The Fall Perverted By Language//Bis

Not unlike any blossoming art form, most music videos from the early '80s are fascinating now because they lay bare a culture attempting to make sense of a new mode of expression. There were no precedents; therefore, there were no rules, and the likelihood of a camera-shy artist making a spectacle of himself was par for the course. Enter iconoclastic Manchester post-punk army the Fall, who never allowed lack of resources and experience to slow their formidable industry. Originally released in 1983 on VHS — from which it's been crudely dubbed here — Perverted By Language//Bis is a scattershot collection of live performances (the classics "Totally Wired" and "The Man Whose Head Expanded") and perversely engrossing no-budget studio clips. Marvel at the motley crew looking menacing in a pub ("Wings"), failing not to seem conspicuous in an empty football stadium ("Kicker Conspiracy") and dancing as though afflicted simultaneously by epilepsy and fleas ("Eat Y'Self Fitter"). Crude, bizarre and out of its depth, Perverse is thus a perfect document of its time and place, and it doesn't hurt that the music is a brilliant high holy racket. In terms of extras, there's a previously unreleased 1981 concert filmed at Leeds University in near-total darkness with a single hand-held camera, which is surely the artefact for which the phrase "For completists only" was coined. Extras: Leeds concert. (Cherry Red, www.cherryred.co.uk)