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March 5 Babylon, Beyoglu-Istanbul, Turkey
Tickets TRL10,000,000. Doors 21:30, Fall stage time: 22:00, 18+
April 4-6 All Tomorrow's Parties, Camber Sands
May 1 Recession Festival, Aarhus, Denmark
Venue: Train, Doors: 18:00, Fall stage time:22:00, Tickets: DKK240 (or DKK400 for 3 day festival pass)
June 20-22 All Tomorrow's Parties, Los Angeles
3-day tickets ($110) are on sale now at their new website

Still no word on the possibility of a US tour. The LA ATP appearance is the only date confirmed so far.


Band line-up: Jim Watts was sacked just prior to the gig in Turkey on March 5. Jim and Ben have confirmed this, but they're not saying anything more at present. Steve Evets stood in on bass in Turkey at very short notice (same way Jim started). Evets is an old mate of MES who did vocals on Mark's spoken word album The Post Nearly Man and some backing vocals on The Unutterable. His band, Dr Freak's Padded Cell, supported the Fall at the Camden Electric Ballroom last November. It's not known yet whether he'll stay on.

Scooped again by playlouder.com (thanks to Stuart for forwarding this):

Exclusive: Sacked bassist tells us what happened

Mark E Smith has once again fired one of his band in bizarre circumstances. Bassist Jim Watts had been with The Fall for nearly three years, and had just recorded the latest Peel Sessions with the band, when Smith decided Jim had to go. Watts was due to fly to Turkey the following day to play a gig when he heard the news. He told PlayLouder:

"It was the night before Turkey and Mark came to the pub to meet us. Bought the others a drink and purposefully didnt get me one, then came out with some nonsense saying I was off in London spending The Fall's money", at this point he laughs, "playing with a Heavy Metal band and his contacts at MI5 had intercepted my calls to book rehearsal rooms. And [he said] I could play the gig in Turkey then leave the band, and obviously I opted not to go to Turkey and just walked out".

He added, "Have to give it him that though - he can be extremely funny. It's a pity as I feel short changed. We didn't have a blazing row as I was laughing too much".

Jim Watts can't really say too much else at the moment.


Courtesy www.whitehouse.org:

Click the thumbnail for a larger version to print out and plaster about town. I've downloaded loads of these and I'll rotate the selection while the war's on (or you can download them yourself of course).


Babylon Club, Istanbul, Turkey 5 March 2003:

Thanks to David O'Byrne for the photo. His gig review is short and sweet:- Sorry, couldn't manage a set list, but a great night. Three encores.

Note: Mrs Smith on keyboards and Steve Evets on bass.


The band's 23rd John Peel Session was broadcast on Thursday, March 13.

Theme from Sparta F.C. (3:55)
Contraflow (4:05)
Grooving with Mr. Bloe / Green-Eyed Loco Man (6:05)
Mere Pseud Mag Ed. (3:15)

Times shown above are approximate. Personnel: MES vocals, Ben Pritchard guitar, Jim Watts bass, Dave Milner drums, Elenor Poulou (the latest Mrs Smith) keyboards. Lyrics by MES, music by Jim Watts - Contraflow and Green-Eyed Loco Man; Jim Watts & Ben Pritchard - Theme From Sparta F.C.; MES - Mere Pseud Mag Ed. Everyone does backing vocals, and there are plenty of them on all tracks, adding a nice flavour. The first minute of Green-Eyed Loco Man is a cover of Mr Bloe's "Grooving With Mr Bloe", then the tempo changes and you're into the song proper. This track and Sparta FC would be my pick after a couple of listens. A very strong session overall, which bodes well for the forthcoming album. Peel used the words "fantastic" and "ecstatic" in his judgment of the session. Let us know what you think. Peel also said he will be playing tracks from the new album in advance of its release, so keep listening!


I may be 42 and a Fall fan since the early days, but I still get excited by a new Peel session and the latest one was as he described 'awesome' and I just hope it comes over as well on the new album. Listening to it just shows just how the Fall just can't sit with other music. You listen to Fall tracks on compliations and for me, it just stands out so much and never seems to quite fit in. The only way I can make a compilation for the car and have the Fall on it is to put a bit of Beach Buggy on one side of the track with some Creepers after it!


Mmmm... Not sure about the session. I taped the tracks then listened to it a few times in the car. Sparta was passable but musically I still think they're struggling. There's no light and shade left anymore. MES had some good lyrics here and there though I think the group are in danger of parody and being a one trick pony. I'm glad they exist and continue churning the stuff out but frankly there was some music on the radio programme that I felt was more interesting and rewarding. Gosh...don't I sound pompous?

Maybe I'm coming to the end of a long (24 yrs) relationship with The Fall. Who knows? Will I buy the album? I don't know. Maybe if someone offered me a free burnt copy, I'd listen. I'd like not to sound so downbeat...but...


It always amazes me how Smith raises his game for the big occasions. Fall Peel sessions are always excellent, but the next one might be the one where he topples off the tightrope...

Instead he just raises the height and gets rid of the net.

Galatasaray fans may be bad, but that's nothing to these Spartan vampiric shepherd hooligans cropping Apollo's golden locks and feeding off Western Hellas-based civilisation in the form of tourists with bobble hats and fleecy jumpers, and Mark Lamarr. Obviously.

Terrace song backing vox and a great driving tune not only make it a classic Fall song, but a song destined to be a Fall classic, eh what?

Couldn't wipe the grin off my face.

Speaking of which...

The prosaic bitterness of the line "I hate the countryside, so much" made me think at first that this is a Smith character, not, as Peel intimated, Smith himself. But on reflection, I can't imagine Smith enjoying walking home "through the mud and sludge", with hedgehogs skirting round his toes, that much. Funny, great chugging rhythms, and Sons of Temperance growling vocals.

The moment where it breaks down and starts again makes me very happy.

Big *and* clever.

This is rather beautiful. Lovely jangling guitars with the enigmatic Smith singing "Riddle me this, who are you?". It makes me wonder whether the Green Eyed Loco Man is Smith himself. The nutfuck Smith, head blown as hell, doing one for England. The Fall's The Beast in Me.

It has some tune tacked on the front - Groovin' with Mr Blow, is it? Messy interference with the band. The delightful verbal and muscial hotchpotch forms the perfect counterpoint to the whistful, elegiac strains of the rest of the song.


Yes, great song, well done.Chuck in some Blake lines, previously used on Dangerous. Whack over some band chanting and distorted voices. Unbrrrzpat good.

This session was fantastically strong lyrically. SPARTA FC and GREEN EYED LOCO MAN I think are two of the best things he has written. The band is incredibly good. Jim Watts and Ben Pritchard sound great, to be honest, they sound like Hanley and Scanlon. That makes it even more of a pity that Jim has gone, really. Anyway this was one of the best things I have heard for ages and big two fingers (you know which ones, you know which ones) to those who say The Fall ain't got it anymore.

I wrote this as first impressions, but due to interference with the mail haven't been able to send it. On discussion with friends and further plays there are a couple of other things to be said.

- The band seem to have a spring in their step. They sound bright, lively, and focused.

- In Sparta FC there is a bit where Smith sings 'Shepherd boy, everybody's sick, you better act quick, (the main riff comes back in) my blue-eyed boy(is it?)'.

That's a good bit.

- Also in Sparta FC, Smith sings 'You live off... You live off... Mark Lamarr.' and the guitars jangle in panic as in Totally Wired where he goes 'My heart and I agree'.

This is funny.

- The songs sound as if written by Jim Watts, ie, good. Who is going to write them now he's gone?

- Why did he do Mere Pseud Mag Ed? Was he trying to prove something to the maundering Fall fans who complain that every new album isn't the new Hex? Or is it just because Jim Watts likes it?

- The second time he goes 'Riddle me this, who are you?' on Green-Eyed Loco Man, seems very profound.

Is that a bit of Slates in Contraflow?


The new album is entitled Country on the Click and should be out April 14th on vinyl (TAKE21) and CD (TAKE21cd). Tracklisting:

1. Theme From Sparta F.C.
2. Protien Protection
3. Mountain Energei
4. Contraflow
5. Green-Eyed Loco Man
6. Last Commands Of XYRALOTHEP Via M.E.S.
7. Boxoctosis
8. Ho(e)uston
9. The Past
10. Recovery Kit
11. Mike's Love Xexagon
12. Susan Vs. Youth Club

PR from Pennyblack Music, thanks to Andrew Crane:

"The Fall launch their latest full length album 'Country On The Click'. This is the first album with this very strong current line-up, and production is by Grant Showbiz, who worked on the critically acclaimed 'Unutterable' album. Last year (the 25th anniversary of the band) was very successful for The Fall and Mark E. Smith, with both the live album and his spoken word LP receiving excellent reviews over a wide range of press, from the NME to the cultural section in the Sunday Times, and even saw Mark E. Smith voted 'Mancunian of the Year'. 'Country On The Click' is a studio-recorded album containing 11 brand new tracks and one cover version, (including the chart success 'Susan vs Youthclub' single), and will see the Fall not only satisfy the already large worldwide cult following, but also appeal to a whole new generation of music lovers."


Thought you might like to know that The Folksmen have a song out called
'Loco Man'. Don't know if this is a cover or self-penned.


The Folksmen will appear in A Mighty Wind out next month. Another cover à la Athlete Cured, perhaps?



Some wonderful photos from the 80s, thanks again to Paul Lewis:


Marco Margiotti:

One year ago THE FALL played at Tunnel Uscita Nuovi Suoni in Milan, and here is a webpage dedicated to that magical night:


There's a photo of MES & co on stage, a pic of the setlist and a zipped (9MB) low-fi Windows Media video file of the first 5-6 minutes of the show amateurishly filmed by a guy from the audience, Fabrizio.


You may remember the brilliant comic Luz did last year (which Olli kindly translated into English for the May 16 Fall News). Now Luz has done a fantastic 64-page comic book about MES - "The Joke" - full of ducks and "coin, coin."

The book is published by:

Editions Les Requins Marteaux
13, rue de la republique
81000 Albi

It'll be in the shops in France sometime in mid-March.


Steven Bending's wonderful The Fall Multimedia Project website currently has Baby's on Fire by the Creepers, a snipet of a 1990 interview with MES and Simon Wolstencroft from Transmission, the High Tension Line promo, and MES's interviews with Bruce Dickinson and Liz Kershaw from last year. He also has a link to good quality mp3s of the recent Peel session.


A request from Isabelle, a friend of Pascal LeGras's.

"Pascal is looking for a gallery in England and someone who could publish his videos with some musicians like Fred Frith or Jad Fair."

She sent along some photos of Pascal's paintings, and you can reach him through Isabelle at isea13@hotmail.com.


Sanctuary Bloody Sanctuary:

Conway and I did our best to dissaude them, but it looks like the Receiver / Sanctuary juggernaut cannot be derailed. The latest from Steve Hammonds:

"Just a short note to say we are doing the receiver albums in a small box at a dp of 8.25 which i think is a good deal, we took your comments on board and are doing it as cheaply as possible though no expense has been spared on the packaging. We are also doing a Step Forward Anthology similar to the Rough Trade one we did last year. Future plans include a Step Forward Singles Box (individual singles in box) and a couple of Bootleg boxs and finally a BBC sessions CD which may or may not have the step Forward sessions on it (i need to sort a deal with Voiceprint)."

The first of these is Time Enough At Last, due out April 28, which collects three albums released by Receiver in 1997: Oxymoron, Cheetham Hill, and 15 Ways to Leave Your Man (track listings are on the discography). According to Key Mail Order, the "deluxe repackaging" features "rare photos of the band" and sleevenotes written by "Fall expert Daryl Easlea." Key has it for £10.99 plus p&p.


Russell McKenzie (and Pete):

I'm sure the triviality of this piece of info outweighs any effort in writing or reading it, but here goes anyway - there's a program on Radio 4

Steven Appleby's Normal Life
BBC Radio 4 FM, Wednesday 23:00 - 23:15

that appears to be using "Shoulder Pads" as its theme tune. I only clicked when I heard the end of it, hopefully I spotted it correctly. It's some kind of comedy show, they say (the radio 4 programme) although waste of airtime is probably more accurate, certainly didn't make me smile at any point. The few seconds of "Shoulder Pads" is the only thing of note.


OJ and Spencer Harrison:

A T-shirt is now available from Canongate Books featuring this caricature of MES by Harry Horse. Unfortunately, it seems to be available only in extra large size.


Thanks to Matt Bryden for reminding me to add that Johnny Paycheck's old white train chugged away from the station on 19 February. He was 64 when he passed away. His song "(Stay Away From) The Cocaine Train" was of course covered on The Light User Syndrome.


Steve Raizen:

The bulk of the Fall's Voiceprint catalogue is now available for download on emusic.com. This is a membership based service where, for US$10 per month, you can download as many MP3s as you like. The MP3s are encoded at 128 kbps, which is a bit on the low quality side these days, but Steve says they sound pretty good. This site is all legit, with royalties going back to the group via the record company.


You may recall from September last year, I spotted The Fall Tattooing while visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia. Sadly, it is no more. Report and photo from our man on the spot, Andrew McLaren:

There was a big fire last Wednesday started by a roofer's propane torch, leveling four buildings, leaving twenty people homeless and four businesses in ashes. Fortunately the only casualties were a pet Tarantula and some tropical fish. In a strange twist, the proprietor of The Fall Tattooing had made the front page of the local newspaper the previous day, servicing one of his clients (who appeared to be in some pain) with a tattoo of a flaming skull on the side of his head.


Spotted by Richard Watter on the website of Dave Graney (ex-Moodists, ex-Coral Snakes) about his 28 February show in Perth:

"Clare and I played with Martyn P Casey from the Bad Seeds on bass. He also played with the Dirty three and added a lot to their sound. Its funny how you go along in the music scene thinking your songs are just blowing out into some void with no context. We were playing 'clinging to the coast' with Marty and he started doing an evil impression of Mark E Smith from the Fall, saying it was just like something they would do. It struck me as being quite true, that was where I'd learned a lot of my licks but here I was , plying my wares in George/ Silverchair/ Johnn Butler/Waifs world. I was into that abstract vibe and everybody else was from a distant , more earthy and plain old pained planet."


Simon Holmes noticed Hit The North being used by UK's Channel 5 during their coverage of Celtic v Liverpool on 12 March.

Mar. 28, 2003

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.

ta to biv for this

Recent news...

24feb03 news about books, Mojo top 50, Claus Fall guitar, Beggars vids, Corsa ad link, 9feb83 + 88oct8 photos, '78 So It Goes clip, Hanley bros interview, several early music press scans, other bits
9jan03 Independent interview, Early Singles, Listening In, UK chart placing history, Razor Cuts, Pascal LeGras video, Record Collector, ring tones, Blue Orchids CDs, Peel's Fabriclive
4dec02 Electric Ballroom gig, Virgin Radio, Fall vs. 2003, MES death row picks, Conway's wallpaper
8nov02 PPP review and lyrics, Dave Harrop, Manchester Online soap opera
15oct02 UK gig reports, 1983 photos, Fall press kit
20sept02 loads of upcoming releases, jigsaws, Vauxhall advert, Mark Prindle int., couple of music press scans, Slates movie clip, Fall Tattooing
23aug02 singles box and Totally Wired reviews, Rocking Vicar, lots of old music press scans
3july02 2G+2 reviews, 6FM mp3, Bourgeois Blues, bits
13jun02 2G+2, Wire 25th anniversay piece, custom Fall gig, PDFs of four old articles
16may02 Blackburn, London, ATP gig reviews, BBC 6FM, Sydney 1990 int., French cartoon
19apr02 US tour cancelled, Mojo article, Select (June 91), bits & pieces
19mar02 Euro tour reviews, Record Collector interview., Wire review, new Fall discog., misc.
13feb02 comp results, Athens review, Bournemouth Runner, Pan
13jan02 Timekode, Pan, bad German translations, NME 2/25/89 interview
02jan02 album reviews, ancient Usenet refs
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

older news: Nov 1997 - Dec 1999