The Fall play:
Hull Wellington Club on 20 March
Wrexham Yales on 21 March
Doncaster Leopard on 22 March
York Fibbers on 23 March
Leeds Duchess of York on 24th March
David Humphries: Passing the Duchess in Leeds last night and I saw a poster advertising a Fall gig there on 24th March, tickets £9. They can be bought from the venue, or by credit card on 0113 245 3929 (from John Carr: Don't waste your time ringing the Duchess direct. They've no tickets left. Ring 01423 521176, Tickets £9, plus £1 booking fee for the first three).
sjroberts: Noticed the following on the Fibbers website at
will be of interest to those unable to attend gigs:-
Lights, Camera, Action!
The famous (and long awaited) Fibbers WebCam is now in action on gig nights - uploading photos of the stage every 15 minutes during the gig. So if you can't make it in the flesh, you can see the next best thing, although sitting in front of a computer doesn't give you quite the same sound, beer, atmosphere, company, etc... There is also a booking number for this venue:-
01423 521 176 (for york fibbers credit card bookings)
ahem: cb power sez:
Tickets £9 from:
Fibbers, The Stonebow, York (01904) 670542. Either in person or through mail only.
The compilation A Past Gone Mad is out on the 28th February on Artful.
"Finally, the definitive compilation of the 1990's output from The Fall is being released. All of the singles, plus favourite rarities are included.
The CD In Your Hand
High Tension Line
The Birmingham School Of Business School
Lost In Music
I'm Going to Spain
It's A Curse
A Past Gone Mad
Behind The Counter
Ten Houses Of Eve
Jung Nevs Antidotes
Bonkers In Phoenix
Bill Is Dead
CD - ARTFULCD 30, double LP - ARTFULLP 30
(NB Key Mail Order Fall Priority Advice notice lists an extra track "Fullfill" - they're wrong)
Sleevenotes by Stewart Lee:
NEW READERS START HERE
This is A Past Gone Mad, and you are welcome to it - an attempt to make sense of the most confusing period in The Fall's quarter century history, the years 1990 - 2000. Surviving the punk movement to blossom into an utterly unique proposition, ferocious Mancunian autodidact Mark E Smith's prole art threat even enjoyed a strange string of chart hits in the 80's. However, the bands 90's output was so stylistically varied, it became almost impossible to define the group in easy terms, and the music press gleefully ignored their talents in favour of the weekly soap opera of sacked drummers and chaotic gigs. The Fall remained simply The Fall, always different yet somehow always the same, ploughing a lone furrow in an empty cabbage field somewhere outside the perimeter fence of Camp Britpop.
By the end of the 90's all long term collaborators had been dispensed with and a succession of line-ups collapsed around Mark E Smiths newly syringed ears. Soon after a thrilling April '98 London gig backed only by keyboards, drums and ballet dancer Michael Clarke waving a wooden chair, Smith countered "Listen if it's me and your Granny on bongos, it's The Fall!". Typically, The Marshall Suite, the band's last album of the decade, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and showered the astonished faces of the doubters with a rain of hot eggs.
Being asked to help put this album together has been a joy, like making a tape for your friends that somehow ends up being sold in shops and given a proper sleeve. And apart from the bloke who tried to beat me up in the audience at The Forum last summer, I never met a Fall fan I didn't like.
Stewart Lee, writer/clown.
P.S. In respect to this compilation, a Fall fan of 25 years standing has already written to Artful Records saying; "Where's Ol' Gang, Idiot Joy Showland, Married 2 Kids? Where's Chisellers? Where's Steve Hanley? " Meanwhile, the head of Artful Records has asked me if 10 House Of Eve can be removed, as it contains " too many notes", and if it's possible to re-EQ everything, so that it sounds more like Garbage.
YOUR TRACK BY TRACK GUIDE TO A PAST GONE MAD
1) The CD You Have In Your Hand (The Post Nearly Man 1998)
Spoken word blast from Smith's solo album. "Moderninity - what it means to you and I and this CD you hold in your hand."
2) Touch Sensitive (The Marshall Suite 1999)
"They say What about the meek?" I say, "They've got a bloody cheek." New Fall drummer Tom Head regularly plays non-speaking parts in TV's League of Gentleman. i.e. "Man in chair Tom Head."
3) High Tension Line (Shift Work 1991)
Notebooks Out Plagiarists! "Life is nothing more than a disposable facial tissue in a brass bin."
4) Rose (Shift Work 1991)
A rare moment of tenderness from MES, who, at 54 seconds in, seems to be laughing at some tragi-comic allusion only he understands. "I hear you are in Hampstead. I hope you can get married."
5) The Birmingham School of Business School (Code Selfish 1991)
It is typical of MES genius to realise that using the word school twice in the title here helps to point out the absurdity of the continuing existence of Birmingham. "The jumped up prats, Laughing-stock of Europe, Olympic bidding again and again, Exciting developments, The Birmingham School of Business School." The non-Fall regulation guitar solos presumably saw Craig Scanlon's weekly wage packet docked accordingly.
6) Free Range (Code Selfish 1991)
"Also Sprach Zarathustra." A Nostradamus style prophesy of European disunion, the ruthlessly efficient five-piece line up buzzing with new boy David Bush's keyboards and machines. "Insect posse will be crushed."
7) Lost In Music (The Infotainment Scan 1993)
The Fall's snake-hipped take on the Nile Rogers/Bernard Edwards penned Sister Sledge hit, adapted to accommodate the thorny problem of "brick house refurbishment of pubs ."
8) I'm Going To Spain (The Infotainment Scan 1993)
Cover of an oddly moving song by one S.Bent, about whom no information exists anywhere in any form. Presumably he is not the same S.Bent as the American carpenter on the internet who offers "the most comfortable and stylish dining room furniture available." Either way, Mark Smith is arguably the greatest living interpreter of S Bent's astonishing legacy of song.
9) It's A Curse (The Infotainment Scan 1993)
With the line, "Vimto and Spangles were always crap, regardless of the look back bores.", Smith unintentionally summarises the last 10 years of Channel 4's light entertainment policy.
10) A Past Gone Mad (The Infotainment Scan 1993)
A peculiarly wistful atmosphere is sustained despite the unforgiving declaration, "If I ever end up like Ian McShane slit my throat with a kitchen tool, And if I ever end up like U2 slit my throat with a garden vegetable."
11) Behind The Counter (Middle Class Revolt 1994)
"I'm getting thin from idiots who write rock books "For Nose Pin and the Punk Piggies didn't quite make it," they say".
12) Hey Student (Middle Class Revolt 1994)
Splenetic slice of rockabilly that revisits the late 70's Fall of Totales
Turns. The lone staccato bass jab punctuating the end of each phrase, like a rusty nail sticking out of a dilapidated fence, is a definitive Steve Hanley move. "When I'm walking down the street, It's always you I seem to meet, Long hair down and sneakers on your feet. And write your letters to the Evening News, I clench my fist and sing this tune: I said Hey student, hey student, hey student, You're gonna get it through the head."
13) Ten Houses of Eve (Levitate 1997)
An amazingly ambitious moment from a band in crisis. Drum 'n' bass clatter is meaninglessly appropriated, and there's that beautiful pastoral interlude, presumably the work of Julia Nagle, that seems to wander in from another song entirely. Brilliant. At Sound Republic, Summer of '99, Smith left the stage and clasped a hapless punter around the head, reciting the spoken word section inches from his terrified face; "If only the shards would relocate back in place, In your blue green and grey heart, for bedecked in lace, If only thou could, In a rap sort of style, understand, will those shards relocate, if only..."
14) F-'oldin Money (The Marshall Suite 1999)
Some say Smith is a visionary poet akin to William Blake, but this cover of Tommy Blake's 1950's rocker shows he is equally possessed by the spirit of Gene Vincent or the young Cliff Richard.
15) Shake-Off (The Marshall Suite 1999)
A torrent of words, big beats, and a warning about consuming Domestos. Typically of The Marshall Suite, Shake-Off finds some common ground between the electronica of The Fall's early 90's work and the raw garage rock noise of their '70s and '80s releases. The sound of shards relocating back into place?
16) (Jung Nevs) Antidotes (The Marshall Suite 1999)
A second cousin of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir. The uncharacteristic feedback probably earned new guitarist Neville Wilding a perfunctory slap around the back of the head, but it was worth it.
17) Bonkers In Phoenix (Cerebral Caustic 1995)
Bonkers in Phoenix, one of The Falls funniest moments, anatomises the gradual emulsification of the British Rock Festival more accurately than a rain forest worth of Sunday Supplement opinion pieces. American guitarist Brix Smith, who earned the respect of grumpy fans to become a key player on The Fall, sings a helium voiced Strawberry Alarm Clock style bubble gum psyche melody which Smith interrupts with random noise and spurious stage announcements. "Would all people who want vegetarian burgers go on the left, and those who want meat burgers on the right. Car-parking is available at Glastonbury Phoenix ."
18) Bill is Dead (Extricate 1990)
"You dressed today as if for riding school, Your legs are so cool. Came twice. You thrice. These are the greatest times of my life."
THOSE 90's FALL STUDIO ALBUM LINE-UPS TO THE BEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE IN FULL
Mark E Smith vocals/ Stephen Hanley bass/ Craig Scanlon guitar/ Simon Wolstencroft drums/ Marcia Schofield keyboards and percussion/ Martin Bramah guitar and b.vocals
Mark E Smith vocals/ Stephen Hanley bass/ Craig Scanlon guitar/ Simon Wolstencroft drums/ Kenny Brady vocals and fiddle/ with Martin Bramah guitar on Rose, Marcia Schofield flute on Rose, Dave Bush machines.
Code Selfish 1991
Mark E Smith vocals/ Stephen Hanley bass/ Craig Scanlon guitar/ Simon Wolstencroft drums/ David Bush keyboards and machines.
The Infotainment Scan 1993
Mark E Smith vocals/ Stephen Hanley bass/ Craig Scanlon guitar/ Simon Wolstencroft drums/ David Bush keyboards and machines.
Middle Class Revolt 1994
Mark E Smith vocals/ Stephen Hanley bass/ Craig Scanlon guitar/ Simon Wolstencroft drums/ Karl Burns - drums, guitar
Cerebral Caustic 1995
Mark E Smith vocals/ Stephen Hanley bass/ Craig Scanlon guitar/ Simon Wolstencroft drums/ Brix Smith guitar and vocals/ with David Bush keyboards and machines/ Karl Burns - drums, guitar
The Light User Syndrome 1996
Mark E Smith vocals/ Stephen Hanley bass/ Craig Scanlon guitar/ Simon Wolstencroft drums, programming/ Brix Smith guitar and vocals/ Julia Nagle keyboards, guitar/ Karl Burns drums, vocals, guitar/ Lucy Rimmer & Mike Bennet vocals
Mark E Smith vocals/ Stephen Hanley bass/ Andy Hackett guitar/ Tommy Crooks Guitar/ Simon Wolstencroft drums/ Julia Nagle keyboards, guitar, programming, arranging/ Karl Burns drums
The Post Nearly Man 1998
Mark E Smith vocals
The Marshall Suite 1999
Mark E Smith vocals/ Tom Head - drums/ Neville Wilding guitar/ Julia Nagle keyboards, guitar, programming/ Karen Leatham bass/ Adam Halal bass/ S Hitchcock string arrangements
Rich Kidd, Jeff Curtis and Stefan Cooke edit the incredible Fall website at http://www.visi.com/fall/
Jonathan Kandell and Jeff Curtis exhaustive Fall Lyrics Parade is at http://liquid2k.com/fall/lyrics/lyrics.html <http://liquid2k.com/fall/lyrics/lyrics.html>
Jeff Higgots authoritative Fall discography is at http://www.visi.com/fall/albums_other.html
Rob Waites seasonal printed infotainment scan The Biggest Library Yet, is available from 29 Leverton Road, Retford, Notts, DN22 6QF, UK
Geoff Cave's mindboggling Fall line-ups site is at http://members.tripod.com/~the27points/lineups.html At time of going to press we're at Fall #27
Live 77 now appears on Voiceprint's on-line ordering thing, along with proper rock artists libe Evel Knievel and Uri Geller
June 4, 1976: The Sex Pistols play the Manchester Free Trade Hall.
Tony Wilson was there (of course). And this is what he said to Mojo about it the other day:
"That gig did lead to everything that happened in Manchester after. Seventy per cent of the main players in the next 15 years were among the 30-odd people there; Ian Curtis was there, Peter Hook was there, Mark E. Smith, Morrissey. But no-one knew anybody. ..... Then, inspired by rock music having been taken back to basics, one or two groups wanted to express more. Joy Division and then U2. Compare all that to ELO and Rick Wakeman. That's how important it was."
Kurious Oranj Live, CD
No further information.
>> - KTEL's "GIMME INDIE ROCK volume 1". A two CD set that's almost too good >>to be believed, which includes "hits" and a bunch of out of print gems from >>the following: Hüsker Dü, Dinosaur Jr., My Dad Is Dead, Wedding Present, The >>Chills, The Fall, Pussy Galore, Mudhoney, Half Japanese, Big Dipper, NIkki >>Sudden, Eleventh Dream Day, Giant Sand, Meat Puppets, Scrawl, The Feelies, >>Yo La Tengo, The Wipers, Squirrel Bait, The Minutemen, Savage Republic, The >>Mekons, Galaxie 500, Spacemen 3, The Flaming Lips, The Melvins, Black Flag, >>Death of Samantha, The Pastels, The Vaselines.
Get Ready for In-Packaging Pathogen Detection
Ontario, Canada-based company, Toxin Alert, has developed polyethylene packaging that displays an alert sign, such as an "X," when its contents become contaminated. The technology is being developed for use with PVC packaging.
"Mark E. Smith woke up and tore into the PVC-packaged salami with his teeth and fingernails. Intent as he was on capturing his dream notes in his spiral notebook, he failed to notice the red contamination alert "X" sign, which was slightly camouflaged by the angry color of the meat. In his trademark scribble, he began: INSTincTIVE"
Recenlty there was some talk of Philip K. Dick's 'break-ins'. These letters written by Dick to various governMENTAL agencies should be of interest
also check out on letter three the extremely dubious fallcon
"P.S. Harold Kinchen introduced me to only one individual, who asked me to write for his underground pornographic publications; I refused. By accident I recently learned that this man, 'Doc' Stanley, of Corte Madera, 'was a student of the speeches of Hitler during his college days at the University of Chicago, advocating their doctrines and reading them to people.' Neither Stanley nor Kinchen mentioned this to me."
Sean O'Hagan, writing about the Pistols and Lydon in today's Observer:
"For a brief, liberating moment, they shoved all the anger and frustration of their class back in the face of those who would have consigned them to a life of dull, desperate strugglle. They were, in the words of that other great punk scribe, Mark E. Smith of The Fall, 'the prole art threat' made horribly, powerfully real, and, in class-ridden Britain, every one of their songs hit a raw nerve."
Subject: <fallnet> Poetry from Room 4 website outs plagiarist
The teacher is obviously a Fall fan. We'll only have this excerpt:
("On My Own")
By Mr. O'Hara
I understand that my time on the earth is but a vanishing mist
("life is nothing more than a disposable facial tissue")
I say "carpe diem"
("your friends are dis compos mentis")
I dream that my life will be meaningful and leave beauty
("my vibrations will live on")
I try to stay close to the life giving stream
I hope to see obstacles as stepping stones within a grander scheme beyond my understanding and personal plan.
("Surmount All Obstacles")
I am passionate and creative.
("I am the caterer")
It's obvious to me that he stole the themes off of MES.
I am passionate and creative
I wonder how creatures sense the time and place of migration
("the time of the wolverines")
I hear the sounds of a river surging under the gleam of a waxing moon
("Before the Moon Falls")
I want to draw near to this life sustaining river
I am passionate and creative.
(repeat) (Mr. O'Hara digs repetition)
I pretend that I am a hiker traveling a vanilla scented trail in the high sierras.
("Like mountain climbing or skiing in the alps / think of it")
I feel a breeze whistle through the trees and mist from waterfalls
("A Lot of Wind")
I touch the bark of an ancient redwood.
("kick the broken branches")
I worry that something might happen to my loved ones while I am away.
("paranoid man at the zenith of his powers")
I cry when someone close is hurt of dies, or leaves
("why do you have a cloud in your eye?")
I am passionate and creative.
(well, maybe not so)
From James Park's 1991 'Cultural Icons - Cult Figures Who Made The Twentieth Century What It Is', the entry for Smith/The Fall.
The Fall - formed 1977 Mark E. Smith - born 1960 [sic] BRITISH ROCK GROUP
They appeared with punk, but never quite belonged to it. Crushing together arcane references to medieval history and casual Saturday night violence, they embody a spread of British mythologies, ancient and modern, like no other group. Their tattered sprawl of a sound is a mutant descendent of The Troggs, The Kinks and mis-remembered Northern Soul. Rock's basic pitch has always been imminent ecstasy; The Fall's has, from the beginning, been immanent terror, and their one remaining founder-member, Mark E. Smith, is best understood as a 1970s disco-misfit descendant of Victorian fright-writers such as M.R. James or Arthur Machen. He runs his group like a displaced medieval Lord of the Manor, by turns loopy and cunning, and writes in an eerie, distorted, splenetic argot all his own, which perfectly encapsulates his contempt for, and his fascination with, a world he did not make.
Don't know if this is available elsewhere or has already been posted...
It's The Fall's entry from the 1985 edition of The New Music Record & Tape Guide (The Trouser Press Guide in the US), edited by Ira Robbins.
Live at the Witch Trials (Step Forward/Step Forward-IRS) 1979 Dragnet (Step Forward/ur) 1979 Live Totale's Turns (It's Now or Never) (Rough Trade/ur) 1980 Grotesque (After the Gramme) (Rough Trade) 1980 Early Years 77-79 (Step Forward/Faulty products) 1981 Slates EP (Rough Trade) 1981 Live in London, 1980 [tape] (Chaos/nr) 198Z Hex Enduction Hour (Kamera/ur) 1982 Room to Live (Kamera/nr) 1983 A Part of America Therein, 1981 (nr/Cottage) 1982 Fall in a Hole (NZ Flying Nun) 1983 Perverted by Language (Rough Trade/ur) 1983 Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall (Beggars Banquet/Beggars Banquet-PVC) 1984 Call for Escape Route EP (Beggars Banquet/ur) 1984 Hip priest and Kamerads (Situation Two/nr) 1985 This Nation's Saving Grace (Beggars Banquet/Beggars Banquet-PVC) 1985 The Fall EP (nr/Beggars Banquet- PVC) 1986
The Fall formed in 1977 in Manchester and has been a major cult favorite in numerous comers of the globe ever since, despite few commercial efforts and uncompromising artistic integrity. Their fans are rabid, and their influence on like-minded conceptual noisemakers--in England, the US, Iceland, New Zealand and elsewhere-can't be overstated. Led by acid-tongued poet Mark E. Smith, whose lyrics and vocals provide the Fall's most distinguishing features, the band has created a huge body of unpleasant, challenging inaccessible anti-rock that occasionally proves to be very moving. From humble experimental beginnings, the Fall have continued to explore and grow stronger over the course of eight prolific years, earning a place of real respect in left-wing musical circles.
Whether you enjoy the sounds or not, the Fall have made a difference in the sound of modern music, and that counts. After releasing some singles and contributing two tracks to the watershed Manchester compilation, Short Circuit/Live at the Electric Circus, the Fall recorded and mixed their debut LP, Live at the Witch Trials in an economical two-day studio session with producer Bob Sargeant, who did nothing (audible) to soften their dissonant but well-organized rock noise. At once leaning toward punk's directness and charging headlong into poetic pretension, Smith and company (bass, drums, electric piano, guitar) drip sincerity on tracks like "Rebellious Jukebox" and "Crap Rap :Like to Blow," occasionally sounding "normal" amidst the tempest.
Dragnet followed with a rougher- edged sound as well as a new lineup (The Fall are a biographical nightmare). The first album to feature Craig Scanlon's trademark scratchy. dissonant guitar (which has played a major role in the band's noise ever since), Dragnet is not one of the Fall's best efforts, but contains at least two of their classic numbers, "Spectre vs. Rector" and "A Figure Walks." By the time of the Fall's first live album, Totale's Turns--recorded in late '79 and early '80--the band had consolidated a more commanding style, although it's no easier on the auraIs. Jagged, largely recitative and nearly oblivious to musical convention, Smith's witty repartee carries the show--he sounds a bit like the Stranglers' Hugh Cornwell only less melodious. The band lurches and grunts along noisily; 43 minutes of this is a bit much for non-fanatics.
Grotesque removes the Fall even further from the world of easy listening. The songs are mostly one-or-two-chord jams played too slowly to be hardcore, but structured similarly. Smith grafts on sociopolitical lyrics that would be more interesting on paper than accompanied by this strictly one-take-live-in-the-studio atonality. All of the Fall's pre-LP singles (featuring a lineup with keyboardist Una Baines and guitarist Martin Bramah, who went on together to form the Blue Orchids) are on one side of Early Years, the other collects later 7-inch efforts. One imagines that Public Image listened to the 1977 vintage "Repetition" a couple of times before mapping out their first LP. The 10-inch Slates has six tracks with substantially better production than the Fall's preceding ventures; evidence of much greater studio effort abounds. While still not quite Abba-smooth. several numbers, especially "Fit and Working Again" and "Leave the Capitol," are as close to enjoyable, routine (ahem) rock as the Fall have come. A solid record of greater potential appeal than just to cultists.
Part of Hex Enduction Hour was recorded in Iceland, a nation where the Fall's music is widely influential. An expanded lineup with two drummers greatly effects the sound, making it large and more rhythm-conscious. Despite a tendency to lumber along at a slow, methodical pace (a common hazard with multiple drummers) some of the tracks are an interesting departure. Room to Live features a sparser, less rhythmic sound then Hex Enduction Hour, occasionally returning to Grotesque's flirtation with raw rockabilly. Smith is in top lyrical form, with pungent, satirical views of British life: "Marquis Cha Cha" offers biting commentary on the Falklands War. Around this time, two live Fall discs emerged ~.
Part of America Therein was taped at a half-dozen gigs along a US tour. The sound quality varies considerably from track to track, but the performances are uniformly strong, particularly the epic N.W.R.A." Even better, though, is Fall in a Hole, a two-disc authorized bootleg released only in New Zealand. Recording quality, execution and song selection (mostly from Hex and Room to Live) are superb, but suffice to say, it's not a common sight in record stores. The Live in London, 1980 cassette was recorded in front of a none-too-enthusiastic audience at Acklam Hall; it's of dubious legal origin, listing neither songwriting nor publishing credits. Drawing mostly from Grotesque and Slates, it warrants mention due to sharp performances (except for "Prole Art Threat," which falls apart) and very good sound quality.
Their next studio LP, Perverted by Language marked a brief return to Rough Trade. On the first Fall record with Smith's American wife Brix as co-guitarist. they chug away with more conviction than ever, particularly on the relentless "Smile" and "Eat Y'self Fitter." Hindsight now shows it to be priming the audience for what was to follow: The Wonderful mad Frightening World of the Fall, perhaps their finest work to date, produced by John Leckie. Strengthened by Brix's songwriting and gutsy guitar, the Fall are able to beckon a variety of styles with panache. All nine tracks (eleven on the American release, which adds "C.R.E.E.P." and "No Bulbs," the latter from the subsequent EP, Call for Escape Route) jump out, highlighted by the fierce "Lay of the Land," "Elves" and the almost Syd Barrett-like "Disney's Dream Debased."
Hip Priest and Kamerads is a compilation of the band's releases on the Kamera label. Except for a live version of "Mere Pseud Meg Ed.," there's nothing otherwise unavailable, but it does offer a good introduction for the uninitiated. The tape has extra tracks. With what at this point seems like an embarrassment of riches, the Fall unleashed This Nation's Saving Grace. Tracks like the (gasp!) synthesized and danceable "L.A." and the contemporaneous 45, "Cruiser's Creek," show that the Fall is not completely averse to commercial potential, but it's really just another new type of ammunition added to the arsenal. "Bombast" builds a guitar din that would make Sonic Youth jealous, while "Paintwork" and I Am Damo Suzuki" (a song about Can's one-time lead singer) are two of the strangest things theyve ever done. The tape adds tracks, and the US release substitutes Cruisers Creek for Barmy, which subsequently turned up on the eponymous American EP, alongside other 45 cuts like their unlikely cover of Gene Vincents Rollin Dany. The Fall is requisite listening for anyone interested in a challenging, uncompromising band that refuses to stand still or follow any trends not of its own creation.
000213 few bits & pieces
000130 tour details, Tommy Blake stuff
000120 TBLY #18 details, Hanley in Mojo
000110 Dragnet doylum, New Year message, etc
Old stuff: Nov 1997 - Dec 1999
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