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.
gigs have been cancelled:
October 31 -
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The Present has been withdrawn.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.
You Are Missing Winner (Cog Sinister COGVP131CD)
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).
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
reports are in the October 19 Fall news.)
Vaartkapoen, Brussels, Belgium, October 19, 2001
Venue was filled
with approx. 400-450 people of a maximum capacity of 600. Band takes
stage at 21.30.
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
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
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.
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.
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?
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'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.
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
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 : ???
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.
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.
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
And therin the most
'folky' moment in the set, the rest is pure uncut tight garage/thrash
up to X class mates (see hereafter), but Mark gestures to add hot runes
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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:
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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)
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
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.
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...
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
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?
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?
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?
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?
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
K: It gets
not too comfortable, it's like them blokes who got kids and all that
crap, they stop thinking about what they're playing.
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...
Why? They're in London.
they're obviously very influenced by Wire, did you cross paths with
them back in the day?
I don't talk to old men.
K: Is there
something about London versus Manchester you find distasteful?
I keep the Manchester scene even more at arm's length than London. Manchester's
K: What about
the United States, do you like touring here?
MES: I can't
wait, I haven't been there since '98.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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:
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.]