Not in a million years did anyone ever think The Fall would play Lower Kersal Social Club. But, after a total warm up by the masked out Evil Blizzard Dead Tapes, jumping around the amps, and some wicked beat poetry from Meriel Malone, The Fall took to the small stage, taking a break from two sell out nights at The Lowry. This was Mark E Smith, born and bred within a mile of the venue, giving something back to Salford in a brilliant gesture for the Salford Music Festival.
He still lives up the road somewhere, and for this gig he looks like he's just popped out to meet some mates. While the band hammers out that incessant Fall sound, Mark E strolls onto the stage, hangs his leather jacket on the nearest amp, checks the mass of bouncing fans, leans into the mic and goes for it.
The next hour is non-stop musical diatribe of anti-rock from The Fall's never ending back and present catalogue of acid-toned, relentless sounds that kick you to places where other bands fear to tread. The honed noise of crashing guitars, clashing keys and hurtling beats are only broken while Mark retreats to the back of the stage, perusing his crumpled notes like a gastronome choosing his favourite matured cheese to put next on his smorgasbord.
Stacked out with a strange mix of proper Salford types, a smattering of councillors and black clad, pierced up Fall diehards moshing up front of the stage, the Lower Kersal Social Club is transformed into a seething, sonically twisted pit from an era before boy bands, plastic girl wannabes and X Factor fake.
After two encores Mark E carefully takes his jacket off the amp, puts it back on and strolls off stage. No spoken words. No false `Thank you Salfords'. No nothing. Mark E Smith doesn't have to. The gesture of playing East Salford speaks for itself. Historic stuff. Absolutely historic.