Ashton 21 Dec
Tuesday 21 December Ashton.
Much mirth in the front bar as the police arrive (2 vans) with blue lights blazing and stop outside the Witchwood.MES has only been in the place 15 mins , what can have happened? The Police vans are still outside as we head into the back room.Not sure what that was about.
The support band(Element) are on and i'm afraid i'm not impressed.To put it kindly , probably the least experienced outfit i've ever seen supporting The Fall.They are a 3 piece line-up but with no Bass player.Just 2 rythmn guitars and drums.To make up for the lack of Bass one of the guitarists tunes down his low strings and the sound guy beefs up the kick drum.Still doesn't work for me though.They proceed through a tiresome set of average songs.Low points include the guitarist using a violin bow and playing guitar with his nose and teeth and pointlessly blowing a trumpet which sounded dreadful and looked like it had survived the battle of the Som.Many people wisely stayed in the front bar.Mitch , the Fall's dreadlocked roadie , came scurrying out of the dressing room,looked at the band and impatiently pointed to his watch.He looked as though he was prepared to pull the plug , but they announced their last number.They were reasonably well received.The crowd was very polite , but mainly their mates.
Then followed a 30 min break whilst The Fall stuff was set up.They took the stage at around 9:45 a did around 3 mins sans MES.When he finally reached the stage he looked surprisingly sober , just enough alcohol to loosen up.He even smiled a couple of times.Dressed in a pair of C&A slacks and a mid-grey shirt with a black shirt underneath.His state of health looked better than when I last saw him in February.No real antics from MES , he seemed focused and purposeful. He occasionally dabbled with the keyboard and later in the set he knocked over the kick drum mike and threw the vocal mike into the drum. That didn't last too long though. Mitch sorted out the mikes and also Julia's keyboard after MES had pushed it to one side , leaving her hardly any room to move.There was also an annoying photographer(with a death wish) who stood at the front and seemed only interested in taking Julia's photo , over and over again.She wisely turned her back on him a few times to give him a hint.I'm surprised it took so long but MES finally intervened after around 5 songs.He spoke to this guy and gestured to him to move away.He did so , and i never saw him again.I couldn't work out if this was deliberate attempt to provoke a reaction from MES.
Nev snapped a string after a couple of songs but Julia just slipped into place and filled in the gaps until he wound on a replacement. The set was long by recent standards , around 1Hr 5 min including 3 encores.The band seemed relaxed and "into it" but the sound balance was patchy.The drums seemed too low and other instruments went up and down in the mix.They didn't use their own sound man though , leaving it to the venue which is always dodgy.
The DAT intro into some of the songs was not slick and this caused the odd embarrassing pause.When this happened on one occasion MES said to the band "Start it then , start it".It looked a sell out (200) to me and The Fall were well received. I went with 3 others one of whom was a Fall virgin and was cynical beforehand but came away very impressed.Him drinking 5 double vodkas & Red Bull helped.I personally really enjoyed it and would have liked to attend on Wednesday but alas cannot.I trudged off to the Kebab shop in happy mood.All my friends said they would definitely see The Fall again.
I must thank Mitch for being kind enough to give me Tom's set list.It looks reasonably accurate but I think things went astray towards the end.I don't think they ended with 10 houses.Highlights for me were White Lightening , Touch Sensitive , Antidotes and Tom Ragazzi.
Past Gone Mad
Hands Up Billy
Now i've had time to collect my thoughts this set was exceptional for The Fall of late.In fact the band were so good they might start to irritate MES.
From the NME website, MES's New Year Questionnaire thing:
MARK E SMITHS MILLENNIUM
WHERE WILL YOU BE SPENDING NEW YEARS EVE THIS YEAR? Usually alone as possible, Scottish style.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE COMING OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM? Eager, smug and positive as the overrated new Towers of Babel will collapse and all tosh hits the fan.
WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE INVENTION OF THE LAST 1000 YEARS? The tin hat and the tin-opener.
WHAT HASNT BEEN INVENTED YET THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN? Anti-interference and scanner device.
YOUVE GOT 90 MINUTES TO LIVE BEFORE THE Y2K APOCALYPSE - WHATS ON YOUR STEREO? The Guns Of Navarone on vinyl 45 by the Skatalites.
IF WE SURVIVE, HOW WILL YOU CELEBRATE NEW YEARS DAY AND WHAT WILL YOUR RESOLUTIONS BE FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR? Bonfire of rubbish, invoke curses, five new works, wait for shops to open, fireworks, real shooting gallery with catapults, torment men who talk like Alastair Cooke, start reminding music industry to start work before February.
Hope this okay. All the best to you and staff for Xmas, bar lick-spittle Wells.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org 527 West 26th Street New York, NY, 10001 tel: 1.212.279.9219 fax: 279.9220 www.teamgal.com
PRESS and RELEASE
Show: Hex Enduction Hour By The Fall
Artists: Vito Acconci, Lisa Beck, Wayne Gonzales, Don Graham, James Hyde, Jutta Koether, Billy Miller, Cady Nolond, Steven Parrino, George Rush, Lisa Ruyter, Daniel Smith, Lily van der Stokker, John Tremblay, Alan Uglow
Curator: Bob Nickas
Gallery: Team, 527 W. 26th Street, New York
Opening: Saturday, January 8, from 6-8PM (show continues to Feb. 12, 2000)
THIS IS AN ALL-AGES SHOW
The title of this show is taken from the album of the some name, released by The Fall in March 1982; the invitation for the show quotes directly from the artwork on the album's cover.
The Fall, originally formed in Manchester in 1976, are today considered one of the most influential post-punk bands of our time. Led by singer/songwriter Mark E. Smith, they have maintained a stubborn, anti-trend iconoclasm for nearly twenty-five years. In that time, they've played everything from bare bones rockabilly to symphonic drum n' bass, and yet it all sounds like The Fall. It's not so easily described, but having once offered "head music with energy," no one's come closer than Smith himself.
The Fall have gone their own way, and for so long, that were it not for the ever- irritable, hyper-acerbic Smith, they might actually be seen as some sort of role models. Smith has made a career of being bluntly direct and wilfully cryptic, knowing full well that art is always in a sense encoded, and there's little pleasure in having it all explained away. Mark E. Smith is, after all, the man who point- edly observed that there are some people "who wouldn't even know the sun was up unless they'd been sent a press release."
Our arts correspondent Michael went along to the opening night:
"The only real Fall related stuff is one bit of work in the show which were three silkscreened panels with the words "THE FALL" printed in different colors. There was a video of the Fall playing from the old days, which was cute. The rest of the artwork had nothing to do with the Fall at all - as near as I can tell. Most of it was pretty average, with one or two decent things - but nothing I would want to own. The opening was quite jammed so it was kinda hard to actually view the artwork itself ..... But I had a good time and was glad that I went. I got a copy of the postcard..."
Spookily, The Independent has a competition on at the moment to win a "21st Century Masterpiece". Notice anything familiar?
Yes, it's a doilie. With what looks very like the Dragnet cover design on it. You had to collect a few coupons last week, so that's yer chance gone I'm afraid. Anyway, it can't be a rip-off, since the artist doesn't seem to mention Dragnet at all. (note: Dragnet sleeve credits Tina Prior with the front cover...)
(Thanks to Pete Conkerton & sjroberts for pointing this out)
A strong MES representation in the Peel Festive 50 top 10:
F-oldin' = 7,
Touch Sensitive = 4
with Elasticaman at no. 6.
Fall drummer Tom Head made a brief but pivotal appearance in New Year's Eve Coronation Street.....
The Fall made an appearance in the Gloucestershire Echo year end reviews:
Don't know what you reckon, but I couldn't help but be tickled in a mesmeric way by this lyrical twist to "Levitate" at Ashton recently:
At the greater roundabout in Basingstoke
After Worthing, sort of
They said, You
Don't get paid tonight
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER
PUT THE PIANO ON THE RACK
The Wire Nov. 1999
MES reference in this issue. Page 77, on reviewing a new book about Capt. Beefheart, comes the following comment:
After Trout Mask Replica, Beefheart gradually relinquished control. His musicians were allowed to assert themselves. The music became less alien - and less special. At his dictatorial zenith, Beefheart allowed no nuance to inflect the playing: every note had to be struck with maximum force. In effect, he converted a rock group into a drum circle, comparable to how James Brown made the JBs play, or how Mark E. Smith instructs The Fall. The nuanced individualism of 'sensitive' playing diminishes the objective power of the collective....
From: Chris Kovin
Subject: <fallnet> Judge Judy Fallcon Shocker
On Friday, the plaintiff was a scary lady who had allowed her photo to be used for a plastic surgeon's magazine ad and was coming after him for some money allegedly promised in return. So the judge looked at the contract between the doctor and the magazine, wherein it clearly said the Guest Informant (and this was on the screen for several seconds) had no liability to compensate the model. She HAD NOT counted on this!
The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen, Austin Spare (Illustrator)
H. P. Lovecraft Of creators of cosmic fear raised to its most artistic pitch, few can hope to equal Arthur Machen. Ramsey Campbell What can I say about a writer whose influence has been acknowledged by H.P.Lovecraft, Peter Straub, T.E.D.Klein, M.John Harrison and Clive Barker? Perhaps that he managed to communicate a sense of the inexpressibly and awesomely supernatural with more power than he ever knew.
Book Description "An incoherent nightmare of sex..." That was The Westminster Gazette's description of Arthur Machen's first book, The Great God Pan, upon its publication in 1894.
An unwittingly complimentary description for one of the greatest works of weird horror and decadence, in which Machen unfurls with his singular eye for the bizarre and macabre the tale of a young girl cursed by her unnatural parentage to become a creature of shape-shifting polysexual demi-human evil. Illustrated by Austin Osman Spare.
A terrifying and unique Supernatural story
Reviewer: email@example.com from USA May 26, 1999
This novel has a wonderfully unique premise. The themes of the darker aspects of Greek Myth, sinister woods and what lurks within them, unreality right beneath our world, make for a delightfull story. While the plot is a bit mundane towards the center of the book, overall this is compensated for. If you've ever let your mind wander into the origins of ancient myths, and have been a bit shocked by what you imagine this is the book for you. The sexual aspect of the supernatural events is key, and overall adds to the one's attraction and repulsion to the concepts beneath the surface of this book. Machen was akcknowledged by HP Lovecraft as a major influence, and one sees this here. Also, Spare's illustrations, while not done for the book, are quite appropriate to convey its themes. Highly reccomended.
991223 Derby, Sheffield, Ashton reviews
991210 token Planet K review, Glow Boys
991125 not much
991114 not much
991101 few Glow Boys bits
991026 Dingwalls reviews, Flux interview
991014 not much
990930 more Dutch tour reviews, TBLY#17 details (tapes, t-shirt)
990920 most of the Dutch tour reviews, MES interview
990912 Reading, Leeds reviews
990830 Manchester, Edinburgh reviews
990820 nothing special
990807 few old reviews, F-'oldin' Money cover
990726 Glow Boys reviews
990720 Dutch, Belgium tour dates
990711 TBLY #16 details
990704 bits & pieces
990624 Meltdown reviews, Calvin Klein rubbish
990613 not much
990606 NME Forum review
990526 Wire interview, more reviews...
990517 Salisbury, Sheffield, Cheltenham, Cambridge, Southend, Luton, London reviews
990509 Leicester, Leeds, Birmingham, Brighton, Salisbury reviews; NME fave songs bit
990426 Guardian interview, Brix interview, more album reviews, MES' radio session
990419 more Marshall Suite reviews, NME chat, live at Sound Republic XFM session, tbly#15 out
990411 Couple of Marshall Suite reviews, Live 77 details, 1985/1987 interviews
990330 Touch Sensitive reviews, Marshall Suite details
990320 Shake-off lyrics, tour details
990314 MES Escape interview
990308 Ashton Tuesday reviews, Falling Through Time part 1, Dragnet reissue
990302 Ashton Sunday and Monday reviews
990221 LP announcement, Inch reviews
990214 not much
990207 various stuff
990128 Peel Sessions CD review
990118 Uncut pieces, Marcia interview, NZ art collection
990110 NME LA2 review, modern rock sociology
990103 Manchester Ritz reviews
Old stuff: Nov 1997 - Dec 1998
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