Two days before the first Critical Mass of 2018, we had the very sad news about the passing of Mark E Smith, the legendary lead singer of Manchester band, The Fall. Now, for those that don’t know, I named this blog after one of my favourite Fall songs, Just Step S’Ways.
I was first introduced to the music of The Fall in my early teens, through my brother’s copy of I Am Kurious Oranj, and I’ve been a massive fan since. The Fall are still the band I’ve seen play way more than any other, in the good times and bad.
Since his death, there’s been plenty written that explains the genius of Mark E Smith far better than I ever could. There really was something truly unique about the music he created in The Fall and the way he used words.
Putting on any early Fall record takes me straight back to a Manchester I remember from my youth, a Manchester that no longer exists (both good and bad).
So, to salute his passing, we had a playlist of Fall songs on Dom’s (not me, another Dom) three-wheeled soundsystem as our soundtrack as we rode the streets of Manchester. Thanks Dom, it was really special.
It was a cold, but dry Critical Mass, which was welcome after the rain we’d had in the week. There was a pretty decent turnout for January, given the time of year and weather.
We set off from Central Library towards Princess Street and crossed over onto Cooper Street. We carried on onto Fountain Street, then onto High Street, passing Manchester Arndale.
We turned right onto Church Street and carried on until we reached Lever Street. We turned left and left again, passed through Stevenson Square and onto Thomas Street.
Back on High Street, we turned left onto Church Street again, then continued on until Newton Street. We carried on onto Portland Street until we reached Oxford Road.
We rode down Oxford Street, under the Mancunian Way and past All Saints, then took a right onto Rosamond St West and left onto Higher Cambridge Street.
We carried on until we reached Manchester Science Park, where we turned off to reach our destination for the evening, The Old Abbey Taphouse.