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The Fall play...

Sat., Jan. 26 Club 22, Athens, Greece (moved from Gagarin 205)
Tues., Feb. 19 Palac Akropolis, Prague, Czech Republic
support: Point (http://www.minorityrecords.cz)
Wed., Feb. 20 Szene, Vienna, Austria (http://www.szenewien.com)
Thu., Feb. 21 Rockhouse, Salzburg, Austria (http://www.rockhouse.at/default_frame.htm)
Fri., Feb. 22 Hafen, Innsbruck, Austria (http://www.hafen.cc)
Sat., Feb. 23 Conrad Sohm, Dornbirn, Austria (http://www2.vol.at/ConradSohm)
Sun., Feb. 24 Schüür, Luzern, Switzerland (http://www.schuur.ch/programm/index.html)
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
Mon., Mar. 4 Freizeitzentrum West, Dortmund, Germany (http://www.fzw.de)
Thurs., Mar. 7 Deli, Berlin, Germany (http://www.deliberlin.de)
Fri., Mar. 8 Haus der Jugend, Dusseldorf, Germany
Sun., Apr. 7 Great American Music Hall, San Francisco
Tue., Apr. 9 Great American Music Hall, San Francisco
Thu., Apr. 11 Spaceland, Los Angeles
Fri., Apr. 12 Knitting Factory, Los Angeles
Mon., Apr. 15 Knitting Factory, New York City (2 shows: 7:30 and 10:30)
Tues., Apr. 16

Empty Bottle, Chicago (2 shows: 7:30 and 11:30)

Fri., Apr. 19 North, Blackburn (16 Town Hall Street)
Sat. Apr. 20

The Garage, London
Tix £12 advance; doors 19:30, Fall on stage 21:45.
Ticket Outlets: Credit Card hotline 020 - 7344 0044 (24hrs) Stargreen: 020 - 7734 8932.Also from www.meanfiddler.com & www.ticketmaster.co.uk & in person from Ticketmaster in selected HMV, Tower Records & Waitrose stores, plus usual agents (subject to booking fee) Tickets without bkg fee for cash from Camden Ticketshop and Astoria Box Office. Info line: 020 - 8963 0940


two weekends in April (19-21 & 26-28) at All Tomorrow's Parties, Camber Sands Holiday Centre, East Sussex.
~May 17-20 11th Annual Wave-Gottik-Treffen goth festival in Leipzig, Germany

band at present: MES (v.), Ben Pritchard (g.), Jim Watts (b.), Dave Milner (d.)

The band are planning more US dates "around late August."


Message board:

Feb. 25: Since the site's guestbook has turned into a message board-type forum, I've created a message board on ezboard.com for you.


Upcoming releases:

Fall manager Ed Blaney says the next official Fall CD, scheduled for release around April/May, will comprise nine tracks recorded at Nov. 2001 US gigs, plus three studio tracks, one of which is "I Wake Up in the City" -- good news for people who missed out on the Flitwick freebie.

It looks like the mysterious 3xCD box set "Totally Wired" will be out on Essential (part of the Castle budget-price reissue label) sometime this month. Catalog # CMETD461. I have no idea what the tracklisting is. CDZONE has it listed for £12.89


Jeff Higgott has updated his mammoth Fall discography: here it is in zipped Word format.


With many thanks to Jon Anderson, here's the interview with MES in the current Record Collector (March 2002, pp. 60-64). It's a PDF (632 kb).


Jon Anderson:

Thought you might be interested in adding the attached Fall cartoon to the website if isn't there already. I did have a quick look but couldn't find it.

Dr Crawshaft's World of Pop appeared in the NME during the early 90's. Found reference to a KLF cartoon in the same series on the web from 1992 so I guess this appeared around the same time.

Dr Crawshaft was drawn by Arthur Mathews who of course went on to co-write Father Ted with Graham Linehan but perhaps his greatest claim to fame is as founder of U2 tribute band - The Joshua Trio.


Terence McMillen:

From the hyped2death website, talking about their comp MESsthetics #7. Don't remember Contact being mentioned before. Just took a look at the Woodbank Street Band -- whoa!!

"Contact are this volume's entrants from the Object Records stable. Object grew more or less directly out of the Manchester Musicians' Cooperative, which initially included Dick Witts [Passage], classical and electronic composers (respectively) Simon Holt and Trevor Wishart, and Tony Friel, whose first band, The Fall, had their first gig at a 'Collective meeting. Contact, then, was a duo of Object label-mates Friel [Fall, Passage, Teardrops] and Duncan Prestbury [Steve Miro/Eyes, Spherical Objects, Future Primitives, Warriors]. Tony's now in the Woodbank Streetband, and Duncan's with Gravity's Rainbow."


Rich Kidd:

The sleevenotes for the new compilation and a few other things have popped up at http://www.blueorchids.net incl. Marc Riley whinging about MES in the Recollections section.


Can't believe no-one found this in the recent discussions about Elbow: http://www.playlouder.com/feature/212doves/ "First up are the much touted Elbow, fronted by a man who lived in the same Prestwich street as Mark E. Smith, Nico and Giant Haystacks."


Tony Friel now appears to be in the Woodbank Street Band: http://www.woodbankstreet.co.uk/

appearing near you.....

Wed 27 Febuary 2002
Big Hands
Oxford Rd. Manchester

Fri 22 March 2002
Little Mill
Rowarth, nr. New Mills

Sat 23 March 2002
Kings Arms

Wednesday 27 March 2002
Big Hands
Oxford Rd. Manchester


Thanks to Kyle B. and Steve Dean who both sent this Wire review:

The Wire, Feb 2002 issue
Avant Rock section
Review by Edwin Pouncey
The Fall Are You Are Missing Winner
Cog Sinister COGVP131 CD

Just when you thought that Mark E. Smith had almost got his inner demons under control after bowling you over with the magnificent 'The Unutterable', he instantly shreds any hint of stability and comes back instead with a mean sounding avant rockabilly racket which makes no apparent sense at all. Keep peeling back those ears, though, play the damn thing loud enough to wake the dead, and the new MES experience eventually starts to kick in with a vengeance. 'Are You Are Missing Winner' is partially hinged to a flapping version of R. Dean Taylor's classic "Gotta See Jane". Around this Smith scatterguns half remembered lyrics and conducts a whirlpool of splintered guitar, dishevelled drum and battered bass sounds with a Quasimodic Gene Vincent leather gloved fist that claws even deeper into the raw clay of innovation that birthed rock 'n' roll and continues to fuel Smith's unique vision.


As previously reported, Steve and Paul Hanley are currently playing with Tom Hingley ex-Inspiral Carpet Tom Hingley's band The Lovers. They have some dates scheduled for February and March (http://www.tomhingley.co.uk/gigs2.html), and here's the "Inspiral Tap" tour poster.


Hannah Meehan asks

Why no competing Fall pre-cog site?

A good question. Anyone up for the task?


Stuart Murray:

I've just been looking at the list of gigs and noticed you have not got the date of the Deeply Vale festival in 1979.

It was the 6th of August, my band played on the 7th and I have still got the newspaper cutting.

Also, Marc Riley, Craig Scanlon and (2 others I cannot remember their names) were in a band with my brother, called The Sirens before they joined The Fall.

My brother and I formed FAST CARS and we played most of the places The Fall did at the time.

Check out our site at http://www.the-fast-cars.com. Marc Riley has also written the sleeve notes on our album on Detour Records UK.

If anyone remembers the Sirens and can provide any further details, please let me know - Stefan. (Rich reminded me that Grant Showbiz mentioned the Sirens on his 1998 "Falling Through Time" radio documentary. You can read a transcript of part 1 of his show on Graham Coleman's TBLY site.)


Derek Westerholm:

Good evening Fallnet,

It's Derek here, lurking, in Toronto, letting you know that the band spawned by the tribute night to the Fall has not gone away. Nope. Not one bit.

Find our history and a link to our rehearsal version of Fiery Jack at... http://www.thecreepingnobodies.com.

Send the copyright police soon... remember, the tribute WAS called 'Notebooks Out, Plagiarists'...

As for the site, there's still a spelling error or two to iron out (ie. rehearsal) but absolutely NO references to Are You Are Missing Winner or Shytework... so that must count for something.


Palac Akropolis, Prague, Czech Republic, Feb. 19, 2002

John Coan:

Just got in, and ears ringing as you might expect. Wearing a fetching black T-shirt with Smiffy's face smoking a fag, with 'THE FALL' above, and '2002 TOUR' below. Akropolis a small venue, and they pretty well packed it out (250 a fair estimate, I'd say). The last time I saw the Fall was the shambolic and hugely disappointing August 1998 THING at London LA2, where I spent most of the time in the toilet grumbling with fellow (ex-?) Fall fans.

The two most astounding things for me this time round were the fact that MES appeared dead sober, and the band were tighter than two coats of paint. Minimum fiddling with amps, no prima-donna tantrums or exits. But the overall SOUND of the band, especially the guitar, was leaden. 'Touch Sensitive' was sludge where it should be sparky and spiky, and many songs were played just a tad slower than you're used to them. Almost Black Sabbath-like in their bottom-heavy rumbling sound, the guitar went through a phaser pedal for a lot of numbers. This didn't stop a few mongs down the front faking epilepsy and screaming at an indifferent MES. (not Chris (aka Josef), I hasten to add - sorry to lose you, had a bit of a domestic crisis...)

One slight comic moment - Mark read a bit of his poetry from scraps of paper on top of an amp towards the end, back to the crowd, and from what I could gather it was a typically sub-Burroughsian stream- of-consciousness affair, with the possible title of 'Lancashire North- Western Quarter'. Ambientish keyboard backing. But he stopped after a few sentences to mutter 'shut up!' to a hollering dick in the crowd, and later was hesitant as he seemed to lose the last sheet, (mumbled to the guitarist - 'where's the rest?')

Anyway - disappointing but not bad. Workmanlike, suffered from a lack of keyboards (although both MES and Jim tinkled on a couple of occasions) and, dare I say it, oddly for The Fall LACKING CHARACTER.

VERY approximate set list:

Mansion (marvellous - the adrenaline kicked in here, I was shaking)
The Joke
Cyber Insekt (almost unrecognisable)
And Therein
F-oldin' Money
Kick The Can
Way Round
Bourgeois Town (great)
Two Librans
poem w/ keyboards
Mr. Pharmacist
Touch Sensitive (the lowest moment)
MES off, instrumental
I Am Damo Suzuki
band off
My Ex-Classmates' Kids


currently nursing my alles kaput machen heart thanks to some czech bewer braking it (be wary of 'em) and a hangover.

John has pretty much mentioned everything - after the gig went to a pub next door with the fall. Mark did a 'media conference' in the falls dressing room to a contigent of euro journalists - one of them, some Irish guy named Ian got marched out by The Fall's manager for asking crap questions apparently. Jim and Ben on really good form. John - when we went in halfway through Mansion was Mark singing the words to it?

Josef also spotted an interview with MES in the Prague Post and reviews it thusly:

Mark E Smith in the PP interview is basically harping on about the same moans he did since 1986 - Fall fans get younger every year blah blah blah you have to hate the fall to be in the band blah blah blah, not playing any old songs blah blah blah - which would be nice to hear a 3/4 new set, but i bet i don't. I think it's funny of course, he is a funny fussy old bloke. He is infact quite right about people wasting their time on the internet as was "alot of wind"


Szene, Vienna, Austria, Feb. 20, 2002


Well, M.E.S. has obviously got his act together, at least for the beginning of this leg of the tour. Almost all the observations you can read about the Prague show may be applied unchanged to this gig at Szene Wien - no walk outs (just one short break during the intro to "Bourgeois Town"), no silly behaviour, very professional and sober (?), yes - the band could use some subtlety in their thud-thump-heavy playing, the set list was quite similar...but...it's still great - the very sound of Mark E.'s voice, as unintelligible as the words may be, the very fact that he can pull out such gems as "I am Damo Suzuki" or "Mr.Pharmacist" from an incredible "back catalogue", and how an excellent "The Joke" makes people pogo as if it was a Friday night at the local disco, the fact that the age range of the audience (400 at least, I'd say, in a nicely packed club) is probably from 20 to about 55 (you know what they say about The Rolling Stones - several generations of fans, well, there it is), an unusual moment when at the end of "Dr.Buck's Letter" (the first encore) Mark gives the mic to a guy in the front row, who readily performs a set of weird vocal "improvisations"...M.E.S. may keep an indifferent look, but I'm sure he notices how these people appreciate him. He's still there and he rocks. It's just a shame that I don't care anymore who's in the band, I won't be able to rememeber their names anyway.

A personal note: it was also in this very club that I saw The Fall for the first time, in October '86, just after "Bend Sinister" had been released. There were Craig Scanlon, Stephen Hanley...and, of course, Brix. It was great and it still is, although it's an aged, crumpled face now on an extremely skinny body and the band isn't really The Fall any more. I drove from Zagreb, Croatia that day in '86, just to see The Fall, as I did yesterday. In the meantime, The Fall played in Zagreb once just before the war (in '90.) and Mark wrote an enigmatic song called "Zagreb". He seems to be indestructible and that makes me happy.

Gerhard Pichler:

i do not have to add very much to the report already published on the fallnews. mark was stone sober, straight concert, tight band, good atmosphere, no incidents. here´s the songs according to the setlist i managed to grab after the gig:

ben´s / f´oldin / kick
enigramatic (this titel must refer to the poem mark performed at the first three gigs)
way round


i think this is pretty correct.


Rockhouse, Salzburg , Austria, Feb. 21, 2002

Martin Kremers:

The Fall did a great show in Salzburg last thursday in the Rockhouse. The Rockhouse is a great venue, arced, half build in the Kapuzinerberg, a creepy dark mountain gives a layer of shade over the city most of the day. The band travels by train, the weather conditions are very unprodictable. That's why i went back to Holland after 5 days on the road, sleeping and live in my car with temperatures far below zero, after seeing the Gruppe twice.

There was a supporting act and no one went inside. Everyone watch the olimpic games on a screen and an Austrian skier won a golden medal......There was realy a party going on !!

Mansion (Who asked for this one??)
And Therein
Two Librans
Medley: Part of Kick The Can, F'Oldin'Money, Kick The Can
Bourgeois Town
(a poem about Manchester and soccer)
Mr. Pharmacist
Way Round
Jim's New Fall
Damo Suzuki
The Joke
Dr. Buck's Letter
My Ex-Classmate's Kids

Gerhard Pichler:

again, there´s not much to add to the report already published. setlist almost the same as vienna (i have listened to the md once, but forgot to write the titles down; i suppose that martin kremers is correct with his one, as he also is with the one in innsbruck), mark sober again, no big surprises.


Hafen / Crash, Innsbruck , Austria, Feb. 22, 2002

Martin Kremers:

Tracklist Innsbruck: Almost simular as Salzburg.
And Therein
Two Librans
Medley: Part of Kick The Can, F'Oldin'Money, Kick The Can
Bourgeois Town
(another poem)
Mr. Pharmacist
Jim's New Fall
Way Round
My Ex-Classmate's Kids
Damo Suzuki
The Joke
Dr. Buck's Letter

This is funny:
No response for encores from the audience. There was a tape with big applause and poems varied noise played and the Gruppe returned to play 2 encores. Lucky me.....was guestlisted so, i got my money back....22 Euro's...Thankx Ed. Great!!!!

Gerhard Pichler:

met mark and band waiting on the train for innsbruck. i had a small chat with jim, who told me he had enjoyed it so far, and that they are not always going by train, but it was practical for this stretch of the tour. mark has a new girlfriend [I think Gerhard's referring to Elinor, the new wife - Stefan], and i guess she might be the reason for him being sober.

innsbruck. pretty weird town. i dont understand why so many tourists go there - there´s not much to see, except for the enourmous mountains framing the town on all sides.

in the evening, we took a half-hour stroll down to the hafen club, which is located on the outskirts of innsbruck. the fall did not play at the hafen club itself, but in an attached venue called "crash". it is one of the smallest locations i have ever seen: entering, you almost stumble into the mixing desk. the stage is triangular. the area to stand and listen cant be more than 5 by 8 meters. on its right side, it opens up into a room with similar dimensions, inhabiting the bar and filled with a jumble of old sofas.

these sofas came in handy: being a bit tired already after all the travelling, i enjoyed this gig sitting (crashing???) in a big old comfy chair, the left half of the stage in view, and recording was no problem, as it was equally loud in every spot of the crash.

the gig was different from the two before in intensity, it was much more powerful. maybe it depended on the location. i liked that one much better than vie and sbg. mark still sober. for setlist please refer to martin kremers report.


Conrad Sohm, Dornbirn, Austria, Feb. 23, 2002

Gerhard Pichler:

this is the gig which came as a big surprise: it started as a complete fuck-up, and ended not only as the best of the four, but also one of the best i have ever seen. but let´s start with the location:

the conrad sohm is a very nice place. we went there by cab, because it´s somwhere up in the woods. the place is a big rectangle, a pretty large stage on one of its smaller ends. on the right side, there´s running a bar over the whole length. there´s another smaller, rectangular bar on the short end opposite to the stage, and one more similar to the latter on the left side. that is the place we chose to sit and enjoy the gig. all seats at the bars offer a good view of the stage.

this night, mark was obviously drunk, and in a very aggressive mood. he shoved ben around a lot, almost brutally. he constantly lost his mics, dropped them onto the floor (loud "thumps"). he threw a mic stand into the audience. at one time, he managed to grab two mics at once, which sounded pretty interesting, but not for long: he lost both in a matter of less than a minute. he fiddled with the amps a lot, bens guitar was up to its full volume most of the time.

mind you, all this happened during the first three songs.then mark left stage. the band followed.

after a short break, they entered stage again and started "and therein". mark lost his mic, did not find another one and only mouthed the second half of the song into the audience. the he went off again, shoving ben out of the way again.

band started librans, mark did not appear again. after this instrumental, they left stage for quite some time. we thought that this is the end of the gig.

after some minutes, a tape with the reading of "luciani" started, and then the gig resumed. and it grew and grew ...

i liked best ketamin, a very emotional version. mark more or less behaved until the end. interesting: he started with a white shirt, and after the break he wore a grey one over the white. i still wonder why ....

here´s the setlist:

and therein
2librans (instrumental)
(big break)
(tape luciani)
way round
(tape idiot joy)

that´s it. we also took some pictures. i will get back to you when they are developed (and if they are of any use, i´ll scan them and send them to you.


Schüür, Luzern, Switzerland, Feb. 24, 2002

John Anderson:

I see no mention of the Swiss gigs of which the 1st (Sunday 24th Feb) I was lucky enough to witness. It was a truely delightful experience particularly for me as having lived here in this country for 6 years now, this was their first visit I believe. I had such fears of 'none-appearance', 'walk-off', even fights that I had read no reviews of the current tour. But they were amazing, in a wonderful (small) venue sadly poorly attended by maybe 100 people. I am not sure what the Swiss audience thought of them except for 2 young lads dancing their hearts out in front of the stage in order that the Fall might take home some good thoughts about performing in Switzerland (so they told me).

The set looked much like it had been for the previous and subsequent performances though I had to leave during 'way round' to catch a train home. Mark was watchable as ever, the band tolerating all the misdirected behaviour wonderfully - ie. nicking mikes and using both , turning up the volume on both guitars, etc. I felt like a traitor as I left them there on the stage alone with the implacable Swiss audience. To my delight my Swiss wife thoroughly enjoyed her first Fall experience. I couldn't thank them enough for playing in Switzerland for what was to me almost a personal performance.


Tunnel Uscita Nuovi Suoni, Milan, Italy, Feb. 25, 2002

Marco Margiotta:

A pretty funny show indeed last night at TUNNEL USCITA NUOVI SUONI, for at least 200 people I suppose, with all those microphones falling on stage, with Eddie looking enthusiastic and Dave Milner doing his job. Thierry (from Belgium) has taken the setlist, promising to scan send it to me very soon.

In the meantime here are some words hand-written by Ben, Jim, and MES:

And here's the set list, thanks to Sietse and Marco. And some photos, thanks to Beppe Zanardelli.

I think this is what was actually played:

mansion > joke > cyber > and therein > 2 librans > cropdust > antidotes > kick/f'olding/kick > bourgeois > pharmacist > enigramatic > ketamine > damo // ex-classmates > bucks


Velvet, Rimini, Italy, Feb. 28, 2002

Marco Margiotta:

Even better than in Milan, and I've seen no keyboards on stage. THE FALL played in Rimini, the land of Federico Fellini, so I've got the impression the gig has turned out a little bit more "cinematographic" than at Tunnel Uscita Nuovi Suoni, with Mark spoiling Ben's and Jim's michrophones, letting them fall on the ground, and with Eddie picking up them and singing a tempo (especially when fuori campo). Eddie himself, after the show, spoiled the new MS cigarettes packet I had in my pocket to give it to Mark Smith, so I remained with the empty one:

What happened then backstage between me, Annamaria and Jim's "THE FALL" is obviously very hard to describe, i.e. unutterable.

See them tonight in Verona. Now I've to go and place a bet on the eventuality the whole band will shout "Vittoria! Vittoria!"


Interzona, Verona, Italy, March 1, 2002

photos of MES by Stefano Butini.

Marco Margiotta:

the noteworthy finale of italian dates. I was back in Verona five days after the away among Brescia F.C. suite at 'Bentegodi' Stadium.

Verona is the land of Giulietta e Romeo, so I had the impression that Mark entered the Interzona venue hand in hand with his girlfriend [wife, probably - Stefan] after having asked her for her hand (but that wasn't my business).

The play turned out a great one-man show by MES and started well before it began, with Ben who had to clap his hands very loudly at the support band gig to borrow a guitar from them. He had some problems in undoing the big knot of the jacks wires and in finding the plectrum at the bottom of his trousers pocket too; then he kept on his very nice one-man show tuning the chords.

During the gig MES turned off the guitar amplifier rather often, while Dave and Jim were quite absorbed in their muscular and dynamic good performances.

Also this time someone has got the setlist before me, so I try to manage reporting a few fallible memories:

MANSION was masterly sung through the looks, the first lines of KICK THE CAN lyrics were sung without mics, no CLASSMATES, no DAMO, no Ed Blaney around.

In Verona THE FALL acted per via di levare.

Welcome back, long live, see you again.


Freizeitzentrum West, Dortmund, Germany, March 4, 2002


I saw the F.all live for the first time last night, and boy, is he one ugly fucker! Shane McGowan is still probably just one step ahead, but it's developing into a contest where they have to go forward to stand still.

The German crowd (crowd?) were very, uh, German. I was collared by a couple who wanted to know what all the lyrics were and what they meant. (Help on that would be appreciated). One geezer wanted to know what MES's "critical view of society" was. (my Übersetzung). He also asked me whether Morrissey is a gay Nazi. I said no, but that MES is.

Nobody pogo'd or did anything more impolite than spill my beer, but the fact that I thought it would be safe on the floor says something about the lack of celebratory violence that I like at gigs. Everyone seemed to think that the boys done good, which they did, and MES got a big laugh from the audience when he demonstrated his keyboard skills.

Gave the pissed "society-critic" kraut a lift home he directed me off the road onto a s-bahn line, a proper one, not shared-with road one. Crunched the bottom of the car on the rails, blocked tram/train thing in both directions while I screamed the wheels and smoked the underside over the rails to get back on dry land. No permanant damage. Shows you what sheer panic can achieve. The kraut was so embarrassed he gave me one of his surrealist paintings, so as long as the drivers didn't take my licence number, I'm probably up on the deal. The drunk, socially aware, surrealist kraut thought MES looked ggrrrreat!!!! BTW.

PS which one is Jim? The girly haired one / occasional backing vocals and keyboard, or the dark haired one. No-one I asked knew either.

Michael Jungbluth :

Der schwarzgestrichene Raum des FZW war sehr gut gefüllt, etwa 250 Besucher waren gekommen. Die Band spielte als Intro einige Passagen aus Mansion, Mark E Smith betrat die Bühne, und das Intro ging in The Joke über. Eine sehr konzentrierte Vorstellung fand hier statt. MES nestelte an den Microphonen, verschonte aber weitestgehend seine Musiker. Für kleinere Einlagen stand ein Keyboard bereit. MES spielte es, wenn auch mit der Faust, sehr subtil. Diese Dreierbesetzung zeigte sich hochkonzentriert und kompakt. Gespielt wurde die bei dieser Tour übliche Setlist: es gab das Medley, zwei ältere Stücke und eine Spoken-Word-Nummer. The Fall unterbrachen kurz, anscheinend machten die Drums Probleme. An Ibis Afro Man wurde I am Damo Suzuki gehängt, und dann war Schluß. Eine Zugabe gönnte man dem Publikum: Touch Sensitive. Ein sehr gutes Konzert mit sehr gutem Sound. Gefreut hat mich das Zusammenspiel der Gruppe. Diese Kompaktheit war ein Genuß! Im Vorraum gab es schwarze T-Shirts, das 2002-Tour-Motiv mit rauchendem Mark E Smith als Aufdruck, und zwei verbliebenen CDs aus dem Backkatalog.

The blackpainted room was full of people, about 250 geusts there. For the intro the band played some hooks of Mansion, Mark E Smith climbed the stage and The Fall changed to The Joke. This performance was very concentrated. MES played with his microphones, but he spared his musicians. Sometimes a small keyboard was used. MES played it with his fist, but however in a very subtle way. This band with these three musicians played with high concentration and very compactly.The setlist of this tour was as usual: there was the medley, two older songs and one spoken word number. The Fall interrupted shortly, because of some problems with the drums. After Ibis Afro Man they concluded the set with I am Damo Suzuki. As encore they offered Touch Sensitive, very driving, but they didn't return. It was a good concert with a very good sound. I enjoyed the concentrated and precise teamwork. In the lounge black t-shirts with the 2002 -tour icon, smoking MES face, were offered. Also, they had two CDs from the back catalogue.

Eddie Rudolph:

As it was the first possibility for me to see the Fall in the last nine years and as their newer records are not too familiar to me I can't tell you everything about the line up and the set list.

Line-up: Mark, one drummer with short hair, a bassman with long hair who tried to sing the choir parts but shut up intimidated when Mark started, and dared to laugh at Mark several times, and one guitarplayer, short dark hair, who had a lot of trouble with Mark (and with his guitar during "I am Damo Suzuki"): Mark went to the guitar amplifier a few times and turned some buttons. The guitarist always remarked the effect immediately (just like we did - on the right ear I hardly heared anything the day after) and during the first half of the gig he laughed about it and took the first chance when Mark was at the "piano" to put everything back, but later on he got angry and sweatened a lot trying to manage to play the way Mark wanted him but with the settings Mark had arranged.

Set-list as far as I remember:

1. Mansion
2. The Joke
4. And therein ...
8. (one of the) Antidote (songs ...)
9. African Man
11. Mr. Pharmacist
12. Bourgeois Town
14. I am Damo Suzuki
15. Touch Sensitive

Post-Gig-Joke: Because of the location and of obviously not wanting to walk through the crowd (one hundred people) the band left through a glass window near the stage - shortly after Mark had - just like before the encore. But: when they (in fact it was only him I think) decided not to come back in again, they had to get over a fence to get back to their room. I didn't manage to see Mark's jump because there were curtains which only gave a small gap to look through and which I had to share with maybe twenty people but he must have climbed it. Well perhaps the guitarist got the penalty of having to give fence-climb-support...

In fact I was amazed at the vitality of the group's sound. But I was even more shocked about Mark's appearance: He looked like at least 70 years old. Could it be that he hasn't got upper teeth anymore? It really was a shock. But he was there, and how! A friend of mine, a girl at the age of nearly 25 saw him for the first time and told me she got frightened of him during the gig. And I understood.

After the gig I had a conversation with the pianoplayer of the local support group "The Indoorsurfers" who happened to work at my department in the university. He told me that his guitarist is related to a Berlin-group-member of a band. And in this band there has to be a woman who is married to MES since last year. Did you know that? And as he always wanted to be supporting The Fall he managed this gig in Dortmund. He told me that when he and his guys fetched MES and the rest, his wife and the group, they came by train from Koblenz. MES didn't speak one single word with anyone apart from making a chaplinesque bow and whispering "Thank you; thank you, guys" each time one of the Germans put a part of the gig equipment inside the car.


Haus der Jugend, Dusseldorf, Germany, March 8, 2002

Martin Kremers:


Fall last night in Haus der Jugend Dusseldorf.--stop--Last performance on the continent.--stop-- concentrated and diciplined--stop-- Mark in best shape--stop-- Ed Blaney's no longer with the band--stop--Since Verona Italy, Mrs. Smith take over--stop-- Hopefully i'm normalized by tomorrow--stop--stop---$%##ai%@:(( Wait for a sober review pls


The Fall finished the European tour in style. Dusseldorf the hometown of many great electronic krautrockbands, such as Kraftwerk.

The Haus der Jugend is a small venue the size of a quarter footballfield. Packed with over 300 spectators almost sold out. The Fall kicks off at 9.40. No intro tapes this time. Dave, Ben and Jim very concentrated. Mark do the things one could expect. Microphone juggle, used 2 or even 3 mics. Knob fiddling, He actually fucks up Jim's amp (Mesa Boogie Bass 400+) Mr. Pharmacist and Damo Suzuki on guitar only. At the second encore Mark comes with a Houdini act, wearing a sort of scaffold connector around his wrist. During Touch Sensitive Mark hands a microphone to the audience, a fan climbs on stage and starts to sing while the band plays on. "you don't want me -hey hey hey- we want Mark E -hey hey hey- Mark E Smith- hey hey hey".

Mansion / The Joke / Cyber / And Therein / Two Librans / Antidotes / Ben's>F'oldin>Kick The Can / Bourgeois Town / Enigramatic / Ketamine / Mr. Pharmacist / Damo Suzuki

Encores: Dr. Buck's Letter / Touch Sensitive

After the show i had a chat with Ben and Jim, who told me that Ed Blaney went home in Verona. "He fucked it up", they both told me. They didn't wanna say what actually was going on, but " things are more relaxed now since Mrs.Smith take things over".

The upcomming US gigs however are confirmed.

Note: Ed Blaney emailed me on March 18 to say that the rumours that he has left the band are completely untrue - Stefan.


Mar. 19, 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.

ta to biv for this

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