance session, and in the union itself a large choir in the middle of a great chorale. But along with so many black leather jackets, I was ushered down shadowed steps to the low down reaches of the building, a muddy sound approaching: the support act, with Jim Watts on one of the guitars, at least I thought so - he looks different, maybe lost his beard, and taller than I remembered. I felt indifferent to their songs, but each time they'd start making a noise worth hanging around for. They had a wide ranging sound, including a song that made me think of the men they couldn't hang; I thought it was their best. Their final song had a riff just like What About Us, but faster.
Waiting for The Fall to appear, I got latched onto by a young lad in the grip of hex enduction hour, his first Fall gig, drunk with anticipation. It made me happy. I prefer to see The Fall with people off their heads, dancing crazy, and when this guy stripped to the waist soon after the first song you could say he was happy dancing crazy. I like to think Mark thought so too, when he said something like "get it off. I like you." But I don't know the new songs and maybe it's just a lyric.
That werewolf opener was odd, almost lounge music, perhaps tim could've had a cravat. Later came the hardened frameworks for headbanging. That's why my viewpoint is skewed.
Amen.

delmore - November 3, 2011 02:39 AM (GMT)
Ouch! Disturbing whether drunk or sick, whatever the cause. I hear the new album's got some good tunes though so all is not lost, creatively.

Excellent review up there, better than professional grade. :)

Gaspop - November 3, 2011 06:05 AM (GMT)
I've always wanted to see MES put on a shite show :wub:

Seriously though, I hope it's just start o' the tour nerves <_<

exiledmanc - November 3, 2011 06:47 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (elvischomsky @ Nov 3 2011, 01:07 PM)
So one person didn't like this gig?
FFS! :devil2:

it was a lot more than one! 'more fool us for paying to watch this shite' was one comment I heard on the way out. Anyway there's more than one bad review on here so not sure where you're coming from

exiledmanc - November 3, 2011 06:51 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (kiespijn @ Nov 3 2011, 01:14 PM)
QUOTE (elvischomsky @ Nov 3 2011, 02:07 AM)
So one person didn't like this gig?
FFS!  :devil2:

Drunk? I don't think so, at least not especially. Reappearing later, he appeared to have trouble walking.

:D

Hanley Played a Fender P - November 3, 2011 07:32 AM (GMT)
This all sounds fabulous. Sounds like perfect Fall again.

elvischomsky - November 3, 2011 08:18 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Hanley Played a Fender P @ Nov 3 2011, 07:32 AM)
This all sounds fabulous. Sounds like perfect Fall again.

What do they want - Coldplay and their posh standing up thing? :angry:

Starsky-Tandoori - November 3, 2011 08:20 AM (GMT)
They want MES fit and working again.

elvischomsky - November 3, 2011 08:28 AM (GMT)
Mark turned up for gigs when he was in a wheelchair.
I would imagine he was really ill, but being a pro, didn't want to let people down.
And look at your gratitude...

Starsky-Tandoori - November 3, 2011 08:33 AM (GMT)
.... whatever ails him, I just hope he gets well soon. x

Richard1961 - November 3, 2011 09:36 AM (GMT)
A few more photographs from last night in Leeds.

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

I've got one of Mark's backside as well, but sadly no more of his face.

unutterable - November 3, 2011 09:52 AM (GMT)
Hmmmm.... Really don't want to, but would have to agree with the negative comments. Time to stop making excuses for him. He probably is ill but was also totally off his face so not doing himself any favours at all. Even before he became more visibly 'out of it' he was trying to grab mic stands and missing - something was seriously wrong from the start. I'm afraid I didn't see it as the hardened professional carrying on despite ill health. I saw a sad car crash of a gig and a hero of mine humiliating himself. The Fall gruppe were stonking and gave 100% to see the gig through to the end. Eleni spent most of her time looking out for MES looking quite rightly very concerned. There were moments of brilliance and after about ten minutes I'd decided that it was all gonna be ok but then went downhill from there. I've been a fall fan for 25 years and have seen them at least that. I've seen them at their best (York Duchess a couple of years ago) and worst (Camden Dingwalls - me and me granny on bongos!) I'm afraid this was not good. Or rather he wasn't - the band were awesome. BUT does any of it make sense without him? I took a Fall gig virgin with me and he agreed. The band are blinding but it only all made sense when he reappeared each time - otherwise are you just watching a very tight garage punk pub band who make a great sound? I just want to see him get better in all ways and be the mes we know he can be! As I explained to my mate - they're my bottom league football team who I support. I have to go and suffer for the moments of brilliance but last night felt like relegation.

rightreverendcraig - November 3, 2011 10:03 AM (GMT)
:cry2: This is really quite upsetting!!! With all the anticipation of Ersatz GB I really thought that this tour was going to be the daddy but with the poor reviews of Cardiff & the near disaster last night I'm now even more nervous for my trip to York on Saturday.

I took my wife to the gigs Liverpool in July & they really were fantastic but it does sound like things are going down the pan.

Get well soon Mark!!

elvischomsky - November 3, 2011 10:06 AM (GMT)
Unless anyone had a breathaliser, it might be an idea to wait and see what was actually wrong with Mark. <_<

pomfob - November 3, 2011 10:13 AM (GMT)
It’s a Peel-ism that The Fall are ‘always different, always the same’. Here’s a case in point. Both Cardiff and Leeds could be seen as the same (short sets & walk offs), but really, they were very different. As I said in the Cardiff review, I’d much rather see 30 minutes of The Fall at their peak – which Cardiff was – than an hour of them going through the motions – and I’ve seen that too, but thankfully not for a decade or more.

Leeds last night was…something else. I tend to agree with my learned friend Little Frank that MES was far too refreshed to give his best, indeed at one point early on I commented that given E was looking concerned or annoyed, things didn’t look good.

It was oddly enjoyable, even though MES wasn’t on top form. The new songs are great, particularly Nate and Greenway. Werewolves Of London was particularly good, and entirely unexpected. Printhead was fun, but if they’re going to do it again, it’d work better if MES remembers the lyrics. Tim’s guitar playing is fluid and confident, picking up when Peter has left off and taking it in a slightly different direction. I still prefer Peter’s nervy, choppy style though. Both together would be excellent, of course.

That sort of a show isn’t going to win many new fans, may well lose a few old fans, but actually the consensus of people I spoke to afterwards was ‘hey, this is what’s to be expected. It’s great because it’s The Fall. We’ll be back next time’. And I’ll be off to Edinburgh tonight to test the opening hypothesis again.




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