Fall News

The Fall play the Bulldog Bash in Warwickshire on Sat 11th August: http://www.bulldogbash.co.uk

The new EP "PRESENT" and a spoken word album are both due for release on Monday 3rd September.



THE FALL are to honour their forthcoming festival date at ROCKWAVES festival in ATHENS, despite frontman MARK E SMITH suffering a broken leg.

A spokesperson told NME.COM today (June 7) that the singer was injured in Great Yarmouth, where he had been attending a rockabilly festival during a break following the band's recent UK tour.

Smith slipped down a slope and crashed into a concrete post, breaking his leg. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Great Yarmouth where he stayed for three days before discharging himself. He is currently using crutches, but the spokesperson said he will take the stage at Rockwaves on July 2, either using crutches or in a wheelchair.

He added that he is "doing really well with his recovery - a full leg of plaster can't stop MES!" He also quipped that "he wasn't drunk and has no plans to sue Great Yarmouth Council over the state of their pavements."

The band are also set to appear at the Bulldog Bash in Warwickshire on August 11.

The Fall are currently recording new songs for a forthcoming three-track EP, with song titles including 'My X Classmates Kids', 'New Formation Sermon' and 'Distilled Mug Art'. Smith has described the songs as different and "very organic". A release date is not yet known. An album is expected to follow later in the year.

Hooray! Pete Conkerton's back:


At one time the renowned Dr. Faust sojourned in Erfurt. He lived in Michelsgasse next to the great Collegium.

As a learned professor and with the permission of the academic senate he lectured in the large auditorium of the Collegium Building about Greek poets. Indeed, he explained Homer to his audience, the students, describing the heroic figures of the Iliad and the Odyssey so realistically that the students expressed the desire to see them with their own eyes. He made this possible, conjuring them up from the underworld, but when the students saw the powerful giant Polyphemus, they all became terrified and wanted to see or hear nothing more from him.

He drove through the narrowest street in Erfurt with a double-span load of hay, for which reason this street has ever since been called "Dr. Faust's street".

Once he came riding a horse that ate and ate and could never be satisfied.

Another time he tapped all kinds of wine from a wooden table and made the drunken drinking companions think they saw grapes. They wanted to cut them from the vines, but when he caused the deceptive image to disappear, Each one had another one's nose in his fingers instead of wine grapes.

A house in Schlossergasse is said to still have an opening in the roof that can never be closed with roofing tiles because Faust used it for his cloak rides.

He is said to have created a magnificent winter garden and provided delicious meals for numerous noble guests, thus achieving a high reputation.

Soon everyone in Erfurt was talking of nothing but Dr. Faust, and it was feared that a great many people would be led astray through his devilish arts.


J.G. Th. Grasse, Sagenbuch des Preussischen Staats, Vol.1 No.453
(Glogau: Verlag von Karl Flemming, 1868)

One winter the renowned Doctor Faustus came to the Count of Anhalt. Seeing that the Count's wife was pregnant, Doctor Faustus asked her if she did not desire something special to eat, as is often the case with expectant mothers. He said that with the help of his magic powers he could get her anything she wanted. The countess graciously accepted his friendly offer and told him that a great desire of hers would be satisfied if she could have some fresh fruit such as grapes, cherries and peaches instead of the dried confection and nuts that she currently had. But she thought that neither he nor any other magician could get such things in the middle of a harsh winter.

Doctor Faustus took three silver platters, set them in front of the dining room window, muttered a magic formula, then soon returned with fresh fruit. The first platter was filled with apples, pears and peaches; the second with cherries, apricots and plums; and the third filled with red and green grapes. He invited the countess to partake of the fruit, which she did with great pleasure.

When it came time for Doctor Faustus to take leave of Anhalt, he requested the count and countess to accompany him on a walk, for he wanted to show them something new. This they did, accompanied by the count's entourage. Approaching the castle gate, they saw a newly constructed palace on the hill called Rombuhl. Water birds were swimming in its broad moats. The palace had five towers. As the party came closer, they found that two of the towers and the outer yard were alive with a menagerie of rare animals which were walking and jumping about inside, without injuring one another. There were apes, monkeys, bears, chamois, ostriches, as well as other animals.

An elaborate breakfast awaited them in one of the halls. Doctor Faust's familiar, Christoph Wagner, served as waiter, and music was sounding from an unseen source. The food and wine were such that everyone ate and drank with great pleasure until they were full.

After spending more than an hour in this place, the party left the beautiful palace. As they were approaching Anhalt Castle they looked back at the new palace and saw and heard it go up in flames, with the sound of rifles and cannons. Faustus and Wagner had disappeared, and they all were suddenly as hungry as lions. They had to have breakfast once again, for everything that they had eaten had been merely an illusion.

Ludwig Bechstein, Deutsches Sagenbuch No.412, 1852
(Meersburg and Leipzig: F.W. Hendel Verlag, 1930)

All the above "translated and/or edited by" one D.L. Ashliman, who also claims copyright, which seems a bit dubious to me since we're dealing with 500 year-old legends. Anyway...


Doctor Faustus: Horseshoes splackin' Swallows Hay-Cart, Cart-Horse. Of the peasant blockin' his path. Doctor Faustus: Power showin', spits out Hay-cart, cart-horse, hay and box at the gates of ANHOLT. Dr. Faustus: At the court of the count, made fruits exotic pleasure-lichous, appear behind curtains in winter. Dr. Faustus: At the decadent court, made animals from sun-lands appear in the sparse gartens of Vinter in ze likkle willage. Doktor Faustus: Horse-shoes clackin', swallows cart-horse, hay-cart of the peasant blockin' his path. Must leave his student friends. FAUSTUS! Come get yer chips! Pull me blood silhouette, treu the ceiling sky. Cast me blood silhouette, thru the ceiling sky.

M.E. Smith, Sinister Times Someday 00th, 19$$
(Marquis Manipulation Productions, 1986)
Copyright Mark E Smith

And for my last trick, a fair stab at the Peel Faust, easily the best available for my money. To be frank there's bits of it that I think I might have imagined, but I reckon that 'Tophet Saint' is so wonderful that, if MES didn't say it, I'll claim the credit anyway.


Doctor Faustus horseshoes splacking swallows hay cart carthorse
Of the peasant blocking his path
Faustus power showing spits out hay cart carthorse hay and box
At the gates of the town of Anholt

Had your chances, had your chance
Had your chances, you've had your chances

Doctor Faustus at the court of the count
Made fruits exotic appear behind curtains in winter
Of winter in the little village
Doctor Faustus regret is unleashed
His twenty four year pact
He gets his Tophet saint
His Tophet saint

Had your chances, had your chances
Had your chances, you've had your chances

Doctor Faustus declaimed from memory
Antler heads trick more
Leave no trace of his student friends
Mestopheles says
Mestopheles sheet amend
Now it reads
Pull me blood silhouette through the ceiling sky

Doctor Faustus horseshoes splacking swallows hay cart carthorse
Of the peasant blocking his path
Had your chances, you've had your chances
Pull me blood silhouette through the ceiling sky
Had your chances
Pull me blood silhouette through the ceiling sky
Had your chances

sweet dreams

Olli: Don't think we've seen that one before:

or this mention on Ed Kuepper's site:


BBC offers fortnight in The Fall

Horror of life in band latest challenge for reality TV

Monday June 25, 2001

Wanted: 5 young men & women for a fortnight's trip to the continent. Must be willing to wade through mud, live with rats and maggots, and be gassed, deprived of sleep and subjected to simulated shelling.

If that sounds like hell, the programme-makers have almost got it right. The BBC is trying to simulate life in The Fall for the most ambitious "reality TV" show yet produced: a recreation of life on the North-Western front in Autumn 2001.

Volunteers will spend two weeks in a Transit van and will be exposed to tear gas, woken at all hours, and will have to wear heavy tin helmets night and day. Each will play a real-life band member and will have no idea when he is going to "play" - until MES removes him.

"It is conceived as a serious documentary with a serious message and educational purpose, rather than as reality TV," a BBC spokesman said yesterday.

The aim was to bring home the horrors of the music biz to a generation that knows little of the conflict. "It is being meticulously researched. There will be interviews with people who were directly involved."

But some historians argue that the show will offer little insight into the band. "If it reminds people of how bloody horrible it was, fine. The majority of my students probably wouldn't know the difference between Lou Reed and Doug Yule," said Dr Karl Burns, who lectures at King's College London, and has written extensively on the tragedy.

"But it doesn't do much more than reinforce the existing stereotype that The Fall was about lads volunteering. "It's a male, Eurocentric view. We had nearly 100 female band members as well."

"It becomes theatre. If viewers come away thinking 'God, that was horrible', they are getting 0.5% of the horror.

"In purely physical terms, these people will be taller and stronger - really you would have to take people who were prone to disease. They should be traumatised, having seen a third of their schoolfriends sacked in the previous six months. And I hope they include a 16 or 17-year-old; by their own estimate, 15% of the band was under age.

"You would need at least one person with venereal disease, and another would need to get the news that his wife had run off with someone else. They would have no sleep for three or four days on end. They would suffer hypothermia, lice and lice-borne infections."

Steven Malkmus, who has simulated life in The Fall as a member of Pavement, also expressed doubts about the project. "We didn't attempt to recreate battle," he said. "It borders on bad taste, and you cannot simulate that fear or danger."

Life in the band was "90% tedium, and the authenticity will suffer because they will have to provide entertainment or people won't watch it."

Some Fallnet suggestions for next LP:

a 10-min sea shanty dealing with his attempts to get about on crutches, and the rockabilly pirates of Gt Yarmouth..

some kind of lo-fi hybrid chanty thing with bells (or even gamelan) about ants catching fire would be good

without in any way suggesting that The Fall should get back to their late 80's heyday, I'd suggest:

1) a low-key intro track where Smith moans about how underappreciated he is and how he hasn't got many friends.

2) at least one faintly repetitious track with a bit of a teutonic feel to it - maybe a bit of megaphone wouldn't go amiss, and perhaps some ungrammatical German shouting. Maybe throw in a reference to a German place - Munchengladbach, for instance?

3) a vaguely surreal song detailing the bittersweet rehabilitation of a troubled sports celebrity; again a German influence wouldn't hurt and it might even have a passing reference to some make of German car - Audis, for instance. Could be called "Track and Field Star Rehabilitated" (just a suggestion).

4) throw in some fillers, sorted.

a song about bicycle racing would be good. Maybe a story about a team in the Tour de France that wins all the time because of the satanic rituals they practice late at night.

What about White Castle US Patent #4,358,716 ? 'Adjustable electrical power control for gas discharge lamps and the like' The present solid state device generates variable interval, high frequency bursts of alternating current to dim or otherwise control a discharge lamp or the like, and features an adjustable duty-cycle burst control subcircuit that intermittently interrupts a pair of constant, phase-reversed, high frequency pulse sequences, thereby permitting variable interval bursts of the pulse sequences to reach a pair of semiconductor devices. The semiconductors alternately switch ON and OFF in response to the high frequency pulses applied thereto, thereby rapidly alternating the direction of current flow through a suitable inductor configuration which, in turn, is connected to the load.

Read out in a 'Tom, Joe' style or declaimed over an 'A Past Gone Mad' type riff - either way is fine.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4188504,00.html (Interview with MES from the Guardian May 18th)


Review of the Unutterable from French mag Les Inrockuptibles:

The Fall The Unuterrable sortie avr. 2001 (Eagle Records / Import)

N'hésitant pas à matraquer les points sur les i, plus ricanant, caustique et acrimonieux que jamais, Mark E. Smith, francophobe patenté mais célinien éperdu, nous entraîne derechef à bord d'un guignol's band joyeusement foutraque, parvenant, près d'une heure durant, à toujours nous griser sans nous saouler jamais. Abrasif et cinglant, éventuellement mélodique, The Unuterrable entrechoque avec panache mots frappeurs et rythmiques syncopées (voire martiales) et ravira les inconditionnels ainsi que ceux qui ne demandent qu'à le devenir, enthousiasmés par la rage aimante de Mark E. Smith, ce crooner halluciné et magnifique comme seuls, dans ce lugubre monde de gagneurs, savent encore l'être les perdants.
Jérôme Provençal
29 mai 2001

John Monroe:

I just found an interesting Fall-related set of words in the run off tracks of the double purplre vinyl 7" set by Australian band The Hummingbirds titled "2 Weeks With A Good Man In Niagara Falls". I was cleaning the vinyl a bit before putting it to cdr, when I noticed "Australians In Europe" on the run-off groove, and thought "a-ha!", so I checked the other 3 sides, to find: "cary Grant's Wedding Part 2", "Totally Wired", and "Prole Art Threat".


I swear I was there

for those that missed it, it was a documentary on 3 about the pistols' gigs at the free trade hall that supposedly kicked off the whole manchester punk scene. featured testimony from our man (drinking a bud? say it ain't so), twaty wilson, john the postman and howard devoto.

i thought the funniest bits were the ones featuring slaughter and the dogs, one of whom looks like half of black lace and is toying with a manc-cum-LA accent ala that pillock from the hollies who joined CSNY.

it was also quite amusing to see wilson claim to have been there while virtually everyone else said he wasn't. it still surprises me a little to realise how much pretentious twattery surrounded that scene; glen matlock, tony wilson and jordan came out looking particularly bad in either their then or now incarnations (or both.) only devoto and peter hook really acquitted themselves with any degree of aplomb; mes wasn't allowed to say enough to decide.

27 June 2001

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Old stuff: Nov 1997 - Dec 1999