This is the latest in the less-than-aptly-named Secret Records’ repackages of The Fall’s back catalogue. This time, re-releasing the live performance from the 2004 DVD A Touch Sensitive as a CD and DVD triple-disc affair.
It captures Mark E Smith and his ever-changing cast of cohorts playing that most un-Fall-like of things: a greatest hits set. And the show, recorded in Blackburn in 2002, certainly has its moments: the curmudgeonly Stooges stomp of Two Librans and the wah-wah-strewn punk funk of Telephone Thing are standouts, as is the muscular delinquent glam of Bourgeois Town. The interjections of roadies and comperes on tracks like Touch Sensitive also add a welcome sense of chaos to proceedings.
However, covers such as There’s A Ghost In My House and Mr Pharmacist and hits such as Hit The North have a distinctly tossed-off air to them, with Smith and the band sounding less than arsed about giving the people what they want. For newcomers, it’s not the worst introduction to the band you could wish for, but Fall obsessives will probably give this Christmas cash-in a wide berth as familiarity breeds a very Smithian contempt./o:p