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The Fall play ...

Apr. 1 Irish Centre, Birmingham. With John Cooper Clarke and Pubic Fringe. Advance tickets here (rescheduled from March 5).
Apr. 3 Carling Academy 2, Liverpool. With John Cooper Clarke and Pubic Fringe. Advance tickets £14 (rescheduled from March 4).
Apr. 7 Ottobar, Baltimore, MD
Apr. 8 Knitting Factory, New York, NY
Apr. 9 Knitting Factory, New York, NY (note: the MES reading originally scheduled for April 11 is not happening after all)
Apr. 10 Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ
Apr. 12 First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, PA
Apr. 13 Black Cat, Washington, DC
Apr. 14 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
Apr. 16 Echo Lounge, Atlanta, GA
Apr. 17 40 Watt, Athens, GA
Apr. 19 Orange Peel, Asheville, NC
Apr. 20 Southgate House, Newport, KY
Apr. 21 Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
Apr. 22 Brewhouse, Pittsburgh, PA
Apr. 23 Magic Stick, Detroit, MI
Apr. 24 Metro, Chicago, IL
Apr. 25 Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL - MES reading
Apr. 26 Creepy Crawl, St. Louis, MO
Apr. 28 Mojo's, Columbia, MO
Apr. 29 The Conservatory, Oklahoma City, OK
Apr. 30 Tree's, Dallas, TX
May 1 Emo's, Austin, TX
May 2 Fitzgerald's, Houston, TX
May 5 Plush, Tucson, AZ
May 6 Old Brickhouse, Phoenix, AZ
May 7 Spaceland, Los Angeles, CA
May 8 Blank Club, San Jose, CA
May 9 Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA
May 11 Galaxy Theatre, Santa Ana, CA
May 13 Tangiers, Los Angeles, CA - MES reading
May 14 Echo Lounge, Los Angeles, CA
May 15 Echo Lounge, Los Angeles, CA
May 16 Casbah, San Diego, CA
May 27-29 Primavera Sound festival, Barcelona.


I'm off to New York for the shows -- I'll see you at the Knitting Factory or Maxwell's, perhaps. I won't be updating the Fall News until next Tuesday (possibly Monday), but I'm sure people will be sending gig reviews to the message board.

If you want to say hello that's me on the left with Michael Pinto, who'll be there as well.


In tribute to this incomparable website, Gary's digitized this masterpiece:


April 1, 2004 - Irish Centre, Birmingham:

Thanks to Matt for the setlist and pass:


We arrived at the Irish Centre to see MES being wheeled across the front of the stage in a fine-looking NHS wheelchair, so assumed he'd do the gig from the chair. But no, there was a table alongside the drums on the drum riser, and he did it from behind that, with two mics. He seemed in really good spirits, definitely really into it, and threw in a couple of lines about his current condition ("I am a cripple... when you're tied to a chair, there's no escape").

Two bass line-up tonight -- presumably training up the next member of the merry Fall platoon, who was great but looked pretty nervous.

Set, from Ben's set-list:

Boxoctosis / Loco Man / Middlemass / Mountain Energei / Telephone Thing / Mere Pseud Mag Ed / I Can Hear The Grass Grow / Sparta / Janet & Johnny / Mr. Pharmacist / Contraflow / Mikes Love Xexagon (with the lyrics from Mod-Mock Goth) / Big New Prinz / Damo Suzuki

The last two aren't on the list. No encore, as presumably it was more hassle than it was worth getting on and off stage.

It's hard to talk about highlights as the gig was a blinder from start to finish -- not a dull moment. Telephone Thing was marvellous -- it was dead solid and really grooved. Damo and Prinz both went on for ages, and all the stuff from the new record was as tight as it was at Bilston before Christmas. There were some entertaining attempts at amp and drum fiddling given MES's lack of mobility.

John Cooper Clarke was on good form. I laughed, anyway. And Pubic Fringe were great again -- well worth a trip to see if you live in the West Midlands.

(I Can Hear the Grass Grow was by the great Birmingham band, The Move)


MES was sat behind desk at back of stage (level with kit) for 95% set; the other 5% spent clinging to the curtains stage left and single foray into realm of knob tweaking if you knoworrimean.. dingo and presumably substitute bassist both played for 2/3 of set. MES shouts "i'm a cripple!" prior to mere pseud. a very good gig methinks.


Thanks to:

1. Whoever decided on a £16 door cover.
2a. Whoever made it so that supports took ages to set up and play for too long. Pubic Mane, more like. etc etc
2b. Whoever decided the last train southbound on the cross city line should be at 11:15pm meaning I had to leave just as Mod Mock Goth started.
3. Whoever set the price of the Guinness at whatever ridiculously high price it was. I'd have thought it would be cheap, being the Irish club and all, buying in bulk etc. Or maybe the Irish don't actually drink the stuff.
4. The guy who went to great pains to illuminé my virgin ears about the work of John Cooper Clarke shortly before he came on and comprehensively ruin the surprise of pretty much his entire performance.
5. Whoever had the idea of no-pass-outs meaning I could not go and get more money after realising the new DVD was on sale without paying another £16 on the door. Really, exactly how much is a hand stamp in the shape of a shamrock?
6. Mark E Smith for being hugely entertaining, whatever befalls him.
7. Ben P for looking almost exactly like Marc Riley when he purses his lips and sucks in his cheeks, which he seemed to do a lot.


Fairly bizarre gig, even by Fall standards.in an age where it seems be becoming ever more fashionable for bands to have no bass player at all, the Fall play (most of) the gig with two! Presumably this was a 'training exercise' for the new guy to get grips with the songs before Dingo's departure (anyone else notice that songs from PJ Harvey's 'Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea' got a pretty extensive outing on the PA between the support band and JCC's set!).

Been trying to remember when, if ever, I'd seen a band with two bass players before. finally remember that I'd seen the Delta 5 once.anyone else remember them?

I guess any other vocalist who found themselves incapacitated and needing to sit during a gig would get themselves a nice tall bar stool and position themselves at the front of the stage in a Perry Como / Val Doonican / 1950s crooner sort of mode.only Mark E smith would decide that the best place to sit would be right at the back of the stage almost hidden by the drummer! What a card eh! Still, after a fairly subdued start he did get into it and spent the last few numbers standing, hanging onto the stage curtains for support.

I too was mightily impressed with their version of 'I Can Hear The Grass Grow', have they ever played this before [only in rehearsal - ed.] or is this a new policy of playing tunes by a 'local hero' in whatever town they happen to be playing?

Ended the set with a fantastic version of 'I am Damo Suzuki'. All in all, a top night out.


Highlights for me -

  • An excellent new Oxfordshire beer, Loddons, in the Anchor beforehand.
  • Elenor getting the giggles during the shout-along Sparta.
  • Smith pausing during one tune to look round quizzically at the mural of the
    auld country behind him, featuring a man having a solitary game of hurling
    on a little island.
  • Being probably the only person in the room not to recognise the Move song --
    anyway, it was tremendous.
  • That big lad in the orange T-shirt air-drumming to Damo.
  • Smith laboriously putting on his overcoat at the end of the gig, rather like
    my dad preparing to go to the snooker club.

All in all, a very funny gig. Some of it sounded great too.

From the Birmingham Post, April 1, 2004 (p. 15). Many thanks to Jon for sending it in.

Return of the Hip Priest

Birmingham is gearing itself up for one hell of a night when the chaotic genius that is Mark E Smith rides into Digbeth on his chariot-like wheelchair tonight. The Fall frontman tells Neil Connor why nothing could stop him from returning to the city exactly 25 years after his first flirtation with Brum.

It was confirmed shortly after the interview with Mark E Smith and just before the news broke about Jordan and Peter Andre.

Shocking news, almost unbelievable. But it was straight from the mouth of The Fall's promoters so there is doubt of its authenticity.

The Birmingham Post can reveal that Mark E Smith was sober when he broke his hip after slipping on an icy pavement in Newcastle last month.

Manchester's very own Hip Priest, the clown prince of pop, was down -but certainly not out.

First thoughts; he must have been sozzled. The interview took so long to set up after Smith went AWOL when he should have been on the other end of a phone, so the booze is clearly having an effect on his schedule.

'He was sober. He left his hotel for a packet of matches and he just went down,' I was reassured.

Then the bad news. A string of gigs cancelled, including the date at the Birmingham Irish Centre with fellow Mancunian polemicist John Cooper Clark on March 5.

Would we ever see Smith in action? Wandering around the stage, looking into nothingness with utter distaste, sporadically fiddling with the band's instruments, and occasionally lambasting the audience.

The Fall were in the Black Country at The Robin Club as recently as last December. That night Smith's delivery was as assured as ever, and his young band were so tight, so flawless, that The Fall have certainly turned a new corner.

But during the last ten or so years, Mark E Smith has rarely ventured into Birmingham apart from a couple of stints at The Foundry and The Carling Academy 2.

But this is a band who tour every nook and cranny of the country non-stop, so Birmingham is crying out for the hedonism and heroism of The Fall -especially 25 years after Smith's yelps and groans first shook the foundations of the Bullring.

Smith knows this and a broken hip will not stop The Fall bandwagon rolling into the city -albeit on a wheelchair a few weeks late. But although the legs won't be up to parading and cavorting, the tongue is likely to be on form for The Fall's first proper gig since the accident.

'I have never played that much in Birmingham. I usually end up in Wolverhampton. Considering it is the second city, I think we have only played in Birmingham two or three times.

'That is why I am really looking forward to this gig because it is really difficult to get gigs in the city. Most bands have to play the NEC, which is like an aircraft hanger.'

Smith's first waltz into Birmingham, at the same venue and with the same support act as Thursday's gig, was at a time when he was already earning a reputation for hiring and firing band members. The Fall are unrecognisable to what they were then, or indeed five years ago.

Birmingham itself has gone through a massive transformation, one which surely would not have gone unnoticed on Smith.

After all, this is the man who wrote The Birmingham School of Business School, a sideways look at subways, inner-ring roads and the city's general post-modern slump. What do you think of the new Selfridges Mark? 'Haven't seen it to be honest.' What about the Bullring and the revitalisation of the city centre? 'Errrrrr.'

It is unfair that a man who has become a cultural phenomenon for his lyrical wit should be put on the spot over urban regeneration, and so the conversation changes to local bands.

'I am a massive Move fan and I like Black Sabbath,' said Smith excitably.

'The first album I bought was Paranoid and I always used to listen to The Move on the radio because we never had a record player in our house.

'The Prefects were a good band as well. 'Birmingham has never had that much of a scene because it is sort of in between London and the North so it is difficult for it to get an identity.

'My Grandma was from Dudley and she was nuts. She moved to Salford but she never changed her attitude.'

While we are on the subject of Smith's local links, it is a little known fact that The Fall used UB40's Birmingham recording studio for 1991's Shift-Work LP.

'They had a small pub there with two chairs. The drummer of UB40 used to say to us: 'There were five tea bags there this morning where are they now?' Back in their native Lancashire, The Fall have played with (and probably pinched tea-bags from) some of the best artists of the past 25 years.

But Salford-born Smith is in no way in awe of his local contemporaries. On this subject, he becomes more serious as he takes a swipe at those who, unlike him, became seduced by stardom.

He said: 'We always kept ourselves at arm's distance. We never hung around with any of the other bands and we never went along with the Manchester scene or the Hacienda scene.

'I do not get on with musicians. They talk to me with respect but then they talk about me behind my back. But I know everything because I have some great intelligence.

'When they were starting out, the bands always wanted to play with me and then they get big and say how crap I am now.'

But Smith has stood the test of time and iscertain to prove to fans at the Irish Centre why over the past 25 years people just keep coming back for more.

Although Smith never thought it would turn out like that.

'I always thought it would go on for six to nine months and I am still like that. Every album we do, I think it is the last,' he said. 'Some bands plan their careers but we have never done that and this is perhaps why we are still going. This is the best era of The Fall. I have a good young band. We are very tight and the music is fresh.'

It's good to see Smith looking optimistic and, for the record, the snake-like wit is still there.

'I played with Public Enemy just before Christmas,' he throws into the conversation.

'They look at you as if to say, 'don't talk to me', like they are professors or something.

'But they just looked like three Will Smiths.'

Tickets for the concert can be bought from the Irish Centre on Deritend High Street or by calling 0121 622 2314.

and a couple of press reviews of the gig - again, thanks Jon!

Birmingham Evening Mail (England), April 5, 2004 p. 22

Shouting to the faithful


WELCOME to the wonderful and frightening world of The Fall.

Twenty five years after their first appearance in Birmingham, the shambolic genius of Mark E Smith showed why he has always been an unconventional frontman.

While in the past he has berated audiences with a megaphone and spouted lyrics from behind a lecturn, this time a broken hip forced him to stay seated some way from the front. A new fresh-faced Fall ground out a relentless stomping bass guitar as Mark alternated between microphones and spouted forth to the faithful.

Kick in the Box started the show before the band dredged through a lot of their newer stuff, while during one song Mark careered off his chair and collided with the drum kit. But it wasn't the same as Mark prowling around the stage, and the band - probably the only musicians in Manchester who haven't been sacked by him yet - looked a bit lost.

Meanwhile the keyboard player (Mark's girlfriend, I think) couldn't be heard above the din, making it seem a bit like Linda McCartney.

It was only with the older favourites that things really got going.

A choppy Telephone Thing with wah wah guitars and thundering Mr Pharmacist were lapped up by the fans who have followed The Fall through thick and thin.

The Birmingham Post, April 10, 2004 p. 52
Neil Connor

Stooped behind a table, Mark E Smith was at his most marvellous and mischievous on his 25th anniversary return to Birmingham.

He may have been immobile, but a broken hip did not stop one of music's great frontman strutting his stuff - albeit from the back of the stage.
Smith said in these pages recently that he loves coming to Birmingham - and Birmingham will forever welcome him when he is on this form - especially as he offered us a fantastic rendition of The Move's classic I Can Hear the Grass Grow. Cheers for the tribute Mark. Our local musical history might get a slating from most quarters but it is this sort of appreciation that really matters.

In support, John Cooper Clarke was at his most biting, delivering both poetry and comedy in a style that is purely his own.

Then The Fall. Open The Boxoctosis #2 - probably the stand-out track from the latest album - was a lively opener. Green Eyed Loco-Man followed, which, along with Theme From Sparta F.C., sounded as fresh as it did at Bilston's The Robin Club in December.

After 25 years in the business, Smith proved that he has finely-tuned his own brand of sublime pandemonium.

Standing up or sitting down, The Fall are head and shoulders above the rest.


April 3, 2004 - Carling Academy 2, Liverpool:

Many thanks to Stephen for these:


just back to sheffield & too tired to say much

- but blinding gig (after shite first band & much to be expected JCC

2 bassists, 2 encores, 2 guest vocalists.....

cracking night

MES on good form - much joking & smiling with band looked great on his chair behind the table - really suited him! minor bits of knob twiddling managed even whilst seated & usual use of dual mic technique!

new bassist seemed either shy/shit scared or totally lacking in personality. hope its the first & that he'll warm up a bit...


I've got to agree with generalist. What a great gig. The portents were bad when I realised that the Grand National was on ten minutes before I got stuck in the traffic and then at the venue, the Fall Backdrop banner gradually lost its battle with gravity before Pubic Fringe took the stage. (Was that a cover of the Scientists' She's Cracked [The Modern Lovers, surely - ed.] they began with? ) But I shouldn't have worried the fall were great. Mark was wheeled on in a wheelchair and sat behind a table for the whole of the set. He was in good spirits apart from when some no-brainer threw a glass at him. "You wouldn't do that if I was standing because you know I would go over and sort you out!" Graciously Mark stopped a bouncer from intervening.

Highlights were the two bassists. Their sound drove the band powerfully through the evening. Doctor Buck's Letter was superb, Big New Prinz is one of my favourite live fall songs. Middle Mass was a pleasant surprise when it appeared. Other songs in no particular order were

Mr Pharmasist-Mere Pseud Mag Ed-Middlemass-telephone thing-white lightnin-Dr Buck's Letter-Mod mock Goth-Groovin with Mister Bloe/Green eyed loco man-The Move cover-Mountain Energie- Theme from Sparta FC-contraflow-open the boxoctosis-janet & johnny& james- Mike's love xexagon-Big new Prinz-Bourgious Town.

The last encore was performed with Mark singing backstage with a mike hurriedly given to him. Aparently it was too difficult to drag him back on stage. A great end to a wonderful night.


Fantastic gig in Liverpool on Saturday. The academy 2 is a brilliant venue; the largest place that I've seen the Fall play in years. It sounds like the same set up as Brum - MES behind a table and 2 bassists for most of the set.

They did middlemass, mere pseud, telephone thing, white lightening, mr pharmacist (why?), box, countryside, loco-man, sparta, dr bucks, ooh and a few oters I'm sure. There was some guest singer on 'grass grow' - he kind of looked like he may be somebody - no idea who. MES did the last song Bourgoiuse town from off stage - he couldnt get back up the steps.

Despite being chairbound - he still managed to fiddle around wth the amp settings...... and threaten members of the audience- "If I was fookin standing up I fookin come over there and kick your fookin head in. You know I would" - he said to somebody who lobbed a plastic glass.

John Cooper Clarke was good too - twat and beasly street (with Rik Goldstraw on guitar).

The first band Pubic Fringe were excellent too. Rerall y really good - I think the whole set was covers: they started with 'She Cracked;' - now you cant beat that as an opener, then launched into Final Solution andf followed that by an Au Pairs song (I think) - I'd love to know what all the tracks were - I'm sure thewre was cramps cover in there as well.

Excellent gig - absolutely excellent. MES is still a genius.

Oh yes - and there some of those 17-year olds that MES is always banging on about in the audience - about 6 of them!


Substitute bass player for the US tour:

Many thanks to Ben for the news:

Dingo has been put on loan for 8 months to PJ Harvey. He will be playing Birmingham with us and possibly Liverpool. We all wish him the best of luck. As far as the upcoming US tour is concerned we have a new bass player coming with us called Steven Trafford. The tour is going ahead wheelchair or not. We are all looking forward to it.


With the help of many of you, Resa made the required goal for participating in her marathon. She is overjoyed at your generosity, as am I. Many, many thanks to all who contributed!


From www.wfmu.org:

Holy guacamole! The Fall are coming to WFMU! Tune in to The Cherry Blossom Clinic on Saturday, April 10th, from 3-6 PM to hear an absolutely live set from the absolutely unpredictable Mark E. Smith & company. What more can be learned about one of the more influential bands of the last, hmmm, 25 years? Tune in to find out!

That'll be the first Fall radio broadcast in the States since the Boston Channel gig on May 12, 1988.

Update, April 5: The WFMU session was not confirmed by the band when the station announced it on their site last week. Now they've taken the announcement off altogether -- I'm not sure that it'll happen.


At long last, the overhauled bibliography is up.


After a long wait, part two of J. Neo Marvin's great interview with MES from 1981 is on his site. In case you missed it, here's part one.


A couple of reviews from Record Collector, thanks to Jon. Mick Middles's book (March 2004); LATWT/Dragnet (April 2004).


Someone's posted mp3s of the Sonic Youth Fall covers Peel session from 1988.


I understand that TRNFLPFCOTC will not be coming out on Narnack Records after all. It will be released on a US label, however -- more information when I get it.

In the meantime, the Fall are breaking into the American mainstream. National Public Radio's "Marketplace" played a bit of It's the New Thing on their program last night (March 23), and Walmart has loads of Fall songs (@ 88¢) available for download on their site.


From Conway, news of the Fall's greatest hits 2xCD.

The Fall's "Best Of" compilation is due for release in the UK/ Europe on May 31 on Sanctuary Records, with subsequent North American release on Beggars Banquet (date to be announced).

Tracklisting by Daryl Easlea with suggested changes from Conway Paton, with final approval by Mark Smith.

50,000 FALL FANS CAN'T BE WRONG: 39 Golden Greats
1. Repetition
2. Industrial Estate
3. Rowche Rumble
4. Fiery Jack
5. How I Wrote 'Elastic Man'
6. Totally Wired
7. New Face In Hell
8. Prole Art Threat
9. Lie Dream Of A Casino Soul
10. The Classical
11. Hip Priest
12. The Man Whose Head Expanded
13. Kicker Conspiracy
14. Eat Y'self Fitter
15. c.r.e.e.p.
16. No Bulbs
17. Spoilt Victorian Child
18. Cruiser's Creek
1. US 80's-90's
2. Mr Pharmacist
3. Living Too Late
4. Hey Luciani
5. There's A Ghost In My House
6. Hit The North
7. Victoria
8. Telephone Thing
9. High Tension Line
10. Free Range
11. Why Are People Grudgeful?
12. Behind The Counter
13. M5
14. Feeling Numb
15. The Chiselers
16. Powder Keg
17. Masquerade
18. Touch Sensitive
19. Crop Dust
20. Susan Vs Youth Club
21. Green Eyed Loco-Man

Versions are the obvious (7") single versions. The compilation is aimed at the casual/first-time Fall buyer and includes tracks from all record labels from day one up to TRNFLPFCOTC from the end of last year.

The cover is a parody of the famous Elvis Presley LP "50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong" - obviously the Fall are a bit numerically challenged compared to Elvis!

or perhaps...





And a brief quote from Daryl Easlea's sleeve notes: "Rather than apologise for what isn't here ... remind yourself of their glories or indeed, should you so wish, scare your neighbours shitless with it at a dinner party."


James Lollobrigida sent in some vintage photos (and signed poster) from the Cambridge Guildhall gig on Feb. 13, 1986. Many thanks, James.


I can now confirm that the Blackburn DVD won't play on an NTSC-only DVD player. You'll need a multi-region DVD player that plays both PAL and NTSC -- apparently these are quite common in the States after all (try this page to find a model; some of them are really cheap, too). Worst case, you can still play it on your computer if you have a DVD drive.


Mark was interviewed a few weeks ago for The Evening Sequence with Tom Robinson on BBC 6FM. They played a bunch of tracks including the B-side of the next single (Sparta FC) -- working title is Debacle (for the Record) and it's a riot. Snotballs! Fortunately none of my correspondence was used in its production.

There's an mp3 of the interview on Steven Bending's site.


A couple of recent articles: thanks to Jon for sending them in.

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England) , March 5, 2004 p14

Rock singer is a Fallguy. (News)

CULT rock legends the Fall's Liverpool gig at the Carling Academy was cancelled last night - after singer Mark E Smith fell over.

The Manchester band's tour schedule was thrown into chaos last Sunday morning when Smith tripped and broke his hip in Newcastle after playing a concert in the city the night before.

A spokesman for his record company, Preston's Action Records, said Smith had just been released from hospital on Tyneside and returned home. The Liverpool gig has now been tentatively rescheduled for Saturday, April 3, the eve of a US tour to promote their acclaimed new record, The New Real Fall Album.

Smith is still expected to keep his date at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall this Saturday performing some of his spoken word work - from a wheelchair.

The Independent on Sunday (London, England) , March 14, 2004 p25

ROCK & POP: Nostalgia? Try saying that to my face. (Features) DJ Taylor.

It becomes apparent from the opening moments of Words and Music, this celebration of late-Seventies Manchester punk, that the audience is - how do I decently put this? - split into partisan segments. Each of the four artists on display has his resident fan-club avid to disparage the other three-quarters of the bill and even to barrack the absence of favourite numbers. All this gives the proceedings a somewhat tense atmosphere. The people in the massive auditorium of Manchester's Bridgewater Hall consequently come and go, not necessarily talking of Michelangelo, but quite happy to abuse their heroes or even walk out if what turns up isn't to their liking. Respectful nostalgia this emphatically is not.

Things kick off with the sight of a hunched figure in a wheelchair being pushed around the side of the stage to emerge, finally, from the curtain behind a microphone-strewn desk. Looking - and sounding - like something out of a Beckett play, Mark E Smith, hip lately fractured in a staircase tumble, regales us with spoken-word selections from the last Fall album as backing tapes screech noisily into the ether. There is about 20 minutes of this, not all of it comprehensible, but sardonic as ever: the John Cooper Clarke fans are going bananas by this time, but the people down the front seem to like it.

An unconscionably long interlude finally realises the still elfin shape of Pete Shelley, who, noting the belligerence of the audience, amuses himself by stoking it up. Four bars into the old Buzzcocks standard "Love You More" the front rows erupt into a yell of "Whooah-oh", whereupon our man stops thrashing his guitar to remark that although he hails from the west of Manchester it's not the Wild West and he "isn't riding a horse". A certain amount of weary banter follows, after which Shelley plays half-a-dozen more Buzzcocks hits with seeming relish, wails a plagent version of "Homosapien" and departs to wild applause.

Fifteen minutes later and legendary Manchester punk poet John Cooper Clarke lopes on stage. Theoretically deep into his 50s by now, he looks exactly as he did in the late Seventies, which is to say extraordinary - a six foot plus stick-insect version of Blonde on Blonde-era Dylan, craning over the mic stand to deliver machine-gun monologues in the most nasal of Salford accents. He does a brief number about drinking Martini ("This one's called `Home Honey I'm High'"), and a baleful one about transvestitism entitled "Crossing the Floor". It is hugely funny and the crowd love it.

Another long break and the flower-shirted, be-sandalled form of ex-Buzzock and Magazine frontman Howard Devoto saunters on to offer and then deconstruct "Hound Dog". This is trailed by a determinedly eclectic programme: spoken-as-poetry versions of old Luxuria lyrics, a Thornton Wilder short story, songs off the 2002 Buzzkunst collaboration with Shelley and a beguiling new number about dead rock stars. Joined by Shelley he ends with further Buzzkunst items, including a delightfully fey rendition of what might be taken as the evening's theme tune, "Punk of Me". "That was weird," Devoto later observes from the dressing room door. And yet the serial bolshiness seemed somehow in keeping with the musical movement it was designed to commemorate.


The long-awaited Woog Riots Fall tribute 2xCD will be out next month. From a www.woogriots.de announcement to the contributors:

Today (Mar. 16) is the day the compilation was sent to be printed. A wonderful double CD was created including 29 bands with an even more wonderful booklet and it's called "Perverted by Mark E. - A tribute to The Fall". Its catalogue no. is ZZ 2008 on the German ZickZack label (www.zickzack3000.de) and will be distributed via INDIGO.

You might not find them in your local record stores (it will be distributed only in Germany, Switzerland and Austria). Perhaps ask your local record dealer about it in a little while, anyway. The CD is to be released in April 2004.

On www.geocities.com/miltonfisher/music.htm you can download Marc from Woog Riots' latest song "commercial suicide" which includes some impressions of the last weeks while he was putting together the compilation.


CD 1
1. DJ Patex, Phil Hayes & Knarf Rellöm.com (D / CH / UK): How I Wrote Mark E. Smith - original
2. Jowe Head (GB) - choc-stock - cover
3. Woog Riots (D) - mark e. smith & brix - (written by Barbara Manning) - original
4. Barbara Manning & the GoLuckys! (US) - paint work - cover
5. The Container Drivers (UK) - the ex-members of the fall club - original
6. Creeping Nobodies (Canada) - Wings - cover
7. Les Sourires Trompeurs (F) - Pervertis par Mark E. - original
8. Like A Stuntman (D) - Oh! Brother - cover
9. Preston School of Industry (US) - mere pseud mag. ed. - cover
10. Hector Collectors (GB) - Spectre vs. Hector - original
11. Locust Fudge (D) - Cannibal Man - original
12. Rockformation Diskokugel (D) - The Salford Lad - original
13. The Black Eyed Snakes (US) - my new house - cover
14. Chris Brokaw (US) - bill is dead - cover

CD 2
1. Tocotronic (D) - Ich hab geträumt, ich wäre Pizza essen mit Mark E. Smith - original
2. I, Ludicrous (GB) - never been hit by mark e. smith - original
3. Barcelona Pavillion (Canada) - C.R.E.E.P. - cover
4. Jeffrey Lewis (US) - the story of the fall - original
5. Chris Cacavas (US) - totally wired - cover
6. doc schoko (D) - life just bounces - cover
7. No Existe (D) - mark e. - original
8. Michaela Melián (D) - falling off a riff - original
9. boy division (D) - us 80's 90's - cover
10. s.y.p.h. (D) - fiery jack
11. Viva Las Vegas (E) - 8 pm - original
12. Chris Knox (NZ) - hip priest - cover
13. Klaus Walter (D) - Ich hab geträumt, ich wäre Neckermann quälen mit Mark E. Smith - original
14. Gerald Wrede (D) - Bremen Nacht - cover
15. egoexpress (D) - tribute to the fall


In the last Fall News I mentioned a Blue Orchids gig in London on May 6. They're not playing after all.


Dave from Newcastle managed to score early copies of the Grotesque and Totale's Turns reissues:

got them on now. not sure if they're supposed to be out yet but my local shop are very friendly... if you've all got them already then i'm wrong on that.

anyway, initial thoughts.....

GROTESQUE: this may well be my favourite fall album. it has all the things i love about the band running through the whole record. the sleeve is in the new 'house' style, ie slip case, original pic of cover with 'expanded deluxe ed' printed on.

the grotesque cd has same label as otiginal vinyl. nice touch. sleeve is a style of 1st two reissues. some notes, pics, old cuttings/reviews etc.

grotesque sounds amazing. 'pay your rates' is straight in, not the fuck up on last reissue. punchy sound without being overly 'digitalised' [to my ears anyway]. extra tracks at end rather than start. much better.

also has weird mes 'interview' with smith ranting on in usual fashion. it's cut up and doctored in some parts. nice to have it.

'putta block' ... the great b side of piss funny genius has restored its end noise bit, although i'm not sure if it's quite the same as the vinyl. will have a wee listen sometime. this is genius music given the release it deserves. fantastic.

TOTALE'S TURNS: just listening now. the 'i don't particularly like the person singing on this L.P.' sleeve note is on the back of the cd. nice pic of mes/riley on stage at back of booklet. the whole thing sounds as good as you can expect, given the lo-fi of the album masters. improves other cd's, but this is a great album to have on vinyl.

bonus tracks are the container drivers/new puritan/jawbone/new face - peel session. these ALL sound amazing. glorious. happy listening/pocket emptying.

got the dvd as well, looking forward to watching that.

roll on hex/room to live/ and the mighty slates.


Many thanks to the essential Fallfandave for scanning in Stewart Lee's article on Mark from the April issue of Esquire (UK), and this review of LATWT/Dragnet from the April Word magazine.

And many thanks to Graeme for sending these two scans from the February 2004 Word magazine: Word of Mouth and a review of the Rebellious Jukebox comp.


Jim Watts' band Ugly Radio has a gig on April 1 at the Dublin Castle in Camden, London. They'll be on at 10:30. £5 on the door or £4.50 with a flyer / concessions.


I've been hammering away behind the scenes at an updated Fall bibliography. It should be posted by the end of the month - sorry for the delay. The next project will be organizing the photos page into something that approaches usefulness.


From http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/002039.html (where you can add your comments on Marvel comics' influence on MES), this Jack Kirby (Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four) strip:

Thanks to Dixon for the link.


Steven Bending's wonderful The Fall Multimedia Project website has the L.A. promo video and edited highlights from Mark's appearance on Flipside last month.



Apr. 7, 2004

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:

ta to biv for this

Recent news...

09mar04 UK gigs, Mark's fractured hip, Bridgewater Hall, Blackburn DVD, University Challenge, Fall fan film, Brix Smith - Fashion Junkie, Lovers UK gig schedule
10feb04 London gigs, loads of music press scans (mostly NME), I'm into CB cartoon, Smash Hits trading card, Michael Pollard photos, Cider with Roadies, Guardian int. w/ Ben, Pascal Le Gras exhibition, Blackburn DVD, Sanctuary update.
24dec03 lots of UK gig reviews, Birmingham Post MES interview, details on expanded LATWT and Dragnet CDs, recent NME Fall snippets.
24nov03 TRNFLPFCOTC reviews, HMV gig, Unpeeled interview (w/ Ben) details, Smash Hits '87, Michael Bracewell's most embarrasing moment (and Pseud's Corner finalist), Durutti Column vs. The Fall photo exhibition, Permanent Years / Rebellious Jukebox comp CDs, Fall badges, Reuben's Paintwork title page.
20oct03 Portugal, Manchester, Leeds gigs, book reviews, 1997 MES interview, new LP and single details.
19sep03 Uncut interview, book reviews, "No Place Like It" transcript, a few old press clippings, Bingo Master's 25th anniversary, War Against Intelligence cd, Bootleg Box Set review, book launch party, Masked and Anonymous, Jack magazine, The Lovers on tour, Johnny Cash
 Prindle int. w/Ben, Hip Priest reviews, Live at Phoenix cd, War Against Intelligence cd, Brix int. 1994, Lovers single, web-enabled MES filter
22jul03 US tour reports (second half: Cambridge Dallas), New Yorker cartoon, Simon Spencer RIP, "Idiot Joy Show," Words of Expectation review
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
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