Fall News

Fall home
msg. board


The Fall play ...
Jul 11 Fibbers, York (gigs rescheduled from Feb. 29 & March 1)
Jul 12 Fibbers, York
Jul 29 Rock Cafe, Unit 1, Block L, Mill Race Lane, Stourbridge. 01384-390918. With the Pubic Fringe.
Aug 7 Crawdaddy, Harcourt Street, Dublin
Aug 8 Roisin Dubh, Galway
Aug 14 Moorfest, Heaton Moor Rugby Club, Heaton Moor, Stockport
Sept 3 Maria Am Ostbahnhof, Berlin (no word on further German gigs, if any)


Oldtimers 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 his site.


Simon 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 of £4.99.


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.



The Fall's 24th Peel session is scheduled to air on Thursday, August 12.

Keg (July 1):

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.


There's 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).

Many thanks to Mike for scanning it in.


Conway 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 tool.


From the Village 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 for you.


Thanks to Simon for sending in this piece by Brix Smith from issue #4 of Full Moon Empty Sports Bag.


Dave 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...

dave milner

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

ben pritchard

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 board.

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.


On 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....


The Theme From: 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 week.


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!).


There are several reviews of the 50k Fall Fans compilation on this handy reviews page.


Market corner:

Impact Merchandising has several "retro" Fall T-shirts and badges.


Joly from Punkcast.com (June 29):

"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 paper).

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: clauscastenskiold@yahoo.com. 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.


Sunday, July 11 - Fibbers, York:

Thanks 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 at all! 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.
11. Contraflow.
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.

Dave Death:

Okay - big stuff first. Ben and Jim are back in the band.

Ben was playing acoustic guitar. Jim's got a beard. Go figure.

Seven piece line up tonight:

Spensor Birtwhistle
and others

More tomorrow


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 Mr P?
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 guitar).

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

Black Dog:

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.


Monday, July 12 - Fibber's, York:

Thanks 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 Bradford.

Prancey Dog:

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!
in anycase:
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 mag/contraflow/mock goth
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 & drink....

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, including Germany...


Thursday, 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.

The Fall:
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 precious cables.

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.

Dave T:

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 off.

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 relevant?

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 and here.


Saturday, August 7- Crawdaddy, Dublin:


Hi from 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.

Set list:

Intro (spoken word)
Mere Pseud Mag Ed
Clasp Hands (formerly NYC/Steve's Song) - extended
Mr Bloe/Green Eyed
Mountain Energi
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)

White Lightening

Alan McB:

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 comfort.

we waited
we waited
we booed
we were fucking very annoyed
we waited

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 blue

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 on thursday

sorry for yappin' on but a great gig even after the wait is worth talkin about

Worthless Recluse:

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 throughout.

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...


Steven Bending's wonderful 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 clips.

And 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/ or http://www.fall-videos.uni.cc/.



August 9, 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...

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.
19may04 US tour, part 2 (NYC - Houston - MES statement), a few US press tour previews including LA Weekly interview, Narnack details
27apr04 Daniel 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
07apr04 Birmingham & 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
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