The Fall of the Summer Wine
By Rob Nichols
Sunday 28 Nov 2010 13:25:00
Browse all Music articles


Last Thursday I cut a hole through the snow zone trekking into deepest West Yorkshire on a quest to see the mighty Fall play in Holmfirth.


I had a real dilemma actually, an offer for a free ticket for Half Man Half Biscuit or a £20 ticket and after work trip to Yorkshire to see The Fall. What made it worse was Teesside was engulfed in a winter freeze and as I set off it was a full blown blizzard raging. There was no competition of course it just had to be The Fall.


The last of the Summer Wine might have finally brought its curtain down but it has left a legacy beyond the signs to Sid’s Caf in a bevy of bistro’s, restaurants and tapas bars that cling to the hillsides around the mountain stream that surges through picturesque Holmfirth.


Talking of picturesque the venerable old Picturedrome with its Edwardian stage surround and all new renovated interior is a brilliant setting to see any band (and there seem to be interesting looking gigs here every night of the week). But The Fall is not just “any” band, this is a phenomenon and once you have a taste for Mark E Smith and co, it is one you have to partake in time and time again. I’ve been imbibing for 30 years now and I still can’t get nearly enough.


My mate Yvette bought a ticket for this tour and asked me which albums she should buy on itunes to get correctly acclimatised. I replied the last album will be the one because despite all those decades of back catalogue The Fall juggernaut keeps rumbling forward. That’s what keeps them so vital. So now.

I was still surprised and delighted to hear a new song to start the show, “Change,” but with that “We are The Fall,” intro by the Mark the maestro interjected into it. It still gets the hairs standing up on the back of my neck every time.


I said no older songs but it was great to hear the opening guitar passage to Theme From Sparta FC, the old Football Focus special. The band sounded tight and together. Some humour from Mark as he mimed banging the microphone to the bassman to show him the blow he’d just inflicted on himself.


Smith was in good voice and looking well, hair over the collar, clutching two microphones, shrieking “Your Future, our clutter.” Occasionally he retreated to the back of the guitar amps to read from a sheet of lyrics. He then ended a song by confiding something along the lines of, “I hope I remember the f***ing words to this one.”


It was at this point I looked around the audience and noted the number of 30 40 or 50 something guys like me but mostly with glamorous better halves. Maybe I should move to Yorkshire!


There must be something in the fast running waters in these parts because The Fall had an energy and spring in their step. An old rockabilly favourite of The Fall Strychnine had new life to it I thought. The final song of the last album, Weather Reports, very apt for the moment, was given a wonderful new flowing chord sequence to end with. I wondered if my weather report would be OK for the return trip.


The rhythm section is as urgent as ever. Gloves on not off for the drummer. The guitar rang out long and distorted at the end of songs. Smith was even twiddling amp knobs in time to the music.


There was a great battle going on between Mark Smith and the PA man and his ever willing assistant. Now you wouldn’t normally mess with the solid squat frame of that PA man but as he rushed on and off to replace mics and stands Mark Smith seemed to take it as a challenge. By the end of the night there was a stand off between the two either side of the bass stack. Mark eventually laughing at loud, which had me in creases. Childish I know but funny all the same.


What a phenomenal way to wrap things up as The Fall breathed new life on an ancient post-punk classic, “Muzoweri's Daughter” and how well they carried it off. Put her in the pot for me. A mythical being stirred from its slumbers and roused for a new generation.


After 45 minutes they were off, with a smile from Eleni and a shrug from MES. Sadly not to return but leaving a lasting impression as always. And then I had to fight my way back through the snow and ice engulfing Teesside. No summer wine for me then. But was it worth it? Too right it was.

To rate this article select the number of stars you think perfectly rates this article.
Current overall rating after 0 votes: 0.00
Are You A Potential FansOnline Site Manager?
If you would like to run a site for a team not already featured on FansOnline, please get in touch and we will be happy to create the site for you.

Click here to contact us if you have what it takes to become a fansonline site manager

Advertise On
Showcase your products and services to our members at some of the best rates in the industry.

With various advertising opportunities and placements why not get in touch to discuss your requirements today?

Click here to contact us to discuss your advertising needs.

Fansonline Home | About Fansonline | Contact Fansonline | Privacy Policy | TOS

Copyright © 2008 to 2020 Ltd Ltd
Brentnall Center
Gilkes Street