The Fall play ...
||Crawdaddy, Harcourt Street, Dublin
||Roisin Dubh, Galway
||Moorfest, Heaton Moor Rugby Club, Heaton Moor, Stockport
||Maria am Ostbahnhof, Berlin
||16 Tons, Moscow
||16 Tons, Moscow (first Fall gigs in Russia)
||Carling Academy, Islington, London (tickets)
||Carling Academy, Islington, London (tickets)
||Carling Academy, Liverpool (w/JC Clarke) (tickets)
||Freizeitzentrum West, Dortmund (info/tickets http://www.karsten-jahnke.de)
||Manufaktur, Schorndorf (info/tickets http://www.karsten-jahnke.de)
||Gleis 22, Münster (info/tickets http://www.karsten-jahnke.de)
||Karlstorbahnhof, Heidelberg (info/tickets http://www.karsten-jahnke.de)
||Star Club, Dresden (info/tickets http://www.karsten-jahnke.de)
||Gebäude 9, Cologne (info/tickets http://www.karsten-jahnke.de)
||Fabrik, Hamburg (info/tickets http://www.karsten-jahnke.de)
||Musikverein, Nuremberg (info/tickets http://www.karsten-jahnke.de)
||Szene, Vienna (info/tickets http://www.karsten-jahnke.de)
||Registratur, Munich (info/tickets http://www.karsten-jahnke.de)
||All Tomorrow's Parties (The Nightmare Before Christmas), Camber Sands Holiday Centre
From the St. Petersburg Times, September 17, 2004:
Mad for It
by Sergey Chernov, Staff Writer
The Fall, the longest surviving British post-punk band, hailed as a British institution and absolute classic band, is making its long-awaited live debut in Russia. The band, which has influenced generations of rock bands from Nirvana to The Strokes, will perform two concerts at the 16 Tons club in Moscow this weekend.
The Fall is touring following the release of its most recent LP, the acclaimed "The Real New Fall Album (Formerly 'Country on the Click')," first released in Britain in October 2003, then reworked for June's US release.
"That one that came out in England I wasn't very happy with," explained Mark E. Smith in a recent telephone interview from his home in Manchester.
"It was OK, but it was very overproduced, I thought."
Smith considers the album's final version The Fall's best LP for a long time and is now working on its follow-up.
"We are in the middle of our LP... we call it an 'interim record,' you know, a 'between records' record," he said.
"It's half-live and half-rehearsed."
Even if The Fall's music resonates in many bands of today, Smith is critical of the current state of music, claiming he can't find anything of interest lately.
"If there were, I wouldn't be recording, really," he said.
"It seems to be almost karaoke. All the pop music on TV here is almost mimed, like puppets."
Smith described the recent upsurge of British rock as "revivalist."
"It sounds like all the music their fathers listened to. It is guitar music," he said.
Smith said he finds consolation in old rock and roll and reggae.
"I listen to a lot of old rock and roll, Gene Vincent and stuff like that, he said.
"I'm listening to Mouse from Mars from Germany, they're OK. And I love a lot of old reggae... Lee Perry, maybe, and things like that."
Formed in 1976 in Manchester, The Fall took its name from Albert Camus' novel. The band's early influences included the avant-rock of the Velvet Underground and such German art-rock bands as Can.
The fabulous Manchester scene, from 1976 to 1992, was effectively charted in "24 Hour Party People," Michael Winterbottom's 2002 acclaimed film, where Smith made a brief appearance as himself. Smith, however, has some reservations.
"I saw the first half an hour of it. I fell asleep, to be honest. I think most films rewrite some history," he said.
"I was the only person who played myself, actually. I destroyed all the part that I was in. They couldn't have me doing all the stupid things, you know. I caused the alarm; it was a bit like Marlon Brando just doing two sentences."
Although the 47-year-old Smith sounds skeptical about the younger generation of rock bands, his own band now comprises mostly young players.
"The group is mostly the new generation at the moment, so that's why I have to play [The Fall's classic 1989 album] 'This Nation's Saving Grace.' To get them into practice."
The Fall will perform at 16 Tons in Moscow at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Woog Riots are putting on a Perverted by Mark E. night at the Bull and Gate, London, on Saturday, October 9.
I, Ludicrous (UK)
Angel Racing Food ( = Jowe Head's new band) (UK)
The Container Drivers (UK)
Woog Riots (D)
Knarf Rellöm and the ShiShaShellöm (D)
At a recent gig in Leeds, PJ Harvey played Janet, Johnny and James as the first song of the encore. In homage to MES, PJH recited the lyrics from a piece of paper on the stage floor.
And in case you missed it, Santa Monica's KCRW has archived the PJ Harvey appearance on Morning Becomes Eclectic (August 27), so you can see Ding et al. in action.
Conway via Rob Ayling of Voiceprint Records:
The Fall return to Voiceprint with a new album and two double DVDs to
be released late October/November 2004 (exact release dates not known
at present, but Amazon UK has the album down for 25th October).
The new album Interim contains 11 tracks and clocks in at 42 minutes
55 seconds. A mixture of new songs and old songs revisited, recorded
live in the studio during July/August. The final master was cut about
a week ago. The working title of the album was Cocked, as previously
noted. Tracklisting to be advised. The artwork is not yet completed.
Access All Areas Volumes 1 & 2, both double DVDs at single DVD price,
featuring live footage recorded on single cameras.
Access All Areas Volumes 1:
DVD1: Punkcast 2004 (Knitting Factory, New York 9 April 2004): Horror
In Clay / Boxoctosis / Contraflow / Middle Mass / Mere Pseud Mag Ed /
Mountain Energei / I Can Hear The Grass Grow / Telephone Thing / Theme
From Sparta FC / Janet, Johnny And James / Groovin' w/Mister Bloe -
Green Eyed Loco Man / Walk Like A Man / Mr Pharmacist / Mike's Love
Xexagon - Mod Mock Goth / I Am Damo Suzuki / Dr Buck's Letter / Loop
DVD2: Live At The Garage 2002 (The Garage, London 20 April 2002): To
Nkroachment: Yarbles - The Joke / Cyber Insekt / And Therein /
Antidotes / Kick The Can - F' Oldin Money - Kick The Can / Bourgeois Town / Mr Pharmacist / Enigrammatic Dream - Ketamine Sun / Wake Up In
The City - My Ex Classmates' Kids / Way Round
Access All Areas Volume 2:
DVD1: Knitting Factory, Hollywood 2001 (14 November 2001): The Joke /
Cyber Insekt / And Therein / Bourgeois Town / Cropdust / Kick The Can
- F'oldin Money - Kick The Can Pt. 2 / Mr Pharmacist / Jim's The Fall /
Antidotes / Way Round - Dr Buck's Letter
DVD2: All Tomorrow's Parties 2002 (28 April 2002): To Nkroachment:
Yarbles / 2 Librans / The Joke / And Therein / Cyber Insekt / Wake Up
In The City - My Ex Classmates Kids / Kick The Can - F'Oldin - Kick
The Can / Bourgeois Town / Mr Pharmacist / Shake Off - Enigramatic
Dream - Ketamine Sun / Way Round
These releases are credited as "a Cog Sinister production for Hip
Priest (c) 2004". Hip Priest is apparently a new imprint of Voiceprint
Records set up especially for these releases.
Voiceprint will be making a special offer to its direct mail order
customers - buy the CD and both DVDs at a special package price. A
further announcement will be made in a couple of weeks' time with
pricing details. As a further incentive, there will be a free one-track
CD containing Blind Man, the original demo version of Blindness. Rob
describes this song as the next Fall classic, and on the evidence of the Peel session, this may be a fair claim.
Belated thanks to Andy for sending in this ancient NME clipping -- Why the Fall Must Rise, by Malcolm Hayhoe (March 18, 1978).
John Peel played a new Fall track on his show Tuesday night - Job Search - from an acetate given to him for his 65th birthday. It was recorded at the same time as last month's Peel session. The other side of the record is Half Man Half Biscuit covering Roy Orbison's "Legend in My Time."
Rumour has it that the next Fall album is entitled "Cocked" -- and Mark calls me Stefan Cock in the Left of the Dial interview (as if I'd never heard that one before...). Truly fame at last!
Update... sadly, "Cocked" is only the working title of the album, "Interim" being the official one. However, Amazon UK says it's "Cocked" and that it'll be out October 25 (although they are often wrong about release dates).
Clayton Hayward has put together a terrific new Fall page -- The Fall's Track Record -- an A-Z song index. It's at http://www.cosmic450.com/fall/index.htm.
Apparently, Mark is scheduled to appear on Radio Lancashire's On the Wire on Saturday, September 18 (2200 GMT).
Mark has added some vocals to a Mouse on Mars remix, "Wipe That Sound." According to this site, the remix will be released on 12" in October.
The Fall's 24th John Peel Session aired last night (August 12; it was recorded August 4), and very good it is too. There are many rave reviews over on the message board here and here.
Tracks are Clasp Hands / Blindness / What About Us / Wrong Place, Right Time > I Can Hear the Grass Grow. The tracks were on Steven Bending's site, but it looks like Steven has taken his Fall Multimedia site down. I hope that's only a temporary situation since it's an invaluable resource for Fall fans.
Bike Bloke to the rescue: http://fall-peel-24.uni.cc/
I've just read an interview with Mark that'll be published in the Houston-based magazine Left of the Dial soon. I can't post it until the issue's been on sale for a while, but it's a fairly scathing (and completely misinformed) attack on me and the site, particularly the Fall News.
I'm looking forward to posting the interview in full, but in the meantime, here are a few excerpts:
Stefan Cooke. He's a silly old bastard, actually. His real name is Sad Old Bastard. I've just been mounting a campaign against him... He sort of took over the Internet, y'know.
... Well, then you get that sad old Stefan Cooke going like, uh ... I couldn't ... I was shocked, actually, it's like, he only talks to people like him, they were only six or seven, it's like... I mean you're [the interviewer] actually a hardcore fan, y'know what I mean. Unlike that idiot... But I'm reading, like, "It was so nice to see my old friends," and it's like, who is this boy?
... I know a lot of guys from fucking, eh, Texas, and a lot of guys from where I live, in Salford and Manchester, who say things like, I am a new Fall fan and I want to say something on this web. And I live in, like, fucking Manchester, and like, I think, you know, Stefan Cooke should shut his fooking mouth.
The interview was conducted in Austin, Texas last May, just before Mark cancelled the remainder of the US tour. It's an unusual way for Mark to thank me for these years of voluntarily promoting the Fall, but what can you do.
Here is a sort of diary of my jaunt around Ireland following the Fall in Eire.
Arrived in Dublin by train, spent a couple of hours sorting out a hotel and looking around the place. Went to the venue, met up with Ed, Jim, Spencer, Ben and Steve. All were in great spirits, had some drinks with them outside. With Ed was some one from Yorkshire with his partner, he's been following the Fall since '81 and has since become Marks mate. - Very nice guy. In the sound check they'd been playing about with "Riddler" and "Kicker Conspiracy", maybe ones that will make the set list in the future. I gave Ed the tapes of the Fibbers Gig which he promptly puts in each shirt pocket.
After a few pints we all went back to the Fall's hotel. Ed had managed to wangle a very nice appartment suite that was overlooking the Liffy. The room itself was huge - with a kitchen, big lounge, study. It was on the 4th floor and had a big balcony with a terrific view of the liffey, the city and the hills in the distance, The Clarion: http://www.clarionhotelifsc.com.
Mark was with Eleni across the road having a meal, the restaraunt had a glass front and we all waved at him when we arrived at the hotel - the band then put on their show clothes, and bestet aftershave. Ed then got Steve and to buy us all some fantatic fish and chips, with home made tartar sauce - lovely! Spencer puts on the tape I gave Ed and loves it, starts dancing and steve joins in.
After a meal Ed went to get Mark and Eleni from the restaraunt, Mark walks in, takes one look at the band, who are all sat down and says "aaah my family!" Ben shows everyone that he's in a very bad way, he fell asleep on the deck of the ferry on the way over and is very very sunburnt. Mark cackles whilst Eleni looks concerned and offers Ben some of her Aloe Vera. Ben asks everyone if he looks ok, more worried about looking like a beetrot on stage.
Mark and Ed stay in the appartment whilst the rest of us go downstairs to get a pint - I'm sat with them around a table whilst Eleni asks Ben and Jim to sort out a setlist - Eleni - "we need one more or one less, Mark doesn't like 13" After about 15 minutes Eleni takes it up to the appartment to get the final list off Mark (they were contemplating playing MPME first but then remember they can't cos of Marks intro, and also Way Round, Cropdust - these got dropped though.) There was serious discussion about starting with the Joke - Jim writes it on the set list at the top, but I think they were winding me up.
Ed then gets us Taxis' and I go with Spencer, Jim and Steve to the venue. The taxi driver is playing "Rush Hour" by god knows who - Steve namechecks the artist and says what a great tune this is - because of chord structure or something. Spencer compliments Steve on his great pop sensibilities.
The venue is packed - the support act have finished and the band go in the dressing room to wait for Mark, Eleni and Ed. I go in the venue - and wait.. and wait... The crows start getting a bit impatient, they then become vocal, some walk out and eventually a few of them start chucking bottles at the stage, - one of them hits the promoter, and another spencer's drum kit.
Meanwhile the band can hear what's going on from behind stage (especially the crash of the cymbals as a bottle flies into them) and get a bit nervous. They discuss some imaginary short straws (like who's turn is it to do something nobody else fancies). Ben then comes on stage and nervously explains they've been waiting for Mark, he's is getting a taxi... Then comes a barrage of boos and he quickly walks off.
At the hotel Ed is with Mark, Ed trys calm the promoter down over the phone, explains to Mark they need to go. Mark says "I'm not a tap" Mark is with Ed trying to sort some lyrics out for a new song, he won't go until he's happy with them. Ed's getting shit from the venue about being late and shit from Mark, Marks not going until he's ready. Mark turns up - possibly at about 11:30 and within 10 minutes the band are on stage.
The show was great - the big crowd pleaser, the new tune that Mark was trying to get lyrics done for - "Bindness". This is one of the tracks on the Peel session, and had a working title of Blind Man. Spencer mentioned to me earlier in the evening that when he first heard the mix of that "I danced my tits off!"
All was forgiven - lots of happy dancing Dubliners.
After the show I chilled with Spencer, Jim and Steve at the venue. Spoke to Spencer about Interstella, "Point Hope" being my favorites back in the mid '90's and also the Shaun Ryder royalty dispute. There's an Interstella compilation out at the moment on Sanctuary for those that might be interested. Spencer is still mates with Bez though after all the issues they had with them. Met a few of the locals who turned up, my general feeling is that they were pleasently suprised by the Fall's seemless musical extravaganza.
After a long train ride to Galway I get to the Roisin Dubh, what a great venue. The Fall have arrived about 30 minutes before and are in the pub having a few pints, they do the soundcheck - Jim says that the PA system was great, it sounded very clear on stage and front of stage.
Meanwhile I speak to Ed about America - he told me that this is what actually happened. Mark thought that things were going quite bad just before the US tour started, both in terms of band members arguing about stuff, Marks illness and the fact that the band were doing the tour on a shoestring. Mark calls up Ed and needs things sorting for them, Ed then pays out of his own pocket to meet the band in Chicago and look after a few things. However, things got worse so he suggested that they should pull the tour, have a rest, sort out the band member issues and start from scratch - which is exactly what happened after the tour.
Eleni turned up during the soundcheck and then we all went for a pizza. Went to this place where they had some bloke in his tux doing a Crosby / Sinatra type routine on stage. This place also had Warsteiner bier which I love, can't get that on tap at many places outside Germany. A rude and nosey waitress asks Eleni were she's from "oh I'm from Germany". The waitress replies "oh but you sound French". Silence and heads bowed by all the members of the band. Thank God Mark wasn't there... The Pizza were great though, I shared a Jalapino and beef with Jim.
After the food the Fall went back to the hotel and I went for a walk around Galway. Went upto the harbour to watch the sunset, then back to the venue. The people of Galway seemed very pleasent, although one bloke at the front insisted on pulling a moonie to the audience.
Fall come in at 10:15 and within 30 minutes they are on stage. The audience loved it. Some people have mentioned it's there favorite Fall gig (those who have seen them back in the early '80's0, I'm not so old but i'd have to agree with them. They finished with a longer and even better version of Blindness.
Ed's thinking about looking at another, but bigger tour of Eire next year. The 11 German dates are still undecided, depends if Mark wants a couple of months break or not. The Fall were really pleased with both shows, they can't wait for the feedback from the Peel sessions, they loved it. A transformation of a much more agreeable and united Fall has begun. This is a step in the right direction, at last.
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
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 Victorian 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...
A crowd of us headed off on the 5 minute walk down the road from my place to the Crawdaddy (only 2 of which had seen The Fall before - myself & the wife!). I liked the venue, used to be called the POD, a dance/rave club. I could never get in before as I wasn't trendy enough. So dance music is officially dead then?? It had a nice low ceiling (like a cavern) The support band were alright despite the lead singer desperately wanting to be Iggy Pop. And then came the wait...and the wait... and
then Ben came on stage looking uncomfortable announcing that Mark was on his way in a taxi. This caused much hilarity and slagging off from my friends who don't think much off The Fall anyway & then came the boos, and then a pint glass was fucked on stage. Oh dear..was the gig going to happen at all? All throughout a bouncer stood on stage looking and acting like a twat (and in fact could have escalated things further) Had this man ever worked in a music venue before? Even tried belittling the crowd at one stage - Ha! pathetic) Eventually Mark arrives to cheers and boos. I noticed a lot of excited people clapping & booing at the same time, but it was a group of Mancunians next to us who were booing the loudest. Anyway first up was Open the Boxtosis which was fairly flat as we didn't get the 'open the box..open the god damn box' backing vocals. Then I think came Contraflow, and then Green Eyed Loco Man the latter of which I thought was superb.
They also did I can Hear The Grass Grow, Wrong Place Right Time, Mere Pseud Mag Ed., Sparta FC (great! - with strong backing vocals from Ben) White Lightening, Spoilt Victorian Child and some new tracks. Overall it very good. Even my mates were happy to have gone in the end, and really enjoyed Marks performance (disappearing to the side of the stage, reading lyrics off bits of paper, defying smoking ban - that's a 3,000 euro fine Mark). Had a brief chat with Jim & Ed after the gig. Ed apologised for delay in the gig starting and they were asking me what I thought of the new no.s which I said I liked a lot, and then they were speaking about the peel session which will be broadcast this Thurs. I left by saying I'd see them in Galway and then dashed off to drop my friends home much to the relief of their babysitters.
more comments on the message board.
Sunday, August 8 - Roisin Dubh, Galway:
Arrived at Galway's at about seven to find a bemused circle of
local musicians around a table in bar area patiently waiting for the
cacaphony of the Fall's soundcheck to abate so they could continue their bar
folk/trad jam. The fall crew (sans Mark) were fully audible from the gig
area out back, bashing through stop-start fragments of Sparta with (I think)
Ben improv'ing some vox for Mark's parts (including the line 'Marky Mark is
a shithead - we are Sparta FC!' if my ears didn't deceive me) and had
obviously interupted their session.
Eleni and crew finished up and strolled into the bar, and a cowboy-hatted
musician at the table proclaimed relievedly 'and now for something
completely different' and they started up again into some top
country/folk/americana/cajun type tracks, which included Hank Williams'
'Mind Your Own Business' and the track 'Man of Constant Sorrow' popularised
through 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou'. These guys were top musicians too - a
big double bass, a banjo, an awesomely talented fiddle player and a guitar -
it was an absolutely perfect prelude to a Fall gig and I think Mark would
In striking contrast to Dublin the night before when the average age was
about 33 with plenty 40+ in attendance, this gig had the youngest audience
that I've seen at a Fall gig since Brixton '92 with, I'd guess, everage age
23. And it was by far the most energetic crowd, too, that I've seen since
E-fuelled moshpits at Fall gigs in London in the '90s - the energy was
infectious because I've never seen Mark so light on his feet either,
spending much of the gig half-dancing, or at least shuffling from foot to
foot, very animated and also looking more healthy than I've seen in a long
time - this in another stark contrast to the Dublin gig where Mark looked
very aged and drawn and nervy. Pretty clear too that most of the audience,
including the younger contingent, were familiar with the new stuff - and
even more promising that the best reception (aside from Sparta) was given to
two of the new tracks.
Mark took stage very quickly behind the band and straight into 'good evening
we are...' and straight into high-gear and full control without any of the
falterings or edginess that seemed to dog the first few mins of the Dublin
gig. The band looked very cool and sounded pretty awesome too.
No change from Dublin setlist as far as I can recall, except maybe the
order, and now that I think on it I don't recall hearing Mod Mock Goth the
second night. The intro was again from PPP, but this time it was the spoken
delivery of Idiot Joy, and was played twice. Sparta was again a highlight
but a bit shambolic this time due to some mic-stand antics leaving Ben
without a mic for vox, and Mark only passing a mic a bit late to Eleni but
she took that in her stride and delivered her vocals even better than at
Dublin. They didn't screw up Pseud Mag Ed as they had done somewhat at
Dublin, and Spoilt Vic Child was better too. The new track that has the
same vocal rythm and melody (!) as Wings was the highlight for me this time
- and one of the new tracks included some stuff along the lines of '...do
you LOVE me...or do you NOT...do you love me or do you NOT...I am
broken-hearted...' which I don't recall from Dublin so I figure were
improv'd, and left me wondering whether they were aimed at the audience or
We had one walk-out, but I think it was all contrived. Ed (least I think it
was he - but didn't spot him in Dublin) came out from the back and signalled
to the sounddesk guy by waving his lighter flame in the air and shouting something like 'let's have it now...' and I think something done with the
sound was the stimulus for Mark to exit mid-song, and then the band were
called to follow with Ben and Jim showing some irritation - and thankfully
they did return. You do have to wonder whether the walk-outs are planned,
maybe not with the band but it did seem like Mark and Ed had arranged it.
Or maybe not, whatever. Truth is when they restarted the track it did sound
very much better, certainly with Eleni's keyboards more audible at least.
There was no encore (nor, very surprisingly given the rapturous audience,
was one called for by the crowd) - unless you want to think of the two/three
songs after the walk-out as an encore. But they did finish, as in Dublin,
with White Lightning (which I have at least spelt correctly this time, being
more awake) - this time even more up-tempo than Dublin should that even be
I'd put this one right up there as one of my favourite fall gigs along with
Sheffield Leadmill '94, Manchester Jillys '97, Belfast Limelight '01. I
think a great deal has to do with where you find yourself situated for the
gig, in terms of view of stage and of course accoustics. Roisin Dubh is a top venue with good sound too, the perfect place to see the Fall, and I got
the prime position - much as I had in Belfast too - this really can make a
huge difference to how the whole thing comes across. Other times you might
sacrifice on sound to get nearer the stage, and end up hearing more from the
monitors than from audience-facing speakers - with mixed results. But just
on sheer audience vibe at least, this one tops anything I've seen in maybe
ten years. And the best thing is, as remarked on so many times already, the
new tracks sound GREAT live.
After Dublin I thought that things couldn't get much better. However, Galway proved me wrong. The excellent PA and soundman probably had alot to do with that too. Same set list as previous night - they were extremely tight this evening - Galway loved 'em. The Fall finished off with Blindness which really got the place stomping. This song is between 8 and 10 minutes long. If in the past you've lost faith in the Fall live - catch 'em now, they are tight, no messing about. They are a a totally different band now, I really cannot wait for the Peel session. The new stuff is tension, tension, tension like i've never heard before. The people that ran the Dove were really nice and friendly. As I left at about 3 this morning, they told me they hoped to see them back again.
They are all looking really great on stage - eleni's backing vocals to sparta, blindness and what about us have been put right to the front ("pop, pop, pop!")She's also doing really cool things on her Korg thing. Steve's and Spen are brilliant together, Jim and Ben are sorted.
The venue was really nice, I hope they get asked to play there again.
Finally I'd like to thank the Fall for their kind hospitality, and being so cheerful throughout. This little mini-tour of Ireland has been great (even though I missed my flight home and am currently stuck in Falls Road, Belfast which is fun).
Can honestly say that this was the best Fall gig I've ever been to! (if not the best gig ever!) Galway is just great and were coming off the back of what was a great night in Dublin and so we were in great spirits! The venue is fantastic (really intimate) and Mark & the band were really up for it and the sound was top notch. We were v. close to the stage and surrounded by a nothing less than a very enthusiastic crowd. The set was pretty much the same as Dublin and all I can add is that I'm still on a high after the weekend!! and I took some photos which I'll put up soon!
More comments on the message board.
September 3 - Maria am Ostbahnhof, Berlin:
I've been to Maria am Ostbahnhof , the gig wasn't superb but o.k. In the beginning Mark seemed to be pissed a bit, always loosing and searching his microphone. They mostly played material from " Country on the click " . Blindness was great, strange version of " Wrong place, Right time " which was great too anyway. The show started at 3.00 clock in the morning, I wasn't really fit at that time.
September 17 & 18 - 16 Tons, Moscow:
There are a couple of comments on the message board as well as links to some photos here and here and to a couple of reviews (in Russian).
Fall Multimedia Project has been down since August 31 -- no word whether it's down for good, but I hope not.
However, Bike Bloke's Fall multimedia archive is still online: http://www.thefall.da.ru/
Impact Merchandising has several "retro" Fall T-shirts and badges.
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: email@example.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.
Sept. 24, 2004
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:
08aug04 Magnet mag., Village Voice interviews, Peel session scheduled, Brix's Full Moon Empty Sports Bag piece, Grotesque press release and MES note, York + Stourbridge gigs.
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