Fall News

In case you're wondering what happened to Rich, he doesn't want to do the Fall News any longer, so I offered to take over.... I hope I can do it half as well.



Three European gigs have been cancelled:

October 31 - Metropolis, Munich
November 1 - Szene, Vienna
November 2 - Hafen Club, Innsbruck

According to the band, all other dates in Europe and the U.S. are going ahead.


Apparently the EP The Present has been withdrawn. Tracks scheduled to be on it were "My Ex-Classmates' Kids," "New Formation Sermon," and "Distilled Mug Art."

No word yet on the status of the MES spoken word CD, Pander, Panda, Panzer. I assume it'll be released presently.


Are You Are Missing Winner (Cog Sinister COGVP131CD)

are you are missing artist


1. Jim's "The Fall" (M.E. Smith/J. Watts)
2. Bourgeois Town (R. Johnson arr. M.E. Smith)
3. Crop-Dust (S. Birtwistle/M.E. Smith)
4. My Ex-Classmates' Kids (M.E. Smith/E. Blaney)
5. Kick the Can (M.E. Smith/B. Pritchard)
6. Gotta See Jane (R. Dean/Taylor)
7. Ibis-Afro Man (M.E. Smith/J. Watts/I. Pop)
8. The Acute (Smith/Fanning)
9. Hollow Mind (Smith/Blaney)
10. Reprise: Jane - Prof Mick - Ey Bastardo (Spencer/Blaney)

Playing time: 47min 51sec

CD available at the gigs; it'll be in the shops "in about five weeks." A record shop in the UK says November 5. It's already in the shops in France, according to a correspondent, and I'm getting reports that some U.S. stores already have copies (e.g. Vintage Vinyl in New Jersey - $17.99).

Apparently there's also a limited edition vinyl picture disk.... the horror. Also Jim Watts says the shop version will have different packaging -- not that there's anything wrong with the current design ...

Overheard on the Internet:

  • The cover is truly, TRULY dire, breathtakingly, dreadfully crap.


  • They should have had somebody crap on a piece of paper and photocopy it - that would have been better. May have got a bit squished in the photocopier though.

Voiceprint has two Real Audio selections (encoded @ 16 Kbps) on their web site:


The European tour (UK gig reports are in the October 19 Fall news.)

Vaartkapoen, Brussels, Belgium, October 19, 2001

Dirk Willems:

Venue was filled with approx. 400-450 people of a maximum capacity of 600. Band takes stage at 21.30.

First surprise, it's the same band as in Amsterdam earlier this year, apart from Julia.

Band plays tight, very tight (see previous gigs). Cyber and Touch not so impressive as in Amsterdam, but set steadily grows, as from the new sonks onwards, it's complete madness.

Band and Mark in good form, especially Mark is very focused on the texts, no walk offs, no messing around with mics, no messing around with amplification. Best Mark in 10 years, absolutely.

After the show It was said that he married a greek girl not so long ago, and since then he's really doing well !! Anyway, he was doing extremely well and so was the band.

Ben now without wheelchair. The second guitarplayer is technically very good, he joins as from the new sonks. (a typical rythm guitarist)

The highlight of the set is 'Antidotes', now that is absolute vintage tight. Just blew me away.

Ben agreed with me after the concert, and said it's the song he likes playing the most currently, It made him think of 'Kashmir' (Led Zeppelin), now in no way let this scare you, on the contrary I'd say !!

Way round, indeed is a stormer, but this is the one I'm missing the keyboards the most.

Gotta see Jane was nicely built up into a dramatic end of the set. Did I mention the constant crowdsurfing and stagediving of some confused, frenchspeaking younger fallfans ?

The crowd was very satisfied and screamed them back 3 times.

The version of Dr. Buck without keyboard is amazingly good and Mark joined for the lyrics.

Hot runes was ok, although, it's not your average 'encore' to end a good gig as Brussels was. Therefor when nobody expected them to come back a third time, they did, to bring a 'new big prinz'-version of IBIS - African Man.

If you still have any doubts weather to go and see, don't.

Merchandising : red 'unutterable' long and short sleeved t-shirts and complete black with small 'the fall' written in front also short and long sleeved. Apart from that, all the cog sinister cds are available, with special attention of course to the new cd. The new cd is totally ok, I'm very much into the 'garage' production.

Gilles Darde:

Excellent Fall gig last Friday in Brussels!

The Joke / Cyber Insekt / Touch Sensitive / Bourgeois Town / Jim's "The Fall" / Crop Dust / Ben's-F'Oldin' Money-Kick the Can / Mr. Pharmacist / Antidotes / Way Round / And Therein / Two Librans / My Ex-Classmates' Kids / Dr. Buck's Letter / Gotta See Jane / Hot Runs / Afro Man (total time: 69:59)

The sound was very loud! I was very impressed about that gig because Mark seemed to be very concentrated on his performance compared to the other times I saw the Fall... The rest of the band was ok but nothing impressive... they just try to hide their way of playing by turning the volume up! The drummer was using his sticks like hammers on a anvil!!! The venue was far from being full : maybe 400 people max! Nevertheless the atmosphere was great : lots of surfing & cheering after each track... Mark did some mumbles but I didn't undertand a word! Maybe a few more "old" titles would have been welcome... The "And Therein" intro was a reprise of the "jam" session (Ey Bastardo) track at the end of the new LP.

Mark remembers me more and more of Serge Gainsbourg (even if their songs are so different), the french singer who had the same "self destructive" attitude. Do you think Mark has some flashes of consciousness?

Pierre Doutreligne:

Absolutely fantastic stuff. Not only did The FALL play a blinding set by their own standards, they played with the type of confidence not seen in ages. Before the gig you could hear local Fall fans fantasising about Kicker Conspiracy, Mark'll Sink Us etc. Well, none of that of course, and it worked to perfection. It's difficult to get the sound right in that venue but they pulled it off. The sound was remarkably LOUD.

After the opening salvo of The Joke, Cyber Insekt and Touch Sensitive, everyone realised that 1) MES is focused like never before and 2) the band is tight as a fish's arse. Then three tracks off the new album, which ten people (including the band + crew) had heard before, and boy did they go down well. The only 'oldies' were And Therein and Mr Pharmacist. The Kick The Can/F-Oldin' Money medley is a gem. And as for the 'missing' minidiscs for Way Round and Dr Buck's Letter, well Spencer's drumming makes them superfluous. The fact that they played four encores says it all.

Well long, well loud, sheer class. Ed, Ben and Jim were saying the band was frustrated by the shitholes they'd been playing in the UK (especially Derby where they had the power cut off on them), and that the European tour - this was the first date - was going to make up for it. Shame I can't see them before the Forum gig but anyone who can do would be mad not to go. This version of The FALL is here to last.

Zaal Spuugh, Vaals, The Netherlands, October 20, 2001

Martin Kremers: (Martin's wife Ini Soyer took some great photos of MES at the Vaals gig).

The Fall superb, yesterday in Faalls.

As we parked the car we heard Mark ES. overwrought swearing through the night.

Apparently there was a serious fight going on. Spencer and Ben seems to be the main victems. According to Ed Blaney this seems to be very normal: The harder they fight, the better they get.

You won't believe if I tell you they played 65 minutes with none walk off. Best Fall gig ever.

New guitarist's plays if he's in the Fall for ages. Mark loves 'm. MES's attempt to play the guitar failed cause no-one found the standby knob on the amp.

Tracklist: The Joke / Cyber Insekt / Touch Sensitive / Bourgeouis Town / Jim's Fall / Crop-Dust / F'oldin' Money / Kick the Can / Mr. Pharmasist / Antidotes / Way Round / And Therein / Two Librans / My Ex-Classmates' Kids / Hot Runes / Ibis-Afro-Man /

First walk off (65 minutes)

Encore: Dr. Buck's Letter Walk off during the song, one after another.
2nd Encore: Ed Blaney : ???

Dirk Willems:

Vaals is in Holland, on the 3 countrypoint of Germany/Holland/Belgium. so there was a lot a germans (3 miles from Aachen).

Venue has a capacity of approx 500, small stage. Approx. 200 - 250 people present. Late slot (Fall took stage, at about 23.20).

Saw Ben short before the gig, He said Mark was still asleep in his room, had to wake him up gig would start in 15 min.

The beginning of the set was very good, same tracks as yesterday. Cyber insekt was complete psycho rockabilly. 'Film of book, book of film', 'film of book, book of film', Mark rapping as a madman.

Rest of the set almost same as Brussels, kick the can being quote of the day, quoted in at least 3 other sonks.

Mark in very good mood, laughing all the time. But messing with mics. Stagemixer places all mics deconstructions immediately in place, not realising what a severe risk he's taking.

Halfway throught the set when he's on stage again, Mark laughs : 'I thought we was 3, but suddenly there's six on stage'. Everybody laughs, except stagemixer, who doesn't get it.

Other bandmember bit less in form than yesterday, 2nd guitarist (what's his name?) joins after 3 sonks, technical problems, guitar only in place during f'olding money.

And therin the most 'folky' moment in the set, the rest is pure uncut tight garage/thrash psychobilly.

Setlist indicates up to X class mates (see hereafter), but Mark gestures to add hot runes and ibis.

Dr Buck as first encore, with only short lyrics from Mark. Crowd not being into it as much as day before. Band comes back anyway, to do a crap version of paintwork, lyrics by some 'roadie'. After wrong bridge to chorus, band leaves.

After all a decent performance, not as good as day before, but I can only repeat as said before : 'Go see this !!'.

joke / cyber insekt / touch sensitive / crop dust / bourgois town / ben's (says tracklist ?) / folding / ?(says tracklist, at least I heard 'kick the can' a few times) / kick the can / mr phamacist / antidotes / way round / and therein / 2 librans / x class mates kids / hot runes / ibis - african man / dr buck / paintwork

De Kade, Zaandam, The Netherlands, October 22, 2001

Arjan Plug:

Just back from a very enjoyable evening, far better than expected. MES & The Fall in full guitar assault mode. A hesitant start at 21:40 but when the second guitarist entered the stage at the beginning of "Crop-Dust" it went full steam ahead and very tight. No walkoffs at all, they played for at least 70 minutes. No antics too although MES managed to entangle all three mics during Mr Pharmacist. Another comedy moment was the first encore where only Jim and the 2nd guitarist were on stage and playing the intro of Damo Suzuki (?) which was quickly changed to Hot Runes which during it's first 1,5 minutes MES spend searching on stage for a mic while miming the song to the crowd. Not too much audience (125-150) but it was a monday evening right? Met up with fellow FallNetters Michael (beforehand) and Sietse (shortly after) after hurrying to the train station and cycling home.

Setlist as far as I can remember:

The Joke / Cyber Insekt (I barely recognised this) / Touch Sensitive / And Therein / Bourgeouis Town / Crop-Dust / Kick the Can / F'oldin' Money / Mr. Pharmacist / Antidotes / Way Round / Two Librans / My Ex-Classmate's Kids
1st encore: Hot Runes / Ibis-Afro-Man (a short version)
2nd encore: Dr. Buck's Letter (MES sharing lines with a roadie, six people on stage!)
3rd Encore: Ey Bastardo / Gotta See Jane reprise

Bart van der Pligt:

Some facts that might be of interest:

a Fall group played in Zaandam, Holland on october 22nd.

b Compared to Haarlem and Amsterdam gigs in april, line-up was almost indentical, the only difference being that Julia Nagle was replaced by a 2nd guitar player.

c1 I don't know this guitar player's name, but a friend of mine thought he recognised him from some squat in The Hague. According to this friend the guy is an Irishman called Brian or something. (Said friend might mistake anyone from the British Isles for an Irishman or a Brian)

c2 None of the guitarists had a broken leg.

d 2nd guitar player only turned up during 3rd or 4th song.

e Drummer later informed another friend of mine that 2nd guitar player was not to blame for his late appearance. "He DOES know the songs, but it's the way Mark wants it."

f 2nd guitar player initially made lots of noise because Bastardo Smith had adjusted his amplifier during 2nd song (Cyber Insect). Smith seemed a bit anoyed at the time because adjusting the amplifier of the absent guitarist had no effect on sound at all. Decided to throw mike into kick drum.

e During entire gig grumpy Smith continually messed with amplifiers, mikes etc. Concert hall employee went on stage to clean up after him but was told by other concert hall employee not to bother.

f1 Biggest cheer from crowd was after Smith spent first four Two Librans verses searching for microphone and finally found one in kick drum.

f2 There was a bit of confusion when Smith told his subordinates gig was over, 'walked' to stage door and immediately returned. Smith hadn't changed his mind but was just unable to find open stage door two feet away from him. 1st guitar player kindly escorted Smith to stage door.

g Fallgroup played about three encores. First one started with just guitar player and bass player on stage. After two or three minutes of Damo Suzuki intro they decided to play a different song, because apparently Smith didn't want to do Damo Suzuki.

h Songs I remember: The Joke, Cyber Insect, Antidote, F Oldin' Money, And Therein, Bourgeois Town, Kick The Can (and probably lots of other songs from 'Are You Are Missing Winner') Mr Pharmacist, Two Librans, I am Damo Suzuki (intro only.)

i Girl behind bar said she didn't enjoy the gig. She preferred musicians to be sober.

j Crowd seemed to enjoy Fall group very much, and so did I, although the chaotic gigs in april were better. I guess they've spent too much time rehearsing the songs.

k After hearing the band play live, 'Are You Are Missing Winner' is a bit disapointing. Too poppy. Too clean. (Just like 'The Unutterable'.) 'Marshall Suite' and 'Levitate' are still my favourites among recent Fall albums.

Chris Eccles:

My first foreign Fall gig and only a few miles out of Amsterdam it had great maverick potential. The room smelt of weed, the beer was nice and in GLASS glasses, MES was completely twatted and the new songs are excellent.

Opening with Cyber Insekt, it was clear that this was a different atmosphere than a British gig. The audience stood away from the stage with just a few people at the front engaging in what only can be described as craaaazy Euro-Dancing. The set was mostly songs from the new album with a few oldies ("Mr Pharmacist" "And Therein", a version of "Damo Suzuki" that never got past the intro) and some from Unutterable ("Cyber Insekt" "2 Librans" "Dr Bucks Letter").

Of the new ones, "Bourgeois Town", "Kick The Can", "Ibis-Afro Man" and "Reprise" are instantly great Fall tunes. The sound is pretty raw and the evening is dominated by the antics of an obviously inebriated MES. Not just me who's been enjoying the pleasures of Amsterdam then.

Anyway after destroying two of the microphone stands, placing a mike inside the bass drum, MES then incredibly walked to the front of the stage without a mike and attempted to sing into the invisible mike. Pulling random scratty pieces of paper out of his pocket to provide lyrics and constantly turning the guitar down. With the rest of the band nervously looking at each other for support, it is a good job that the band are now obviously tight enough to carry any maverick activity.

Quiet periods in the set prompted the bloke next to me with Def Leppard hair to shout for Rowche Rumble and some prick tried to have a go at Simon when the intro to Damo Suzuki went on for ages as the band waited for MES to emerge, but generally I think it went down pretty well.

Three encores went down a treat and the version of Reprise was excellently shambolic. I think The Fall are as great as ever, it seems strange to read poor reviews of concerts etc. This is The Fall and the sound has changed. I get the impression that MES is up for it again and it is great to see.

Bought the new album at the gig, I must agree that the cover is especially crap but more importantly the music is good. Half arsed cover of R Dean Taylor's "Gotta See Jane" but a fairly experimental album with a noticeably stripped down sound from "The Unutterable". I love the final song on the album which shifts between various tunes producing a total Fall experience. Crop Dust is good and it is strange to hear a few guitar riffs back in the songs.

Rutger Kuijer:

Capacity of the club was 700, I think there were about 100-150 people there. Band played ok though. The DJ played Echo & The Bunnymen, Morrissey, The Cure and Joy Division before The Fall entered the stage. Not much of a compliment I'd say.

MES shouted "Good evening, we are The Fall" twice, just to make sure we got the point. They played some songs from "Are you..." that I don't know the titles of (yet). Besides that nothing much different from the other gigs. I remember them playing Dr. Buck's Letter (MES joined by a guy who i think is the manager; he excused MES for his behaviour at their gig last year at De Melkweg, Amsterdam: "This is Amsterdam, people, respect!!! This is not just any band, this is The Fucking Fall") They also played Hot Runes in the 2.74th encore (MES got back after the rest of the band and forgot where he left his mic so he had to do half of the song without it). Also in the 3.54th encore they did 2 minutes of I Am Damo Suzuki with only bass and guitar; when a 3rd member showed up he gestured that MES didn't feel like doing it and they started another song. Furthermore they played Way Round, Mr. Pharmacist, Cyber Insect, Antidotes, African Man, 2 Librans, Touch Sensitive, etc. The only song I thought was surprising (after seeing them last year) was And Therein... from Extricate.

I talked 3 friends of mine into seeing them at De Kade and they all had a good time. We walked out laughing and I suppose The Fall did too.

Kantine, Cologne, Germany, October 23, 2001:

Michael Jungbluth:

Als Einstieg eine mißliche, mehrfach unterbrochene Tapeeinspielung, Mark E Smith war in guter Form, unterstützt vom Kern der Band. Eine kurze Begrüßung ("Hello, we are The Fall") stellte zumindest die Band insgesamt vor. Ein zweiter Guitarist kam beim dritten Stück hinzu und begleitete bis zum Ende. Start war gegen 2200 Uhr, nach etwa 60 Minuten gab es zwei Zugaben. Diese bestanden jeweils aus zwei Stücken. Der Club war zur Hälfte gefüllt. Etwa 400 Zuschauer waren gekommen, ihr Applaus hielt sich in Grenzen.

Die Band spielte kraftvoll, sehr schrammelig, und sie wußte mit den kreativen Herausforderungen von MES umzugehen. Insbesondere der Leadguitarrist war gefordert. Immer wieder mußte er den Sound seines Verstärkers neu regeln, denn MES stellte den Klang an den Verstärkern nach seinen Vorstellungen um.

Die Songs waren meist von der allerneuesten Platte, auch aus "The Unutterable". An älteren Stücken stachen "And There In" (präzise gespielt) und auch "I Am Damo Suzuki" (fast unkenntlich) hervor. "Mr Phamarcist" forderte die Post-Pogo-Fans. Auf eine weitere Tapeeinspielung wurde verzichtet. Dafür sang MES während der verkürzten Version von "Dr. Buck's Letter". Bei den Midtempo-Stücken wirkten The Fall konzentrierter und eingespielter. Hier entwickelteten sie Ihren Drive. Anders bei den schnelleren Rhythmen. Hier war ihr Sound ein wenig zu schwammig.

MES kommunizierte mit den Musikern, auch mit dem Publikum, mehr noch aber mit den Mikrofonen und deren Ständern. Immer wieder arrangierte er sie auf der Bühne um. Seine lapidare Art des Vortrages hat er nicht abgelegt. Neu war das imaginäre intensive Absuchen des Bühnenboden. Abgesehen von den Mikrofonkabeln war dort nichts, nicht einmal eine Tracklist, zu finden. Zählte er die Nägel, die die Bodenplatten fixierten?

Die repetitive Magie des Fallsounds vermisste ich ein wenig. So blitzten nur ab und an die magischen Momente der Fall hervor. Vielleicht hätte eine Verbesserung des Stagesounds um 10 Prozent Wunder gewirkt. Die Musiker sind dabei sich freizuschwimmen.

Michael kindly translated his review for the German impaired:

As intro the concert startet with an interrupted tape. Mark E Smith seemed to be in a good form, started with the heart of the band. He introduced the group with "Hello, we are The Fall". The second guitarist joined within the third song and accompaigned until the end. The Fall started around 2200 o'clock, after some 60 minutes two encores were following. Each encore resumed two songs. The venue was half-filled. About 400 persones were present, applause was little.

The band played powerful, but very scratchy. They knew how to react to the creative challenges by MES. It was a hard probe, especially for the Leadguitarist. Many times he had to recontrol the new settings on his amplifier, because MES liked to change any buttoms in his opinion.

Most of the songs came from the brand new record, some of them from "The Unutterable", too. As older tracks The Fall played "And There In" (in brilliant manner) and "I Am Damo Suzuki" (hard to recognize). "Mr Phamarcist" introduced the Post-pogo-fans. The Fall resisted to try it again with another tape. In stead of this MES sung the vocals on "Dr. Buck's Letter". The Fall seemed to be more concentrated while playing the mid-tempo songs. That was the moment to develop their drive. Playing the fast rhythms the band got problems to be precise and somehow clear. The sound got misty.

MES did communicate with his musicians, with the crowd too. But mostly he communicated with his mics and their holders. His job was to arrange everything on stage in a new order. MES didn't lost his very special way of indolent performance. New was his intense and imaginary searching of the stageground. There on the ground he couldn¹d find anything beside the cables. There was no tracklist on the floor. Did he count the nails which fix the woodsheets?

I was missing a little the magic of the repetitive sounds. Only several times the magic moments of The Fall were flashing. Maybe a better sound on stage (raised up for 10 per cent) would have caused a little wonder. The musicians learned to agitate as group.

Martin Kremers sent the setlist and ticket:

The Joke / Cyber Insekt / Kick the Can - F-'oldin' Money / Kick the Can / Jim's the Fall / And Therein / Crop-Dust / Bourgeois Town / Mr. Pharmacist / Way Round / Antidotes / Two Librans / My Ex-Classmates' Kids / Hot Runes / Dr.Buck's Letter

Encores: Touch Sensitive / Ibis-Afro Man

Logo, Hamburg, Germany, October 24, 2001 (the setlist, and some photos; many thanks to Sebastian)

Sebastian Cording:

Since no one has written anything about the shows in Hamburg and Berlin yet, I guess it is my turn to add a few lines to the Fall news. Having had my 39th birthday a week before the Fall concert in Hamburg, I decided to celebrate my party at the Fall show. 25 friends came along, around half of them had never heard of the Fall before, only three or four were real fans. My guests all wore stickers from the Club (the Logo) and were getting their drinks for free (for which I had to pay later, of course), so when the Fall came finally on stage after a dreadful opening band from Hamburg most of us were in quite a good mood. So was Mark, who apparently also had had a few beers, but he was in very good form indeed. And so was the band. They played for almost an hour plus three encores (75 minutes altogether) and left an audience that was completely thrilled and dazzled. Even those of my guests who are not into noisy music really liked it, and I thought it was one of the best Fall gigs I have ever seen.

After the show I talked to Benjamin the guitarist - a really nice guy - and he was also very pleased with the show and in a very good mood. A little bit later while we were still celebrating Mark appeared, too, and had a beer in a corner of the Club. I talk to him briefly but didn't manage to get a conversation going. Why they hadn't played Hamburg for eight years I asked him. The elaborate answer was "agent problems"...

The only downside to the evening was that I didn't get one of those really neat Unutterable T-shirts - they were sold out before I noticed they were selling them.

Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg, Sweden, October 26, 2001

Graeme Semple:

Despite the promising reviews of their performances on this latest tour, it was with some trepidation mixed in with genuine, near-teenage levels of excitement that I took my wife Sharon to see the Fall for the second time in her life in Göteborg on Friday.

Our first outing had not been a success. It was in London, coinciding disastrously with the Euro96 semi-final and Smith having one of those nights. Sharon was several months pregnant and spent 15 minutes of the so-called performance throwing up in the Ladies. She spent the next few weeks giving me curious sidelong glances, wondering (often out loud) how the otherwise seemingly normal father of her unborn child could have been such a sad and obsessive Fall fan for almost 20 years, when they were frankly a shambles. My feeble protestations of 'off-night', 'misunderstood genius' etc falling on deaf ears.

Cut to five years on, a move to Sweden, and a glorious and unexpected second chance! This time they must not fail. Venue tonight, 'Sticky Fingers', an only slightly seedy night-club and bar in off-central Göteborg, a good mix of 200 or more punters (astonishingly high, considering the total lack of local publicity), and a snug little stage. A near perfect setting and hopes were high.

The Fall took the stage just after 10, and MES looked sober and focussed. They started with 'The Joke' and although it's no-one's favourite, when Smith slipped in 'Good evening. We are The Fall' towards the end, I smiled and waited. By the end of 'Bourgeois Town', I was convinced. They were indeed The Fall. The current incarnation all appear to enjoy having their turn at carrying the name, and are quite simply an excellent unit.

There were only limited antics from MES. No walk-offs, and only some fairly half-hearted fiddling with amps and lights, probably because we expect it of him now, rather than any genuine attempt to upset the band. When the vocals got muddied after 4 or 5 songs, all was as it should be in Fall-land. Antidote was what Led Zeppelin could have achieved if they hadn't taken so many drugs, whilst Roundabout (Way Round) and Bourgeois Town were hypnotic, vintage Fall with And Therein the vocal highlight.

Set (can't promise on the order), The Joke/Cyber Insect /New Fall/Bourgeois Town/F-Oldin' Money (in a medley for goodness sake!) Crop Dust/And Therein/ Roundabout/ Mr Pharmacist (was that MES dancing or just falling over?)/Antidote. Probably a couple more from the new album in there too which I hadn't heard, a quick break and back (twice) for three or four more, including Touch Sensitive and Dr Buck's Letter. Pretty much the standard run through from this tour I guess, but it was a real treat seeing and hearing it for the first time.

This was up there in my top 5 Fall gigs (of 30+ over the years), could have been top 2 or 3 if they had encored with White Lightning, but we nevertheless repaired to the Dubliner with a happy all-over glow.

And the real test? Sharon thought they were great.

Maria Am Ostbahnhof, Berlin, Germany, October 30, 2001 (a few photos; many thanks to Sebastian)

Sebastian Cording:

I had to see them again, so a week later I went to the show in Berlin. The Club there (Maria am Ostbahnhof) is about three or four times the size of the Logo and appeared to be very full, possible, like in Hamburg, sold out. This time I was there only with one friend, a nice woman from Poland who likes alternative music but hadn't been to any show for years.

This time the opening band was quite good, the Sitcom Warriors from Berlin who already had the honour to be played on John Peel's programme. The response to the Sitcom Warriors was pretty good and the crowd was obviously in a cheerful mood. When the Fall came on and started - as in Hamburg - with The Joke, the crowd really went wild, and it stayed like this during the entire show. At one point I was afraid that the excitement would evaporate when Mark quit the stage after around 40 minutes with the words "five minutes" - it appeared he disliked some light beams that were shining into his eyes, and he only came back after they had been dimmed. But after a minute into the next song the crowd was cheering again.

Even though Mark had kicked out one of the guitarists between the two shows (apparently because he got drunk in Stockholm) so that they played with one musician less, the band sounded even better than in Hamburg and Mark look at least five years younger than the week before (55 instead of 60), and he must have had a few less beers. Two Librans was a real stormer in Berlin, and when they played "I am Damo Suzuki" as the third encore the crowd kept clapping and shouting for ten minutes even though the lights and music had already been turned on and the show was obviously meant to be over. But then they really came back and played "New Fall" before everyone was satisfied and went home.

After the show I talked to Benjamin the guitarist again, and he agreed that this concert had even been better than the one in Hamburg. My Polish friend also liked it very much, and so did a friend from Hamburg who has just moved to Berlin and whom I met at the show. And Benjamin promised to send me an Unutterable T-Shirt from England...

Derek Erdman's hosting the following event in Chicago; please spread the word if you're in the area.

I'm holding the 3rd annual Fall Night at a bar called Club Foot in Chicago on December 1st from 10 pm - 2 am. The last years have been a blast. I essentially play records and videos while everybody drinks a lot, etc. Can you suggest a proper place for me to post this information so anybody living in the vicinity could make it out?

From the Knitting Factory Knotes, a short MES interview:

"Mark E. Smith of the Fall -- Still Cranky After All These Years," by Matthew Carlin.

When the leader of a band can't even remember how many albums he's released, you know it's been a lot. Nothing if not prolific, Mark E. Smith has led The Fall with a singular vision and sound since 1976. With well over 30 albums to date--and at least as many line-up changes--last year's ''The Unutterable'' (import only in the U.S.) found Smith in top cantankerous form. Influenced by the holy trinity of the Sex Pistols, Can and the Velvet Underground, Smith has in turn become the only post-punk icon still standing. And screaming.

Knotes: Why no U.S. distribution on ''The Unutterable''?

Mark E. Smith: In America? I have no idea really.

K: You don't seem really concerned with the marketplace...

MES: Not really, no. It's not R.E.M. I've met a lot of British groups like that as well--it's like going to an insurance meeting. If I spent all my time worrying about distribution in America--no offense--I wouldn't sleep.

K: How do you feel about the next album coming out [''Are You Are Missing Winner'']?

MES: I think it's better than ''The Unutterable'' definitely. It's very good.

K: What constitutes a better record for you?

MES: Well, with ''The Unutterable,'' I thought it was a bit arty.

K: So when that happens, is that a result of where your mind is at or the band you're interacting with?

MES: Well, I got rid of the group after ''The Unutterable''--same old story--and the new group's better.

K: When you get a new group is it hard to get used to or is the new stimulation better for you?

MES: Yeah, for sure, I'm like the dad really, so I just tell 'em what I want. And there's always about one or two of them who've never even heard of The Fall which is good really.

K: Is it difficult to get comfortable with a new band for live shows?

MES: No, I find it a lot better. When I do go and see shows, what I always dislike is when it's all the old songs and all that. I get really bored really quickly.

K: It gets too comfortable?

MES: It's not too comfortable, it's like them blokes who got kids and all that crap, they stop thinking about what they're playing.

K: Elastica just broke up, but you worked with them a bit. How did that come about?

MES: I was in there for about an hour and a half and we did four songs--I think it's more than they'd done in five years.

K: So you don't keep in contact...

MES: Nah. Why? They're in London.

K: Well, they're obviously very influenced by Wire, did you cross paths with them back in the day?

MES: Nah. I don't talk to old men.

K: Is there something about London versus Manchester you find distasteful?

MES: No, I keep the Manchester scene even more at arm's length than London. Manchester's terrible.

K: What about the United States, do you like touring here?

MES: I can't wait, I haven't been there since '98.

K: There's all these legends about your last New York show at Brownies.[Though details are unclear, there was an altercation that landed Smith in The custody of the police.] Can you elucidate what actually happened?

MES: Correct, yeah. The group wasn't up to it really.

K: So the conflict was within the group...

MES: It broke me heart really. 'Cause I like playing New York. They were tired and all this crap and it just kicks off. Unfortunately, at Brownies. It had been building up for a month or two. They had jet lag and all that crap. You must have seen it in groups, you know. They can't handle the travel and all.

K: How about in the studio--how much does the band and producer contribute?

MES: Well, if you can trust them it's all right. I tend to go in quite blind.

K: So do you go in with the songs or lyrics prepared beforehand?

MES: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If the group's tight it doesn't matter really... You're asking me for secrets here.

K: You don't want to reveal any of this?

MES: No, not really.

K: Do you think rock and roll is dead?

MES: I do. But that's why I think The Fall should continue really.

The Deer Park, thanks to Richard Gallon:

Olli Czoske:

From the web site for that there movie:

Why, it's legendary Fall-ster Mark E Smith...

24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE is going to be a hive of cameos. In virtually every scene, there is a face from television, film, or from the true history behind the film itself. This issue:

Mark E Smith

Despite a recent pronouncement in 'Q' Magazine that he wouldn't [be] appearing, The Fall central character Mark E Smith does indeed make an appearance in the movie. At the time a chief antagonist of the movie's central character Tony Wilson, Smith gets the chance to re-vent his anger fourteen years later, in a scene where, as a bystander, he shouts abuse again.

And a flattering picture:

[MES is in their "cameo corner." Good luck navigating the site and don't be surprised if it crashes your browser! - ed.]

Nov. 5, 2001

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Old stuff: Nov 1997 - Dec 1999