Mark E Smith plays show in wheelchair as The Fall resume live dates.
Mark E. Smith, leader and founder of much-loved and highly influential group The Fall, performed at Wakefield’s Unity Works in a wheelchair last night.
Despite looking clearly unwell, with one arm in a sling and heavily bloated, he managed to stay on stage for 40 minutes or so of the gig with The Fall, before leaving the stage and singing the last 20 minutes from the sidelines.
The Fall have recently released their 32nd studio album, New Facts Emerge, to widespread critical acclaim and with their highest chart placing for over 25 years.
It was a welcome return to form for both the group and their 60-year old and ever-present guiding force.
However, following a small show at London’s 100 Club at the end of July where Smith was clearly quite poorly and played most of the gig backstage using a remote mic, a seven-string residency in New York set for September as well as a one-off date in Louisville were cancelled at short notice due to his poor health.
At the time of those cancelled shows his management issued the following statement:
It is with great regret to announce that Mark E. Smith & The Fall have had to cancel all upcoming U.S shows in New York (Baby’s All Right) & Louisville (Cropped Out Festival) due mostly to terrible timing, reality and a mix of bizarre and rare (true to form) medical issues that Mark is currently being treated for. Unfortunately it would be a gamble on his health to fly anywhere over the next couple of months. Mark’s current problems are connected to his throat, mouth/dental & respiratory system… so throwing all the meds together and continuing with the travel/shows would certainly harm any progress that we have made over the past few weeks.
We understand that this is a huge deal for both American/worldwide fans of The Fall and The Fall themselves, Mark & the guys have been really excited and everyone is gutted about the outcome. However, it’s high-time Mark put his health first and that’s what we are gonna do.
So here’s the good news… NYC has been rescheduled already and we are gonna arrange another show in Louisville. Both promoters have been incredibly helpful & fantastic in securing The Fall a safe passage to America, and this will still be happening in 2018. Your Lord and Saviour Markus E. Smith wants to let you all know that even though he can’t play live for a short while, the cabin fever is spitting out a new album already and new music is now (as ever) The Fall’s main focus.
The Fall, as regular readers will know, are my favourite ever band. They are currently playing Wakefield tonight but Smithy is not well. pic.twitter.com/AFd8ys7Sjx
— Room To Live (@DarrellTaylor66) October 20, 2017
Following the gig in Wakefield, The Fall, in their usual indomitable fashion have dates lined up for Newcastle, Porto, Bristol and London before the end of November.
As ardent fans and supporters of Mark E Smith and The Fall, we at Getintothis can only hope that Smith is indeed on the mend and they’ll continue to mesmerise us with their unique live performances and music for a long time to come.
The Fall play:
- Boiler Shop, Newcastle October 23
- Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow November 4
- Hard Club, Porto November 18
- Fiddlers, Bristol November 29
- Koko, London, November 30