Saturday, September 16, 2006

Psychic Dancehall: The Fall in Cricklewood

so, we've lived within walking distance of Cricklewood for almost two years but until yesterday i hadn't been there, I guess there was no need to. Cricklewood Broadway is basically the same road as Kilburns main drag, you just have to follow it up the nicely named Shoot Up Hill and eventually you get there. It kinda looks like Kilburn too...though the pubs look just a little bit smarter than Kilburn I guess. Though generally too smokey for me, Kilburn has some good places these days, well, mainly The Luminaire, an old Irish dance hall that has quietly morphed into a well loved indie hole that reminds me of other real favourites of the past, say, the old Concorde in Brighton. I think it's definitely haunted too, but updated for the 21st century in a way that seems to work well at the moment. I love the fact that even in this relatively uncool corner of London you can still leave the house and wander down the road to see some shows. So The Fall were taking it up the road to The Galtymore, a big Irish music hall, that still mainly hosts Irish country music, and hasn't changed much since the fifties or so. There's a slightly nasty edge to the room that works incredibly well with The Fall I have to say. I mean, the small bar is hopelessly overwhelmed by the demand of the hard drinking Fall fans, the place has a stale, slightly depressive air, but it's still comfortable, an old fashioned Friday night at the dancehall. The Mancunian punk poet and comedian John Cooper Clarke in his pink specs and what Simon reckons is a (punk rock) wig is a superb opening act for the occasion, then The Fall come on, relatively punctual, MES looking really quite incredible, his hair immaculately coiffed and wearing an old fashioned black and white jumper, i'm not sure who is in the band these days, obviously his wife Elena on kyeboards, but i'm not sure whether some of the players have returned to the band after the US tour when they had a big fight or not. I'm really not a completist when it comes to the records either, but I actually know a few songs played yesterday night, namely Mr Pharmacist, the first song of the encore. But with The Fall it's hypnotic and immediate as always, whatever they play. Very speedy, dancy, repetetive and deranged, though it could have been wilder and probably would have been, had they played a bit longer than their customary one hour set. Some hipsters wiggin out on the balcony over the stage. MES in fairly good form i reckon. I loved it when he played around with the amps of his band. They played really well, I think. Not the best Fall show ever (for me that was ATP 2002, still, one of my favourite concert memories) A good old fashioned night out then, but also a warped and deranged version of an old fashioned night out, with the surrounding seeping into the atmosphere of the gig in a subtle and interesting way for me. What happened? I feel rough today though...and I've finally been to Crickleweood...

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