Anonymous, "The Fall: Interview with new drummer, Mike Leigh" & "The gig that night with the Synix, Transmitters, Dolly Mixtures & The Use"
Harsh Reality (No. 3), June 1979
"The Fall: Interview with new drummer, Mike Leigh"
H. Reality-: WHEN DID YOU FORM?
Er, about two years ago but only Mark Smith was in the original line-up. I just joined in February this year. I used to be in a rock'n'roll/jazz band.
H.R. YEAH, SOMEONE LEFT A COUPLE OF WEEKS BACK, DIDN'T HE?
Yeah, Martin the guitarist left. He was a great guitarist, he really worked well with Marc Riley. He's gone and got a bloody hippy band together now!
H.R. HOW DO YOU RATE ESTABLISHED BANDS LIKE THE BUZZCOCKS AND THE JAM?
I don't really listen to 'em. The only music I'm interested in are The Fall. I Like the Buzzcocks though--with a bit of salt!
H.R. Manchester bias!
I haven't heard much by The Jam.
H.R: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE MAJOR RECORD LABELS; ARE YOU PLANNING TO STAY WITH STEP-FORWARD OR SIGN UP? (I quote the lyrics from 'It's The New Thing'--"we have never sold out"
Yeah, well those lyrics weren't about us, they were about some band Mark had in his imagination. He's a clever lad, Mark, beats me. Anyway, we have sold out, cos we've signed to a record label & we've done gigs in big halls.
H.R: PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? I NOTICED YOU DIDN'T DO EITHER OF THE SINGLES AT TONIGHT'S GIG.
We didn't do the singles tonight cos we don't rate them as the "new" Fall, The Fall today. They were more of the 'old' Fall. We did a lot of new numbers tonight and not that many from the album.
H.R: WHY DIDN'T YOU DO AN ENCORE TONIGHT?
The council blokes went and pulled the plugs out at 11:45. Anyway I've got to go now and move the gear.
"The gig that night with The Synix, Transmitters, Dolly Mixture & The Use"(sic) Cambridge Corn Exchange May 79
There wasn't a bad turn-out considering the gig wasn't being done by the usual promoters, 'Head & co. 'Heads' had got a court order out to stop any posters advertising the gig being put up in the city.
Anyway, first on were the Synix, who were quite good, considering they were all about 15 or 16. It's great to see young bands like them beginning to play gigs in decent-sized halls in front of decent sized audiences. They played their own material which is good to see but they seemed to drone on after a while and were a bit of a PIL rip-off.
I was expecting something good from The Transmitters cos although I hadn't heard em, they'd been given a fair reception from the music press. But oh, what a bore! Their noise was horrible -- it was unworthy of being called music. I like a lot of this 'obscure 'music' but this band only come into one category-crap.
Dolly Mixture are the 'local heroes' and have a great following in Cambridge. An all-girl band who are all just 14 or 15. They're not punk or anything trendy like that but all the Cambridge punks are mad about them and have made up their own little song about 'em and call themselves the Dollyrockers. They do their own versions of old songs like 'Leader of the Pack' and 'The Locomotive' as well as some of their own stuff. The only problem was that The Users had tuned up for them and it was a complete cock-up cos they had tuned up for their own voices which was far too loud for 15 year old girls' voices so they had to go off about 3 times, which spoilt it a bit.
The Users were up to expectations, after hearing their brilliant single 'Kicks In Style'. I'm not gonna write a lot about em cos I only saw half their set. What I saw was really great though.
The Fall came on very late & this was probably why a lot of the audience had left before their set had began.
Mark Smith had noticed this and looked a bit disappointed and it came across in his vocals--lacking that bit of extra effort which makes The Fall such an essential modern pop band.
On the whole their set was great although it got a bit scrappy here and there--probably cos they were experimenting with a few new numbers. Most numbers came out well--'No Xmas For John Quays' & 'Frightened' were particularly rousing for the tired crowd. Neither of the singles were included -- a waste of two real classics, and in fact a fair deal of the album material was left out. But then that's their policy, ain't it?
The Fall have produced three slabs of vinyl which wipe a lot of bands right off the plate. If they can just keep going like that and not take the dreaded path to Hippyland.