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The Fall play ...

June 19 The Casbah, San Diego, CA
June 20 The Echo, Los Angeles, CA
(doors 6:30 p.m.; advance tickets, $17+fees, available on ticketweb)
June 21 Slim's, San Francisco, CA ($21 adv., doors 8 p.m.)
June 23 Berbati's Pan, Portland, OR ($13 adv., $15 door)
June 24 Graceland, Seattle, WA
June 27 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN ($10 adv., $12 door, doors 6 p.m.)
June 28 Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL ($18, doors 10 p.m.)
June 29 Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL ($18, doors 10 p.m.)
June 30 Magic Stick, Detroit, MI ($15 adv., $17 door, doors 9 p.m.)
July 1 Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH ($15 adv., $17 door, doors 9 p.m.)
tour reports for the above gigs are on the July 1 Fall News.
July 2 (cancelled) Lee's Palace, Toronto, ON
July 4 (cancelled) Cafe Campus, Montreal, QC
July 5 Middle East, Cambridge, MA ($15, doors 8 p.m.)
July 6 Knitting Factory, New York, NY ($18 adv., $20 door, doors 8:30 p.m.)
July 7 Knitting Factory, New York, NY ($18 adv., $20 door, doors 8:30 p.m.)
July 9 Theater of Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA
July 10 Black Cat, Washington, DC ($15 adv., doors 8:30)
July 11 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC ($13 adv., $15 door, doors 8:30 p.m.)
July 12 Echo Lounge, Atlanta, GA ($15, doors 9 p.m.)
July 14 The Parish at the House of Blues, New Orleans, LA ($12, doors 8 p.m.)
July 15

Numbers Night Club, Houston, TX (doors 8 p.m.)
moved from the Numbers Night Club to Mary Jane's Fat Cat at the last minute.

July 16 Emo's, Austin, TX ($11.75 adv., tix available here)
July 17 Gypsy Tea Room, Dallas, TX ($12 adv., doors 8 p.m.)
Sept. 28 Coliseu do Porto, Porto, Portugal (20 euros, doors 8 p.m., Fall on stage 10 p.m.)
Sept. 29 Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal (20 euros, doors 8 p.m., Fall on stage 10 p.m.)

I had a chat with Adam Elfin, the Fall's new manager. He says there's still no release date for Country on the Click, but he hopes it'll be out by late September (although October is not out of the question). He's planning a UK/European tour to promote the album when it comes out (thus the move of the Portugal dates from late July to late September), and there's a possibility of dates in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, as well more US gigs next year.

Claudio kindly sent in a Quicktime clip of Telephone Thing from the San Francisco gig.

Bob sent in some photos of the first Empty Bottle gig.


Not exactly Fall news, but here's someone's take on the Bush-Blair press conference yesterday.


US tour reports (June 19 - July 1 reports are on the July 1, 2003 Fall News):

July 5 - Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge:

Resa took some photos from stage right.

actual set played: PPP intro tape / Behind the Counter / Telephone Thing / Green-Eyed Loco Man / And Therein / Mere Pseud Mag Ed / Contraflow / F-'Oldin' Money > Kick the Can / Touch Sensitive / Last Commands of XYRALOTHEP via M.E.S. (aka Locus) / Sparta FC / Mr. Pharmacist / Janet vs. Johnny / Way Round / Big New Prinz // White Lightning / Dr. Buck's Letter (with Cuz'n Roy on washboard) // Bourgeois Town


having mark for your vocalist seems a lot like what it must be like to have your cat for a lead vocalist - when he does something cool - well, cool. otherwise, you're just there going "c'mon, do something dammit"

t-shirts, very nice ones, available in a variety of sizes. i'm sure the stock of them will be traded for cigarettes on the jersey turnpike and there will be none for sale in NY.

slightly different set list - way round made an appearance.

dr. buck's the highlight for sure.


Befuddling, but strangely excellent show in Cambridge tonight. Full house at the Middle East, and a very diverse crowd of young and old.

The Roger Sisters were great, perhaps even more fun then they are on record. They played some good new songs too. I wish they would've played longer though - it seemed like they were only on the stage for 20 minutes.

The Fall opened with decent versions Behind the Counter and Telephone Thing, then launched into an awesome, hypnotic version of Loco Man. Then things got weird (aka Fall-esque). Mark dropped the microphone into the bass drum in the middle of Mere Psued Mag Ed and started using another mic. Then in the end of the song he walked off stage while the band kept playing the main riff over and over. They band then played Contraflow for about 3 minutes before MES walks back out but can't find his microphone. Starts yelling at the audience before Ben starts pointing back to the bass drum where he left it.

The F'olding Money / Kick the Can medley was rather good, with Mark handing off the mic to Eleanor and Ben at random times to sing the "Kick the Can" backing vocal part. I was a bit distracted, as this really angry looking kid with a cigarette was pushing his way to the front and purposely pushing everyone and all. And then this other taller guy manicly rushes to the front when "Kick the Can" starts and also starts to push everyone over. A bouncer had to hold him back from attacking these people in the front. I have no idea what his deal was.

Back to the show - MES definitely enjoying himself although probably a bit drunk. The crowd was extremely receptive to him and Eleanor as well. Never would I think to see girls waving their arms back and forth to "Mr Pharmacist"......

"Sparta FC" was fun, even if it was pretty messy, and they must of played "Way Round" for about 7 minutes with Mark repeating "Can't find my way" 100 times. MES curled to the floor with his back to the crowd for "Xralothep" and "Janet & Johnny". Very intense, lengthy readings though, with lots of new lyrics.

End of the show was highlighted by Mark fucking with the volume on Ben's amp a lot and walking off the stage for a second time. While waiting for the first encore, they played a studio version of "Contraflow" on the PA which almost sounded like a remix - there were parts where it was just Mark singing over drums.

As for the encore, White Lightening was excellent with Eleanor and Mark really getting into the "White Lightening!" shout and "Dr Bucks Letter" reached hypnotic perfection slop. Amazingly, the crowd made enough noise for the band to come back for a 2nd encore.

There was a tshirt for sale - has a very Code Selfishish picture of a skyline with "The Fall" written upside down. The record is out in September said the Merch guy.

ATTS (from the message board):

Audience nearly empty (50-75) for Rogers Sisters who were fine opener, with echoes and tunings of B-52's, Wire, Devo, Shonen Knife and every stripped-down 60s garage/Nuggets band.

For the Fall, capacity of 575 unlikely, but seemed like 400-450 to me tonight, as I've seen many shows with patrons sardined in this club. Keyboards and vocals by Elenor were fine. Good gig but not great because crowd didn't know lyrics or dance much. Mark seemed underwhelmed and a bit disappointed audience wasn't singing along, but was a good sport almost posing for pictures and playful.

Songs below in no particular order, as I'm unfamiliar with newest lyrics and it's late. Very likely this setlist will end up very similar to the others this tour, but hearing Touch Sensitive was unexpected surprise. I mouthed Antidotes to Mark as he was scanning crowd looking for anyone singing along. Microphone passed into crowd during second encore. Female audience member sang along or made up lyrics (fine) before scatting, which seemed to annoy band/Mark because they soon ended song and didn't return. I took a few photos but it'll be a while before develop and scan.

'Panda! Pander! Panzer!' plays as intro, ???, Telephone Thing, Green Eyed Loco Man, F'oldin Money/Kick The Can, Big New Prinz (Mark kept saying "He..is...not...fuckin'...", but audience didn't yell "Appreciated"), And Therein, Mr. Pharmacist, Locus (unfamiliar but great!), Bourgeois Town, Touch Sensitive (great), White Lighhtening, spoken word (live?) melodramatic version of Idiot Joy Showland between encores.

Itchload (from the message board):

This was my first Fall show, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I had quite an enjoyable time. ATTS estimates 400-450, and I might say even more, but then again I'm a terrible estimater. Either way it was very crowded, I never knew Boston had such a big Fall fan base. Very diverse crowd, male and female, and all ages, with the majority being about 25-30-ish. All younger people up front, except for the encore, when a batch of Fall veterans made their way to the stage, and from the way they started dancing, they most likely were pretty blazed.

Seeing MES in the flesh for the first time was probably worth 15 dollars alone. Some perverse highlights would be MES almost loosing his dentures while yelling at the crowd sans microphone, a visual that's eventually going to manifest itself in a nightmare I'm sure. MES didn't talk to the crowd at all, except to mention something that seemed close to an apology for all the new songs and the record not being out, which was very odd considering it seemed back in the day he made a point of playing mostly new songs. Also at one point he must have spotted someone he knew in the audience, because his face lit up and his tongue spat out along with a "thumbs up" sign.

During Kick the Can Mark seemed to wait for the guitarist to look away before throwing the microphone in his face to sing backup vocals which made the guitarist laugh pretty hard. Some good knob fiddling, which I was looking forward to seeing. Green Eyed Loco Man, Touch Sensitive, Big New Prinze, Way Round, Kick the Can, and Mr. Pharmicist were probably the best performances. I was a dissapointed that Mark just mumbled through Sparta FC and Contraflow (which was 3 minutes instrumental), but that's the Fall I guess. They played the remixed version of Contraflow over the PA and it sounded very good, a lot like the Peel Session. I was sad everyone didn't yell "appreciated" at Big New Prinze, but there was a good chance much of the crowd was Boston hipsters who only own This Nation's Saving Grace and visit Pitchfork every day, this is evidenced by some disturbingly intellectual music conversations held near me inbetween acts.

From someone's live journal (posted to the message board):

I was crossing the street at 8 pm and saw him sitting at a booth, staring out the window.. that familiar, angular, worn out face, his head tilted to the side, that knife slash of a mouth.. he looks like an existential cartoon, a combination of a 12 year old boy and an old man… he always looks slightly pissed off and/or drunk. We made eye contact for a moment and I kept my face expressionless.. I immediately felt stupid.. he’s so intimidating, that Mark E. Smith. I was wearing a white miniskirt and a black and white striped spaghetti strapped top.. I wondered what was going through his mind. I walked in and sat down at the back. Hardly anyone was there. 5 minutes later he got up and walked out, appearing to stagger a little as he exited into the hot, muggy night.

The show was all right but I was very underwhelmed by the music and songs for the most part. The only one I knew was Mr. Pharmacist (not being a fan by any means although I do own some Fall CDs). MES is the show, his little atonal rants are riveting, no doubt about it, as he manhandles microphone stands, stares out into the club with an air of drunken superiority and kneels by the drum kit with his back turned. Wish I could’ve deciphered more of his lyrics. One near the end about the “glass disco” and “walking through glass and stone” was pretty good. He had a cute young girl in a polka dotted dress on keyboard plus she sang (ranted) a bit with him on one song. But the lack of A/C was a serious drag.


To celebrate the second Fall visit to the Middle East, Resa and I had a couple of pre-gig pints at the Field on Prospect Street. Unlike 1998 the Field was calm due to the absence of Nottingham Neil Dodd, who followed that 1998 mini-tour. We were joined however by Itchload and friend from the message board, as well as Justin and Lauren. A very warm, humid evening.

Got to the Middle East at around 9:15 and had a look at the Fall merchandise on offer - a solitary $20 black T-shirt. I would have bought one if it had the tour dates on it. Soon the Rogers Sisters came on to a near-empty room and played a great, 50-minute set. The best support I've seen for the Fall.

After grabbing a final "Mid East Brew" I worked my way to within a couple of rows of the stage. The room was quite full when the PPP intro started. Audience attentive. After a couple of minutes the band came on and lurched into a slightly slower, heavier Behind the Counter with Mark strolling on a minute later wearing his black leather jacket. It must have been 110°F degrees in the club. The sound was good for the Middle East, and quite a bit better than in 1998. Then immediately into Telephone Thing which grooved along nicely. At some point Mark hung his coat on one of the drum mic stands.

I was immediately struck by how focused Mark was on his vocal delivery and his studying of the audience, and I've never seen him gesticulate so much on stage. It was quite a contrast to the 2001 gigs I saw, which weren't bad, and light years from 1998; this time there was no doubt in my mind that he was present and clear-headed.

Then the first new song, Green-Eyed Loco Man. Unlike some people I like this song live, better than on CoTC. Not as good as the extended Peel session version though. "Riddle me this" - a great line. And Therein though, I could've done without, although they played it tightly enough (unlike the next night, which was a shambles). This band plays a great Mere Pseud, I think, although Mark had business to attend to in the dressing room towards the end. Then Contraflow - Mark AWOL backstage for the first three minutes so we got an extended intro before he came back on to search for his microphone (which he had put in the bass drum during Mere Pseud, I think - there was a lot of microphone swapping throughout this and the NYC gigs). So Contraflow was not the greatest - that would come at the Knitting Factory. This band also does Foldin/Kick the Can very well, with Ben and Eleanor on backing vocals and Eleanor on handclaps as well. Touch Sensitive - not my favorite, but followed by a wonderful Xylarothep with lots of improvised lyrics about Worcester, Mass. (the Fall had spent the previous night at a Worcester hotel) and "eels that slither through the rivers of New Hampshire." A highlight of the evening. Afterwards Mark semi-apologized about all the new songs and that the record company would get around to releasing them sometime. Then Sparta FC, which was brilliant - great backing vocals from Eleanor and Ben. Much dancing to Mr. Pharmacist (which always gets the crowd going), things slowed down for Janet vs. Johnny, which also works very well live, the Fall's most hypnotic number? Then a seven-minute, blistering Way Round that built and built some more as it went along, with a theremin-like sound coming from Eleanor's keyboards. (After Mark's stage demeanour the biggest surprise for me was the keyboards - I was expecting them to be a bit rudimentary but Eleanor's playing really adds an important element to the new Fall sound.) There was no looking back - the second half of the set, starting with Xylarothep and continuing through to the end of the second encore, was really top-notch.

The main set ended with Big New Prinz and lots of audience participation on the chorus. During the break before the first encore they played a new mix of Contraflow (and a remix of Sparta FC during one of the Knitting Factory gigs) - not sure if these are the final mixes or what, but they sounded good. Encore 1 began with an unexpected White Lightning and ended with the highlight of the gig, Dr. Buck's Letter, featuring tour manager Cuz'n Roy Gittens on washboard. This might be my favorite moment of the three gigs I saw and might well be the best version of this song I've heard yet. Lots of improvised vocals directed at the "fat bastard in the white T-shirt in the audience" (not me, but I think it's the same guy who kept shoving me at the 1998 Middle East gig) ("Number 1, I never go out of the house without my skinhead haircut, especially if you're overweight, because it frightens people") and disdainful comments about Worcester and particularly Cambridge schools. The second encore, Bourgeois Town, ended with a girl in the audience screaming "yeah, baby, yeah" a few times into the microphone which prompted the band to end the song early, perhaps.

Resa and I talked with Ben and Dingo after the gig, which they both said was the best of the tour so far. There's apparently been some tension on the road, but the gigs have been trouble-free and professional. Dingo said the album would be out September 1 [unlikely, from what I gather from the Fall's manager] and that he wasn't redoing any of Jim's bass parts. They invited us to the Phoenix Landing for a drink but I wanted to get some sleep before catching the $10 bus from Chinatown to New York. A great night, despite the heat.

Natural D:

Eh, to each his own I guess. I much preferred my 11/2001 Knitting Factory Fall experience to the 2003 mostly-oldies set. Not to kiss the arse of a list member, but I thought Jim's Fall was excellent live whereas the current line-up merely amounted to glad-to-see-'em / glad-MES-looks-relatively-healthy. Mere Psued Mag Ed. sounded good in Boston, as did Green-Eyed Loco Man, but the show 18 months ago remains more vivid in my mind than last week's.


July 6 - Knitting Factory, New York City:

I took some photos.

actual set played: PPP intro tape / Behind the Counter / Telephone Thing / Green-Eyed Loco Man / And Therein / Mere Pseud Mag Ed > walkoff / Contraflow (mostly instrumental) / F-'Oldin' Money > Kick the Can / Touch Sensitive / Last Commands of XYRALOTHEP via M.E.S. (aka Locus) (lyrics recited by Elena) / Mr. Pharmacist / Sparta FC / Janet vs. Johnny / Way Round // I Am Damo Suzuki / Dr. Buck's Letter


It was cool tonight as I got see Stefan and Justin Kollar before the start of the show. Stefan got the actual set list and took some great photos [coming soon] - so here is my quick review (full of bad grammar and spelling mistakes I'm sure):

The opening band the Rogers Sisters was in top form, this was a nice change from the previous shows in 2001 where the opening acts were quite lame. Their style did remind me of Gang of Four, and also APB from the early 80's. Their set was short but sweet, and finished around 9:30pm. The show itself was sold out so the small venue was quite packed (and as a result quite warm as the evening went on).

I was shocked when by about 10pm the Fall walked on stage! This was the same band that in '98 at Coney Island High didn't get on stage until 1am. As per tradition the band entered first, the new keyboardist placed in the front wearing a smart black dress with small white polka dots while the boys sported black t-shirts (with the drummer placed at the back). Then Mark came out wearing a leather jacket (which was amazing given the heat) white shirt and charhol trousers.

Things got off to a sloppy start, and the first three songs weren't so tight - I was sort of let down with their rendition of Green Eyed Locoman and Telephone Thing both of which sounded very far from the recorded versions - but lacking the variety or that something different that a live performance would bring out.

However as the night went on, things got better and tighter. Later they played versions of Mr. Pharmasist and Sparta FC which has some spark and some good energy. Mark came more and more to life, and played to the audience and did a minimum of messing with the amps and microphones. After what might have been the final number, the Fall returned to play an encore of Dynamo Suzuki and Dr. Bucks Letter.

All in all it was a good performance, and by midnight it was well over and the hardcore Fall fans were left chatting in the bar in the front.


-- pretty much the same sets as most of the tour......opening with behind the counter into telephone thing.

have to agree with michael's review -- the band started out rather sloppy...

there was a walk off after the fifth song (mere psued mag ed...i think) for a few minutes and the band returned in better form starting with touch sensitive.. they seemed to handle the stuff from the forth coming lp the best... but as the night progressed there were great renditions of damo and bucks.

marked walked off stage during locus/xryalthep and handed elena a sheet of lyrics which she read and then mark came back on stage to finish up.

knob twiddling was kept to a minimum and i think this is the most animated i've ever seen MES in the 15 or so times i've seen the fall....lots of hand gesticulations and switching mikes and knocking one particular mike stand down a few times. it was nice to see MES into the show rather than the casual disinterest.

they seem a bit heavy on the back catalogue with only four or so numbers from the forthcoming lp and i think one from ayamw - folding money>kick the can....well and johnny v janet from the susan v youthclub ep.

still a decent show though. looking forward to the monday night show.


i thought it was a great gig - the first i've seen where MES was totally there and coherent and on form the whole time. the band was a little sloppy at first, but after the walkoff they tightened way up. damo and dr. buck's were absolutely ace - crisp and exciting.

disinterested non-trainspotters at the gig seemed to be shocked that they were so excellent.

also, elena was all smiles on sunday night - much laughing and joking around between ben, mes and elena.

seemed a lot like the Fall functioning as a unit.

and mere pseud mag ed seems to have taken on a swing that was never there before...


July 7 - Knitting Factory, New York City:

PPP intro tape / Behind the Counter / Telephone Thing / Green-Eyed Loco Man / And Therein / Mere Pseud Mag Ed / Contraflow / F-'Oldin' Money > Kick the Can / Touch Sensitive / Mountain Energei / Sparta FC / Mr. Pharmacist / Janet vs. Johnny / Way Round / Big New Prinz // Bourgeois Town / Dr. Buck's Letter (with Cuz'n Roy on Poland Spring plastic bottle). Audience called for a second encore for a solid 12 minutes to no avail.


Definitely an improvement over Sunday's show. Band definetly seemed tighter and more together. Pretty much the same set list except Locus was dropped for Mountian Energy. Regular set eneded with Big New Prinz. Encores were Burgoeious Town and Bucks. Suprised to see how lucid MES was over the past two shows. Not as much hand gesticulation tonight. No Damo either.


The opening act [El Guapo] - well they weren't bad, but nothing amazing. As with yesterday the band started around 10pm which is very early for a Fall show. Same band as yesterday - dressed somewhat differently (Elanor was wearing a sharp black dress while our lead guitarist was dressed in white shirt and blue jeans and of course Mark came out with his leather jacket) but something had changed - the magic was back.

What a day a difference makes! The second night was proof to me that the best things come to those who wait. The band started strong and tight, and only got better as the night went along. The set list was very similar to Sunday, with a few minor changes. However the early numbers of Telephone Thing and Green Eyed Loco Man were great - in fact Telephone Thing may have sounded better than the recorded version. The band was in good spirits and one had the rare chance to spot Mr. Smith smiling on stage. The band even seemed very comfortable with amp and mic fiddling.

Not just comfortable - but they all seemed to enjoy performing. Unlike yesterday you could really hear the keyboards - and this adds that something special to the Fall. Smith clearly tuned up his charisma meter as the night went on. I think a high point for me was Big Prinz, for a damn moment I felt like it was 1989 - but it was more hardcore than anything they would have done back then. The encore featured Bourgeois Town followed by Dr. Buck's Letter. After the audience clapped for over ten minutes with a hope of a return - but while one may have been let down, it always nice to say that the worse thing about a show was that you wished it would have been longer.

For those who hung around after the show, there was a good chance to meet the band who were as sweet as ever. When I spoke with Elanor my understanding is that they would come more often but it seems getting a visa takes a great deal of time - but she said they would like to come back again. Sadly as I grabbed my cab home my last view was of Mr. Smith exiting the club about to talk to the hangers on! Well I hope the Fall returns to Gotham soon. I must say that I also enjoy these shows because Fall fans are never dull, and a few of them are quite nice people to boot.

The July 7 New Yorker ( p. 16) has an illustration of MES by Stephen Kroninger:

The Night Life section (p. 12) says:

The indefatigable progenitors of British post-punk acerbity stagger into their fourth decade. The front man Mark E. Smith's signature vocal delivery (he has a thick Mancunian accent, and he sometimes punctuates consonant sounds with a robust "ahh") has been the unifying constant through countless shifts of personnel and stylistic flirtations, and so long as Smith's at the microphone slurring his caustic, cryptic lyrics the tenuously melodic chaos pulsing behind him will always fall into place.


July 9 - Theater for Living Arts, Philadelphia:

jt. r (from the message board):

if the evidence on this message board is correct, then philly got the first glimpse of a total meltdown on this tour. this was my first fall show and i must admit like many guys my age, i was introduced to the fall by virtue of being a pavement fan. i am further incriminated by having purchased all the critic's faves, so the material i know is pre-'85 for the most part. nevertheless, seeing the fall play was rather remarkable.

the show went swimmingly after panda pander panzer played on p.a. the house was nearly empty, but fortunately folks spilled out of the cordon sanitaire known colloquially as the bar to fill up the main space in front of the stage. everyone seemed to be in good spirits. telephone thing was really energetic; and therein wasn't bad; but by the time they reached sparta f.c. it was time for a tiny tantrum. they started playing it only to have mark leave the stage, and ultimately the whole band were called off to discuss. they had only been on for half an hour at this point and a raucous cheer went up. feelings in the audience around me were mixed-on the one hand it was a gyp, on the other it was the fall. mes didn't really go wild with that number once they re-entered, but the drummer gave peter prescott (of MoB) a run for his money as the angriest drummer (playing artsy rock and roll). after that there was some knob twiddling, which effectively eliminated the bassist from the mix (poor bastard) and opened up a very (dare i say) high-end garagey sound. also of note: at one point mark approaches guitarist and bassist (separately), pokes them both in the chest with index finger, and instructs them to look out into the audience. guitarist shrugs him off more or less, but bassist, like a dog, follows instructions obediently. of course, dear bassist kept re-adjusting his knobs when MES left the stage, so he gets credit there.

all in all, it was like the local industrialist had a tribute band and he got some of his employees to play with them under the condition that typical labor relations prevail onstage. overall the crowd was very energetic and gracious. i had my old dog-eared copy of camus' the fall (from a theology and a moral philosophy, go figure) with me in the event that i bumped into the old curmudgeon, but no such luck since the police were forcing even the old heads at the show (and at 25 i was among the youngest in attendance) off the sidewalk and either to their cars or homeward.

the show was very short seeming since the opener (the vexers: have you heard of the white stripes? zeppelin?) went on at 8:30 p.m.


Last night, the Fall played in Philadelphia. Mr. Smith commanded the stage with elegance authority. MES stands up there and spouts his perfectly timed words over the mass of noise going on behind him. The bass, guitar, and drums were spared back, but yet forceful, providing a great backdrop for the vocals. The man is a genius and knows just what he is doing, including messing with the amps and constantly switching mikes. The Fall live is like a dub soundsystem with MES in control, fading in the bass and fading out the guitar, treating the musicians like samples. Last night was incredible! Philadelphia was so fortunate.

Too much has been said about Eleanor's looks, but not near enough about her musicianship. Her keyboard playing was subtle, but greatly enhanced the sound, adding a bottom layer of drones to the rumble of her bandmates. She came across as a perfect compliment to MES' performance, knowing just when to play, but creating opposing tension by not playing at the perfect moments. Her voice sounded great also, again minimal, but appropriate and smug sounding. I look forward to Eleanor's contribution to the Fall sound in the future.

Robert (from the message board):

jt's on the money here, though I would add that MES actually walked off during "Touch Sensitive", a strange version that only seemed to include the title and the "hey hey hey hey"s. He couldn't seem to bring it around to the lyrics and walked off. The band quickly finished it and launched into "Sparta", but gave up after a minute or two, put down their instruments, and went backstage to have a chat. It started to feel like the infamous Troc show from their last visit here, but they quickly came back and did another 30 minutes (including encore). This was my first experience with a non-Scanlon/Hanley Fall, but I had to admit this bunch made an impressive noise. Still, there was something one-note about it, as good as it was. Especially enjoyed "Way Round" and it was nice to hear "Mere Pseud" get an airing. New stuff has me actively looking forward to COTC. And having MES pass me the mike for "Prinz" was a big bonus for a sentimental fool such as I, too.

Afterwards, one fellow solved the age-old problem of setlist acquisition by clambering onto the stage and taking one.


Theatre for the Living Arts - holds 1000 - maybe 200-300 there. Vexors opened -- they weren't anything new/ interesting/ etc.

Fall took the stage at 9:30 played until 10:40.

No Damo
Yes to Way Round.

Band sounded very sure of themselves -- more relaxed and sounding better than in Seattle (methinks).

MES walked off when Sparta FC started -- band did about 40 seconds and kept looking off stage then THEY all walked off -- 1 minute later MES leads them all back on.

Encore was B. Town and Dr. Buck's Letter.

Met ex-fallnetter Darren and bought the last t-shirt (alas, only a large, Mike Wright)

Adam's II (from the message board):

I talked to the band after the show and they said the sound on the stage was fucking weak. MES called the soundman "Benjamin Franklin". hee hee


July 10 - Black Cat, Washington DC:

Thanks to John for the setlist:

actual gig as listed, plus one encore: Bourgeois Town / Dr. Buck's Letter

Kyle sent in a couple of photos taken during Dr. Buck's Letter:

widging (from the message board):

Just got back, need to get up in a few hours, and pack for the weekend before going to sleep. SHOW WAS GREAT. Minimal knob twiddling, zero actual walkoffs (stood behind the amps a couple of times to take a swig). I think this is because he was happy with the gig. Actually danced (did a little twist) in front of the bassist at one point. Band must have regrouped after Philly. He actually looked awake and relatively energized throughout. Only interaction with the band was to bang on the toms a couple of times and have a laugh with the guitarist. The Fall live now are simply a great hard rock band. Elements of the Ramones (minimal crowd acknowlegement, pure distilled basic heavy riffs, great tension and excitement). Allowed some audience call and respose during F'oldin (!...just like a real rock n' roll show!). One encore (Bougeois, Dr. Buck's) - two words: Coatrack, Washboard. Someone else will post a setlist. Oh yeah - to the f***ing d***kheads front and center who got into a fistfight as the spoken word was playing: go back to the Limp Bizkit show - you almost ruined the show as it was about to start. Luckily it was broken up just before the band hit the stage, because there was otherwise a great atmosphere before the show, and MES seemed like he was actually enjoying himself.


Seemed like the usual setlist from this tour. Nice version of Behind the Counter to open. From other reports, the band sounded a little tighter than usual but not as tight as the last incarnation I saw (Boston, 94). Great run-through of "Touch Sensitive". MES looked like a little less uptight than usual and thankfully they didn't keep the crowd waiting until midnight to go on, as we geezer have to work mornings. Speaking of which, it was a bit odd to see so many youngsters in the crowd--expected many more greying cynics.

Before the show we stopped in for a quick bite at the nearest mexican/salvadorean restaurant and wouldn't you know MES and the new bird (replete with that freaky eyeliner) were dining there. I waved hello and waited until after they finished before asking for an autograph. He signed one of the take-out menus for me and then asked if I'd like a beer from his plastic bag full of Heinekens under the table (naturally). I was so stunned at him being there that I forgot all and any questions I would have liked to ask him...oh well.

An enjoyable evening all around except for the downpour that awaited everyone after the show!

Thom (from the message board):

It was a fantastic show. Biggest crowd I've seen at a Fall gig ever, though many were there for The Whips.
Opening band had a big following, but got boring after one song. They were all playing in their own seperate world with too much glee. Too young that is. Drummer was simply awful and out of sync.

Was near front with fellow fallnetter Tom (other tom) who was wearing his B/W MES cartoon Fall shirt. Waited for 40 minutes till band comes on a little after 11. Saw a scuffle in the front. Set list pretty much same as all other gigs. Mark very into it and using all the stage mikes. Heard the keyboards. Her standing staring straight ahead for the entire 75 minutes.

Highlight was Sparta FC. Sounded better than the bootleg: faster. Ben's vocals were very good and articulate. Mark in better form/shape than 2 years ago. He looked younger too. Loads of first time goers. Everyone was really impressed. Most songs seemed to run into one another which made it really good, feeling of wholeness afterwards. Not one bit shambolic. Tour manager plays washboards to D. Buck's for oncore.

If the Fall wanted to make some money they should have had some merchandise on hand. A new CD maybe. One guy got his "Fiend with a Violin" signed by MES.

Afterwards got to meet Ben, D. Milner, and new base palyer downstairs. Massive lightning storm outside club forcing people to hang out too long. Band members along with about 10 other people goes on goose chase to King Pen/Velvet Lounge for drinks, Ben getting photo taken outside famous Ben's Chili Bowl on U street.

I heard tracks from Country on the Click being played: different sounding from bootleg. I heard though there is no new mixing to be done. Just different copies (master)?. Whatever that meant. Heard they've learned how to deal with MES so there's no trouble. Though their methods are primitive.

Managed to get into St. X for a beer Got punched-up by "girlfriend" and straggled home. All-in-all an enjoyable night.


I lurk here. I keep an eye on the Fall. But really, I thought they were past their prime and kind of a vaudevillian shadow of their former greatness.

Last night at the Black Cat in DC proved otherwise to me. Good lord, what a great show.

At first, it wasn't especially more impressive than the 1998 gig I saw (with the Hanley/Burns/Crooks/Nagle band). During the second number, Telephone Thing, as Smith wheezed out his well-established vocal parts over highly repetitive (lacking even the occasional variation present on the Extricate version) backing, I thought "They're certainly not what they were in 1978, or in 1984."

But damn if they didn't take it up to the level of greatness for the rest of the gig. Energy, power, greatness.

Smith was happy, reeling around from mike to mike, with some bounce in his step. He seemed happy with the crowd (we had some real screamers present) and pointed at us while emphasizing "give me energy" during Mr. Pharmacist. No walkoffs, played well over an hour. Two very energetic encores.

The band are really summoning the spirit of the Fall. The drummer does a great job. The guitarist has his moments. The bass player is new, which explains the lack of variation in his playing. The keyboardist does a pretty credible rock organ job. The band make a great tight racket and Smith stumbles across the top of it. There are godlike moments for this band. I was inspired and impressed, and am really looking forward to hearing the new record. Much of this night was as great as 1978 or 1984.

Michael Little, from the Washington Post:

At the Black Cat, the Fall Gets Down
Saturday, July 12, 2003; Page C05

Mr. Smith -- Mark E. Smith of the Fall, that is -- came to Washington Thursday night, and his constituents were out in force to greet him. "I still believe in the R and R dream / R and R as primal scream," Smith sang on 1978's "Live at the Witch Trials," and if his show at the Black Cat were any indication, his faith in rock-and-roll remains intact.

This year marks the Fall's silver anniversary, but concertgoers didn't experience any tender moments, given that the notoriously dyspeptic Smith has fired or otherwise alienated about as many troops over the course of his remarkably prolific career -- 80 albums and counting -- as Custer lost to arrows at the Little Bighorn. Smith, who is 46 but doesn't look a day over 58, has been known to auto-destruct when exposed to stage lights. But the mercurial man from Manchester, England, was the model of decorum Thursday, even if he did go on 40 minutes late and sneaked the occasional peek at the lyric sheet.

For a band that has been together only briefly, the current incarnation of the Fall was impressively tight, abandoning the band's early shambolic sound for an organ- and guitar-driven drone reminiscent of the Velvet Underground. "Telephone Thing" featured cool wah-wah guitar and a repetitive funk riff, and "Foldin' Money/Kick the Can" and "Sparta FC" were just great straight-ahead rockers, albeit with Smith's vitriolic warbling to lend them a tang of desperate living.

Like his celluloid predecessor, Smith has staked his career on the proposition, "Either I'm dead right or I'm crazy!" The verdict, fortunate for us, is still out.

thecoldsong (from the message board):

the DC gig was my first fall show ever - i was amazed. i was basically in awe for an hour and half. my friend and i arrived promptly on time and carried with us a bouquet of roses for MES. did anyone see us? we met some interesting characters - one man with a morrissey tshirt on, another very tall one who discussed funk with us. my face was literally about one foot from Mark's crotch. i think we mustve been the youngest girls there - myself being 17 and my companion being a legal adult. i think the best part of the show mustve been Cruiser's Creek for me - i took a whole role of pictures of mark's face. mmmmmm english incoherence. the fall show was indeed an event of great importance in my life.


July 11 - Cat's Cradle, Carrboro:


I live in DC & saw both the Black Cat/DC & the Cat's Cradle/Chapel Hill shows. This was my first time seeing the Fall, although I've been a fan since the late 80's. I thought the Black Cat show was great, except for that annoying coked-up guy that jumped up & down & barked like a dog all night. If you were there, I'm sure you know who I mean. But, I was totally surprised by the Chapel Hill show!!! The band seemed to be MUCH more into it, with lots more enthusiasm. MES smiled a bunch, as did Eleanor, even though she isn't really a bundle of energy. I had read on an earlier review here that if MES thinks the audience is into it, they'll play a 2nd encore. Well, that's exactly what happened, & they played "ghost in the house" & "white lightning", both of which were incredible. Other than that, the set was the same songs, but in a different order, as the previous few shows. I'm surprised the 2nd encore happened, because although the CH crowd was more into it than DC, they still didn't fill in New Big Prinz with "appreciated" like MES & the band wanted. Also, Eleanor tried to get everyone clapping on another song (I can't remember which one...maybe Sparta), but no one really did. I think the set was also tighter than DC, & MES & crew were much more animated. Minimal walkoffs & knob-twiddling, although at the end of the first set MES did completely turn off the guitar as he walked back to the dressing room. The guitarist looked kinda upset, but I guess they're all used to it by now. I think MES holds the world record for microphone stand adjustments. During both shows, I heard Eleanor's keyboards & vocals just fine, so I think they've gotten that resolved. I think Telephone Thing is my favorite of this tour, although the new stuff is great. All said, the show was everything I expected & more.

Greg (who sent in these great photos ):

The show itself was great--two encores and MES seemed sober and in a good mood. Towards the end of Big New Prinz (last song of the regular set), MES slipped me the microphone and walked off the stage. Unfortunately the mixing-board man turned the mike down before the club-goers could be exposed to a few of my drunken "HE IS NOT APPRECIATED"s.

There were also several MES "masks" in tow (a girl was handing them out before the show started). By the end of the set these masks were scattered all around the stage, and during the first encore the drummer wore one of them.

During most of the newer songs MES was rummaging through a stack of papers--trying to find the lyrics suppose. I actually thought this newer stuff sounded best, although MES was particularly animated on "Big New Prinz" and some of the older covers.


July 12 - Echo Lounge, Atlanta:

Ben was interviewed by Creative Loafing before the Atlanta gig (thanks to Cole for the link):


"Writing a Fall review dear?" calls the wife from the Sunday paper-strewn waterbed this morning. "Don't be too hard on Marky now, he seems to lead a tough life," she says.

The venue was dangerously overcrowded, gave me the creeps. There was a one hour wait between sets standing in the crowd and the heat and the horrid earsplitting Clan-of-Xymox-type craprock ... near painful really. Crowd grew impatient, one could barely move or converse or even get a drink.

From my vantage point, as the din wore on, I could see one half of some sort of huge argument taking place in the hallway by the stage. The venue booker, Alex, was really giving the 3rd degree to someone, someone blocked from my view. He seemed to me enumerating a list of complaints, first second third etc and "never again." Almost at the same time the venue manager, Lisa, could be seen with her hands clasped and raised seemingly begging this same person for something as the audience grew more restless. A friend at another vantage point said later the person this strangeness was directed to wore a grey shirt.

Scanning the few ladies in the uncomfortable crowd I mention to my wife that perhaps my next documentary could be "The Tragic Plight of the Beleaguered Fall Spouse" and she shouts "Yes!." Fall spouses, it least in Atlanta, seem to be uniformly striking, creatively attired, and brainy in demeanor. I'd love to take them all home, but my current Fall spouse would likely disapprove.

Finally the band - sans MES - take the stage and "Behind the Counter" starts up. Granted this song is based on a wonderful 7-note riff, but the band plays this riff, unchanging, for MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES over and over, utter monotony, no MES, so something is up. I feel right away this backing crew is a little over-rated - there is a skill to making a repetitive drone compelling / interesting and they don't got it. At least so far.

Finally MES enters, wearing a grey shirt by the way, everyone cant help but study him to see if he is slurring his words and walking aimlessly around the stage because he is drunk or if this is just the usual fuck-you shtick we have come to accept if not adore.

Telephone Thing is a lame song on record, no getting around it, and no improvement here. At this point MES picks up the set list and reads in mock-announcement style "The title of the next song we will play for you (looks down) is Green Eyed Loco Man." He then picks up the setlist and wads it up and pitches into the audience. Oooh how defiant. Oooh our MES is such a rebel...

At the last gig here 9 years ago this band was fun and focused and tight, and tonight MES seems in a daze. Even though he is hitting all the proper musical cues so I can't really tell how loaded he is. The band essentially has these simple nearly-unchanging riffs to play over and over and unlike Scanlon/Hanley & Co years back I don't think they are deserving of stellar praise for being tight, they just show up....

Loco Man, Mere Psued Mag Ed... the band is slowly getting a bit tighter and interesting, and by Kick The Can and Foldin they are at the best they will be all evening. There was a quiet ethereal synth-augmented piece in there I'd not heard, dont know the title, that was the other highpoint. Sparta FC too, good stuff. And while Mr Pharmacist gets the crowd cheering and bouncing, things start to go downhill musically, especially Big New Prinz which seemed to last forever, dispassionate and uncompelling.

1/2 of the crowd leaves when the set is over, not especially thrilled. All that's keeping us from retiring to the pub is the chance to hear Dr Bucks Letter.

We went outside for some air as Encore No #1 Damo Suzuki started up which is just wandering noodling in my view, but we came back in to join in the cheers for a 2nd encore.

Alas there will be no Dr Bucks Letter tonight. Only MES and the drummer return, and the latter taps the high hat as the former subjects us to a bizarre, feedback-laden accapella-solo version of "Going To Spain" totally off key - even more so than the original - and marginally heartfelt. All that feedback on the one mic could have been corrected so I suppose it was intentional. Very successful as a performance art piece but musically hopeless.

And then that was it, they were gone Is this my last Fall show I wonder? I can't imagine paying good money for something this uneven again, yet I have seen Dylan repeatedly turn in horrible gigs only to see a jawdropping show a few years later. Miles Davis too.

No merchandise table.

So I am in the curious situation of having an Accompanying Beleaguered Fall Spouse who actually enjoyed the gig more than I did. "You went in with high expectations," she said. "I went in with none and thought the band was mostly great."


Just got back after a six hour drive from Atlanta, where I saw the Fall---finally, after being a fan for more than a dozen years---yesterday evening. Not only did I manage to secure a setlist from the stage, but I also had it signed by MES, who was extremely personable and kind during my meeting with him after the show.

As for the show itself, it seemed mysteriously truncated by some confusion, due in part perhaps to MES' walking off the stage more than a few times. The set was somewhat short, running just over an hour; at least ten minutes of this time MES was absent backstage. There was the standard mike switching and knob-twiddling often written about, and the entire band occasionally looked as though they were being held hostage. Eleanor was absolutely stunning. I caught the guitarist shaking his head in disgust several times. To me, this is part of the Fall's charm, though some of the lesser fans, to understate their reaction, seemed frustrated and confused. I have never seen the Fall before, so no matter what happened, I knew I probably wasn't going to disappointed. Perhaps I should leave an analysis of this evening's events to a fan more capable of objectivity.

The highlight of the evening, of course, was meeting MES, with whom I spoke at the end of the show. Damn, did I wish I had a camera! Far from inebriated, he was personable, eloquent, witty and unexpectedly receptive. We spoke at length about the new album, and why it has yet to be released. I feel as though I would be violating some etiquette if I divulged too many of the details, but suffice it to say that he was disappointed with the final mix. Thus, the album's being in limbo. He took down my address and promised to send a copy of the album "as it was meant to be heard." He seemed genuinely sincere. I in turn told him if he really sent the album, I would send him one of my rare Nabokov editions. On the off chance than MES is perusing this, the offer was genuine!

All told, I had a fantastic time---I saw one of my favorite bands in the world for the first time and got to meet one of the few music personalities I give a damn about; and he was a great fellow to boot!


1. (Short Version) Long time Fall fan sees band for first time, grades show as a C+ mainly because of Mr. Smith's entertaining presence and history. Long version follows (#2-10)

2. Paper Lions (remnants of earlier Atlanta bands) are onstage as I enter, rocking out with a fair amount of energy, singin' and playin', but they must have already played their much-vaunted in the local press Gang-of-Four influenced songs, because I was ticking off the influences on each number..."here's a bit of London Calling...that one sounds like 'Buffalo Bob' Smith of the Cure fronting Fugazi"...etc. etc. No sparse plank spankin' funk, and even if they had, the question still remains; what do paper lions really want to say on their own? Props for energy and playing ability, points off for originality and not once did they (or I) achieve liftoff...

3. They finish their set just after 11, the Fall wait just about an hour to take the stage. If the club (Atlanta's Echo Lounge) isn't filled beyond capacity, then its certainly filled TO capacity. Sign outside says "Tonight's Show is sold out-No Exceptions". Temperature inside says "90-100 degrees F". I had spent the interim outside buying bottled water, possibly one of the best investments I made all night. Due to the shoulder-to-shoulder situation, it was inconvenient to roam and look for fellow listees...besides, Jason had advised me he would be wearing shorts (smart man), but even surreptitiously scanning all likely candidates for shorts was...not feasible.

4. The taped intro elicits an excited, if smallish roar from an anticipatory crowd, and a few short minutes later the band comes on. First impressions are that recent pictures posted do much justice to band, with the exception of bassist, who appears gangly and goofy, rather than menacing, in real life. I like him already. (Tech list: Music Man bass through Ampeg, Union Jack Les Paul through I don't know what, Casio on barstool through I don't know what, but its not very loud, assorted drums and microphones...)

5. 'Marky' Smith ambles on after the band vamps for two or three minutes, announces "We are the Fall...", and the gig begins. These are also the last intelligible words I heard until 'Damo Suzuki' an hour later...Mr. Smith is attired in oft-mentioned leather jacket, which he later takes off to reveal a short-sleeved knitted shirt, similar at a distance to those alligator Izod shirts so ubiquitous on these shores, and what appear to be never before remarked upon jogging trousers, although from my vantage I could be completely wrong...

6. Band reveals itself to be earnest and pedestrian, competently plowing through each number, often stopping rather than ending the tunes. Keyboardist is heard about 1/4 of the time in ultra-simple descending note runs, playing her casio and offering the occasional backing chant or not very encouraging clapping to the beat. Don't get me wrong; seasoned professionalism is not what I expect from the Fall, but as was reported earlier elsewhere, the skewered genius of self-taught musicians snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, etc.etc-- THAT's what Fall musicians should sound like...I kept waiting to find out why they were recruited into the Fall, but waited in vain...unless their very steadfastness and workmanlike qualities ( I mean, it kind of sounded like it was my friends and I up there playing), but, no the thought is too much to consider further...

7. Mr. Smith whips out set list to announce second or third song, but otherwise doesn't seem to refer to paper very often. (Most of the set seems identical to the recent gigs posted on the Fall site, included in the same order, but I'm not familiar with any of these songs, so I can't be sure. Perhaps other more educated in the current Fall ouvre...?) Soon he is fiddling with bass and guitar amp knobs...hysterically, the bassist frantically watches which knobs, and then, after double-checking that Mark E's attention is occupied with the paying customers, tries to dial them back. At several points the guitar sound cuts off altogether, or raises up to ear splitting level. Mr. Smith emerges from crouch in front of guitar amp, apparently satisfied with his improv/mixing experiment. Guitarist shrugs shoulders, keeps playing, gets sympathetic glance from bassist...and then tries to find his correct sound again before the next song...

8. A small number of songs receive shouts of recognition from the crowd, at least one song has some audience singalong participation, but there are no 'take the roof off the sucker' moments, no passing of the microphone, no dancing, not a whole lot of head nodding, though some, and of course, the physical closeness of fellow attendees may have dampened whatever dancing inclinations may have lurked beneath the surface...

9. Suddenly, after about the 10th song or so, the band quickly unplugs (almost yanks out) their instruments, trot offstage, bump into each other at the end of the stage, turn around, reconvene on stage and plug back in. Elapsed time: 45 seconds. "Is this an encore?" I wonder out loud. Either then, or the next song, the descending bass line of 'Damo Suzuki' is begun, fumbled, begun again, and then joined by rest of band...Kind of a murky, almost rock dub version, due to the lack of guitar high end being heard at my end of the club...I quite liked Mark's squawking take, almost defiant. "This is more like it", I thought to myself, and then it ended. Again, band whips out guitar cords from amps, rush offstage, and as I prepare for 'Dr. Buck's Letter' or whatever, the PA comes on and generic guitar rock music pumps out, apparently signaling the end of the gig. Somewhat bemused, I decide it is the end of the gig for me, at least, being close to 1:30, and tired of the almost non-stop jostling and hands, dicks and tits rubbing and pushing me from behind (well, the tits were allright, actually, but the rest of them..)

10. Outside, a spectacular lightning storm is flashing to the north. I think of the band, soon to pack into a smallish van (I presume) and wend their way west to N'awlinz. The air is sweet and cool as I drive home. I light a joint, put on Seminal Live, and think about what might have been.

bgg0071 (from the message board):

Wow!!! - My first fall gig. I lived in Stockport (nr Manchester) UK, for the first 23 years of my life and never went to see them. On Saturday night I drove for 3 hours to get to the Echo Lounge, Atlanta, GA. I'm so glad I did. The opening act was a slight annoyance, although they really werent that bad. I hadn't read the recent reviews on "the fall" tours so I wasn't sure if Mark would even show up, be too drunk to play or end up fighting with his band members. However, he did none of the above, instead he played like a true professional, the band sounded great. Played some of my favorite songs including "and therein", "foldin' money" and "ghost in the house". I finally got to witness him play around with all the microphones and adust the volume levels on the amps.
GREAT GIG!!!!!!!!!

toolate (from the message board):

I've been a pretty big Fall fan for years and was more than happy to drive eight hours to see them for the first time.

Their performance, then, came as a bit of a shock to me. This was not the sound of earlier albums like Live.. or Dragnet. It wasn't the sound of mid-period like "Frightening" or Bend... It wasn't even the sound of current discs like Are You..

They sounded like an embarassingly bad heavy metal band. Could barely hear Mark in the mix as the music was a wall of bland noise. Where was even a hint of the uniqueness they exude on record? Even the best songs were a complete waste. I even thought Paper Lions, the opening act, sounded better, and they blew.

Been to about 100 concerts and how ironic that a band I consider as interesting as any in the last 30 years was probably the most boring concert experience I've had.

One consolation, based on reading some earlier reviews, I did hear some keyboard.

Couple of by the ways, since I was in the front row, did notice Mark's picking up of the setlist that he threw into the crowd was in fact a left over setlist from Paper Lions. Also, those black warm-up pants someone commented on in their review were Nike's as they had the swoosh right on the hip. Who gives, though.

Trauma Queen (from the message board):

This was my first fall show and just to see and hear mark e smith blew my skirt up! i drove from nashville and was well worth the drive, considering that mark e would never play nashville cause it sucks donkey dung. i stuck around till the bitter end and got photos and an autographed tee-shirt and got goosed by MES to boot! Damo Suzuki was the highlight for me, sure i wished he had played some other oldies, but just to be in his presence and to feel his essence was a grand enough high for me!!!! I drive from a far to see him anytime.


Hi. I just joined the fallnet after too many years observing...i've been a fan since the mid-eighties and would say that they're my favorites...

So, I went to the Atlanta show. We (my brother, my friend/bandmate Jere, and myself) drove very fast up from Tampa that morning to arrive 3 hrs before the doors even opened at the Echo...

I was very excited, my first Fall show...we had time to kill and i was dead tired...no sleep. I did find a cassette copy of the Coldcut record featuring M.E.S....bought it.

Ok, we went to the Echo and stood in line with about ten other people waiting for the doors to open...we had advance tix.

Mostly younger people, and girls...a few oldsters...like us (i'm 31) We got in, hung out forever, and waited...
The first band Paper Lions were quite enjoyable, i thought, and reminded me in spots of Go4, Fugazi, and (unfortunately) the wave of so-called "postpunk" bands like Hot Hot Heat...but fortunately they did'nt dress like them...

so, they finish...and the long wait for The Fall begins. Indeed there was a fracas at the front of the stage (where I was) with some guy who wanted to get backstage...they escorted him out. Surprisingly, the main fracas occured right before the show started, with said guy somehow getting back in the club. An army of staff were pulling at him and he just kept pulling back...he was on PCP or something...anyway, they pulled him backstage (ah, he made it) and were hitting him as he held on to the handrail, not budging...whatever...then, rrrrrrhhggtataggdgdgahahahah!!! The tape comes on...P!P!P!...

The band comes out and starts plugging away at the intro to "Behind The Counter"...for like FIVE minutes...then M.E.S. comes out... Leather coat, shiny navyblue Nike jogging pants, and appearing a bit tipsy...not sure on that. He said his "Good evening we are The Fall" bit and launched into the vocals...it sounded tight, and he seemed energetic...

Next was "Telephone Thing"...the band still pretty tight...then Mark begins the first of many amp-twiddlings, adjusting the tone of Ben's amp...to no surprise at all. I think the next song was "Green Eyed Loco Man", which sounded great. Gradually the set descended into M.E.S. chaos...mike stands and microphones tangled and scattered all over the stage...he couldn't even find the mic he wanted when it was in front of him...so he mouthed the words sans mic until he found Dave's mic...which needless to say wasn't as long on the cord as the others...so he's tugging the cable to the front, knocking things over...

Ahhh...The Fall.

Anyway, to make the longest story shorter: They played a great "Sparta"...played "New Big Prinz" which sounded nice, and people did do the "appreciated!" part...i was one of 'em. They also did a great version of "Janet Vs. Johnny"...which made me think of something like..."Hexen Definitive/Strife Knot"...

He passed the mic to this kid at the front who didn't seem to know what to do with it...so I grab it and sing three or more verses of "Prinz"...then pass it to these guys at my right, who promptly yell stupid shit...whatever...the mic drops back on stage..the band walk off...then come back with "Damo" which took Mark about 2 mins to come back out to sing...by that point I had the mic again...and was scatting Smith-isms over the band, except the mic wasn't on..bah! So Mark comes out, looks for the mic, and I wave it at him...he reaches down to take it then says something to me, and of course i could'nt make out a word of it...

"Damo" sounded great, the band played it well, and the audience was singing along...OH! I forgot that somewhere along the line, Dingo broke a bass string midsong, and played the rest of the set with three strings...he eventually got to put another on for the encore, but it was slightly out of tune...props to him though, bass strings don't break very often, and he handled it well.

They did play "Ghost In My House" and closed with Mark and Dave doing "Going To Spain" which I thought sounded fine. The Audience howled for more constantly...to no avail. The last thing Mark did before leaving the stage was to pick up Ben's guitar and drop it on the ground...his escape-route hindered by going the wrong way...he was escorted by a soundguy to the REAL stage exit. Hahaha...

A couple of highlights to the eve...i handed Mrs.Smith a stack of my band's cds, and she put 'em in her bag...sweet woman..we traded a thumbs up...a girl standing near me asked if I "know him" refering to Mr.Smith, i replied: "I know him, but not personally..." to which she says, "Can you get me backstage, I want to meet him...I want him to sign my tits..." !!!???...at least that's what I thought she said... It was probably her shirt she wanted signed. And the FullMoon/lightning storm after leaving the club was beautiful. Thanx, and take care.

From the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy list:

US fans of the Fall contemplating seeing them: I just saw them live here in Atlanta at a sold out small club and sad to report Mark Smith was falling down trashed. They only played an hour. As soon as they left the stage half the audience just left, not even waiting for the encore. The faithful and the morbidly curious who stayed saw three encores of one song each, none worth the bother, as the band, feeling bad, apparently, kept dragging him back out. The band was very good, and Smith was into it for a few minutes at a time, but I wish I had saved my $20.

The Delgados' release "Hate" is a otherworldly great.


July 14 - The Parish at the House of Blues, New Orleans:


1:00am New Orleans time, just got back from the show at HOB. Couldn't get a straight answer on why the postponement [the show was scheduled for July 13]. A manager at HOB (didn't get his name) put it off on the band, but didn't get specific. A different opening band played than what was advertised. The Fall were late starting, but played much longer than their given time allotment. HOB in N.O. likes to wrap it up by 11:30 latest. It went an hour beyond that. I was very impressed with the show. Keep in mind I haven't kept up with Mr. Smith & Co. since the early eighties. Their sound was much more refined from what I remember twenty-plus years ago, while still retaining that rawness I enjoyed so much back then (and now). A soliloquy opened the show, but I was close to the stage with the main speakers behind me and couldn't understand what was said. Lots of Iggy/Stooges filler between sets. Hope it's not nearly so long before I can see the band again.


July 15 - Mary Jane's Fat Cat, Houston:

Ghetto Pilot (from the message board):

Never thought in my lifetime (or what's left of Mark's) that MES and crew would come to Houston, TX. Last time was apparently in 1981 (?) The move to a smaller venue (Fat Cat's) was because of slow ticket sales, which was a bit depressing. The venue switch combined with a hurricane to the south of Houston had me thinking MES would cancel. However, the smaller venue played into the "group's" hands perfectly. And a storm did indeed arrive in town, in the form of a shrunken-head elf behind the mic.

Saw them in Austin about 10 years ago for the Infotainment tour. That show was the more early 90's sound, with electronic effects, tape loops, etc. In comparison, this Houston show was a true "rock" show and was tight, compared to what I was expecting. MES seems to have surrounded himself with a true band this time out, with the exception of his new "wife," who was fingering a bar-stool-mounted casio-like keyboard throughout the entire show. (With the occassional back up singer's role.)

Playlist was similar (virtually identical) to what's posted on the home Fall site, with the major exception of "The Joke" being the opening number. This was a brilliant choice, as it established the rock mood of the evening. Instead of being satisfied with MES simply being himself on stage, I was actually impressed with the entire band's solid performance, especially (of course) MES himself, who was surprisingly professional, coherent, in-time, and POSSIBLY even sober!

If I have any regret, it was some of the tracks selected. A bit on the new side, but to be expected. However, playing two tracks from Extricate was incredible. Would have enjoyed the inclusion of one or two numbers from Infotainment, and countless others from the past, but oh well.

In short, an impressive performance. Hats off to MES and the boys (and girl).


July 16 - Emo's, Austin:

Dixon has some photos at http://ccwf.cc.utexas.edu/~edge/thefall/

A few early comments from Fallnet:

Will: BIG fallnet contingent here. Even some former/part time members showed up. They know who they are. we were treated to a corker of a show here in austin. No walk offs, minimal knob fumbling. Volume a little loud and muffled but ok. Nice meeting everyone here and will see some again tomorrow night.

Kevin: Awesome.......really the best I have seen them in years (for me goes back to Leeds and 1988). Hip Priest was special. In fact about 1/3rd of the set was unbelievably good.

Gary: Unbelievable. (Sean & Sean & Will & maybe Chris might have more to say in coming hours. But suffice it to say - wow.)

C. Item: Gary and Will are right. Rocked. The show made me make my first fallnet post in maybe 1 1/2 years (um, this being the post). Can't wait til tomorrow night in Dallas. Fucked up right now in the proper manner.

Sean: Yeah....I'm speechless. Last night was the best night of my life, hands down. Wow. The fact that I got paid for it hardly seems fair. Of course, my head feels like it's going to cave in and my stomach is likely going to twist its way out some time this morning, but fuck it...I'm going to Dallas tonight.


Set list (only first few and the last songs in correct order, there may be one or two I've forgotten):

The Joke / Telephone Thing / Behind the Counter / Green-Eyed Loco Man / Contraflow / And Therein / Janet vs. Johnny / F-oldin' Money>Kick the Can / Mountain Energei / Sparta FC / Bourgeois Town / Mr. Pharmacist / I Am Damo Suzuki / Mere Pseud Mag. Ed. / Way Round // encore 1: Big New Prinz // encore 2: White Lightning / something Zeppelin sounding, not Antidotes [Dr. Buck's Letter]

Wasn't as impressed as those who wrote comments on Fallnet. Haven't seen The Fall in about ten years, used to see them a lot back in England in the early 90s. They started well with The Joke, Smith coming on shortly after the song started looking healthy and sober. Telephone Thing followed and but for the lyrics was almost unrecognizable. Things got much better with excellent rendition of Behind the Counter, one of the highlights. A few more recent tracks followed, were okay. I thought And Therein started poorly, the semi-acoustic arrangment didn't work for me but then half way though it switched for the better. Sparta FC was excellent, the whole band contributing vocals. Mr. Pharmacist was a crowd favorite as always. Mere Pseud a bit of a mess, thrashy. Large crowd wasn't particularly lively. During Big New Prinz Smith mouthed the words trying in vain to get the crowd to sing along. All done at 1:30am. The band was good but workmanlike and lacked a certain touch required to make some of the songs shine. Prinz especially just got boring. Too many of the songs just stop abruptly when Smith says instead of ending. I enjoyed it but wouldn't call it exceptional.


so this is my first post i know but nobody appears to have posted about last night's austin show in any detail so i thought i'd mention a few things. having seen the previous night's show in houston and having been a bit disappointed by it, i was shocked by the austin show's jump in quality, which i attribute to the much better venue and much larger, much more animated audience (no offense to the houston people on the list). as in houston, i was unimpressed by the version of "the joke" that opened the show, but after that the band was never less than solid and at times, specifically "new big prinz," "white lightning," "mere pseud mag editor," "janet vs. johnny," and of course "dr. buck's letter," they were downright brilliant. "i am damo suzuki" made an appearance and was nice enough but needed a bigger drum sound, which i think is a common complaint on this tour. people threw dollar bills at the band during "f'oldin' money," which i thought was odd, but hey, to each his own. as in houston, no "locus/xyralothep," which was a huge disappointment as it's probably my favorite on the new album.

MES was well-behaved throughout in the sense that there were no walk-offs and he didn't mess with the amps too much (although near the end of the first set he removed the mic from the bass drum), but i doubt the stagehand would agree with me; i was endlessly amused by his fretting like an interior decorator when MES so much as moved a mic stand. at times, mr. smith even appeared to be enjoying himself, but maybe it was a trick of the light.

two encores, first was "big new prinz" with the standard mic pass, which was met enthusiastically by the audience. second was "white lightning" and "dr. buck's letter."

so yeah. wonderful show. apologies for any errors.


- Fallnet in full force at the show. Met Will earlier in the day, know Chris I & Sean O like the little brothers they are, met Sean P at the show. All a bunch of grade-A nutjobs. Present company included.

- Sean O turned to me when "The Joke" started. I think both of us felt impending doom at that moment.

- It was not to be.

- Highlights of the night don't include an ad hoc mosh pit started by some fat ponytailed fucker when "Mere Pseud Mag Ed" burst out. My girlfriend was kicking some ass. She worries about my back.

- When MES tossed the mic out in the audience during "Big New Prinz," no less than THREE FFs (the two Seans & Chris) were screaming into it "Check the record, check the record." Like MES, Sean O kept adding "fucking" to "He is not appreciated." Fabulous.

- I was a little disappointed by "Telephone Thing" because the drummer just basically got a groove going & never did any fills or shit like that. But I realized as time went on that this is the best thing the band can do, given MES's excesses - certainly songs like "Foldin' Money," "Bourgeois Town" & "White Lightning" benefit from being repetitive, so MES can join in when he wants. But the band were on fire with the more complicated stuff - both "Dr. Buck" & "Damo" were like fucking lightning rods, tearing my goddamn soul out of my body.

- Magda was amazed when I told her MES was around 45. "He looks 65," she said. She also said something about his mandible, but you'll have to ask her, she's the anatomist.

- I don't understand his mic switching. Very weird. Also, what exactly is on the back of his left hand that he finds so fascinating? Minimal knob-adjusting, but he did turn Ben's guitar all the way off at one point (which I thought was a kind of cool effect), & it's funny to watch both Ben & the unnamed bassist readjust their knobs when MES's back is turned.

- The wife smiled twice the entire time, I think. Much mockery of her diminutive casio, but for the most part, it wasn't annoying or anything. When the Husband steals the mic, it's hard not to think he doesn't want her to sing.

- Met Ben briefly afterward, swell fellow. Got a picture of the majority of the Texas Fallnet Squad, which I am sure Will will share.

Probably won't go to Dallas tonight, as I am a party poop, an old guy, & have spent three days in cars in the last seven. But surely Sean, Ben & Chris will find a way to rub my nose in it.

Man, it was a great night.

Sean O:

> Any signs of Cuz'n Roy on washboard? ...

Indeed, on Dr. Buck's Letter.

Cuz'n Roy wouldn't let Chris & I up into the green room, even though we were DJing and had "performer" privileges. The dialogue went something like:

CUZ'N ROY: Who are you again?
ME: I'm the DJ. Graham [the owner] said he left some posters for us upstairs.
CUZ'N ROY: You don't wanna go up there now, man, it's bad news.
ME: Really? That's the kind of stuff I wanted to see.
JIM (stage manager, who knows me): Hey man, I know you eat, breathe and sleep this motherfucker, but right now he's got some sprightly little ass to take care of.
ME: That's his wife!
CUZ'N ROY: I'll get your posters for you if you want. But you can't come up here.
JIM: He's not going anywhere. You can come back later.
ME: All right, whatever.

And then I got so hazy and drunk I never bothered. But meeting Ben and Dingo was good enough.

> How's MES holding up in the 112-degree Texass summer conditions?

He wore the leather jacket for about 2 minutes before removing it. His shirt was soaked through with sweat during the encore. But they all seemed to thrive on the heat, believe it or not. MES looked so much healthier than when I saw him in NY, much more into the performance too.

> ... Any storm-chasing adventures with Hurricane Edw-- uh Claudette?

Apparently the rain was dripping all over the stage and they had some electrocution scares during the soundcheck, but nothing dramatic.

Sean P:

Yes, the Fall were *excellent* in Austin. Will, Gary, Sean and their respective female friends are all nice people. The female keyboardist actually *smiled* once or twice. MES seemed to be entranced by the huge ring on his finger during half the set. He threw the mic into the audience during the end of "New Big Prinz," which resulted in 10-15 people (myself included) wrestling for it to shout the "he is not appreciated" chant. The drummer was a little bit stiff, but otherwise he did a very good job. I would have liked to hear more "Country on the Click" stuff, but I was more than satisfied by what they actually played:

The Joke
Telephone Thing
Behind the Counter
Green-Eyed Loco Man
...and Therein
Mountain Energei
F-oldin' Money
Kick the Can
Bourgeois Town
Sparta FC (played *much* faster than on record)
I Am Damo Suzuki (drums were actually in time w/ the rest of the song, unlike the recorded version)
Mere Pseud Mag Ed. (this song incited a mosh pit)
Janet vs. Johnny (I think)
Mr. Pharmacist (this one *also* incited a mosh pit)
Way Round
New Big Prinz
White Lightning
Dr. Buck's Letter

The opening bands, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness and The Fatal Flying Guilloteens, were also excellent.
Overall, this was one of the best bills I've seen all year!


July 17 - Gypsy Tea Room, Dallas:

Thanks to Terry for the ticket.

Rick (via Tony):

Here's an email my pal Rick in Dallas sent me about The Fall gig last night. It was his first Fall show.

Well, it was definitely the weirdest show Ive ever been to. Dont know if this is a typical Fall show or not, but it was really strange. I wasnt sure how many people would be there for the show, but the show was packed. They played at a pretty small intimate club, the same place where I saw Rufus Wainright and the Makers (two different shows). The club has a small stage where smaller bands play, and then a large stage in a back room where bigger touring bands play, more on this later. You told me to get up front, so, I stood directly in front of the stage in front of the band. That afforded me a great view of the weirdness. The band came out and started the first song without Mark E. Smith. He showed up a few minutes into it.

It was obvious that Mark was incredibly drunk or high on something. You could tell because he was staggering around, never staying in one place for but a moment. Throughout the whole set, he was constantly fucking with things. He would go up the the guitar amp and adjust the volume while singing a song. He would go up to the bass amp and adjust the knobs to get the sound he wanted for that song, even turning the bass completely off during one song, to the obvious annoyance of the bassplayer. He walked over to the keyboardist and adjusted her keyboards while she was playing them, because he didnt like the angle at which they were. He used all three microphones that were set up for the different players, and he kept getting tangled up in the cords, and the stands and at one point the guitarist had to grab a mic stand so it wouldnt fall on Mark's back. This went on the whole set. You could tell the band was freaking out and wondering what was gonna happen next. I suspect this probably happens all the time, as they stayed in character for a while, but then at one point, I think Mark was singing the wrong song or forgot the words, and the guitarist kept laughing at him.

By the way, even though it was incredibly weird, and was in constant danger of just falling apart. The band was incredible. They were so tight and the music was great, and with Mark's monotone vocals over it, it was a definite surreal experience. I'd rank it as one of my favorite shows.

The thing that I'm still confused about happened at the end. After the last song, the band left the stage and went into the dressing room. Everyone wanted more, so they were cheering and clapping. This went on for 10 minutes or so, until the keyboard player came back out. She got on the mic and said the band wanted to play a couple of more songs, but that stage was too small, so they were going to play on the big stage in the next room. She then went back into the dressing room.

Everyone looked confused, but slowly everyone in the club walked into the back room for the encore. I thought this was very strange, since the stage in the other room had no equipment on it, and all their stuff was on the small stage!

Everyone milled back and forth between the two stages wondering what was going on. I stayed for about another 20 minutes, but the band never came out. I'm wondering, was this just a cruel prank by the band? Why would you try to make 150 people or so pissed at you? It was very confusing. I finally left when I saw the bassplayer come out and sit with some people he knew. The band was obviously not coming back out.

Well, I hope this review isnt too long-winded. It was a really weird, but great show, I'm glad I went.


Dallas setlist, with comment:

PPP intro
The Joke - right off the sound was 10 times better than Austin. The drums were loud and clear and they were playing in the small room at Gypsy Tea Room, not even filled up, so we had plenty of room and the sound filled the room nicely.
Telephone Thing - terrible again
Behind the Counter - worse than last night
Green-Eyed Loco Man - fair
...and Therein - really awful, Mark singing the same verse three times I think
Contraflow - better
Mountain Energei- good
F-oldin' Money/Kick the Can - fucked up, in a good way, with the vocals trailing off in disgust or indifference
Bourgeois Town - much much better than last night
Touch Sensitive - not played the night before, so a pleasant surprise, but it didn't sound so good. Music bad, vocals good
Sparta FC - great again, I really like this song
I Am Damo Suzuki - better, mainly because the drums were all there. Sounded very much like D.S. in Oh Yeah.
Mere Pseud Mag Ed. - weak
Mr. Pharmacist - it looked like the bassist showed Mark the setlist and waved off a song or two, confirmed when they played this and walked off.
(New Big Prinz - on the setlist but not played)
NO Encore

I was deeply disappointed that they didn't come back on for New Big Prinz. After a few minutes of ovation, the wife came back on to say that the stage was too small and they were going to play the encore on the bigger stage in the other room, so everyone piled in there, but it was not to be - of course. We talked to the guitarist afterwards, he said Mark was pissed when he saw the bigger stage earlier in the day. He told us how he became a Fall member after playing in a Pink Floyd cover band, and a story about getting bitten on the neck by a stripper in New Orleans. He had the mark to prove it - a real vampire she must have been.

After a little while, the road manager shepherds Mark out of the dressing room and begins playing washboard and singing "My frenz don't add up to one hand, etc." while Mark smiled and looked around a little sheepishly. A lot of people were still standing around, and he got warm applause for this "encore" before being herded back into the dressing room. The guitarist told us they were going to the JFK memorial tomorrow, so we suggested they buy the JFK salt and pepper shakers - the salt actually comes out of the holes in the back of his head. The Fall at Dealey Plaza - tourist cheeseballs!


Attended the Fall show on July 17 in Dallas, Texas. My first time to see the Fall. The venue is called The Gypsy Tea Room. It is divided into two areas. The larger holds about 700 and the smaller about 250. The Fall played the smaller stage. I don't think there were more than 100-150 people there. Their were two opening acts, the Go (In?) Betweens and The Falkons. The first group was pretty good, a little sloppy though. The Falkons were incendiary. The place would have burned down if it wasn't made of brick. Their style of music doesn't really mesh well with The Fall, though. Straight out rockers.

I wish I could give you the set list for The Fall, but someone snagged it after the first set. I do know they started with The Joke. I also recognized Mr. Pharmacist and I Am Damo Suzuki. I have heard most of the others, but I am unable to match the tunes to the correct titles. The show was excellent, given the exceedingly tiny stage. You could see some frustration from the band members in their not be able to move around very much. The female keyboard player (MES's wife?) looked bored throughout the entire show, not cracking a smile even once. This may not have been entirely their fault, given the zombies in the audience. I can see why bands other than the big names like The Eagles and crap are recluctant to play Dallas. Most everyone just stood there, with a few head-nodders. I mean, theoretically everyone there enjoys The Fall's music, otherwise they wouldn't be there.

Anyway, enough of my rant. I thoroughly enjoyed what is most likely my only opportunity to see The Fall, and would not have traded it for anything. I do have one more thing to add, though. I was totally stunned to see MES in person. For someone who is only 3 years older than me, the man looks like he's 70! I'm glad I stopped drinking when I did. :-)


Whatever. I felt robbed. The first time I was ever bored during a Fall show. I'd characterize it as "awful," especially in light of their dead-on performance in Austin. Smith obviously didn't give a shit and, for once, neither did I.

The bit where they had us move into the larger room was a great metaphor for the Fall experience though; it was a very Zen meditation on being a Fall fan.


Simon Spencer, RIP:

After Sunday's New York gig Dingo told me they'd just heard that Simon Spencer (of D.O.S.E. and Levitate fame) died from choking on his vomit at Glastonbury. Very sad news.


The Idiot Joy Show:


Further details to hand: The Idiot Joy Show - a double CD containing two live shows, recorded by Mike Bennett.

Idiot Joy Show [sic] / The Chiselers / 5 6 7 PM [sic] / Feeling Numb / Edinburgh Man / Don't Call Me Darling / Stay Away (Old White Train) / Behind The Counter / Glam Racket / The Coliseum

From Stefan's gigography this looks like it is in fact The Junction, Cambridge 24 October 1995 minus the first 4 tracks (Tunnel / Pearl City / The Joke / The City Never Sleeps).

Intro / Pearl City* (recorded at Phoenix Festival 1996) / 15 Ways / Das Vulture Ans Ein Nutter Wain / Spinetrack / The Mixer / Cheetham Hill / Powder Keg / Hey Pep! / Chilinism

And this doesn't look anything like Roskilde tracklisting, which was: Pearl City / The Chiselers / US 80's-90's / Spinetrak / The Mixer / Behind the Counter / Feeling Numb / Cheetham Hill / He Pep / DIY Meat

So, all in all, up to the usual standards we know and love with Fall live albums (this one is on NMC/Burning Airlines, by the way). Oh, and the sales note says: "Includes unreleased material from Light User Syndrome and Cerebral Caustic albums." Unreleased as in these particular live versions of the tracks. Blah!

July 14: You might have trouble finding this one in the shops at the moment, since the distributor has apparently gone into receivership.


Yet more Fall product on the way:

  • Live at the Phoenix Festival 1995-1996, due out August 25, according to Amazon. On the BBC's Strange Fruit label. That photo on Amazon looks familiar!
  • The War Against Intelligence, due out September 1, according to Amazon. This will be a compilation of Fontana/Phonogram albums and singles tracks 1990-92, put together by Daryl Easlea for Universal. Daryl says it will fit well with Conway's Listening In, but we haven't seen the tracklisting yet...


Words of Expectation review by Steve:

Sound is clear and with a nice depth. Not sure if its a lot better than circulated tapes recorded from the air though. Chiseller session if anything sounds a little thin but maybe I just had the bass up when recording it originally. All in all hearing these is a bit like seeing your kids wearing new clothes that suit them.

Hopefully we'll get the lot as planned cos having gone from one ep track to 4 track ep to single album to double album - one could hypothesise a slow release schedule out to the full lot, ie a triple next year, a 4 cd box the year after &etc.

Minor quibble about details - there are no personnel listed per session, you could almost extrapolate it from the by numbers sleevenotes but not quite if you didn't know already.

A more major flaw is the choice of cover photography. No prob with Smith being on 3/8 of the cover space but Bramah also having a full plate and a half seems a bit excessive especially as the only other people pictured at all are Lard n Brixie on the pullout. Maybe only the first session ever got photographed? Nice MES photos on the insert though.


Steven Bending's wonderful The Fall Multimedia Project website has Lay of the Land from the Whistle Test and Solicitor in Studio from Granada Reports.


July 22, 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...

01jul03 US tour reports (first leg, thru Cleveland), PBL dvd & User Guide reviews, Jim Watts interviews John French, 1999 MES int., Voiceprint clearance sale
19jun03 Canada, ATP cancelled, the fall uk, Fall books, Damo vs. USA, MCR's greatest frontman, Meltzer, Bad Man Wagon, Adult Net debacle, comp reviews, Brix '87int., MES '82 int., "Idiot Joy Show"
27may03 PBL/Leeds DVD reviews, Aarhus gig, great 1981 MES interview, Smiths Week, Woog Riots tribute, Sanctuary CDs, Rubber Banana Fall radio show
29apr03 ATP, PoSR review, Peel Session & Step Forward CDs, Made in the NW, Jeremy Vine show, bits
28mar03 Jim Watts sacked, Country on the Click details, Peel Session, Turkey gig, 85 & 88 gig photos, Luz's "The Joke" comic, Pascal LeGras new work, MES T-shirt, Fall on emusic, Fall Tattooing rip
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
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16may02 Blackburn, London, ATP gig reviews, BBC 6FM, Sydney 1990 int., French cartoon
19apr02 US tour cancelled, Mojo article, Select (June 91), bits & pieces
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13feb02 comp results, Athens review, Bournemouth Runner, Pan
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12dec01 MCR gig reviews, album reviews, Pan
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27jun01 Faustus
31may01 Dublin pics, Cash for Questions, Guardian interview
29apr01 IR, UK gig reviews
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3mar01 Dublin gig, Invisible Jukebox
28jan01 World Bewitched details
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19dec00 more reviews
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12sep00 DOSE interview, Fall calendar
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30may00 LA2 reviews
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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