Change / Theme from Sparta F.C. / O.F.Y.C. Showcase / Cowboy George / Bury / Chino / [off stage] / I've Been Duped / Greenway / Hungry Freaks, Daddy / Hot Cake / Muzorewi's Daughter / What About Us (Mark was on the sidelines for most of the song...) / Reformation // White Lightning (w/o Mark, Eleni singing) // Psykick Dancehall / Wolf Kidult man
Last night in Tel-Aviv was my first Fall gig, and it was fabulous. Can't say what kinda mood Mark was in, hard to discern; Eleni seemed to be enjoying it was interacting the whole time with her friend, the singer from openers "the Schmoks".
A minor change in the set: after "chino" MES and the band left the stage… After a while the band came back without him and played "I've been duped". MES joined them for "greeeeeenway" and the rest of the set, though he sung "what about us" from backstage And did not took part in the first encore ("white lightning").
We had two more songs for the second encore: one that I did not recognize (sorryL) and "wolf kidult man".
Cosmos / Hot Cake / I've Seen Them / Strychnine /
Muzorewi's Daughter / Cowboy George / Bury / I've Been
Duped / new song / Funnel of Love / Greenway / Chino /
Psykick Dancehall / Weather Report / Wolf Kidult Man
// Mr. Pharmacist // Reformation
Met my frend Alex at the pub, a good pub in
Camden is hard to find, but this was out of the way
and OK. I hadn't even been going to go in fact as a
friend was having a birthday at the excellent Lahore
Kebab House where he had pre-ordered several Nargis
kebabs - basically colossal curried scotch eggs.
Also, the last couple of times I'd seen the Fall
they'd been mediocre-rubbish, and I don't like Koko.
Headed down to the venue, got in, frend revealed
it has a roof a terrace, a thing I did not know. We
went up there with the rest of humanity, and drank
our expensive lager from plastic glasses, but it was
almost pleasant, almost civilised - rooftops and
fresh air, well as fresh as a hundred smokers packed
on to a small roof terrace will allow.
The thing is, it clearly wasn't absolutely sold
out, which was a good thing, as it meant without the
crowd being sparse you could at least find a place
to nestle in the main area. Another thing, they came
on v prompt. Ship-shape and Bristol fashion. This,
as probably everyone here knows is almost unheard
of. Smith liking to keep you waiting. In fact there
used to be a rumour wasn't there that the start of
the intro tape indicated when Smith had entered the
building, no doubt having got impossibly lost en
route from the next-door pub. But nope, straight on,
caught us unprepared, by surprise, guard down, and
just flew helter-skelter into matters.
Cosmic, as I believe it's called, rocked and Hot
Cake bounced, like a rubber wardrobe falling down a
flight of stairs, immediately sustaining and
enhancing the immense good cheer that seemed to
pervade everyone in the hall. Immediately clear that
Smith was snappin', flying around inside the songs
like a monkey in the rigging.
Hang on, I've got to get mysen a Fernet if I'm
going to keep this up. Revolting stuff - smells like
turpentine and looks like India ink - but it keeps
the demon at the door.
Then came a new'un, I've Seen Them, which got
stuck in my head for days if not weeks after. It was
somehow haunting. I think it was the fey tones of
Smith's refrain - 'I've seeeeeeeen them....' like a
Cassandra of the modern, voice curdled with
contempt. But it was also driving because of the
propulsive drums and The Eagle I think it was was
shouting in the background 'I'VE SEEN THEM GO! I'VE
SEEN THEM GO!'. There was a moment in the middle
where Smith's voice seemed like a viper of ferocity
coiled round the mic - really worked himself up he
did, it was great to see.
After that he said...
"Onto/under(?) the bridges of the senile...."
Then after that they did an extended Strychnine,
which I was delighted about, cos I wasn't expecting
it at all. It had that great rockabilly Fall sound;
the loosely-associated tightness, ramshackle and
unstoppable, which is one of their great live
sounds. It always puts a grin on my face, the
absurdity of it all. In fact writing now, it reminds
me of a very very bad circus I saw in Brittany as a
child, where an old and extremely reluctant and
irritable goat was made to clamber up a small tower
made out of wooden furniture, tables and chairs, and
stand precariously at the top, proud but also
utterly preposterous. That was what The Fall were
like, a rickety tower of tables and chairs, base in
Ys, spire reaching up to the moon.
Smith's screams in Strychnine, nothing like G
Roslie's spine-chilling aural lightning, were more
like a man suddenly genuinely terrified by something
or an immediate reaction to the realisation that
you're falling off a cliff. AAAAAAAAAARGH. Like
that. It was most amusing and invigorating.
The tombstone beat of Muzorewi's Daughter was
very impressive. I'm normally a bit sceptical about
new Fall doing old Fall - it's usually not as a
good, but this really was great, had the aura of
tribal magic, distant stars and deserts seen outside
the window of a dank industrial back-to-back.
Maybe it's because the new material is so
similar, so mystical sounding that this old and
spectral material felt like invested with such
power. A thought provoked by Cowboy George being
next, and although my friend later described it like
Ennio Morricone being kicked in the balls by Mickey
Mouse, it's a strange plangent song, which turns
into that section which is so brilliant live, which
is just Smith wearily declaiming over the
oscillating synths. Some pleasingly strange stuff
about sterilised monks and Cowboy George gradually
stumbling his way across heathland to...
I'M NOT FROM BURY! This was fucking hilarious
mainly because a) Eleni was being v amusing, waving
her hands about in between keyboard strikes, and
grinning like a loon while shouting I'M NOT FROM
BURY. This was f'ing great in fact. A single one of
the blasts of guitar contained more real magic than
the entire commercial franchise of Harry Potter. oh,
er b) it rocked.
And just reading back, I'm remembering what was
so good was the pacing. You had energy, new stuff,
terror, fun - it's a classic Fall combination
I think there were some new programmes mentioned
in I've Been Duped, a song that has really benefited
from its live performances (think I first saw this
in an All Hallow's Even performance at the Hackney
Empire), like pop krautrock.
A new one again. I think he kept saying 'But I'm
from Düsseldorf' - again, v enjoyable. And again,
mainly, as with all the gig, because Smith was
clearly enjoying it all so much. You know, we were
just nodding away, completely under the spell. Also,
Smith had great control of the amps, suddenly
unleashing surges of raw guitar over the already
Another new one, I kept thinking was a version of
Beetle Bones n Smoking Stones, cos it sounded like
the session version they did of that, and Smith kept
on gurgling 'It's good enough for me, it's good
enough for you', but I was reliably informed later
that it was the song Greenway. Long and
incomprehensible spoken-word narrative stuff over
the top, interspersed with mocking guitars and Smith
taunting 'Greeeenwaaay' over the top. Probably a
good point to say that the group just looked and
sounded great. So intent upon their instruments and
the Fall Gemeinschaft.
Chino was utterly marvellous. Like the album
version (one of the best songs on that LP I think)
x10. Languorous, bleak hospital-drug psychedelia,
like Denton Welch + JG Ballard or something. One of
the best Fall songs in recent years I'm tempted to
say after that performance.
Then WEATHER REPORT! Oh man, this is great. After
its sunbleached weariness, it sank into its
synthesised black whirlpools, and then suddenly
flowered into a rocking-out conclusion.
Sorry I'm running out of puff/Fernet a bit and I
gotta go to bed. Mr Pharmacist was a jumpin' encore.
I always like it when they do this because I know a
number of people around the place will be saying
'Not THIS again', which redoubles its fun, which is
Then Smith orders everyone off, the lights go up,
and people start filing out. Then suddenly,
inexplicably, 'for reasons unfathomable but to me
wholly admirable', THEY COME BACK ON! And perform
one of the most startling versions of Reformation
I've heard, in fact, top ten Fall live moments of
all time (there's a fee for listing them, a $500
bottle of wine, so don't ask). It was so abundant,
despite its simple repetition, a seething black
tentacle of bass + marsh-light keyboards, and then
Smith, opening and shutting the aldis lamp onto the
landscape, briefly illuminating moments of terror -
floorboard, black river, motel. And did he start
singing That Ol' Swannee River at one point in it? I
think he did. The crowd loved it.
And then it finished.
Tremendous strange and compulsive fun. When
they're like this they're better than any film or tv
programme, books, whatever - because it's a one off,
unrepeatable, it has no chance to fade, a
conjuration that lives briefly and then dies when
done, and so is eternal. Grinning like fools at the
foot of the divine we were, as we tottered out.
Friday, 3 June 2011
Moho Live, Manchester
Cosmos / Hot Cake / I've Seen Them / Strychnine /
Muzorewi's Daughter / new song / Cowboy George / Bury
/ I've Been Duped / Greenway / Funnel of Love / Chino
/ Psykick Dancehall // Weather Report
Thanks to The Abdominizer for the setlist and this
great video. Reviews on the
Thursday, 30 June 2011
Stanley Theater, University of
Nate / Hot Cake / Muzorewi's Daughter / I've Seen
Them / Strychnine / Laptop Dog / Cowboy George / Bury
/ Cosmos / I've Been Duped / Greenway / Wolf Kidult
Man / Psykick Dancehall
Reviews on the
forum. Thanks to Michael for the set list.
Friday, 1 July 2011
Stanley Theater, University of
Nate / Happy Song / OFYC Showcase / Strychnine / I've
Seen Them / Taking Off / Chino / I've Been Duped /
Cowby George / Bury / Laptop Dog // Greenway
Reviews on the
forum. Many thanks to John for the setlist.
Saturday, 2 July 2011
Stanley Theater, University of
Scaramanga / I've Seen Them / Muzorewi's Daughter /
Nate / Cowboy George / Cosmos / Chino / Weather Report
/ Laptop Dog / I've Been Duped / Monocard / Funnel of
Love // Psykick Dancehall
Reviews on the
forum. Many thanks to John for the setlist.
Sunday, 10 July 2011
Sub 89, Reading
Nate / Hot Cake / Muzoweri's Daughter / I've Seen
Them / Strychnine / Cowboy George / Cosmos / Laptop
Dog / I've Been Duped / Taking Off / Greenway / Bury /
Monocard / Wolf Kidult Man // Mr. Pharmacist / Psykick
Thanks to Mark for the setlist. Reviews on the
Thursday, 11 August 2011
Terraneo Festival, Sibenik, Croatia
Setlist unconfirmed, but included Bury, I've Been
Duped and Psykick Dancehall.
Sunday, 11 September 2011
The Electric Frog, Glasgow
Actual setlist: Mask Search / Hot Cake / Laptop Dog / Cowboy George / Bury / Greenway / I've Been Duped / White Lightning / Psykick Dancehall / Monocard
Thanks to Peter Climie for the setlist and ticket. Reviews on the forum.
Videos of Greenway and Monocard thanks to Declan R:
Sunday, 18 September 2011
Incubate Festival, Tillburg, The Netherlands
Actual setlist: Nate Will Not Return / Hot Cake / Chino / Cowboy George / Bury / Laptop Dog / I've Been Duped / Taking Off / Greenway / Strychnine / Cosmos 7 / Wolf Kidult Man / Psykick Dancehall / Monocard / White Lightning
Thanks to Rutger Kruijer for Pete's setlist. Reviews on the forum. A set of photos taken by Astrid van der Meijde is here.
Videos of Nate and Psykick Dancehall thanks to Martin K:
More videos found on youtube - Chino and Cowboy George:
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 Teatro Castro Alves, Salvador, Brazil (cancelled)
Friday, 14 October 2011 Teatro da UFPE, Universidade Federal do Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil (cancelled)
The Fall pulled out of the two Brazilian dates, citing health problems.
Saturday, 22 October 2011
SWN Festival, Great Hall, Cardiff University, Wales
Nate Will Not Return / Hot Cake / Chino / Cowboy George / Cosmos 7 / Strychnine / What About Us? / Greenway / Bury / Wolf Kidult Man // I've Been Duped / Happi Song / White Lightning
MES left the stage after 35 minutes, during Greenway, Elena sang the remaining songs. Thanks to Chris Butcher for the ticket and smoking pass scans. Reviews and some photos on the forum.
Video of Greenway:
2 November - 28 November 2011: lineup # 61 : Mark E. Smith (vocals), Elenor Poulou (keyboards), Tim Presley (guitar), Dave "The Eagle" Spurr (bass), Keiron Melling (drums). Pete Greenway on paternity leave.
Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Actual setlist: Werewolves Of London / Nate Will Not Return / Hot Cake / Taking Off / Strychnine / Laptop Dog (MES walk-off) / I've Been Duped / Latch Key Kid (Elena vocals) / (MES returns) Cosmos 7 (MES walk-off) / Printhead (MES vocals from offstage) / (MES returns) Greenway (MES leaves half way through) // Bury (MES vocals from offstage)
Thanks to Dan from the forum and Keith Morris for the setlists. Werewolves Of London is a cover of the Warren Zevon classic. Bit of a rough start to the UK tour, with MES offstage for about half of the 50 minute performance. Reviews and some photos on the forum.
Thursday, 3 November 2011
Picture House, Edinburgh
Actual setlist: Nate Will Not Return / Taking Off / Hot Cake / Strychnine (MES walk-off, vocals from offstage) / Laptop Dog / Printhead / Cowboy George / (MES returns) Bury (MES walk-off) / Latch Key Kid (Elena vocals) / I've Been Duped / Cosmos 7 (instrumental) // The Love Between (instrumental) / Reformation (MES returns) / Mr Pharmacist
Thanks to Peter Lyon for the setlist. The Love Between is a song by Tim Presley's White Fence project. Reviews on the forum, Coffee-Table Notes blog and this review was sent to me by Oscar:
Fall Walk-Off! Hobble-Off!
Who would be Mark E. Smith’s wife? Last night Fall fans were treated to simultaneously one of the worst and best gigs of the year, as the majority of the proceedings were left to Mrs. I Smith to fill in the gaps after Mark exited the stage.
Things started promisingly: the band in great form and the new songs (we heard perhaps two of them) sounding excellent. Then Smith disappeared off stage (nothing unusual about that); spookily however, his voice remained. Was he perhaps paving the way for his own demise, when the band will have to tour to backing tapes of his lyrics? Soon the voice disappeared too, leaving us to endure the longest ever version of ‘I’ve Been Duped’, sung without apparent irony by Mrs. Smith.
As far as a group of people in their 40s and 50s could be said to be restless, there was a certain fractious mood abroad in the crowd: a few squidgy plastic pint glasses were thrown towards the stage (emptied of the £4 contents); Mrs. Smith ill-advisedly greeted this with outstretched arms in a ‘come-ahead’ gesture. She explained before walking off that “Mark has terrible voondz (wounds) on iz feet and haz to walk up five flights ov stairs to get to zee stage” when this with greeted some derision from certain elements in the crowd, she replied “What? Are you a doctor?” before leaving to boos. Suddenly we were reminded just how young Mrs. Smith really is: her possibly misguided loyalty deserves the highest praise.
To their credit the band took to the stage again to launch into an instrumental ‘Reformation’; Mrs. Smith was about to offer the mic to the crowd when suddenly, a fellow wearing a combat jacket, silk scarf and a handlebar moustache, leapt to the stage; at first it seemed to be all part of a huge practical joke, as the uninvited lead singer with admirable chutzpah, extemporized lyrics about going to see The Fall and Mark not being there. This was brought to premature end as he was approached by a large shaven headed bouncer. Before we could chorus “he’s behind you” our unknown Bob Calvert impersonator was led away, looking crestfallen. On the back of the bouncer’s neon-yellow t-shirt was the ominous message: ‘Stage Security, here to assist you’. More boos followed, but immediately gave way to cheers as none other than Mark E. Smith was led on stage supported on either side like King Lear by two stage hands. He sang the rest of ‘Reformation’ (sort of) before delivering a superb version of ‘Mr. Pharmacist’, complete with key-board solo. Then it was all over.
Did I ask for a refund on my ticket? Did I throw a pint glass? No. My only thought was ‘I hope his feet get better.’ Misguided loyalty is clearly infectious.
Friday, 4 November 2011
Nate Will Not Return / Taking Off / Strychnine / Cowboy George / Psykick Dancehall / White Lightning / I've Been Duped / Greenway / Bury / Laptop Dog
Actual setlist: Nate Will Not Return / Taking Off / Psykick Dancehall / Laptop Dog / Strychnine / Cowboy George / Bury / Cosmos 7 / I've Been Duped / Latch Key Kid / White Lightning / Reformation / Mr Pharmacist
Thanks to "The Question Mark" from the forum for the setlist. Reviews on the forum.
Friday, 11 November 2011
Les Indisciplinées Festival, Espace Cosmao Dumanoir, Lorient, France
Actual setlist: Nate Will Not Return / Taking Off / Psykick Dancehall / Strychnine / Laptop Dog / Cowboy George / Bury / I've Been Duped / Latch Key Kid / Greenway / White Lightning / Mr Pharmacist / Reformation
Thanks to Alexis Gautier and Julien Gaignard for the setlists and Alexis for the photo. Reviews and more photos on the forum.
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
The Junction, Cambridge
Actual setlist: Nate Will Not Return / Taking Off / Psykick Dancehall / Strychnine / Laptop Dog / Cowboy George / Cosmos 7 / I've Been Duped / Latch Key Kid / Greenway / Monocard / White Lightning // Reformation / Theme From Sparta FC
Thanks to DJ Hollerbusch for the setlist. Reviews on the forum.
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Concorde 2, Brighton
Actual setlist: Nate Will Not Return / Taking Off / Psykick Dancehall / Strychnine / I've Seen Them Come / Age Of Chang / I've Been Duped / Laptop Dog / Cowboy George / Bury / Cosmos 7 / White Lightning / Greenway / Reformation // Theme From Sparta FC / Mr Pharmacist / Latch Key Kid
Thanks to Mark Howard for the setlist. Reviews and some great photos on the forum.
Mark Howard's Dalek Hat recording of Taking Off from this gig was released on the B-side of "Night of the Humerons" in April 2012. Here's Mark's original recording before MES added his "ghostly overdubs" and other bits.
Sunday, 20 November 2011
The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
Setlist: Nate Will Not Return / Taking Off / Psykick Dancehall / Strychnine / Laptop Dog / Cowboy George / Bury / I've Been Duped / Cosmos 7 / Latch Key Kid / Greenway / Monocard / I've Seen Them Come / White Lightning / Reformation // Mr Pharmacist
Nate Will Not Return / Taking Off / Psykick Dancehall / Strychnine / Laptop Dog / Cowboy George / Bury / I've Been Duped / Cosmos 7 / Latch Key Kid / Greenway / Monocard / White Lightning / Reformation / Mr Pharmacist // Theme From Sparta FC
Thanks again to Mark Howard for the setlist. Reviews and photos on the forum.
Many thanks to Zane from the promoters, onemanmelt, for offering 150 free tickets to members of our forum.
Saturday, 26 November 2011
Mr. Kyps, Poole
Actual setlist: Nate Will Not Return / Taking Off / Psykick Dancehall / Strychnine / Laptop Dog / Cowboy George / Bury / I've Been Duped / Cosmos 7 / Latch Key Kid / Greenway / Monocard / White Lightning // Mr Pharmacist / Systematic Abuse / Reformation
Thanks yet again to Mark Howard for the setlist and the flyer. Reviews and some excellent close-up photos on the forum.
Monday, 28 November 2011
The Laugh Inn, Chester
Setlist: Nate Will Not Return / Taking Off / Psykick Dancehall / Strychnine / Laptop Dog / Cowboy George / Bury / I've Been Duped / Cosmos 7 / Blue Christmas (!) / Greenway / Monocard / I've Seen Them Come / White Lightning / Reformation // Mr Pharmacist
Thanks to Philip Hurley for the setlist. Reviews on the forum.