Live at St. Helens Technical College ’81
Mar 11, 2021
Given how many live albums The Fall have, one may wonder about the point of releasing yet another one. This one immediately stands out from many others for a variety of reasons. First off, Castle Face’s John Dwyer (better known as the leader of Thee Oh Sees, OCS, Oh Sees, et al.) is clearly a fan and wanted to put out the best possible release out into the world, so that’s reason enough to support this project. This 1981 show at a technical college features selections from their then new Slates 10-inch EP and the previous year’s Grotesque (After the Gramme), some of their very best work. There are even early versions of “Jawbone and the Air Rifle” (which they also performed at a BBC session around this time) and “The NWRA,” several songs that they wouldn’t record until 1982’s Hex Enduction Hour. And in typical Fall fashion, the only time an older tune is heard is in the encore, one song of which was “Muzorewi’s Daughter” from their 1979 second album Dragnet.
This is a fantastic-sounding soundboard recording with the main set on the LP and the encore as a bonus single. And plus, 50% of the profits go to Centrepoint, an organization that helps Manchester’s homeless. This is clearly done by fans who love the band and want to present the best possible performance, The Fall at what arguably was the very height of their powers. And it’s for a great cause, too? What’s not to love? (www.castlefacerecords.com)
Author rating: 9/10
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Average reader rating: 8/10