The Fall are playing
a few shows in the U.S for the first time since March-April, 1998.
Los Angeles (MES
spoken word, or "ranting and raving" according to
site). Support: Lydia Lunch.
Factory, Los Angeles
(support: Theory of Ruin, Mecca Normal)
Factory, Los Angeles (support: Flash Express, Midget Handjob)
American Music Hall, San Francisco (support: Erase Errata, the Evening)
Cafe, Seattle (support: Kinski)
Factory, New York
Factory, New York
Factory, New York (originally scheduled as a spoken word show -- sorry,
a ranting and raving show -- but according to the New York
it's a band gig).
the tour winds up in Manchester...
Footage and Firkin, Oxford Road, Manchester (gig moved from Planet
Win tickets to the San Francisco gig on Nov. 19
"Aquarius Records is
proud to be co-sponsoring The (mighty) Fall show at the Great American!
Come into the store and enter to win one of two pairs of randomly drawn
tickets -- we'll do the drawing on Thursday the 15th."
There are several gig reports in the Fall News archive:
UK dates in October 19, Euro dates in November
5. If you want to send me a review, it's not too late. I'll add them
to the relevant edition.
Apparently the EP
The Present has been withdrawn / postponed. Tracks scheduled to
be on it were "My Ex-Classmates' Kids," "New Formation
Sermon," and "Distilled Mug Art." I've just heard that
Voiceprint will release this EP after all "in a very different form."
Panzer. According to Rob Ayling at Voiceprint: "Basically we
(Mark and I) were going through the track points and we both decided it
wasn't very good (bad source tapes) so we decided to can that version
of it. There is a plan to record nicely in a clean studio rather that
rely on live versions of the pieces."
You Are Missing Winner (Cog Sinister COGVP131CD)
is out on CD in the UK (and Europe?). It's also been spotted at a few
stores in the USA, e.g. Vintage Vinyl, Other Music.
it from Action Records
(£11.99) and tell them you came from the Official Fall website to
get a 10% discount (they ship very quickly too - I've had great success
ordering from the USA).
"The Fall" (M.E. Smith/J. Watts)
Town (R. Johnson arr. M.E. Smith)
(S. Birtwistle/M.E. Smith)
Ex-Classmates' Kids (M.E. Smith/E. Blaney)
the Can (M.E. Smith/B. Pritchard)
See Jane (R. Dean/Taylor)
Man (M.E. Smith/J. Watts/I. Pop)
Jane - Prof Mick - Ey Bastardo (Spencer/Blaney)
A few unconfirmed
- there'll be a limited
edition vinyl picture disk.... the horror. On Nov. 8 Rob Ayling sent
a message to Fallnet saying there (might? will?) be a pressing of 1,000
numbered picture disks.
- Jim Watts says
the shop version of the CD will have different artwork -- although it
looks like the ones in the shops now are the same as the ones sold at
the UK/Euro gigs, except that they've inexplicably switched Crop-Dust
with My Ex-Classmates' Kids on the cover??
- MES called Rob
Ayling at Voiceprint "requesting some changes to the tracks."
(further creative critiques would be welcome; email them to firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 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.
- The new fall cover
looks like a fall cover, is all. most are crappy looking, but at least
they're shabby in a way that's recognizeable as being fall shabbiness.
when i saw the unutterable cover, i thought, oboy, this looks halfass.
of course, i was pleased to hear what the album sounded like. it's among
the band's recent best. then i took a closer look at other covers, like
infotainment scan, marshall suite, cerebral caustic, the frenz experiment,
the wonderful and frightening world of the fall, middle class revolt--some
of which are cool-looking, if shabby--and i realized that the fall are
more hit and miss with art work than they are with music. still, i s'pose
fall fans like to grouse as much or more as anyone else. here's hoping
for more crap covers to come!
Voiceprint has two
Real Audio selections (encoded @ 16 Kbps) on their site:
And the reviews
are trickling in...
4Music (Q online edition)
Fall - Are You Are Missing Winner ** (2 stars),
Psychic reptile Mark E Smith
is a bold man. To date he has put out six non-essential live albums,
each with the same shot of Smith flicking the V's on the cover, presumably
at the purchaser. Regrettably, Are You Are Missing Winner feels a bit
like that. Whereas 2000's The Unutterable had strong songs and slick
production, now we're back to wildly variable fragments recorded in
Smith's shed. These are either great -- the spidery Cropdust echoes
Mr Pharmacist -- or bemusingly thin. Apart from that, the familiar slurred
delivery of unfathomable lyrics continues over gnarled garage rock.
Strictly for the kind of fans keen to display levels of dutiful devotion
last seen at the Charge Of The Light Brigade.
although this isn't
my full review, i gotta say so far... after about 3 listenings... it
feels kinda like dragnet to me. crude riffy tracks with horribly out
of key shit all over the place. songs with a lot of words that aren't
about anything. no obvious hooks, but still i find myself humming little
parts hours later. not bad at all. quite a change from the unutterable,
but as good as that album is i wouldn't want another that sounds just
Picked up a copy
last night...after getting beyond the dissapointment at the shoddy cover......i'm
still trying to get past my dissapointment of the lp.....i think it
wouldve made a far better ep, standouts for me are ex classmates kids,
burgeous town and jane reprise/ay bastardo.....other than that this
ones getting filed away... guess they cant all be winners.
Went out and bought
the new album at lunchtime today. The cover is as shit as everyone said
it was but then quite a lot of Fall cover art has been shit over the
years. And what about that title? Is it some kind of joke? Is the mis-spelling
of are a bit of arty cleverness of a kind way above my head or just
someone being too scared to tell MES "That's not how to spell are."?
This is a low-fi,
guitar based album, a long way from the slickly produced keyboardy brilliance
of The Unutterable. The more I listen to 1990s-2001 Fall, the more I
think of MES as being like some old black blues singer. It no longer
matters what he is singing (I don't think he's written a conventionally
'meaningful' song since M5) but there is that unique voice, like a linguistics
professor attempting to explain some arcane argument after 25 years
on meths and park benches. So the blues cover version Bourgeois Town
- not that it's done in a blues style, of course - is the standout track
for me on first listen. Jim's The Fall is a good stab at re-creating
The Fall circa Middle Class Revolt and it has an arrogant, swaggering
vocal. My X Classmates Kids is another standout track, with MES once
again impressionistically sneering at TV, computers etc and crying for
the kids growing up now (what an old softie).
The cover version
of Gotta See Jane is little more than workmanlike but it mutates wonderfully
into Reprise Jane Prof Mick Ey Bastardo at the end of the album.
The rest of the
tracks haven't made too much impression on me yet but it sounds like
Crop Dust is supposed to be the big track of the album and I've read
that it goes well live.
Got my copy of the
album from Amazon yesterday - and despite the awful cover I think it's
fantastic. This is probably because either: (a) I'm suffering with terrible
withdrawal from caffeine (b) my expectations were incredibly low or
(c) I'm being really gullible/excitable and will turn round in 3 weeks
and announce that I now think it's dreadful (why change the habit of
However, for the
moment, the following thoughts: the production is superb - absolutely
bang-on for the songs on the record (detractors: what do you want, a
bloody Corrs LP?), and all the faffing about with cheapo tapes in Ibis-Afro
Man/Race With the Devil (that, Crop Dust, and Bourgeois Town are instant
Fall classics to my mind) has reminded me of why I loved this band so
much in the first place.
Minor gripe: I preferred
Ex-Classmates Kids as I Wake Up In The City, just because of the coughing.
We are the New Fall,
indeed. Nice work, Jim.
The new album. What
the fuck are you malcontented arsewipes moaning about? Mark's voice
is clearer than ever since about LUS. Sound mix and balancing sound
like one of us did it, however. The inside photos, who are those guys
? Someone said this was an album made to be played loud and it seems
to work best that way, it certainly doesn't let you settle.
Jim's "The Fall"
& Crop-Dust are fine enough and My Ex-Classmates' Kids near as good;
all razoredged Iggy thrash and abrasive sound scapes, glorious. Kick
the Can / Gotta See Jane could be lived without. Ibis-Afro Man is a
right old mess and sounds like an out-take from Space Ritual mostly,
all a bit smart-arse. The Acute is superb as is Hollow Mind (which it
must have been noted before but I avoid reading before hearing) is a
retake on Jerusalem isn't it.
The Acute/ Hollow
Mind: are almost parts one and two of the same song and whoever they
are pointed at I imagine is not a million miles unrelated from the THANKS
column that includes "Thanks to .... No Body Else..." The Acute/Hollow
Mind remind me of something earlier in fall - something like Rose but
not Rose and on intial impression are the ones I like the most.
Reprise: Jane -
Prof Mick - Ey Bastardo is a joke and fine as that, sounds a bit like
'fucking hell the album's only 40 minutes we'll stick best bits of leftover
tape together" Is that Smith or Sven who is a bastardo? Deffo Steve
is bald. S'like here innit, given half a chance and the boot is straight
in. Not that you give a rats arse but overall I think its most like
a Fall album (a ridiculous notion I know) than anything since 27Pints
- rough, funny and completely unapologetic.
The reprise bit
is obviously The Fall's attempt at a Genesis-style medley, only without
Phil Collins. "Ey bastardo" - isn't that what the hunchback in the Name
of the Rose kept saying?
It sounds like it's
been produced by gerbils. And it's all the better for it. Yes - who
*are* those people on the inside cover?
Here, here. A fine
album. Personally I am all for more shit like Ibis/African Man and the
last Bastardo track. great stuff. Smith sounds in fine fettle and the
production is lovingly shitty. I don't hear a Fall "classic" on here
(the last one had a couple) but I dig it a bunch as an album.
something like that, mein italian ist vhack) was what the Tom Waits
guy sez in Name of the Rose. It is a reference to the Albagensian Crusades.
My annual post should
also mention the new Fall LP - preaching to the converted and no one
else? The transitional argument isn't very convincing, I'm afraid. Every
album for the past few years (inc CC) had something on it which made
me think "surely 'other' people will listen to this?" Y'know, F'Oldin,
Masquerade, Two Librans, He Pep even, but this has none of that. Deeply
strange and deeply disappointing. But then, I didn't take to the last
one all that quickly, and love it now.
I've just been listening
to this for the first time, and although as per usual it starts better
than it finishes, I think it's the Fall album I've been waiting for
a while. Energy, raw rhythms and the same old riffs. Lovely vocals and
muggy muggy production that will ensure the 50th listen is as rewarding
as the 1st. I don't believe it can be faulted really, unless you're
a record reviewer who hasn't had their free lunch or something. My favourite
is Crop Dust, although it should be at least 10 minutes longer.
Does everyone else's
copy get Kick The Can and Ex-Classmates' Kids the wrong way round?
And big up to Voiceprint
for the credit on Gotta See Jane - R.Dean/Taylor indeed! I bet you lot
think Ian Duncan Smith and Sven Goran Eriksson are four different people!
What the fuck is
Smith on? If this miserable, pointless excuse for a record is in any
way influenced by nicotine or alcohol we should all become vegan potheads
right away. I sat and listened to it intently for 47 minutes on its
arrival as always (although after the past two studio efforts, no longer
like a kid on xmas morning) and was treated to a smug, amateur-hour
variety of vaguely psychedelic garage songs which, when they weren't
being relentlessly banal, were bordering on the offensive (on track
seven we seem to be being treated to the sounds of animals being tortured
- believe me, it isn't funny). Every effort seems to have been made
on this artless, pretentious piece of crap to annoy the listener: deliberately
jarring "editing", pitiful bass playing, shiftless drumming, "sampled"
pink floyd guitar, and the frustration that there's a tune just around
the corner that never arrives.
I was playing the
"Infotainment Scan" the other night and thinking how brilliant it is,
maybe my favourite record ever and what a great year it was in 1993
PRINICIPALLY DUE TO THAT ALBUM and its delicious singles. "Middle Class
Revolt" the following year was disappointing, but really only because
we had the best of it already on the Eps that preceded it. The rest
you know. I should be indebted enough however to Mr Smith to now adhere
to his cynicism and make the new fall album all about me. But it's all
been said, and on the evidence of the witheringly monikered "are you
are missing winner" the look-back bores are in the lead.
Spent the weekend
tying to persuade the family: mother, wife, 11-year-old daughter that
it would be beneficial to turn off the TV and have a family listening
and they all suddenly found urgent things to do. However, managed to
entrap them in the car, and on the grounds that I valued Jane's opinion,
got her to listen to first five or so tracks before she said "I can't
take any more" and threatened to throw the tape out of the window. She
then said: "You only say you want to know what I think, so you can play
this stuff. You know very well what I think - its shit!" That's a fair
cop, I suppose.
Her verdict on Gotta
See Jane was it sounded like a bad school band. Africa Man also bombed,
and she said I would be living in the bush too if I didn't turn it off
Don't really know
why I am telling you all this except a bottle of red has loosened my
tongue, and I wonder if others experience this sort of repartee with
having bought all
fall-lps from the very beginning til today i must say that this truly
is one of the worst efforts mark edward has ever delivered. itīs NOTHING.
no songs, no riffs, no lyrics, just dull bits and pieces from rehearsals.
loveless, uninspired, crap. just the contrary to (at least) some tracks
on "the unutterable", not to mention real good fall-albums.
The Forum, London,
November 10, 2001
After 10yrs listening
to their records, I've finally seen The Fall. As one of those for whom
MES is The Fall - I have no time for the musicologist cretins with their
protestations that the interplay between the Hanley's, Brix etc was
the core of Fall appeal - I was pleasantly surprised.
Never been to The
Forum before but rather liked the place.
Support band bucked
the usual business whereby all support bands are contractually shit
by being OK - indie, grunge and HM influences vying for supremacy a
la Afghan factions.
Fall opened with
The Joke which sounded just fantastic once MES came on looking shot
away but good hunoured. Can't recall set list but the songs that stood
out for me were Bourgeois Town, Crop Dust, Way Round, Librans and X
Friend who came
with me (under duress) enjoyed the gig despite my endless assertions
that The Fall would be shit and he'd hate them.
I even made last
Roll on my next
chance to see The Fall.
Caught this gig
almost by accident as I was in London for the weekend with fellow Fall
fan Monty (The 'Jumper Clown'), my 15th Fall gig (since 1981) but the
first time I'd seen them since Birmingham in May '99. Fairly good crowd,
T-Shirt sales healthy, and as always, a larger then expected smattering
of goths, and people with strange footwear.
of new line up, and I dunno what some of you lot have been moaning about,
because to this seasoned Fall fan they sounded well 'ard. Set list pretty
much as has been recorded on these pages, blistering version of Mr Pharmacist
and Crop Dust and Bourgeois Town sounded good as well, Some of this
verged on Heavy Metal/ Stooges etc. This line up is an improvement on
the last few years as they are a tight, well meshed unit who don't feel
the need to do anything fancy, and the sound in general seemed 'back
to basics' and pretty rough, which certainly suits me, tho' I can appreciate
that some will be disappointed. MES was in vintage amp fiddling mode,
turning off the guitarist almost completely at one point.Rhythm section
was excellent. Some kid who looked a bit like MC Tunes slightly brighter
brother accompanied MES on a couple of tracks, and Smith shooed some
tubby solicitor looking character in a tank top on with a broom to sing
Dr Bucks Letter for the second encore, though the poor chap patently
wasn't up to the task (who was this???). Several MES 'altercations'
with mike stands also. Mark Perry was apparently in audience.
Think they're much
better for getting rid of keyboards and all those crappy pop trappings,
but thats just a personal opinion, and 'I Wake Up In The City' (Flitwick
7) is the best thing MES has committed to vinyl since the DOSE singles.
The only person
from '76 still consistently doing his thing with ANY degree of integrity.
pretty mixed-heard lots of moaners on the way out-well what do they
bloody well expect???
Are any of the last
line up doing anything else? And is it true that Julia Nagle is seeking
'legal advice' over something or other???
by another of those
happy coincidences I had to meet a supplier in st. albans this week,
so not for the first time a work trip afforded an opportunity to clock
passed salford car
hire truck ont' m6 on way down thursday night, little doubt that it
was the fall's kit.
now I've penned
a lot of reviews for this list of fall gigs from early nineties on,
including just about every london appearance in the last decade. I don't
think I've ever given any gig the thumbs-down, not even the bad ones
- even the likes of worthing with mark doing a shane mcgowan impression,
to the smith-and-synth debacle/triumph at dingwalls one year - all had
some redeeming facet, some highs.
but not this one,
at least not to these eyes and ears. and after belfast (stunning) and
dublin (passable) you can take it there's no anti-newbie bias here.
but london last night was dire, dull and embarrassing. nothing terribly
bad went down, just a trotting out of sloppy dirgy wankey pub rock.
ok - at times it got load enough and distorted enough that that in itself
became the point, and occasionally it threatened to grab at yer loins.
but it amounted to nowt but anticlimax and dulled hearing.
caught up with ex-fuckface
and erstwhile fall fanatic tony b, who despite listening to a steady
diet of eminem and strokes recently would at least be a converted to
preach to - but he too was left nonplussed and doubtful of ever making
the effort to catch them again. I did try to impress on him thought
that after belfast I ken this outfit can pack some clout when riled,
but he wasnae convinced I'd wager.
ah well mark did
try I guess, but even his improv's were embarrassing this time - roundabout
had 'into glass...into space...' repeatedly which was cringeworthy.
there was mention of 'irish people' twice which I didn't catch but I'm
guessing it wasn't complimentary and was probably reaction to the pubs
being filled that day with pissed up paddies celebrating the iran game
(whereas I was a sober paddy that day, driving and all). there was one
bit of decent vitriol - something about 'yer a fookin' mess...yer a
fookin' she-male...'. after lots of (plastic) glasses and fountains
of beer had been tossed stage-ward, we got 'they wanted joe strummer...but
they couldn't even find him...because they were dip fuckin' shit thick...'
(or something like that). there was one remark about 'hippy shit' I
think referring to crop dust - dunno.
can't remember set
list but it had therein, pharmacist, crop dust, beourgois town, ex-classmates
(became workmates) kids, touch sensitive (which was actually probably
the highlight, which says a lot), dr bucks, roundabout, kick the can/f'oldin'
money. no bastardo or african man, unfortunately.
they did 'jims fall'
just to give the nme something to latch onto when the rip them to bits
I guess - mark used some vox-vocoder thing, I think, so that at one
point it sounded like donald duck singing 'we are the new fall' - not
funny just another cringeworthy moment.
single comedy moment
when mark sidles towards guitarist who's looking a bit worried as he
approaches, and mark puts arm around his shoulder and turns him like
a manekin to face audience.
note of advice to
jim - the nose-in-the-air rock-god pose with ponytail a-swishing works
ok on a small stage but not when half the crowd are looking up yer snout
:-) sorry - just kidding.
anyhow, shite gig,
roll on the next one which can only be better. I just hope our pal sven
didnae travel all that way for this.
passed same salford
car hire truck ont' m6 on way back home sunday afternoon, recognised
fall crewfilth at wheel. wonder what they made of it all.
Simon Roberts (replying
(became workmates) kids, touch sensitive (which was
>actually probably the highlight, which says a lot), dr bucks, roundabout,
>kick the can/f'oldin' money. no bastardo or african man, unfortunately.
Can't agree about
touch sensitive - I found it to be one of the poorest tracks, reduced
to a dully repetitive riff. The highlight for me was Bourgeois Town,
which was LOUD, malevolent and psychotically repetitive. Even so good
as to be adequate compensation for the crapping about with amps and
walk-offs. Like Jerusalem used to sound live.
>they did 'jims
fall' just to give the nme something to latch onto when the
>rip them to bits I guess - mark used some vox-vocoder thing, I think,
>that at one point it sounded like donald duck singing 'we are the new
>fall' - not funny just another cringeworthy moment.
The vocals seemed
extremely sludgy and slurred to me at the beginning of the set, then
he seemed to find a spark during Pharmacist which ignited his interest
for the duration of the track. I long ago became completely bored with
Pharmacist, but last night the voice seemed completely in character
for a change, delivering an excellent ultra-sarcastic recitation whereby
the lyrics were crystal clear and hung in the air as if on a psychic
karaoke screen to be savoured and digested, delivered right on target
with strokes of the downwards pointing finger. Also a highlight, I thought.
By the end of the set the sludge was gone and the vocals were in ultra-trebly
ultra-nasal mode, so much so as to verge on parody at times.
As for the D Duck
'we are the new fall' effect, I'm pretty sure that the technology utilised
was in fact that of a forefinger and thumb squeezing the nostrils closed!
There were plenty of cringeworthy moments, but I did not find this to
be one of them. The "We are the new fall" chant struck me live as absurdly
and completely vicious in the context of being practically spat by MES
into the faces of the guitarist, drummer and bass player - i.e.'The
New Fall'. It seemed the vocal equivalent of the amp-fiddling. Stoopid
thought: can't help wishing that if all the fiddling could be transformed
into vocals instead things would be much less embarrassing.
"Jim's The Fall"
sounded quite different from the album version in an interesting pared-down
Slates-y way because there was only the one guitarist present for last
night's set - dunno what happened to the other guy, maybe he got fed
up with the amp-fiddling and left.
>anyhow, shite gig,
roll on the next one which can only be better.
On balance I thought
it was a gig of a few high highs and a few irritating lows (why o why...?),
but the sheer crunching racket was great and carried the momentum along
nicely. I did not leave disappointed, and preferred this to the flat,
featureless performance at the Birmingham Academy last year. Having
said that, I Fall Idiot must admit that this gig was like the album
in respect of the fact that in no way was it going to impress the unconverted.
The biggest disappointment was Dr Buck's which was left to a couple
of roadies to attempt. Such a shame because the guitar-only version
at Liverpool was both a musical and vocal stunner.
One thing that was
a little strange, the gig started and finished really early - when I
arrived at about twenty to nine they had already started, and they had
finished by ten.
Simply Not Funny:
the guy next to me shouting "GET ON WITH IT!" in real-ale accent between
Simply Funny: some
geezer kept shouting angrily "STOP TAKING THE PISS!". Made me smile
trying to imagine The Fall if MES took him at his word and did in fact
stop taking the piss...
Couple of reviews
of our least favourite chair thrower
The new album by
a group called "It's The Black-Eyed Snakes" has a glorious 7min45sec
version of My New House on it. It's all trashy blues in the most wonderful
lo-fi garage tradition.
It also features
Low's Zac Sally on two tracks... one playing Harmonica, and one playing
"retar". Has some great other covers... Dixon/Moby's Honey (Based, as
we all probably know & the liner notes are quick to point out, on a
Bessie Jones Song) and Low/Dirty Three's "Lordy".
My New House Live
At Bev's Juke Joint, Superior, Wisconsin, June 2001. http://www.blackeyedsnakes.com/multimedia/newhouse.mp3
Nov. 14, 2001
This is the latest
news and gossip off FallNet for those with weak stomachs.
If you have anything
to say, you can mail Stefan,
but you can't mail the FallNet mailing list direct anymore. To subscribe
to FallNet, send mail to fallnet-subscribe@
yahoogroups.com. The Freedonia list is out of action.
011105 Euro gig reports, Knitting Factory Knotes interview
011019 UK gig reports, studybees interview
010930 tour / booking details, 1979 fanzine
010909 not much
010828 Flitwick single, 82/83 gig pics
010531 Dublin pics, Cash for Questions, Guardian
010429 IR, UK gig reviews
010409 NL gig reviews
010303 Dublin gig, Invisible Jukebox
010128 World Bewitched details
010101 some ace Castlefield pics
001219 more reviews
001201 tour reviews, crap interviews
001110 Unutterable reviews
001021 Stanza festival, HighSmith Teeth, comedy
001011 RFH reviews, new Cog Sinister releases
000912 DOSE interview, Fall calendar
000822 Portugal, Manchester gigs
000809 bits & pieces
000723 Psykick Dance Hall, Pure As Oranj details,
Triple Gang reviews
000709 few bits
000620 Ashton, Hull, Middlesbrough, Glasgow, Edinburgh
reviews, old Volume piece
000530 LA2 reviews
000522 few old LP reviews
000502 bits & pieces
000424 TBLY #19 details, Prop details
000408 more Leeds reviews. WSC interview, other
000326 Doncaster, York, Leeds reviews, BravEar
interview (plus others)
000314 various reviews, old Liz Kershaw i/view
000224 Past Gone Mad details
000213 few bits & pieces
000130 tour details, Tommy Blake stuff
000120 TBLY #18 details, Hanley in Mojo
000110 Dragnet doylum, New Year message, etc
Old stuff: Nov 1997 - Dec 1999