The Fall

at the Medicine Bar ***

John Peel famously said of The Fall that "they are always different, they are always the same".

And given that in the two years since Mark E Smith's comic brand of indie music last came to Digbeth he has sacked most of The Fall's musicians, Peel's description of his favourite band can be considered spot on.

And within that time The Fall have also released their 26th studio album Fall Heads Roll which made up most of the set-list at the Custard Factory.

Given that The Fall are something of an art-punk band, it perhaps seems to be the best setting for a gig from Smith and Co.

But quite how The Fall fit into this category, when Smith's repertoire consists of drinking more Digbeth ale than the entire Irish community on St Patrick's Day, before howling through a microphone and de-tuning his bandmates' instruments defies me.

Nevertheless, if young rockers like Pete Doherty are still here 30-years after their first recordings than they might just start to compare to this wrinkly beer monster.

And it was with Smith's satirical delivery on What About Us?, a tale about an East German immigrant and mass murderer Harold Shipman, that the usual array of oddball Fall fans began to rekindle themselves with the clown prince of rock.

Theme from Sparta FC was also well received before The Move's I Can Hear The Grass Grow revealed the impressive talents of Smith's new band.

Those who could remember the days when The Fall actually broke into the top 40 (just) were treated to Mr Pharmacist and Wrong Place, Right Time, and those who were too young, nodded along with the words of John Peel in their head...SUPL: