Fall News - 14 March 2000

The Fall play:
Hull Wellington Club on 20 March (CANCELLED - see below)
Wrexham Yales on 21 March
Doncaster Leopard on 22 March
York Fibbers on 23 March (SOLD OUT)
Leeds Duchess of York on 24th March (SOLD OUT)

Probably a good time to mention that the t-shirts on sale at the upcoming gigs will be white, with a dirty big pic of the Dragnet cover on the front.

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 Fall have cancelled the gig due to go ahead at Hull's Wellington Club on the 20 March, in support of recent bands that have played there who subsequently didn't get paid (er allegedly). Refunds available at point of sale.

They *will* be rearranging another gig in the area, probably end of April/early-May.



Went to Bristol on Friday for a job interview.

There I was a simple country boy feeling all insignificant in the big city when I saw the following on the local evening newspaper sales hoarding:

" Squatter pig faces field eviction"


Etan Gery:

From pitchfork (www.pitchforkmedia.com to avoid the crummy formatting [see how many errors of fact you can spot in this!]):

<<The Fall Early Years 77-79 [COG Sinister/Voiceprint] Rating: 8.3

Pretentious, preposterous and some say perfect, the Fall have defined willful obscurity from the outset. Initially dismissed as "students" by their juvenile peers, the Fall were a band concerned more with art than attrition-- the chaos and controversy employed by McLaren's Sex Pistols played as forgone conclusions to the truly literate. Yet even amid erudite peers such as Wire and marquee-mates Joy Division, the Fall were singularly aloof.

If punk were ever about self-determinate idealism, Mark E. Smith reigns unchallenged as its king. Tone deaf and ghoulish, Smith was, in a sense, the first genuine successor to punk forefather Iggy Pop. Few performers before or since have so thoroughly confounded and antagonized an audience. And, arrested in 1997 for assaulting his ex-wife during an onstage meltdown in New York City, Smith remains as caustic as he was 20 years ago.

The Fall's performances were often as unstable as their lineup (more than thirty people have claimed membership over the years), and the group remained a necessarily independent act for seven years before signing with Beggars Banquet in 1984. Their first studio recordings were among the strongest they'd release in the late 70's: "Psycho Mafia," "Various Times" and the definitive "Second Dark Age" are nothing short of accomplished when compared with the disjointed albums that followed (Live at the Witch Trials, Dragnet and Totale's Turns). These nascent singles, as well as two songs included on the very first Mancunian punk record (Short Circuit: Live at the Electric Circus) were compiled for the cursed 1981 LP, Early Fall 77-79.

Like most UK punk acts, the Fall never paid attention to the legalities of record production. This disrespect for procedural interference was fine for bands that typically lasted less than three years or signed to major labels during their first gig's after-party; for the Fall-- still recording for smallish independents when they hit their creative stride in 1980-- it spelled latter-day legal strife. Some of their initial reverie was released by the largest of the UK independents, Rough Trade, but the band were instantly at odds with the label's chic political correctness and recorded for other imprints at will. Consequently, the rights to some of their best records were thinly defined when the group set about reissuing them on their COG Sinister imprint in 1997.

By late 1998, the legal niceties had been resolved, for the most part, and the process was in full swing. Record collectors and rock critics the world over swooned as Palace of Swords Reversed (single sides from 1981-1983) and the definitive concert album, Fall in a Hole, became available after languishing out of print for almost 15 years. Even if Palace was greedily abbreviated-- "Leave the Capitol" and "City Hobgoblins" were left off for fear of hurting Slates/A Part of America Therein-- the 1980-1983 recordings are among rock's most alluring curiosities and reissues were long overdue.

But what of the early singles? It's been almost 20 years since anyone could find a copy of Early Fall outside record expos, and who wants to flip through crate after crate of Nirvana bootlegs while a tenth-generation mono dub of Van Halen: Final show w/ David Lee Roth plays on a dusty 13" combo unit? No record's worth all that. Okay, maybe the original '87 Palace of Swords Reversed, but I already found that on CD for $6.99 at a supermarket in upstate New York. (Talk about the man whose head expanded...)

As comparatively unnecessary Fall records came back in print in 1998 and 1999-- including a slew of impenetrable live albums (the erroneously titled Legendary Chaos Tape foremost among them)-- the group either secured the rights to Early Fall or found a long lost master tape (or both). Who knows what's kept them off this thing for so long, but whatever the reason, this best-of/first-of was finally re-released as the last Fall record of the 20th century, proving that they still dig repetition 20 years later.

-Chris Ott>>


Mark Harris:

...this interview MES did with Liz Kershaw circa "Kurious Oranj". I missed the start of it (soz) - LK was in the studio, MES was on the phone. Warning: a real in-depth thriller, this.

MES:... y'know... so we sent him a cassette through the mail.

LK: Oh... so he sort of choreographed it for your music rather than the other way round.

MES: Yeah... that's right, yeah.

LK: Well, it's called "I'm A Curious Orange". (sic)

MES: Yeah.

LK: So what happens?

MES: Well... when Michael came to me with the thing, we were sort of talking about it and I said well, how have we got the budget to do this, k'know, and he said he got a lot of the money from Holland and I said why and he said it was like the 300 year celebration of William Of Orange going to Brit...

LK (interrupting): Oh, that kind of Orange...

MES: Yeah.

LK: Nothing to do with fruit and veg...

MES: So... so we thought we'd have a bit of fun with it. And there's an old porn film called "I Am Curious Yellow" which is where we got the title from (MES is audiably smiling at this point) and so we sort of wrote the songs and mailed them to him. Sort of the first half is loosely based around, y'know, the life of William and sort of reactions to it and stuff.

LK: So how do you express that in a dance?

MES: Well, I don't know... I'm not the choreographer.

LK: But you've seen it... 'coz you're on stage are you during the performance?

MES: Obviously, yeah.

LK: And he dances round you?

MES: (Pause) Yeah.

LK: So he really tells a story with his dancing, then?

MES: No, he's just a brilliant dancer, that's all.

LK: So you first performed it in Edin... in Amsterdam, didn't you?

MES: That's right.

LK: And did it go down well?

MES: It went down great, yeah. We've just finished a week in Edinburgh, yeah.

LK: That's at the Edinburgh festival.

MES: Uh-huh.

LK: And was it well received there?

MES: What?

LK: Was it well received there?

MES: Yeah, yeah. Well, it was good to do them two places first, 'coz, um, with the English education system of course, nobody's told anybody about anything, but in Holland it's quite an important subject and in Britain... er, in Scotland it's quite a thing that everybody knows about, y'know. So it was a good trial for it, y'know.

LK: Is it not all a bit poncey and arty farty?

MES: Er... not particularly, no. I mean, Michael's a pretty excellent sort of dancer. I mean, I know nothing about ballet, so I can... y'know, anybody can tell you that.

LK: So what kind of audiences do you get? Do you get Fall fans coming just for the music?

MES: Well, it's very interesting, 'coz its... in Edinburgh it changed every night, y'know... like some nights you get the blue-rinse people with handbags in their laps and things...

LK (interrupting): ... and the mint imperials...

MES: (ignoring interruption): ... and sometimes you get the dicky-bow people with fingers in their ears, y'know, when the music comes on and, y'know, there's a lot of Fall fans too. I think it's good. Everyone seems to enjoy it.

LK: Is it a lucrative business, then?

MES: No, I don't think so, no.

LK: But are you getting paid for it?

MES: Oh aye, we are, yeah.

LK: So what do you get out of it, then?

MES: How d'you mean, luv?

LK: Um... what satisfaction do you get out of it?

MES: Well, it just sort of stimulates me. And also I like to do things a bit different than do the "tour LP" schedule...

LK: Yeah.

MES: I mean, like the first half of this year we were touring a lot, so it's really nice and refreshing to sort of do something like this on a very massive stage and us be in the corner and just concentrate on whacking out the music, y'know.

LK: Are you a bit of a dancer yourself?

MES: Um... I used to be, yeah. I'm thinking of... I mean, I don't want to show anybody up, y'know...

LK: (laughs)

MES: ... so I keep still.

LK: Now it's rumoured that you're doing a cover of "Jerusalem"...

MES: That sort of starts the show off, yeah.

LK: You've actually done it?

MES: Yeah.

LK: So how do you do that, 'coz it was our school song... do you give it a totally different interpretation?

MES: It was your school song?

LK: Yeah.

MES: Well... I think it was everybody's school song, wasn't it?

LK: I think so.

MES: Yeah, we sort of do it like... we approach it like the Velvet Underground would. There's a nice joke section in the middle of it, as well.

LK: So are you going to release Jerusalem as a record?

MES: Er... most probably, yeah.

LK: Well, thanks for talking to us.

MES: Alright, luv.

LK: A bit of a departure...

MES: Okey doke...

LK: See you soon... bye.

MES: Bye.


Paul Saxton:

From the new Uncut magazine, a review of Early Fall and Live 77:

EARLY FALL 77-79 ****
LIVE 77 ***
Cog Sinister/Voiceprint

Their first four singles on Mark 'Sniffin' Glue' Perry's Step Forward label plus rarities and a priceless historical document.

Early Fall was always an indispensable volume, now doubly so with the added inclusion of legendary rarities 'Steppin' Out' and 'Last Orders' live from the punk mecca that was Manchester's Electric Circus.

A more honest not to say hilarious insight into this era comes in Live 77, a harsh if priceless document of gob 'n' beer dodging while Marc 'Lard' Riley - all of 16 - screams "Y'immature bastud!" at those responsible. That this lo-fi relic includes "Oh! Brother" and "Cop It" - two songs in primitive form that wouldn't turn up on record til 1984 - and "Hey Fascist" (a blueprint for "Hey Student" recorded 17 years later) will keep the John Peel hardcore cartwheeling in ecstasy until that 34th album arrives later this year. (Review by Simon Goddard)


Alan McB:

picked up reggae comp on trip to seattle and it has barry biggs singin' a track called 'side show' with a chorus of 'let the side show begin' sounding remarkably like the delivery of that line in spinetrak


From: Davin Kolderup
Subject: Village Voice poll

It may be relevant to note (I don't think anyone mentioned it) that The Marshall Suite placed #625(!) in the poll. Anyone who can name 624 other albums, good or bad, that came out last year, gets a free Zagnut bar on me. The only critic to cast a vote for The Fall was Jim Sullivan, whose top 10 was:

1. Blur - 13
2. Moby - Play
3. NIN - Fragile
4. Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs
5. Chemical Brothers - Surrender
6. Flaming Lips - Soft Bulletin
7. David Bowie - hours...
8. Fall - Marshall Suite
9. Tom Waits - Mule Variations
10. Metallica - S&M


Ian Wilson:

My local free paper included this as part of a review of the album "The Closer You Get" by Six by Seven :

"NME Favourites Six by Seven come accross as a harder, rockier version of The Fall on at least half of their splenetic third album..........."

Never heard of 'em..........


Mark Harris:

There's a review of "Hex..." in the latest issue of the ace Ptolemaic Terrascope mag. I emailed the editor to ask him whether it was OK to post a copy of said review here, and this is what I got:

"Sorry, but it's not alright! We're *desperate* for money here - how about if you told them copies of issue 28 are available from me for the special price of £5 or $10? Many apologies, but I simply have to get more hard-nosed about it, we're in real danger of going under here..."



From: Etan Gery
Subject: <fallnet> Fw: Pajo on MES (marginal fallcon)

Digging through various saved mail, I found this, posted on the slint mailing list a few months back by one david pajo:

(david pajo, btw, is the kevin bacon of 90s indie rock, with stints in slint, tortoise, and his very own (aerial/papa) m)


If I were Mark E. Smith, I would say:
"I am Damo suzuki!"
I am not.
Why don't we all say:
"I am David Pajo!"

Or: "The wexner center with Laurie Anderson. The paint crew
with Crosby Wood. His idols with Mikel Christian Funk."

(Stay away from your idols young children.)

Sit up son let's talk about kosovo.
Or Songs For A Dead Pilot JFK Jr.

Or Camden Joy
Or Liz Phair a rant.
Or The Last Rock Star Book.

A man leads his horse in the distance.
I also hate Rodan Bookender.
A man mounts his horse.
I don't hate M. Modele.
A horse mounted on a wall.
In fiction, I love him.
I will take the mountain.

-m is the thirteenth letter



FallNet contributor Al Reynolds also has a book out this week:

"Revelation Space" by Alastair Reynolds, from Orion/Gollancz, in hardcover at 17.99 and softcover (trade paperback) at 11.99 (UK pounds). It's due out on thursday. It's a very big science fiction novel - 478 pages of small print, big pages etc. If you want to know more - what it's all about, reviews, etc, I have a page for it on my website:

http://members.tripod.com/~voxish/Home.html (and then follow the links)

Those of you that remember Andrew "Rick" Richardson's contributions to life and FallNet are invited to visit the following:


Recent news.... logo-a-go-go
000224 Past Gone Mad details
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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