The Fall are possibly the greatest band of all time. They have released a great many wonderful, innovative, thrilling and life-changing albums. You should buy these - especially everything from 1979 (Dragnet) to 1986 (Bend Sinister) - when the gruppe literally could do no wrong.
This book is truly, embarrassingly awful: a petty, mean-spirited, utterly misguided rant about very little of any consequence. It is also - unforgivably - actually very boring, which is something I never expected from MES. The fact that he wastes so much paper slagging off old band members is plain sad. Instead of immortalizing them in print, he should get over it!
MES hates pretty much everything and everyone. While this makes him a vital force on record and onstage, it makes for an unbearably tedious 'memoir', with a surprising amount of self-pity and whinging. Where is the legendary grasp of language? Where is the wit? Where are the insights? Instead, he talks about watching Neighbours. This is a book without structure and without any good reason to exist.
'Renegade' (which should have been called 'And Another Gripe...') has the feel of a tossed off contractual obligation that took two wet Wednesdays to complete. Conveniently, MES can now blame its many faults on the ghostwriter.
On the plus side, The Fall's most recent album - Imperial Wax Solvent (2008) - is quite wonderful. Perhaps even their best for eight or nine years. I just wish he'd never agreed to publish this drab, sorry-for-itself, lifeless, will-sapping, myth-shattering, 'done-for-the-money' book.
If you are new to MES and have £15 to spend, treat yourself by buying Hex Enduction Hour and/or This Nation's Saving Grace. If you're feeling more wealthy, buy the Complete Peel Sessions box-set. It's amazing. But if MES ever approaches you in a pub and offers to regale you with tales about all those who've 'wronged' him, escape while you can. Run. Run fast!