The Fall

Live at St. Helens Technical College '81

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The Fall'sLive at St. Helens Technical College '81was released in 2021, after former memberMarc Rileydiscovered a bootleg of the set through Twitter and sent a link to ardent fanJohn Dwyer. He loved the set so much that he contacted the other surviving musicians who played on it, as well as the people who handled sound, recorded the show, and took photos, and he organized an official release of the concert through Castle Face, with half of the label's profits donated to an organization that helps homeless citizens in the Fall's hometown, Manchester. Compared to otherFalllive documents from the same era, such asLive in London 1980(akaThe Legendary Chaos Tape) orFall in a Hole,Live at St. Helenssports sharper sound quality, but it takes a few songs for the band to warm up during this set. After a brief, tentative intro, they launch into the commanding "Prole Art Threat," but it sounds kind of scraggly, and doesn't match the power of the studio recording or the performance onFall in a Hole. "Jawbone and the Air Rifle" sounds pretty on point, though, and the remainder of the set is generally quite great.Mark E. Smithsounds as cantankerous as you'd expect, and the band skillfully navigate through his fiery missives, plowing through the songs with conviction and keeping diversions to a minimum, even as the songs themselves are ragged and angular. The set list concentrates on material from the Fall's early Rough Trade releases such asSlates(all six songs from the EP are present) andGrotesque (After the Gramme), and additional highlights include an electrifying take on earlier single "Rowche Rumble" and a jubilant version of B-side "City Hobgoblins."

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
The Fall Amazon
2
The Fall Amazon
3
The Fall Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick