The Fall cancel shows due to Mark E. Smith’s health issues

The Fall have been forced to cancel two concerts at short notice as leader Mark E. Smith continues to suffer health problems which have dogged the band’s live performances over the past few months.

Last night’s (29 November) performance in Bristol was cancelled at the very last minute, with the other members of the band taking to the stage to announce that Smith was too unwell to perform.

This evening’s London show was also cancelled, with Smith issuing the following statement:

A Message to All, to All. From Mark E. Smith/The Fall group. As I, like Pr Rupert leave Bristol with my tail between my legs, I wish to give my great apologies to everybody. This idiotic idea to do both shows was purely my idea, against the advice of Pamela and The Fall group, agent & promoter. Hope to replace shows within 4 – 6 weeks. In the interim we have eight new songs ready to go and will try and let you hear a few before Christmas. From head patient to you, the patients. I love you all but cannot embrace you all, Mark E. Smith

Concern for Smith’s health has been growing for some time. In July he performed much of a London gig backstage using a remote microphone, while an October concert saw him take the stage in a wheelchair with one arm in a sling. The official Fall website notes that the band has been cancelling shows for health reasons since August, when two US gigs were pulled due to what the site called “terrible timing, reality and a mix of bizarre and rare (true to form) medical issues that Mark is currently being treated for.” The August statement goes on to note that “Unfortunately it would be a gamble on his health to fly anywhere over the next couple of months. Mark’s current problems are connected to his throat, mouth/dental & respiratory system… so throwing all the meds together and continuing with the travel/shows would certainly harm any progress that we have made over the past few weeks.”