A mighty Grand year

The Fall: Mark E Smith
The Fall: Mark E Smith
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Peel faves The Fall a highlight in year of highlights for Lancashire venue

Clitheroe’s Grand Theatre has unveiled an eclectic line-up of music and comedy for the early end of 2015 – and one booking for Autumn that no self-respecting fan of independent music will want to miss.

Iconic Salford post-punk pioneers The Fall – still led by the uniquely oblique Mark E Smith – will return to the venue on Saturday October 10.

The Fall played a sell-out show at the York Street theatre in 2013, and their return to the Ribble Valley for a band that John Peel famously enshrined as “the mighty Fall” will be a must-see gig for Lancashire music fans.

Fall co-promoter Chris Hewitt said: “Mark E Smith really enjoyed coming to Clitheroe last time, it was a wonderful gig and a terrific atmosphere.

“There’s a great history with The Fall and Clitheroe, going back thirty years when they played on the bandstand in front of Clitheroe Castle.

“It is a date he is really looking forward to.”

The Fall are pencilled in to appear Saturday, October 10.

Three outstanding British female singer-songwriters–Kathryn Williams, Maz O’Connor and Georgia Ruth – provide a triple bill of folk music in February.

One of the highlights of ‘Womenfolk’ is sure to be Welsh harpist and singer Georgia Ruth, who sings in both English and Welsh.

Rock and blues guitarist Chantel McGregor, one of the theatre’s favourite performers, makes a welcome return to the Grand on March 6 with a fresh and exciting show for the New Year with support from Lancashire guitarist Lucy Zirins.

Mad March continues when Scots’ punksters The Rezillos – fronted by the ebullient Faye Fife – step off their UK tour with The Stranglers to make their first appearance at the Grand.

The Rezillos enjoyed hits with Top of the Pops and I Can’t Stand my Baby, while mad-cap singer Eddie Ten Pole, who starred in the Sex Pistols film the Great Rock and Roll Swindle – remember his wacky singles Who Killed Bambi and Swords of a Thousand Men – completes the punk rock double header.

What’s sure to be a laugh a minute night will be the launch of the Grand’s new comedy club on March 13, featuring Justin Moorhouse and Steve Royle, both who featured in Peter Kay’s Pheonix Nights.

The theatre’s popular spoken word events, meanwhile, have attracted two more very special guests.

Just a fortnight before the nation’s favourite race – The Grand National steeplechase at Aintree – jockey Bob Champion will visit on March 25.

Champion won the Grand National in 1981 on horse Aldaniti after recovering from cancer, and will talk about his sporting life and the struggle to survive against the odds.

Henry Marsh is a world-class neurosurgeon and in his best-selling book – Do No Harm, Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery – he gives an unforgettable insight into the highs and lows of a life dedicated to operating on the human brain.

With candour and compassion, Henry reveals the exhilarating drama of surgery, the chaos and confusion of a busy modern NHS hospital. He has been the subject of two documentary films, Your Life in Their Hands and the English Surgeon, which won an Emmy. Henry Marsh (April 15)

Other major highlights include a National Theatre Live presentation of Treasure Island, while eighties popsters The Blow Monkeys have recently confirmed a visit to the Grand on April 17.

Arrangements for The Fall tickets announced shortly but all the other acts are now on sale. Box office, 01200 421599 or www.thegrandvenue.co.uk