205, Athens, Greece
Akropolis, Prague, Czech Republic
Sohm, Dornbirn, Austria
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.
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.
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.
you want to send me a review, it's not too late; I'll add them to the
still no news about the postponed / withdrawn The Present EP, nor
about the rerecording of the tracks for Pander, Panda, Panzer.
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)
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.)
(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
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
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)
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)
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.
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.
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. :-(
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
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.
- 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?
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.
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.
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
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
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
Subject: 'Dragnet' by The Fall
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
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
Framley Examiner (thanks to Simon Fluendy for mentioning this
Engrish (not really satire though)
Jan. 2, 2002
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.
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
19oct01 UK gig reports, studybees interview
30sep01 tour / booking details, 1979 fanzine
9sep01 not much
28aug01 Flitwick single, 82/83 gig pics
31may01 Dublin pics, Cash for Questions, Guardian
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
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
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