When Mark E Smith died in January 2018, an era ended with him. The Fall were an English post-punk band, formed in 1976 in Prestwich, Greater Manchester. They underwent many line-up changes, with vocalist and founder Smith as the only constant member. First associated with the late 1970s punk movement, the Fall's music underwent numerous stylistic changes, often concurrently with changes in the group's lineup. Nonetheless, their music has generally been characterised by an abrasive, repetitive guitar-driven sound, tense bass and drum rhythms, and Smith's caustic lyrics, described by critic Simon Reynolds as 'a kind of Northern English magic realism that mixed industrial grime with the unearthly and uncanny, voiced through a unique, one-note delivery somewhere between amphetamine-spiked rant and alcohol-addled yarn.' They were always at their best on stage, and this collection captures them in full flow.
The Phoenix Festival was set up by John Vincent Power of the Mean Fiddler Music Group in 1993 as an alternative to the established Glastonbury and Reading Festivals. It was held at Long Marston Airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon and was one of the first four-day festivals in Britain. And The Fall were bloody fantastic!