|Fall News||19 December 2000
This is the latest news and gossip off FallNet for those with weak stomachs.
001201 tour reviews, crap interviews
It looks like the Mild Man Jan/MES single is being rereleased. Action Records have it - for details see FallNews dates 000620 where you'll find Mark Harris' original report on the 7" including that press release "meeting of minds" nonsense. Go to the next week 000709 and you can read Ian Greaves' addendum to the press release.
26 Nov 2000 - Glasgow
27 Nov 2000 - Sheffield - Sheffield University
Some recollections in no particular order.
Cracking album - taped it for a friend who hadn't seen The Fall in years. Therefore this was the first Fall gig I've ever been too *with* someone else. Apart from the D:Percussion thing in Manchester. She said it was good.
Doors open at 8:00, the flyers said. We get in sometime after 9:00pm. Wasn't looking promising as we stood around waiting for the doors to open. A bloke who seems to be at all the gigs I go to was there, recognised me, and came over to say he'd only heard one Fall song in his life and just wanted to see what they were like. I told him this was potentially a mistake. He had to leave early - musically he seemed to like them, but not so impressed at not being able to make out MES's vocals.
And the sound did seem to be a problem - and I wouldn't know a bad sound if it pushed a pencil up my nose. MES kept asking for his vocals to be turned up - snapped at one point, went over to the mixing desk and shouted "up! up! you daft bitch"; which I don't approve of.
He seemed perhaps a little drunk, but it's difficult to tell. May just have been wanting to get the whole thing over. At one point, while the band were recollecting themselves after one song, he went up to the microphone, looked out into the audience, and said "Hellloooooo". Which was very funny.
MES pulled the band off 3 or 4 times: not sure which were for proper encores, and which because of the sound. He got his microphone wire wrapped round Nev's machine heads at one point, to Nev's displeasure. Later on, the guitarist came back on after one walk off and flung the microphone to the floor before MES returned. MES also did a thing where he walked in front of Nev on stage, forcing him to take a few steps backwards.
Just before another walkoff, about half way through the gig, someone shouted for "Hands up Billy". When they came back on, Nev aggressively shouted "Come on then!", and they played a ferocious "...Billy". This got the people down the front dancing for the first time, and they didn't stop.MES eventually arrived back on stage and joined in, sharing Nev's microphone when he felt like contributing.
Lots of shouting for "more", which was encouraging. Boos when the security guy shouted "right, can you make your way out now please" and the house lights came up. No "Paintwork", unless they did it after everyone had gone home. Excellent and (so far as I can tell) *hugely* elongated version of "And Therein" - they really hit a groove on this one. Nev smiled throughout.
Strange new drummer present. Cyber Insect a little disappointing due to lack of female vocals - couldn't hear Julia. Live I think the new songs need a few more of the textures of the album, but otherwise they sounded good to my ears. Plenty of attack.
Oh yeah, and Groop were good, obviously struggling with the sound but distorted and cool. Better T-shirts that the Fall, too. And I'm not just saying that because one of them said they liked my Sonics shirt. Bought a nice Fall badge, though.
Great to see the Fall again, of course. Not one of the best gigs I've seen them do, but still magical in its way. But I find the negative press reviews of live shows are starting to get me down: the one in the Sheffield Telegraph was awful - even while noting the brilliance of the new album, and the poor sound, the reviewer said the state Mark was in was not funny any more. Not sure who said it ever was funny, but there you go.
in truth it was pretty crap. For the record I shall say so now.
Support act was diabolical; worst since Velvet Underpants. Informed that Tom Hingley also supported in Nottingham; feel cheated.
30 Nov 2000 - Leeds Irish Centre
Check out http://members.tripod.co.uk/pepik/ for some hot pretty boy action at the Leeds Irish Centre.
Another fantastic performance from a Fall line up that continues to
improve. They play tight, without backing tapes, and the new material fom
Unutterable sounds even better live. Highlights include; a sinuous Dr Burkes
Letter, a completely reworked And Therein that develops on a repeated riff
in the style of And This Day, the garage punk of Hands Up Billy, and a
resurected classic in Paintwork. M.E.S. appears at the peak of his powers,
clear headed and in control of a band that would be declared the saviours of
guitar music if only they were twenty years younger and bit more good
Began promising the world - WB tightly played, drums, guitar and bass
locked together like a stone in a spinning slingshot, big stage, the
perfect menacing opener like ROD at the beginning of Bend Sinister. What
I didn't want to happen was for Nev to begin the Touch Sensitive riff
and Mark to come on to that not having sung a word of WB. That said,
watching Adam play the bass run down was great. Then they played The
Joke, but it's true to say that such highlights of yesteryear seemed
pretty rudimentary in comparison to the new tracks, what Select calls
'the sound of a new band taking flight' in its interview with Mark this
month. Or maybe it's just overfamiliar. Two Librans was fantastic, the
balls it must take to play that opening guitar note on its own. Mark was
brilliant on this - Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Chechnya. Great to hear the 'Blonde
September' line. (He went through his 'tics' to an exaggerated degree
tonight, reading lyrics or a setlist taken from an amp, which he turned
90 degrees before chucking behind the drums, throwing mic into bass
drum, inspecting his curlicues like a grotesque almost, with an arm
almost over his head.) Straight let down of pace into Antidote before a
blistering Ketamine Sun. The verse where he uses about ten words which
ends 'Cos I'm ... ' is fantastic, just like the pause in 'Pumpkin Soup'
after he says 'As clouds go by', he lets the music speak for him. Subtle
and powerful. For some reason this is inextricably linked for me to The
Masquerade Ep track 'Ivannhoe's Twopence' where the lyric 'Anytime of
night, Anytime of day' displays an awareness of how the lyric sounds, as
opposed to just what it says. Basically the new ones are the best, more
energy, more dynamic, written by and played by the band.
2 Dec 2000 - Leicester Charlotte
ĎThe Fallí (or something resembling it)
I first saw the Fall at a Save the GLC Festival in Brixton in 1984. Iíve lost count of how many times Iíve seen em since but its umpteen times. I donít normally drink Stella lager in such quantities and the Fall arenít normally as shite or as obviously comprised of one dimensional mercenaries as I did and they were on this particular night.
Now Iím old and wise enough to realise that the Fall are whoever happens to show up with Smith on the night. But this Fall is not even a Fall let alone the Fall. For one thing Smith would never have allowed a band to be this sloppy before. No: they were not interestingly destructured - they were fucking lazy and very sloppy. Previous band members might have been dour looking [not that this particularly bothered me] but they used to be concerned enough to be tight: not in a wanky muso way (and I agree with the guy on the site who critiques the Ďslickí days) but you know: there; solid; you know, like the Fall. [You want examples?: Like when they came on at Leicester University in 1985: one crack on the snare and into an absolutely awesome Copped It. Like they were at Birmingham Town Hall in 1992 when I first heard Baldheaded Men (oh ≠ they did Strychnine for an encore that night ≠ add it to yer list).] Yeah they did Paintwork, yeah they did Hey Student. Which is a bit like saying that I enjoyed em doing Fiery Jack at Nottingham that time with Brix on guitar. ĎItís a bit reedy, a bit weedy John.í
This was the one, top quality entertainment, an
absolute stormer of a gig.
Florian Kirchhof reports MES turning up in Berlin:
More unutterable reviews
http://www.mic.gr/cds.asp?id=5310 In American:
from De Volkskrant today:
sjr: There is an equally controversial review in this week's Halesowen Chronicle CD Album Review section complete with misspelt title:-
The Fall - The Unnutterable (Eagle Rock).
The Fall - The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall
Mind you, he also chose The Muppets: http://www.q4music.com/features/DisplayFeature.cfm?ObjectUUID=16C49D7C-AB34-11D4-9086000629F602A5
Steve Dean performs the Unutterable opera:
The noise show was dedicated to the birthdays of David Edwards and John Malkovich - I also, after "good evening we are not the fall" decicated it to "50 years of Mark E Smith & The Fall and 175 albums".
After 3 rubber banana pieces we did the "Unutterable Aria" the words to which are as below- I went stage right and performed the words here, Uther was stage left and saying useful general knowledge type facts and reciting the words to "Arid Al's Dream" (which I thought he did pretty well as he's never heard it).
*****Text for rubber bananas 'Unutterable Aria"*****
Mark Edward Smith is Unutterable, Stuart Mackie "Oprah Winfrey - she studied bees" and the bit in Devolute about getting "fat-arsed"; other john "Hemorrhoid Sufferer Number Two," paul h "I hit roundabout" mark H Most overrated US cities: Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas Most underrated US cities: Los Angeles, Philly, DC, Columbus, OH., Assfucktown, NV Hahhah Meeham "Best hot dogs ever: in the Charleston, SC airport" astro al "My other favorite bit: when MES says "I hate Siberian Khatrus"... chris kovin "curvaceous women" -Serum john howard lost his temper with a friend Marked him and treated him with rudeness And though I tried to make amends Feel I miss him and walk a dark corridor I was in the realm of the essence of Tong carl steadman: The archive is updated at 40 minutes past the hour every hour. Diane Lerzer, confessing to like the yes song.. "look up, the fire, the fire is fallin sends chills down my little spine, that does...both my enemy and my friend know the feeling?..music-CD's, this is all in the delivery... Graeme Park "the (muggings) dressing as soldats. Nelson in Timor, (Tolstoy) in che-che-chian. (Euro/you will) - reflect our wastage". Not sure exactly what the words are here but it's all in the delivery. "temperance is both my enemy and my friend" which had some interesting live variations in Edinburgh or Glasgow, which I can't remember off the top of my head. The vocals on Sons of Temperance are scarier every time I listen to them, they really make me think something's gone wrong with my ears. "cyber insekt in its escarpement" again in the delivery. "he was broke but it was oke" as previously pointed out by Al(?) is a cracking line. Patricktip Aaah! The backlash begins! Truly heartwarming! I've been trying to come up with things wrong with the album, but I just can't manage to. How annoying is that?! There's gotta be *something* to hate about a new Fall release ...! So far I haven't sat down with it & listened on headphones or suchlike. I've been doing the Mark-Lynds- style just-listen-to-the-music thing. So I didn't have anything for the Stve lyric contest. ... Which is also annoying. "Michael Flack" Don't agree actually. I'd be hard pressed to find ten lines that are at all remarkable, esp by past Fall standards. The delivery actually makes a lot of them, and the combination of the delivery and "vulgar and arrogant abeyance" is a bit of a gem. But really, "I hate roundabouts" a classic lyric? Wishful thinking going on here, I'm afraid. I'm prepared to believe that MES was paying attention when it came to the mix, getting the sound right, because getting a new weird, sound nearly every time is what he's always managed - and The Unutterable sounds great. But the songs? It doesn't feel to me like he was directing anything there - random mumblings put together over some pretty competent musicians who knew what was required of them and delivered it with aplomb. But then, for all we know that's all that ever happened... Craig Parker - There is also the little matter of shafting somebody while they are working: like what you did at Sheffield." reference to the 1866 'Sheffield Outrages'? Jackd, sounding maudlin and not even drunk - -- yet! I'll go on record for being someone who's bitching about no Scanlon. but listening to some old Peel sessions last night - I was hearing something that would only make this new stuff even more vital. "
"Just got back from Chicago, which it appears has a HUGE Fall fan-base. Even before local girl Brix joined, they were big. Still, you couldn't tell by listening to the local radio stations. 90% of what they play is sub-Willie Nelson tosh or typical American soft-rock. Nice. Anyroad, Kati and I were in the car, and this radio DJ goes "Phone us now with your requests". Within 3 minutes, the man played "Cruisers Creek" and dedicated it to me. Spoke to him off air afterwards, and this guy is a massive Fall fan. He asked me if they were touring the States soon, whether the last tour was any good (hell, yeah!) and he was so genuinely nice and into them that I said I'd "recommend" his show. So here goes: if you live in Illinois, or happen to be there, the number one show to listen to is "Vinyl Destination" on 89.1 FM, Mondays at 8pm, presented by Joey. Your requests for FALL records will be in safe and competent hands."