Monday, August 21, 2006

Dingwalls, London, 24 September 1997
This was it: the best gig I've ever seen. The Fall were on fire, and the crowd weren't far behind them. There was a tangible air of menace, mostly coming from the stage, where Mark E. Smith was antagonising the band - dragging the guitarist around by the neck of his instrument, or slamming his palms down on the keys to impede the keyboard player's efforts. I can't remember another gig where it felt so plausible that anything on earth could happen. The dancer Michael Clark popped up on stage, throwing chairs around. The band tore into a churning version of "Big New Prinz". Someone said a few days later they'd heard I started a punch-up at the front of the stage, a rumour that I have done my damnedest to keep alive.


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