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New Fall dates!
Sat., Jan. 26 Gagarin 205, Athens, Greece
Tues., Feb. 19 Palac Akropolis, Prague, Czech Republic
Wed., Feb. 20 Szene, Vienna, Austria
Thu., Feb. 21 Rockhouse, Salzburg, Austria
Fri., Feb. 22 Hafen, Innsbruck, Austria
Sat., Feb. 23 Conrad Sohm, Dornbirn, Austria
Sun., Feb. 24 Schüür, Luzern, Switzerland
Mon., Feb. 25 Tunnel, Milan, Italy
Tues., Feb. 26 Covo, Bologna, Italy
Wed., Feb. 27 Brancaleone, Rome, Italy
Thu., Feb. 28 Velvet, Rimini, Italy
Fri., Mar. 1 Interzona, Verona, Italy
Sat., Mar. 2 Reitschule, Bern, Switzerland


two weekends in April (19-21 & 26-28) at All Tomorrow's Parties, Camber Sands Holiday Centre, East Sussex. This looks like quite a lineup of bands - very tempting.


It appears that Spen Birtwistle is no longer in the band. There was a new drummer (Dave) at the Manchester gig (Nov. 29), who had 45 minutes to rehearse beforehand, according to Jim Watts. It's a shame -- I was very impressed with his drumming at the New York gigs.


There are vast quantities of recent gig reports and photos in the Fall News archive: UK dates in October 19, European dates in November 5, the London Forum gig in November 13, and the US tour in November 28, and the Manchester gig in December 12.

If you want to send me a review, it's not too late; I'll add them to the appropriate edition.


There's still no news about the postponed / withdrawn The Present EP, nor about the rerecording of the tracks for Pander, Panda, Panzer.

The vinyl pic-disc release of AYAMW has been put on hold until the new year "because the pressing plants are very busy with Christmas product." (Rob Ayling)


AYAMW reviews (also lots of old reviews in the last three Fall News issues)

I found a couple of German reviews of the new album on the web. Gerhard Pichler very kindly translated them for me.

First up, Spiegel online (October 29.)

http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/musik/0,1518,165003,00.html (it's at the bottom):

Neulich beim Konzert von The Fall: Während seine recht jungen Schergen gramgebeugt die Instrumente bedienten, schritt der wahrscheinlich missgelaunteste und unwirschste Mensch Englands ruhelos die Bühne ab. Das Gesicht zerfurcht, der Rücken bucklig. Von der Besetzung des letzten Albums "The Unutterable" hat Mark E. Smith erwartungsgemäß nur den Leadgitarristen behalten, doch auch der hat Angst vor ihm. "Are You Are Missing Winner" ist wieder eine dieser mittlerweile rund 30 The Fall-Veröffentlichungen, mit der Smith wohl keinen einzigen neuen Anhänger gewinnen wird. Glühende Verehrer des Lärm-Pops dagegen werden Ihnen gern erklären, warum sich die Platten des Mancunian überhaupt nicht gleich anhören und rundheraus behaupten: The Fall sind die beste Band der Welt. Zumindest für die nächsten vier Wochen.

Lately, at the Fall gig: While his quite young myrmidons are grief-ladenly working at their instruments, the probably worst-mooded and most grudgeful human of England restlessly prowls the stage. Face deep-lined, back hunched. As expected, Mark E. Smith has held on only to the guitarist from the last album´s line-up, "The Unutterable", and even he is in fear of Mark. "Are You Are Missing Winner" is again on of these 30-odd Fall-releases, with which Smith won´t win not even one new fervent fan. On the contrary, fervent adorers of noise-pop will gladfully explain to you why they do not even listen to the Mancunian´s records and just state as a fact: the Fall are the best band of the world. At least for the next four weeks.

Schallplattenmann (Nov. 5)

(Independent -- wichtige britische Band mit gar grässlichem Werk, EFA /
Cog Sinister) Schreiber brav am Schreibertisch gesessen /
ist Post gekommen, hat er Geistesblitz vergessen /
wie immer er gewesen neugierig /
und natürlich aufgemacht ganz sierig /
gewesen neue Scheibe von The Fall darin /
kein Weg vorbei und führt wohin? /
ob des hässlichen Covers gerümpft die Nase /
will trotzdem sehen wie er läuft der Hase /
geguckt genervt und Augen wüst gerollt /
dann Dingens doch angehört gewollt /
seither Schreiber platte Platten noch mehr hasst / und auch den Schmerz der neuen Namen hat /
paralysiert gewesen zwengs des Horrors /
Mark E. Smith hier als Willi Borroughs /
spielt uns die bittere Pille /
lallende mit 85 Promille /
von dem was er besingt, benennt /
versteh' ich fünf bis sechs Prozent /
der Rest ist heillos hingeschmissen / dieser Fall ist gar kein Leckerbissen /
sehr sehr lange nicht gehört so grässliches /
Fall-Fans sicher denken jetzt ganz hässliches /
hab' darauf hin mir einen Fluss geweint /
und ganz schnell diesen Mist gereimt. [gw]

(Gerhard says: "pls note: these "review" is rhymed - i did not go to the trouble to rhyme it in english, too.")

The Fall: "Are You Are Missing Winner"
(Independent - important British band with very dire work, EFA/Cog Sinister)

Writer virtuously sat at his table /
mail arrived, flash of genius got lost /
as always, he was curious /
opend it immediately /
inside, the new Fall record /
no way to avoid it, but where does it lead to? /
sniffed at the ugly cover /
nevertheless want to see how the wind blows /
looked irritated, rolled eyeballs angrily /
but finally wanted to listen to it /
hence writer hates gobsmacked records even more /
has also the pain from the new names /
was paralysed from the horror /
Mark E. Smith as Willi Borroughs here /
plays the bitter pill for us /
babbling with 85 per mille /
what he sings about and what he names /
I understand five to six per cent /
the rest is just thrown about /
this fall is no tidbit at all /
long long time since I heard something as ghastly as this /
Fall-fans will think ugly things now /
I cried myself a river /
and quickly rhymed this crap. (one out of four points)

I also found a couple of French reviews if someone wants to tackle these for me. I've seen the results with the Alta Vista Babelfish translater, and they aren't pretty; I think it'll need a more organic approach.

Graydon Monk:

CD cover/booklet is just about as bad as it gets. Poor design (in the name of art), lack of detail i.e. lyrics, proper credits and incorrect track listing. All or most of this could have been done to create some kind a bootleg effect - who knows.

The production definitely follows the bootleg feel. This is a VERY low-fi offering, in fact I was quite shocked at first. I thought Unutterable, despite some dodgy moments, was well produced in a very "Fall" way. AYAMW was a real shock. I know that minimal is "in" at the moment with The Strokes & White Stripe but jeez MES has done them all on this one. If this wasn't recorded, mixed & mastered in a week (max) then Cog Sinister should ask some questions.

1) Jim's "The Fall"
Album starts off well enough. A nice bright track sets the mood and introduces the new band. This is a good opener and I wasn't at all perturbed at this moment. Comedy moment is when the lads warily sing "we are the new fall" without conviction. Obviously wanting to distance themselves from any litigation.

2) Bourgeois Town
I like this!! The old Robert Johnson song is a good choice of cover and the band and MES do a great job of it. Would get my vote onto any Fall "covers" album. This style seems to suit the band. A stand out track for me.

3) Crop-Dust
I liked this at first, but it now annoys me with repeated playing. A one riff song and its seems to plod along. When you hear it without paying any particular attention to the lyrics its even worse.

4) or is it 5? What IS all that about? A mistake at a budget printers in Cheetham Hill? A joke?? A ploy to get some meathead to name his MP3's wrong? Wouldn't that be funny. :-(
Anyway despite what the booklet says 4 is Kick The Can on my copy. Maybe they are shuffling the tracks around at random as a cute marketing ploy. This track starts off with a horrendous rock bass riff that would embarrass aerosmith never mind mesmith. I think the band must be taking the piss out of MES having had to drag him out of the pub to do the vocals on the first part. The track then kicks into a foot tapping rock- a-billy thing.

5) My Ex-Classmates Kids
Like this one, makes me laugh. The very title is something I have to face at my local pub. These kids wailing on the karaoke and you remember being in class with their parents. Poor little things struggling through life. "I cry for Thee"....... exactly. A brilliant track to turn up loud on your mates classy hi-fi and watch his face when it cranks up. Excellent.... aftershave, little twigs - the lot.

6) Gotta See Jane
Back to earth with a bump.This was a lame 60's song first time round but doesn't get the full treatment.It sounds like MES is reading the quick- fire lyrics from a book. His mouth can hardly keep up with what his brain is interpreting. The band don't sound as though this was a good idea anyway. I wonder how many takes of this were made. A case of fuck it, It'll do. I'm always glad when the hero gives himself up at the end.

7) Ibis-Afro Man
In the words of Mrs Margaret Meldrew "MY GOD!!!!". I quite liked this when I've seen them do it live but this -THIS - was a shock. Not at all what I expected. In fact I still find it difficult to listen to. Its a real epic track with lots of edits and bits & pieces dropped in for bad measure. It sounds like a 6th form school project that the kids just haven't got a handle on. The track starts with a few off cuts pasted together, with lumps dropped in here a there. The editing is just awful/amateur and though its probably meant to sound "arty" its just a MESS. The middle 8, so to speak, sounds like someone torturing a parrot. The poor thing is obviously in some distress as it is being clubbed. I apologise if this section has some deep meaning that I have missed but it is just too laughable to take serious. Perhaps as the prequel to Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch it would work.I'm old enough to remember that the first time round - and it was funny 30 years ago. I think with this bit stitched onto the front before the guy enters the pet shop - it could make a comeback. We then, still in the same song, drift into what seems a live version but with the absence of any supporting information - who knows?... Hang on , there's a keyboard in there. I see a vision of Julia before me. Definitely sounds like the bits she used to put into the live track. Again no keyboard credit so who cares. The band rev this up to the final assault, with a comical superstar "Hello London" and an ELP type finale. A truly bizarre mess of a track and probably a reason why the Fall are so special. Not many band would release material like this. It could have been a good track but IMHO has just massively under acheived. Story of MES really.

8) The Acute
We slip into country mood for this one and MES growls over a light weight backing which doesn't really cut it. Johnny Cash could cover this and make it sound awsome. As it is , its a filler.

9) Hollow Mind
Back to form. I like this one.MES sounds interested and the band go for it. Its one of those Fall songs where you could play "guess the year" with someone and it would be difficult to do so. This could be a Fall song from many-a-decade - is what I am trying to say.

10) Reprise:Jane - Prof Mick - Ey Bastardo.
In the absence of any more songs the band treat us to a collection of various out-takes and in-jokes. Picking the bones out of this is difficult. There are some lively moments from Jane in there. Most bands would just leave this stuff in the bin, or maybe use it to take the CD over the hour mark. As it is, at 47mins this and a dodgy track 7 prevent this CD from being EP length.

To conclude MES is to be admired for his "work" ethic.You only need to see the amount of stuff The Fall release, and the many live gigs they get through to appreciate that. This may be more due to the need of money than desire to work, but then why do we all work?

Quality control is a different matter. IMHO it went out of the window years ago. Having witness some embarrassing gigs where MES has struggled to stand up. Consistency of released material is also patchy.

The Fall are now sadly almost non-existent as a band. The albums could easily just be released by Mark E Smith and the live gigs are like a Fall tribute. This years musicians compared to last etc. I'm just sad that I didn't see them in their hey-day. That said I will continue to go to fall gigs coz I enjoy them, but they make me laugh more than they should. I'll also continue to buy the recorded work as I'm still interested and honestly believe that he has at least one more blinding album in there somewhere.

Out of this lot, I think that Cog Sinister(or whoever) are to be congratulated for releasing stuff like Missing Winner. It fills me with joy that the world hasn't gone "pop idol" processed shite mad. I like the current White Stripes album for its anti-pop stance, but even that sounds lavishly produced compared to Missing Winner. I doubt that White Stripes will stay around as long as MES has, but they may retire richer.


Mark Desrosiers's been trawling through Google's 20-year archive of Usenet posts. Here's something by Sue Trowbridge from 1986 about meeting the most feared man in rock.

Return-Path: umcp-cs!jhunix!jhunix!ins_aset
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 86 15:53:20 EST
From: Susanne E Trowbridge umcp-cs!jhunix!ins_aset@seismo.CSS.GOV
Subject: My encounter with "The Most Feared Man In Rock"!

The Fall are my favorite band currently in existence (that neatly sidesteps Roxy Music and Joy Division). Maybe that's why I was so nervous yesterday as I sat in Washington's 9:30 Club, waiting for them to emerge...I've interviewed so many musicians, both famous and obscure, and I thought that jittery feeling had gone away forever!

But then again, lead singer Mark E. Smith is "The Most Feared Man In Rock," according to the British music weeklies (forgot who it was exactly who gave him this tag). He sing-speaks his acerbic lyrics, often unintelligible, and has been known to show hostility to many an interviewer. I was hoping and praying that I would get to speak to his wife, Brix, one of The Fall's three guitarists and a Californian. Of course, things never go as planned...the tour manager handed Brix over to everyone's fave rockcrit guy, J.D. Considine, as I silently fumed and tore up the two pages of questions I had been wanting to ask Brix...

Then I saw MARK E. He looks exactly like he does on the record covers. He wasn't snarling or anything, but I was still worried. Karen, the aforementioned tour manager, broke the news that I'd be speaking with Mark and guitarist/bassist Craig Scanlon. We were told to go to a bar and grill about two blocks from the club. We weren't told exactly where it was. Fortunately, my fellow interviewer/boyfriend had spotted it on the way and we managed to get there without too much difficulty.

Well, believe it or not, Mark E. Smith is a nice guy!!!!!!!!!!!!! He' He has a great sense of humor, and although he said he'd done ten interviews the day before and wanted to leave most of the talking to Craig, he ended up joining in the conversation and even staying around to talk to us after Craig had gone back to the soundcheck. We talked about politics, Japan, all kinds of weird things. Craig told me that he had spent his free day in DC touring the NRA... Best line from Mark: an obnoxious DJ from a Rochester, NY station came to the bar to fetch him back to the soundcheck, and on the way walking back, asked what guarantee the Fall had gotten (i.e. $$$). Mark said, "We don't talk about things like that in England. It's like asking me what kind of sex I have with my wife!"

The Feared Side of Mark E. emerged at the show itself, when the monitors weren't working. Mark kicked over the synthesizer (it still worked!), the mike stand, and threw beer on the audience. The audience soon joined in the violence, and a few started slam- dancing madly. I had a great place near the front and found myself so jostled around that I attempted to move to the left...however, the slamming grew wilder and I spent the entire show in much closer contact with my fellow audience members than I cared to be. As for the show, it was OK, not great...the band wasn't in a good mood, perhaps because of the equipment...Mark E. was commenting earlier about how badly the 9:30 Club was run. The versions of "Cruisers Creek" and "L.A." were rather lame. They did lots of new material and obscure single b-sides...

All in all, the interview was by far the best part of the show. Sorry to have prattled on for so long, but if you aren't interested in the Fall, you probably haven't read this far anyway.


also there's this Mark Dickinson post from April 21, 1984 (possibly the first mention of the Fall on Usenet?):

From: Mark Dickinson (med@astrovax.UUCP)
Subject: 'Dragnet' by The Fall
Newsgroups: net.music
Date: 1984-04-21 11:19:20 PST

For some time now, I have been trying to track down a copy of the LP 'Dragnet' by The Fall. While I understand that it is a difficult record to find because it is out of print, I thought that perhaps I might submit my dilemma to the collected knowledge and record-buying acumen of the NET in hope of assistance. Has anyone seen a copy of 'Dragnet' recently? Or, does anyone have a copy that they might be interested in unloading? If the answer to either of the above questions is 'yes', please contact me and let me know. I'd greatly appreciate it.

I'm also looking for a copy of the 'Totally Wired' single (again by The Fall), in case you've seen that too.

hate's not your enemy love's your enemy murder all bush monkeys

Mark Dickinson


Satirical Corner:

The Framley Examiner (thanks to Simon Fluendy for mentioning this on Fallnet)

Japanense Engrish (not really satire though)

The Onion

TV Go Home

Jan. 2, 2002

This is the latest news and gossip off FallNet for those with weak stomachs.

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Recent news...

12dec01 MCR gig reviews, album reviews, "Pan"
28nov01 mammoth US tour edition
13nov01 first batch of AYAMW reviews, London Forum gig reports
5nov01 Euro gig reports, Knitting Factory Knotes interview
19oct01 UK gig reports, studybees interview
30sep01 tour / booking details, 1979 fanzine interview
9sep01 not much
28aug01 Flitwick single, 82/83 gig pics
27jun01 Faustus
31may01 Dublin pics, Cash for Questions, Guardian interview
29apr01 IR, UK gig reviews
9apr01 NL gig reviews
3mar01 Dublin gig, Invisible Jukebox
28jan01 World Bewitched details
1jan01 some ace Castlefield pics
19dec00 more reviews
1dec00 tour reviews, crap interviews
10nov00 Unutterable reviews
21oct00 Stanza festival, HighSmith Teeth, comedy dogs
11oct00 RFH reviews, new Cog Sinister releases
12sep00 DOSE interview, Fall calendar
22aug00 Portugal, Manchester gigs 
9aug00 bits & pieces
23jul00 Psykick Dance Hall, Pure As Oranj details, Triple Gang reviews
9jul00 few bits
20jun00 Ashton, Hull, Middlesbrough, Glasgow, Edinburgh reviews, old Volume piece
30may00 LA2 reviews
22may00 few old LP reviews
2may00 bits & pieces
24apr00 TBLY #19 details, Prop details
8apr00 more Leeds reviews. WSC interview, other interview snippets
26mar00 Doncaster, York, Leeds reviews, BravEar interview (plus others)
14mar00 various reviews, old Liz Kershaw i/view
24feb00 Past Gone Mad details
13feb00 few bits & pieces
30jan00 tour details, Tommy Blake stuff
20jan00 TBLY #18 details, Hanley in Mojo
10jan00 Dragnet doylum, New Year message, etc

Old stuff: Nov 1997 - Dec 1999