The Fall play ...
York (gigs rescheduled from Feb. 29 & March 1)
Cafe, Unit 1, Block L, Mill Race Lane, Stourbridge. 01384-390918.
With the Pubic Fringe.
||Crawdaddy, Harcourt Street, Dublin
Heaton Moor Rugby Club, Heaton Moor, Stockport
Am Ostbahnhof, Berlin (no word on further German gigs, if any)
to the Fall website will remember Jonathan Kandell and Andy Halper's brilliant
Fallnet tape compilation, Good Evening, We Are Not The Fall.
In case you missed out on buying the cassette, Derek Erdman has posted
all the tracks as .mp3s on
Ford's excellent book Hip Priest: The Story of Mark E. Smith and
the Fall has been spotted in UK HMV stores for the bargain price
Nothing to do with the Fall (except for this woodchuck sign), but for
those interested I've posted some of my protest-related photos from the
Democratic National Convention on Photobucket.
There are three albums -- the march from the Boston Common to the DNC
on March 25, the protest pen/internment camp on Canal Street opposite
the Fleet Center, and the Black Tea Society's protest on Canal Street
on March 29, with plenty of police (and media) presence.
Fall's 24th Peel session is scheduled to air on Thursday, August 12.
Peel mentioned last night (Wed) that The Fall had been
booked to come in and do a session on August 4th. In the once-weekly
chatroom on Tuesday, producer Louise said that MES had left a highly
abusive message for them on their answerphone, urging them to get their
arse in gear and sort the contract out for the session. Peel mentioned
this himself last night. He said that they were looking for a way to
get the message off the answerphone so they could broadcast it, as it
seems to have been a spectacular and foul-mouthed rant.
From a lengthy piece on a new boy-band named V, by Craig
McLean page 43 (Telegraph Magazine, July 24):
In the kitchen, Aaron pokes down the side of the empty
fridge and pulls out a stained and faded whiteboard. In the long months
they were holed up here, Aaron, Antony, Kevin, Leon and Mark used the
board for name ideas for the band - Kaalm, the Navigators, Decibell,
Co-Exist, Miscellaneous, Power, Immense. ... Antony came up with the
Fall. In brackets afterwards he had scribbled a clarification: 'American
autumn.' They still wet themselves laughing at this.
an MES interview (conducted in April) in the latest issue (#64 August/September)
of Magnet Magazine. There's
the usual number of errors in the intro part, but there's a good photo
of the band taken on the US tour (although Steve is misnamed Jim Watts).
thanks to Mike for scanning it
is doing great work on a new page for the site -- a Fall
member biography page. And he's added a couple of other things to
the main page, including a handy search
Voice (July 13):
Autumnal crank can't sit down, even
in the fall of his years
Walk Like a Man
by Glenn Kenny
Having fronted the Fall for a quarter-century
and change, sui generis Mancunian sneerer Mark E. Smith has inspired
the requisite volley of wisecracks about how he'll be doing this in
his wheelchair, none of which seem particularly off the mark. Smith
provided fans with a preview of coming attractions when the Fall played
the Knitting Factory in April. Smith fractured his hip in a non-metaphorical
fall earlier in the year, and was thus confined to the posture of a
lap pedal steel player. Deprived of his usual mic-stand-clutching stance,
he was as commanding a presence as he's ever been, particularly during
a hilarious yet heartfelt one-note rendition of "Walk Like a Man." The
punchy set hit some highs that Fall fans have come to rely on—the
band's ever shifting lineup notwithstanding, it never fails to gorge
itself on the moshing grind of "Mr. Pharmacist," the greatest Fall song
they never wrote—and flogged a few of the catchier chants from
the band's new album The Real New Fall LP. That disc's unwieldy
title stems from the fact that an early, reportedly slicker, version
of the record got hijacked onto the Internet, after which Smith was
moved to grunge up the mix for its official release. Enriching the lives
of obsessive collectors everywhere, the record's U.S. version boasts
yet another mix (crisper, heavier on the acoustic guitars) and two new
tracks. Exchange rates being what they are, it's the one to get.
But is any version of Real New, as
critics like to put it, a return to form? It's certainly an improvement
over the band's last album, Are You Are Missing Winner, which
at its worst (a grievously ill-advised rethink of Iggy Pop's already
ill-advised "African Man") reeked of a listlessness suggesting a disastrous
disengagement between crank Smith and his cranky persona. Still, the
band's prodigious recorded output—too prodigious, actually, as
said output is littered with really dodgy live sets on fly-by-night
labels, not to mention that the initial digitalizations of its early
catalog sound as if they were mastered off bad vinyl through a board
with a blown channel, on account of they probably were—has inspired
the requisite volley of wisecracks about if you've heard one Fall album
you've heard them all. Listening to the excellent new two-CD Beggars
Banquet compilation 50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong, I get a
different and far more frightening idea: You haven't heard a single
Fall album until you've heard them all. (Full disclosure: I've lifted
this theory from film writer Tim Lucas, who has waxed similarly about
pervy no-budget auteur Jess Franco.) Because as gratifying as the 39-track
selection is, from the dizzyingly irritating "Repetition" to the garbage-can-lid
clatter of the faux epic "The Classical" to the insolent riff-rock of
"Cruiser's Creek," when I'm listening I'm all too aware that I'm missing
the stomping "Bingo Master's Breakout," the immortal sludge of "Slang
King," the gotta-have-more-cowbell crunch of "Right Place, Wrong Time,"
et cetera. There is no such thing as too much of this shit.
What makes Real New real good is
that it's got more of the really good shit: "Theme From Sparta F.C.,"
a loutish chant extolling the virtues of Ancient Greek soccer, "Contraflow,"
a breathless slam on England's green and pleasant land, and "Boxoctosis,"
which features one of the great insistent choruses of our time. "Open
the box/open the box/open the goddamn box," Mark E. and the boys (and
Mrs. Smith, keyboardist Elena) grunt, as if they're cheering on Pandora.
Smith is the post-industrial materialist's answer to qawwali singer
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. While Nusrat trilled to the heavens in sessions
lasting three hours or more, Smith is well into his third decade of
concocting two-to-10 minute blasts of ice water into the face of hell.
A miserablist drone with a killer backbeat—there's Western Culture
to Simon for sending in this piece
by Brix Smith from issue #4 of Full Moon Empty Sports
Milner (July 1):
The Fall is in a strange place at the moment (maybe
good, maybe bad) and as a result the Fall and myself have parted
company for now. I am on good terms with Mark and hope we can work
together again at some stage. shazbad, nanoo, nanoo...
Ben Pritchard (June 29):
Due to irreconcilable differences between myself
and Mark I have been forced to hand in my resignation. I had hoped
that there was another way around it but there isn't.
Thanks for all the support over the last four years.
all the best
But it looks like Ben is still a member after all - he
played guitar at both York gigs (lineup was MES, Ben Pritchard (g), Jim
Watts (g), Steve Trafford (b), Spencer Birtwhistle (d), Eleni Poulou (k),
Ed Blaney (g). The Fall News is well and truly unreliable.
Regardless, my very best wishes to Dave... one couldn't
have asked for a more committed Fall drummer. Lots of people on the message
board feel the same way.
It appears that the differences between the Fall, Sanctuary,
and Conway have been resolved, and Conway will continue to work with Sanctuary
on the upcoming reissues after all.
There are a couple of posts by Ed Blaney about the Sanctuary
"misunderstanding" on the message
Note that although Amazon.co.uk
is listing the 6xCD Peel Sessions box for August 23, Sanctuary says it
probably won't be out until next year. Definitely not August, at any rate.
June 24, John Peel said the Fall has been booked for a session - that
will be their 24th Peel Session I believe. And he was playing Kicker Conspiracy
at the same time England scored a goal against Portugal, so he immediately
played it again with the hope that England would score another....
Sparta FC #2 single is out now on Action
Records -- and the CD version includes the wonderful Portugal
[aka Debacle (for the Record)] as a "hidden" track (you
have to play it on a computer). It's the same version that's on
the Narnack CD and as played on Tom Robinson's show a couple
of months ago.
MTV Europe played the video a couple of times earlier this
With many thanks to Bruce Crawford:
Around Christmas of 1980 myself and two friends wrote
a letter to The Fall to ask about the meaning of the phrase "C
'n' C's mithering". We received the attached
reply, handwritten by Mark E Smith himself, and enclosing a press
release for Grotesque. The reply is p.p.'d by Mark on behalf of
Kay Carroll because we had addressed our original letter to her. You
may note that MES has mis-spelled my surname on the letter (although
he did get it right on the envelope which was also hand written by him!).
Merchandising has several "retro" Fall T-shirts and badges.
Joly from Punkcast.com
"In a not entirely unanticipated development I
have received emails from one Ed Blaney kiboshing distro of my vcd of
the recent nyc kf show."
You can still see Joly's three clips from the KFNY April
9, 2004 on his site.
Claus Castenskiold is selling signed
copies of this PBL poster (30" x 24" on thick, glossy
Each signed poster is $20 plus $5 shipping for the USA and $20
plus $10 certified mail for the rest of the world. Posters will
be shipped in sturdy tubes.
You can order via Paypal using Claus's email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to write to him with any questions as well. He promises
to ship the posters the next business day after your Paypal order
has been verified.
He'll be offering the poster at a fixed price on Ebay presently.
July 11 - Fibbers, York:
to Dave for the setlist:
actual set played:
Spoilt Victorian Child / Green Eyed Locoman / What About
Us (new song about Harold
Shipman) / Mountain Energei / Theme from Sparta FC / Steve Trafford's
new song ("New York City"?) / Mr Pharmacist / I Can See the
Grass Grow / Boxoctosis / Contraflow / Walk Like A Man / White Lightning
// Bourgeois Town
York Evening Press:
The Fall - Fibbers, York
by David Martin
WITH no other band does being a fan require a masochistic streak quite
as much as with The Fall.
After almost 30 years and countless band members, prolific Mancunian
bard Mark E Smith is still as cantankerous and unpredictable as ever.
The band's two nights at Fibbers were cancelled once when Smith injured
himself, and only days ago, they appeared to have parted company with
their latest guitarist and drummer. So, a sold-out, packed and expectant
venue waits to see what'll happen this time.
They wait, and wait. Occasionally, the dressing room door tantalisingly
drifts open, then slams firmly shut.
Finally, at 9.50pm (on a Sunday night), once they've made absolutely
sure that even the hardiest fan is getting a little concerned, The Fall
walk on stage. Smith, of course, doesn't do apologies or explanations,
though he makes a caustic crack about last visiting York in AD12, as
the band launch into their disappointingly shortened set.
What we get is seriously good though, a driving and melodic incarnation
of The Fall - excellent new single Theme From Sparta FC is received
even more rapturously than the oldies.
As usual, Smith's voice sounds as though years of venomous lyrics have
made his teeth fall out - but secretly, he's enjoying himself. Indeed,
you suspect the delay was actually him compensating for how good The
Fall are sounding at the moment, with a little self-sabotage.
Tickets are still available for The Fall's show at Fibbers tonight (12th)
- but expect the unexpected.
Big Chief Mango Chutney XIV:
They started off about an hour late and so things didn't
bode well. The good news though is that Ben Pritchard has NOT been sacked
I counted SEVEN band members tonight, although I'm not sure if one of
them played the whole set because I couldn't see the whole stage and
one of the guitarists (Jim???) vanished half way through.
Mark's vocals were great, and the band was amazing. The songs sounded
far denser and filled out than when I've seen them before ('cos of more
instruments obviously!). Basically they were SHIT HOT!
Things looked even better when they started off with a very welcome
Spoilt Victorian Child, Mark was engaging in some witty banter with
the audience and was singing with his back to the crowd like he used
to do in the old days.
However, the set-list was the big letdown of the night. So many covers...
Five if you include Bourgeois Town (which I don't really). Here is my
set-list if I've remembered correctly:
1. Spoilt Victorian Child.
2. Green Eyed Locoman (with a new introduction, like the American version??)
3. ??? I didn't recognise this song, although it was a belter! It might
be new (I hope so!), but I don't have every recorded Fall song and so
can't be sure.
4. Mountain Energei.
5. Theme From Sparta FC.
6. ??? New song? Also a stunner, but not quite as good on first listen
as the one above.
7. Mr Pharmacist.
8. I Can Hear the Grass Grow
9. White Lightning.
10. Open the Boxotosis.
12. Walk Like A Man
Encore: Bourgeois Town.
There may well have been others that I have forgotten, and the order
above is probably wrong. And excuse my ignorance if songs 3 and 6 above
are not actually new!
The venue was good, nice and intimate. You got to stand up and dance
too, which is far better than the all seater affairs I have been to
at previous Fall gigs. The set was far too short for my liking too.
Less than an hour and only one encore. Dissappointing that there was
only one proper Fall oldie song (SVC) aswell (though I wouldn't have
minded if they had played all new songs instead)!
Overall opinion: Performance 9/10; Set-List: 4/10.
Okay - big stuff first. Ben and Jim are back in the
Ben was playing acoustic guitar. Jim's got a beard. Go figure.
Seven piece line up tonight:
OK - just got back - i'm very stoned, but am trying
to hold it together...
Ben is IN the band
Jim is playing guitar (badly)
A Moby look-alike is on drums
The set is generally very dull
why does he insist on playing the two dullest fall numbers...WL and
that was my impression...more of the same pity
i was so much looking forward to a change
They started the set with Spoilt Victorian Child which
I thought was great. A couple of new songs too - One called Shipman,
which starts "I am a Rabbit" and goes on "what about Shipman?". - and
about leaving Koln for Manchester and being really unhappy. The Fall
have Ed Blaney playing guitar too - perhaps Stv was too stoned to notice
that the Fall were actually quite good.
Including Ed Blaney the Fall now have 3 guitar players (he plays Spanish
Marks family were there - his mum sat on the luxury sofa at the back
with Caroline. Met up with Ben, Jim, Namke John and Ed Blaney after
the show. Personally I thought it was a very entertaining evening.
Well, I thought last night was pretty good... tonight
is (apparently) going to be a completely different set - let's hope
MES can get a cab tonight (apparently the reason for the late start
- he pretty much got out of the cab and got straight up on stage!)
Somewhat stressful for me - I was expecting them to start at 9:15, so
was somewhat alarmed to still be playing records up to 9:45
Beforehand, we were all told 'no matter what happens up there, no-one
is to go onto the stage' (visions of massive band punchups ensue)
... also, tonight there might be a proper support band rather than some
bloke playing a bunch of dodgy records
just back home from York (250 miles to Glasgow). Great
show. A bit of a relief that it actually happened. Got glimpses of Ben
from backstage before they came on and started to think - what the hell
was happening? Anyhow, he's back and alls well with the Fall. Phew!
Opened with Spoilt Victorian Child, closed with Bourgeois
Blues (encore). In between pretty much what to expect. Excellent stuff.
Was there some new material in there?If so it sounded great ( Im waiting
to get a track list - it may be something I dont have yet!)
A bit too short and we were kept waiting as usual, but
it was so worth the wait.
Spoke to Ben at the end. hope he sticks around for a while longer.
Overall, bloody marvellous time had by all! Long live the Fall!
i was so drunk i dont remember the songs they played
.....none of them ....and i cant remember who was in the band....i sobered
up later a bit and remember talkin briefly to ben in some street in
york centre .....so yes ben was in the band
... ed said hello but then had to go ....i cant remember where fibbers
is....and i forgot where my hotel was.....HAD A GOOD NIGHT REALLY!!!!!!
i must have been shouting, i've lost me voice....
jim looked like someone else instead with that v long
hair n beard ....a bit like grizzly adams ...ed played his guitar [3
guitarists!!!!!] at the back of the stage i think...i had a bit of a
recording that was so bad i will delete it....i was near the right of
the stage....it was a bit hard to see...good to meet josef, mjungblu,avid,
mark, chrisgoodhead, mrsgoodhead and generalist in the bluebell.....sorry
for bein so drunk that i couldnt talk....must have drunk too much.....got
home ok....generalist walked with us...n i asked some stranger where
did i live....luckily it was right next to where i was stood
Sunday evening in Fibbers, the pretty nice club in York,
near to several famous and beautiful pubs, like the Blue Bell or Black
Swan, was a exciting start of the new, old line up. About 250 people
were there, many were very curious on new songs and to see the new members.
The Band went on stage and they proclaimed Spoilt Victorian Child. Mark
did a nice greeting to the people: "Good evening we are The Fall.
So nice to be back again in York. When was it last time we were in York?
12AD." Stormy version of Loco-Man, intro by short Mr. Bloe, followed.
The people thanked with good dancing and shoutings! Of course they played
new songs, first of them was the song about H. Shipman, who was a former
Doctor nearby Salford. Mountain and Sparta were played very engaged
and Sparta was well known by all. Before the first two cover versions
they played Steven Trafford's song about New York, a jazz-a-billy tune.
Boxoctosis was played, but only as a short version. Contraflow was very
short, too. After the next two covers they went off, returning for Bourgeois.
It could be possible that another new song was used as an outro tape.
The Band was in a good form, the first 4 or 5 tracks The Fall got supported
by Ed Blaney on acoustic guitar (left handed played - up side down??).
MES was in a concentrated good mood, singing through various mics. He
putted his hand on a head off a nice one standing in front of the stage.
The sound was very rough, somehow a bit distorted, closer to stage,
in the middle it became better... Short and storming set, about some
57 minutes... In the background of Fibbers, family members of MES and
Elenor accompanied the gig on the comfortable sofas.
July 12 - Fibber's, York:
to Generalist for the setlist:
Band came on at 1000 after some cracking music played
by the DJ including A Certain Ratio and Dub Syndicate. Marvellous. Band
took stage and launched into Spoilt Victorian Child followed by Green
Eyed Loco Man. Sound a bit muddy at first but improved as gig progressed.
Lost track of what order and exactly what they played but Sparta FC
went down well and Boxtosis was excellent. Mere psued mag ed or whatever
its called from Hex was the oldest number played. Encores were Doctor
Bucks Letter (blistering) and White Lightning. This was an all round
excellent gig - the band were on stage about one hour. Hi to Steve form
Got ringing in my ears at the moment after last night's
gig. Following recent Ben and Dave shenanigans I was interested to see
who would be on stage last night. Rather surprisingly they appeared
as a seven piece although several numbers in Smith unplugged the accoustic
guitar (is that Ed? Jim?) and ordered him off stage using a shooing
motion often shown to dogs.
Ben was there but was pushed, kicked and tormented by MES!
Oh yes, music-wise.... blistering! Similar set to Sunday..... Dr Buck
and White Lightning as encores.
i've scanned the set list so hopefully it will appear
on fall news... eleni came over & gave it to me... thx!
spoilt vic child/green eyed loco/what about us (-the harold shipman
song....)/mountain energei/sparta/then the other new song - just on
setlist as 'steves/nyc'/pharmacist/grass grow/boxoctosis/mere pseud
encore - dr bucks & white lightening
the steve/nyc track - really good - quite funny & funky in tone..
looking forward to hearing more of this....
wedding rings? just don't notice things like that....
mes mum & sis were there - kinda holding court at the back
second gig much better than the first - more energy from the beginning....
will write some more in a bit - feelin so tired after lotsa talk &
and regarding the whole contraflow bis - he looked & sounded like
he was singing countryFOLK!
Second night at Fibbers was more concentrated. There
were little meet ups with the mates form the day before. Setlist seems
that the gig was similar, but it was very different. There were not
so much cover versions and the songs they played were performed as long
as usual. Only a short greeting by MES, Ben acted like a musical director
as it seems that he tried to coordinate Jim's guitar and Spencer's work.
Outstanding were the sounds of the acoustic guitar and the keyboard.
They were real good related as coordinated. This night the keyboards
and the voice of Elenor moved onto foreground - a good decision! The
Shipman song was performed with different lyrics. The song about the
countryfolk, Contraflow, started with lyrics of Mad Mock Goth - The
Fall woved it pretty good together. Great version! Before the encore
a stunning play of Mad Mock Goth. After a short break they return for
an interactive Buck's. Mark passed a mic to the people. Hey, I didn't
know that I have to shout very loud into a mic... After some 63 minutes
they left the stage and the enthusiastic people from York. By the way
same family meeting of the Smiths in the background as on the night
before. As I heard they are working on setting up continental gigs,
July 29 - Rock Cafe, Stourbridge:
Pubic Fringe: great as ever, even given string-breaking
mishaps. They did a couple of really nice almost surf-like instrumentals
- if they're supporting The Fall outside the midlands you really ought
to make the effort to get there early enough to see them. To be honest
they're worth the price of admission on their own.
Line-up: Spencer, Ben, Jim, Steven Trafford, Eleanor, Ed Blaney (ushered
off stage after two songs by MES) and MES.
A curiously underwhelming night. A shame, as MES was
really up for it, improvising lyrics here and there (a hugely long Mountain
Energei was the highlight, with new stuff about credit cards and APR
rates etc). Great version of Sparta, and new ones about Shipman, and
a fabulous new disco-ey thing that went on for ever but was completely
indecipherable. Contraflow was OK. There was a new Fall-a-billy number
that I didn't recognise too.
I never NEVER want to hear Mr. Pharmacist or White Lightning
again at a Fall gig. Open The Box was a bit dull (no backing vox to
speak of). Wrong Place Right Time was _dreadful_. Really dreadful. Spoilt
Victorian Child wasn't much better, although amusingly MES announced
it by saying "we are the Fall, from Manchester, from the Prince's
Trust Music College".
The weird thing was that there were 5 encores. The best
of these was Dr. Buck's Letter, although they finished with a fun shambling
version of Touch Sensitive which had MES muttering about "being
written by an extra from the League of Gentlemen". Several encores
were sung from the dressing room, with the security guys from the venue
looking more and more anxious about what damage was being done to their
Other things: I think Trafford will turn out to be a
really good Fall bass player if he stays long enough. There was no reason
for Blaney to be on stage as he was completely inaudible (Mark later
chucked his guitar up the side of the stage). Eleanor was turned up
much louder than usual - audible keyboards again! Ben clearly functioning
as band director in the way that Hanley used to - and doing a good job
of it. I think this will be a great lineup once it has some more new
material under its belt and has settled down a bit. It's just a bit
under-cooked at the moment.
Conway, you need to add Daren Garratt of Pubic Fringe
as a "temporary band member" on the biography page - he was
on stage doing extra backing vocals for Touch Sensitive.
Gig is taking place in a very small hangar (or very
big garage) on an Industrial Estate (yeah yeah). Club is very friendly
and appears to be run by bikers. One of them compliments me on my quiff
and tells me that King Kurt will be playing at Christmas. Goody. He's
6ft 6 so I don't disagree.
Pubic Fringe peddled their usual quality garage scuzz
in a truncated set, though they still remind me of social workers on
a day off. Invest in a couple of wah wah pedals and they'd really take
Fallgruppe-well, what can I say? About my 25th+ gig
and this was one of the best. A 90+ minute set and an unprecendented
5 encores. Sound dreadfully muddy to start with but gets better. MES
in great form, really on it. Band pulverised the riffs of 'Childe',
Bourgeois and Bucks into relentless submission. New bass player really
looks the part. E. Blaney accompanies ineffectually on acoustic for
3 numbers then is shooed off.
Great drumming by 'Bins' Birtwhistle too. MES came on
with black glove on left hand. Who does he think he is - Alvin Stardust?
Uncompetitive moshpit until Pharmacist livens things
up, bass player from Pubic Fringe giving it some gip. Usual blend of
hardcore, speccy tw*ts and curious locals.
Never seen them do 5 encores before. Smith sings two
offstage then comes back on again, he almost appeared to be enjoying
themselves. Crowd certainly did.
My first Fall gig was in 1982,but as the years pass
the same questions assert themselves with ever greater authority. How
has he retained his integrity when everyone else from that era has lost,
or sold theirs, how does he keep going, continue fronting the band to
end all bands, continue to be life affirming, thought provoking and
In short-how on earth does he/they do it? And continue
to do it?
and there are some reviews on the message board here
August 7- Crawdaddy, Dublin:
I captured a few mins of Fall action from the Crawdaddy on a not too
great digital cam and uploaded it here if you'd like to see it or if
any of the multimedia sites would be interested in it:
its a 20.7mb avi divX file and lasts for nearly 4mins of a few songs...was
great gig once it got going...
Splendind gig, much improved from York. Line up was minus Ed Blaney
(who is too busy organising taxis's these days). Longer versions of
Clasp Hands (formely NYC/Steve's Song), Sparta FC and Contraflow. The
Fall also played a new song, which I can see as being a Fall classic,
and is worthy single material.
The Fall didn't come on until about midnight, which nearly caused a
riot (except Dubliners are too Bourgois to cause any real trouble).
Elini's vocals were put right up front this time, which improved alot
of the songs
Word is that the Peel session is one of the best they've done in recent
years, i'm sure everyone is gonna love it.
Intro (spoken word)
Mere Pseud Mag Ed
Clasp Hands (formerly NYC/Steve's Song) - extended
Mr Bloe/Green Eyed
Sparta FC - extended
Mod Mock Goth
Wrong Place, Right Time into Grass Grow
What about us? (extended w/backing vocals by Elini)
Spoilt Victotian Child
Blindness (Spen's terrific new tune)
The Fall played dublin last night - lord Bonio was not
seen to be in attendance.
Mark E. in matching jacket and slacks, and Very Good
Shoes (tm). Eleni flouncy and fowery. Other bands have roadies but the
fall crew busy themselves setting up their own kit with the dour purposefulness
of Camden Town marketeers setting up their stalls.
Setlists were not in evidence, took this to mean the
gigs are well rehearsed. Three cracking new songs peppered a set that
also included Mountain Energi, Sparta, Mod Mock Goth, Contraflow, Loco
Man, Mere Pseud, Victorian Child, Right Place Wrong Time, ...
Before gig the fall crew (sans Mark and Eleni) lounged
outside the venue on metal chairs under sun umbrellas - this being the
norm now that beer gardens have erupted like acne across the face of
the city, punters driven outdoors by the total smoking ban recently
put in place across Ireland. Wonder how Mark got on with this in the
pubs pre-gig. Maybe he'll write a song about it - Hey Nico-Fascist perchance?
...maybe a fall-esque reworking of Lennon's Cold Turkey?
CrawDaddy is a tiny venue, small stage small room single
bar, part of same building, converted Harcourt Street rail station,
as Pod/Red Box were Fall have played recent Dublin gigs. Before gig...
Jim; 'this is the place where you played your first gig with the fall'.
Ben; 'Nah, fuck off, that was much bigger...'. Jim; 'no this is it...'.
Ben; 'nah that was a big old building, big stage, three levels...oh
yeah I'm starting to recognise it now...'.
Tension always makes for a good fall gig. The second
support act (The Things, think the Wolfman guy from X-Men affecting
an Iggy Pop routine and getting off on flashing his pubic hair) dutifully
cleared the stage soon after nine but Fall kept us waiting until well
past eleven, Ben eventually coming out to apologise that 'we're just
waiting for Mark...he's on his way down in a taxi...', coins and a bottle
thrown, palpable atmosphere of near-riot, a good proportion of crowd
leave and start hassling staff for money back - and then even after
all this Mark's arrival at venue is signalled by an inexplicable further
10 mins of Pander Panzer Pander. Not many bands would get away with
that. The fall took the stage to a chorus of boos which didn't seem
to phase Eleni and crew, but they should be rightly miffed that Mark
was spared the boos and got the usual warm cheers when he finally deigned
to slink out. Complete with garishly colored supermarket plastic bag
(from LIDL, continental ultra-discount store popping up all over) from
which lyrics sheets were later produced. 'Good evening we are the fall...'.
It did take Mark a while to get control of things and
there is an almost visible change when he does eventually find the angle
and slot into that mode. To start with his habitual fumbling and gurning
and anti-posing seemed almost to have a panicky or unsure edge and one
could wonder whether the man ever takes the stage to a dawning doubt
of 'just what the fuck am I doing here doing this at my age...' but
in a fragment of an interview in Dublin's event guide he did at least
acknowledge that he does still get nervous and that's part of the reason
he keeps doing it. Contrast these moments of seeming unsuredness with
the absolute mastery of his act to be seen later, particularly during
one of the new tracks where the band were riffing along awesomely and
Mark could be seen fully in control, grinning and very evidently delighted
with their driving fractured noise. Even the worst fall gigs have usually
had a measure of these highs and last nights had more than a few.
Over-enthusiastic bouncer crosses stage to intercept
over-enthusiastic mosher, tapped on shoulder by Mark and tossed a dismissive
and suitably hexen glance, and off he scarpers. Mark bends down and
plucks a joint from floor and surreptitiously fumbles it into his trouser
pocket. Accepts slug of proffered bottle of beer (Budvar) from girl
in audience, accepts one of several proferred tabs and lights up thus
breaking aforementioned law and risking 3000 euro fine. 'Er...sorry
'bout bein' late for the gig...see we don't have your standard of education
system as you have in Ireland...so if any of the audience would teach...I'd
appreciate if anyone could teach the band to read and write...'. And
on into I Can See the Grass Grow, a curious but smile-ful choice. The
absolute highlight was a protracted and flawless grinding out of Sparta,
but a jaunty and sinister Mountain Energi was a close second for me.
As said, the new tracks were very very fine live, one of them is a curious
exercise in self-plagarism because it is pure Wings with little to hide
the fact, but good for all that. For encore we were treated to a dizzyingly
up-tempo delivery of White Lightning with Eleni doing the 'white lightning'
bit then a dismissive 'thank you that's it good night'.
Right, off now to drive to Galway for second installment...
'matching jacket and slacks'
nope this was a suit
i don't remember the shoes
band before was the "The Ticks" but then seemed
to changed "The Tadghs" pronounced tiges the g is as in tides
they were very good and the pubic hair was a definite.
the wait was 1 hour and 10 minutes perhaps longer and
not professional. People should have got their money back as we paid
to see a band as part of a contract in reasonable time and reasonable
we were fucking very annoyed
then the panda pander ponce thing
we booed again
then they came on tuned in played without mark for some time
then he came on
the whole gig was brilliant
the best fall i've seen
(out of 3 1980s in the TV Club with Brix etc, and in the redbox 3 years
ago where it was just silly)
i think we were the oldest there
up at the front which happened to be the safe place
finished at 12:45 time for home
'that was brilliant' she says 'but i don't ever want
to see him again. he is an arrogant bastard'
followed up by...
i would have called it a grey suit but it might also
be called light blue there were 3 sleeve buttons and i noticed that
at least one button was missing on the jacket (front) his shirt was
but in reality it was about the music
mood is heavier and heavier as in mod goth sound
a new direction with slurred and indiscernible lyrics
sparta fc, mod goth rock and 2 new ones really shone
can't say which
box was first and reasonably received after the long wait
crowd eased into gig on locoman which was second as far as i remember
white lightning for first timers hearing it was probably
classic but i thought it was light rather than heavy surf as i have
heard in live renditions
something i hadn't seen mark do was eat the mike or
at least attempt to
has anybody seen him do that
they played 3 of the tracks to be played on peel session
sorry for yappin' on but a great gig even after the
wait is worth talkin about
The Things were already onstage by the time we arrived.
It's unfortunate that garage rock bands immediately arouse suspicion
these days (well, in me anyway!) but they were pretty impressive, reminiscent
of both the Misfits and the Seeds, and since they featured a Farfisa
organ and a singer wearing a Love t-shirt, and obviously knew their
"Nuggets", I couldn't find much fault with them. Didn't need
to see the Iggy-fixated singer's backside though. As my friend commented,
he's not Iggy OR a builder...
Noticed Gavin Friday at the bar by the way...
So then we wait. Good DJ set, mainly Northern Soul,
with "Mr. Bloe" and Beefheart thrown in for good measure.
Crowd getting increasingly restless, then some idiot throws a bottle
at the drumkit (admittedly well aimed, but a somewhat fruitless and
petulant gesture)... The band set up and leave again... eventually Ben
has to return to announce that Mark is in a taxi on his way to the venue.
I later learn that he was somehow under the impression that they were
due onstage at 1am.
FINALLY the band took the stage and began a storming
version of Boxoctosis while the Loop 41 intro was still playing over
it. Mark emerged and what do you know, was actually looking remarkably
well. It was immediately evident that the band were on form and the
long wait was immediately forgiven. Later on in the gig Mark apologised
for his late arrival, mentioning something about the euro, "Irish
time" and "teaching the group to read and write". Amp
fiddling was at a minimum, and what initially looked to me like an impending
walk-off was merely the abandonment of one song (either Clasp Hands
or Mod Mock Goth (which I haven't heard before)). He seemed enthusiastic
Nice to see the Fall in an intimate venue, though the
attempts by some of the standing crowd to create something approaching
a moshpit was extremely annoying. Luckily the worst, drunkest and fattest
offender was removed after the quick-thinking Mrs Recluse spurred a
bouncer into action (right on!). Still, it was good to see such an enthusiastic
reception, with Sparta FC getting an old-school "hit single"-type
reaction. Didn't hear any requests for Totally Wired etc but did hear
someone excitedly shouting for Deadbeat Descendant!
I had been wondering how MES was going to deal with
the smoking ban. About halfway through the gig he accepted a fag from
somebody in the front, to supportive cheers, and a number of people
lit up in solidarity... until they were told off by the bouncers...
The new bassist, though not loud enough in the mix,
was on the money, and Elini's performance was much better than the Touch
Sensitive dvd had led me to expect. Ed didn't appear, but this could
have been due to the small stage. I Can Hear the Grass Grow was excellent,
up there with the best "commercial Fall" of the Beggars era.
Mere Pseud Mag Ed was faster than the Peel session version, in an almost
thrash metal style. Wrong Place Right Time was a bit of a surprise,
and taken at a slightly slower pace than the studio version. Spoilt
Victorian Child was in my opinion BETTER than the TNSG version, with
the quieter section transformed with a slow-reggae type beat, with great
random guitar smears from Ben and Jim. And of course Loco Man and Mountain
Energei were magnificent.
The new songs are big lengthy simple repetitive riff
monsters, and this reminded me a little of 82-83 Fall. What About Us
was great, but the last pre-encore song, which I heard was called Blindman,
was even better, with some nice epic keyboard sweeps reminiscent to
Antidotes. Ben told me later that he thought of it as the new Dr. Buck's
Letter, and when it started I thought it was a new arragement of that
song. A fast and maybe somewhat perfunctory White Lightning was the
only encore, but it did work as an enjoyable closing singalong. Good
long gig too, and by far the best of the four I've seen. In fact, I
can't imagine it being much better. My friend who is a long-time listener
but had never seen the band live was mightily impressed despite not
being familiar with the bulk of the set, and even Mrs Recluse, who had
been emotionially blackmailed into attending, beamed throughout and
admitted, "Yes. I like the Fall." Was fortunate enough to
chat to Ben and Jim later, and got a sense off their near-heroic loyalty
to the Fall and necessarily saintly patience...
Fall Multimedia Project website has Powder Keg from
VH1's "Take It to the Bridge" (June 18, 1996), Vinyl Justice
from the Adam and Joe show, and a couple of rare What? Noise
in case you missed out on previous video postings, Bike Bloke has posted
an archive of many of Steven's clips at http://www.thefall.da.ru/
This is the latest news and gossip off FallNet for those with weak stomachs.
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:
22jun04 Ben & Dave "sackings,"
Word & Independent interviews, MES on Morrissey, PJH on the Fall,
Brooklyn gig, Jeffrey Lewis's Legend of the Fall, 50k Fall Fans details
and comp, How to Buy the Fall, Marc Riley's secret life.
tour, part 2 (NYC - Houston - MES statement), a few US press tour previews
including LA Weekly interview, Narnack details
Trent Dickson, RIP, US
tour, part 1 (NYC - Detroit), Perverted
by Mark E, WFMU interview, Stomp and Stammer interview, Mojo MES picks,
Franz Ferdinand, G/TT review
& Liverpool gigs, Steven Trafford - new bassist, J. Neo Marvin
interview, Stewart Lee article, 39 Golden Greats,
Perverted by Mark E. tribute, Great God Pan comic strip, misc.
reviews, MES & Stevie
gigs, Mark's fractured hip, Bridgewater Hall, Blackburn DVD, University
Challenge, Fall fan film, Brix Smith - Fashion Junkie, Lovers UK
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
24dec03 lots of
UK gig reviews, Birmingham Post MES interview, details on expanded LATWT
and Dragnet CDs, recent NME Fall snippets.
reviews, HMV gig, Unpeeled interview (w/ Ben) details, Smash
Hits '87, Michael Bracewell's most embarrasing moment (and Pseud's
Durutti Column vs. The Fall photo exhibition, Permanent Years /
Rebellious Jukebox comp CDs, Fall badges, Reuben's Paintwork title page.
Manchester, Leeds gigs, book reviews, 1997 MES interview, new LP and
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
18aug03 Prindle int. w/Ben, Hip Priest reviews, Live at Phoenix
cd, War Against Intelligence cd, Brix int. 1994, Lovers single, web-enabled
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
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
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
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
12dec01 MCR gig reviews, album reviews,
28nov01 mammoth US tour edition
13nov01 first batch of AYAMW reviews,
London Forum gig reports
5nov01 Euro gig reports, Knitting Factory
19oct01 UK gig reports, studybees interview
30sep01 tour / booking details, 1979
9sep01 not much
28aug01 Flitwick single, 82/83 gig pics
31may01 Dublin pics, Cash for Questions, Guardian
29apr01 IR, UK gig reviews
9apr01 NL gig reviews
3mar01 Dublin gig, Invisible Jukebox
28jan01 World Bewitched details
1jan01 some ace Castlefield pics
19dec00 more reviews
1dec00 tour reviews, crap interviews
10nov00 Unutterable reviews
21oct00 Stanza festival, HighSmith Teeth, comedy
11oct00 RFH reviews, new Cog Sinister releases
12sep00 DOSE interview, Fall calendar
22aug00 Portugal, Manchester gigs
9aug00 bits & pieces
23jul00 Psykick Dance Hall, Pure As Oranj details,
Triple Gang reviews
9jul00 few bits
20jun00 Ashton, Hull, Middlesbrough, Glasgow,
Edinburgh reviews, old Volume piece
30may00 LA2 reviews
22may00 few old LP reviews
2may00 bits & pieces
24apr00 TBLY #19 details, Prop details
8apr00 more Leeds reviews. WSC interview, other
26mar00 Doncaster, York, Leeds reviews, BravEar
interview (plus others)
14mar00 various reviews, old Liz Kershaw i/view
24feb00 Past Gone Mad details
13feb00 few bits & pieces
30jan00 tour details, Tommy Blake stuff
20jan00 TBLY #18 details, Hanley in Mojo
10jan00 Dragnet doylum, New Year message, etc
older news: Nov 1997 - Dec 1999