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Brix and the Extricated – Photo (c) Chris Stevenson

Brix and the Extricated / STOOR – The Cool Cat Club, Beat Generator Live, Dundee – Sunday 30th October 2016

Damned for Eternity #1 (or another huge gap in my indie cred #327)

The Fall. I’m old enough to know better but, over time, I’ve only had a tangential relationship with the Fall.

Yet weirdly enough it’s been a VERY long time since I first heard the Fall. A mate, at school FFS, played me some of the early singles and ‘Live At The Witch Trials’ way back when. I still remember that I got ‘Totally Wired’ and ‘Frightened’ but the rest, well, not so much. With the benefit of hindsight it was just too early for me.

So, over the years, I’ve picked up a handful of singles, a couple of (legal) download albums although I only relatively recently bought the massive ‘50,000 Fall Fans …” compilation.

Part of  the reason for that is, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been afraid of totally getting the Fall. Because if I do, wanting some of it won’t be enough, I’ll want it all.  And THAT is a hole that I wouldn’t have a hope in hell of ever getting out of.

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So going to see Brix and the Extricated carried a little risk.

For the uninitiated, the band, led by the one time Brix E Smith, initially started off without Brix to play Fall songs, that they had written, to mark the publication of Stephen Hanley’s brilliant book ‘The Big Midweek’.  And then they added Brix, kept playing whilst slowly writing their own songs.

This short tour (Dundee, Edinburgh, Leicester and London) is to accompany the release of their first recordings, tour single ‘Something To Lose’. The shows have seen the band expanding their live repertoire with Sunday seeing no fewer than three songs receive their live debuts.

So, for me, the set ended up being a mix of songs I knew, a couple I didn’t recognise but could work out from the lyrics, the songs announced as Extricated songs and whatever was in between. Judging from some reactions around me, the majority of those were Fall songs but it was difficult to see the joins. Which is as good an indication as any that the Extricated songs feel like natural progressions from the Fall songs.

The band were on their game from the off. Taking to the stage ahead of Brix the band lay down the foundations for ‘US 80s 90s’ before the singer took top teh stage. And it’s a stage that she commanded.

Straight away there was a blistering energy to the songs and Brix’s performance lent a healthy dose of Riot Grrl to the material old and new. Having watched different singers interpret another’s songs the previous weekend it was an odd coincidence to be doing the same at this show  but surely there’s something empowering about hearing a woman sing these early Fall songs?

Pick of the new stuff was probably the glam clamour of the single ‘Something To Lose’ but the band’s confidence in their own new material was reflected as they finished with a new song ‘Teflon’.

Inevitably called back for an encore the band delivered not just a delirious ‘Totally Wired’ and a powerful ‘Hip Priest’ but, after another trek to dressing-room and back to the stage, a forceful ‘Mr Pharmacist’.

Even for this intermittent Fall fan it was a great show packed with many thrilling moments and, to be fair, the longer standing fans seemed to love it as well. Certainly if the band return to Dundee I’ll be back for more.

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Brix and the Extricated setlist by @Lindsay944

Support came from local legends STOOR. I’m surely getting close to the point where I’ve nothing much to add to what I’ve written before, but not quite yet.

Although the band are promoting the re-release of the dazzling debut album on Stereogram, a lot of the earlier songs in their set on Sunday were new, although I think the only song that I hadn’t heard before was the third tune ‘Love Bombing’. Of the new songs ‘Ark’ sounds particularly metallic whilst another of the new ones actually sounds … impish!

The song formerly known as ‘New Instrumental’ (which was a cracker in that form) has newly been retitled as ‘Unlike Them’ and got its first run out with Stef’s words and vocals. It seems a certainty that it will turn out to be a new favourite in its new form.

Even allowing for the new tunes , before they finished, there was still plenty of time for some of the album’s highlights. ‘Frack’ and single  ‘Witchfinder General’ were particular stand-outs whilst ‘Sure Beats That’ brought the set to a close in fine style.

The band, all dressed in black, were as animated on stage as I’ve ever seen them and for good reason as they think that this was possibly the best gig they’ve played. I might try and make a case for the album launch show last year but there’s no doubt that the band have gained a lot of confidence from the events of the last couple of years. And it can’t have hurt them to have played in front of a big crowd either.

So another cracking night at the Cool Cat Club and it was nice to see that, for once, te show got the sort of crowd that it deserved.

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STOOR played:

1. STOOR Theme 2. Liberator 3. Love Bombing 4. Ark 5. Pain 6. Atrocities 7. Frack 8. Infect Me 9. Unlike Them 10. Witchfinder General 11. Sure Beats Me

Visit Chris’s Flickr site for more Extricated photos from the show

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