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Fall News archived on 27 April 2005

The Fall play ...

Mar 7 Civic Centre, Middleton. box office 0161 643 2389; advance tickets. A "special celebration evening," apparently.
Mar 8 The Junction, Cambridge (w/John Cooper Clarke). advance tickets
Mar 9 Irish Centre, Leeds (w/Scaramanga 6, and no JCC according to the promoter?). advance tickets
Mar 10 Rescue Rooms, Nottingham (w/John Cooper Clarke & Pubic Fringe). The show is sold out but there may be returns at the box office: 0115 958 8484. Doors 7:30pm
Mar 11 Concorde 2, Brighton (w/John Cooper Clarke). advance tickets, doors 7pm. Mark ill; gig postponed until Sunday, April 3.
Mar 12 The Empire, Leisure Plaza, Milton Keynes (w/John Cooper Clarke & Pubic Fringe). Advance tickets on ticketweb or from the Empire box office. "Trainer, Sportswear, Denim etc all OK" according to the flyer.
Mar 13 Waterfront, Norwich (w/John Cooper Clarke). advance tickets
Apr 3 Concorde 2, Brighton (w/John Cooper Clarke). Rescheduled from March 11.
Apr 28 Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow University (moved from the Renfrew Ferry) (w/ Uncle John, Whitelock, and Phil Shöenfelt [lead singer/guitarist of Khmer Rouge, Marcia Schofield's band before she joined the Fall] ). advance tickets
Apr 29 Lemon Tree, Aberdeen (w/ Uncle John, Whitelock, and Phil Shöenfelt). advance tickets
Apr 30 Liquid Room, Edinburgh (w/ Uncle John & Whitelock). advance tickets. These three Scottish dates are part of the Triptych.05 festival.
May 6 Nuits Sonores, Lyon, France. According to their website, the Fall are on night 3 of this five-day festival.
May 20 The Forum, Kentish Town, London; advance tickets.

Narnack says there'll be a US tour this summer following the release of the new album, which may not be out until late July.


As if you needed one, a reminder that The Fall: The Complete John Peel Sessions 1978-2004 (6 x CD boxset) was released on Monday, April 25. For anyone who hasn't heard these sessions, trust me that this will be one of the most (I believe the most) important additions to your Fall collection. The Peel tracks are oftentimes superior to the "official" studio versions, in my opinion.

The full tracklisting and other info is on the Fall Forum here. Also, Sanctuary has a promo page with a few sound clips. There are lots of reviews on the Fall Forum.

The first pressing was a run of 5,000, so availability might be a problem for the next three weeks, when the second pressing will be ready for sale. At mid-week the box is #88 in the UK charts.

The box will be released in the USA on May 23, according to Siren Disc.

The excellent Action Records are selling the set for £29.99 minus the 10% Fall site discount (type "fallnet" in the coupon box). They'll also knock off VAT for overseas orders.

There's a review in this month's Uncut by Simon Goddard, with a link to a short interview with Marc Riley.


The mighty Steve Dean reports that he's in Brooklyn, staying across from The Fall Cafe on Smith Street! I couldn't find a photo on the web, so if you happen to cross paths with this establishment and have a camera handy, please send me a photo. More info here.


The Fall Live at Deeply Vale (July 28, 1978) CD will be released on Ozit records at the end of May (May 30?). Yes, Ozit realizes that the front cover shows the 1979 Deeply Vale lineup; the photos they have from '78 aren't good enough for the front, although there will be one or two in the booklet.

Stay tuned for a special offer on this CD. It'll be available for "slightly" less than the normal price through a link from the Fall News, and the CD booklet will be signed by author Mick Middles.

I believe the track listing is Repetition / Psycho Mafia / Rebellious Jukebox / Frightened / Steppin' Out / Like to Blow / Mess of My / Mother-Sister / Industrial Estate / It's the New Thing / Futures and Pasts / Music Scene


Simon Reynolds:

I thought you and your readers might be interested in my new book Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-84. Based on over 125 interviews, it's a panoramic survey of the seven-year period following punk, taking in everything from PIL to ABC to ZTT, from industrial and 2-Tone to synthpop and goth.

Of particular interest will be the chapter on the Fall and the Manchester scene, featuring new, extensive interviews with Martin Bramah and Una Baines, and a later chapter that deals with the Blue Orchids.

Rip It Up and Start Again is published by Faber & Faber on April 21. It's 576 pages
long and fully illustrated, and is available at amazon.co.uk (currently £10.19) and other UK online booksellers. The American edition will be out on Viking Penguin in February 2006.

For more information check the Rip It Up and Start Again site at
www.simonreynolds.net, which will soon feature extensive footnotes to the chapters, transcripts, links, etc. (nothing there yet - ed.)

There's piece by the author about his book in the April 24th Observer.


Simon Armitage and Allan Moore discussed Frightened's connection to Motown and I Am the Walrus, among other things, on their "Armitage and Moore's Guide to Song" last Saturday (April 16) on Radio 4. You can listen to it for the next few days from this page.


A mysterious CD called Scherzo Schist has found its way into select mailboxes (not mine, needless to say). At least three Fall forumers have scored a copy. I believe a generous eBay seller is sending it to his Fall customers. The tracks according to Emzical with updates in italics.

1. In the park (Acklam Hall)
2. Man whose head expanded (live) [This sounds like the PBL video version - yes]
3. Couldn't get ahead (live) [The version on the 'VHS8489' video]
["Good evening we are The Fall and we are from the first world]. Womad '85.
4. US 80's 90's (live). [Not sure where this is from - great rendition, bit
hissy] What's That Noise 7", also on Backdrop
5. Kimble [standard]
6. Why are people grudgeful? [more funky, more upbeat version. 12" mix?]
7. Noel's chemical effluence [first time I'd heard this, though I know it
appears on 27 points and other stuff, so I'm not sure if this is a different
version - 6min21secs if you want to compare it] - 27 Points
8. The Crying Marshall - [Now, this isn't The Marshall Suite version so I
assume it's either 'The Real life of...', or 'The Early Life of...' or some
other version. Totally different, not very Fall-like, wah-wah riffed stuff.
Excellent.] Filthy Three mix from F'Oldin Money single #2
9. Powder Keg version or Powder Kex or, I dunno, but a great mix of that
track which I'd not heard before. 0161 compilation
10. Could this be a studio version of Crackhouse/House that crack built? Sorry, actually Spencer Must Die from Peel session.
11. Beatle Bones [Peel session '96, Beefheart cover]
12. Touch Sensitive [a version I've not heard before, it's not the mix on
the cd single. Pretty good. It sounds more like how they'd do it now]. Peel Session version.
13. Inch. [the main version from the cd single]
14. Calendar. [Really like this. Never heard it before. I think it was a
track on the Masquerade double?] yes, it was.
15. This is a version of Das Katerer. Lots different to the The Unutterable
version. Maybe it's the one from MES's spoken word lp (not sure which one)
but I wouldn't know as I've not heard them. Post Nearly Man version
16. Two Librans. [a very different version to the LP. There was a Two
Librans demo cd given away free by voiceprint recently, maybe this is that?] Yes
17. Blindness/Blind Man [again, there is a voiceprint ltd giveaway cd
entitled Blind Man, and this is probably that as it is different to the Peel
version and the Interim version. Could it be the new LP version, blimey no, that
would be too exciting. It's the Voiceprint promo.
18. Life just bounces. A stonking version which I'm not familiar with but
has probably cropped up somewhere before. In the City (same as A World Bewitched) track



Hi Stefan, yesterday I saw a shop in Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg. I hardly couldn't believe it: All three shop-windows were full of Fall-records.The shop is called "Praxis Hagen", four artists use it as a studio and gallery. One of them is running a so called "vinyl academy" and claims to own all records and samplers of The Fall. Being a Fall-Fan for years I took some pictures. Maybe you are interested. The Address is: Sonnenburgerstr.76, 10437 Berlin. Greetings from Berlin


In anticipation of the Scottish gigs later this month, Mark was interviewed by Aidan Smith for April 10th's Scotland on Sunday.



Top secret reason (and even I don't know what it is as yet), but it's very definitely linked to the band.

I have been asked to collate photos of Fall fans.

They need to be full length pictures or the subject needs to be sat down on a chair facing the camera - they must be wearing a Fall t-shirt ....

I swear this isn't a wind up. I'm booking meself into Generalist's studio for a full professional shoot, me.

Please PM* me if you want to send me a photo, and I'll send you my e-mail address.

The closing date is two months from today (say 9 June 2005).

* You'll have to log onto the message board to PM ("personal message") Clayts. There's a little "PM" button below this post.


Many thanks to Nikki for sending in this vintage Bingo Master's Breakout press release.


Steven has four new video clips from last month's Cambridge gig on his site -- well worth downloading.


I've posted the Left of the Dial interview (No. 8 - Winter 2004/2005) wherein Mark slags me and the Fall News. If you want a copy, try Tower Records or write to leftofthedialmag@hotmail.com.


X-tal frontman J. Neo Marvin has a fantastic collection of snapshots he took in Santa Cruz and San Francisco in the late 70s and 80s, including a few of the Fall at the I-Beam in March 1985 on page 4.



Last December we had a link from the newspage to an interview that Incendiary Magazine ran with a couple of guys from the band The Polaroids about how they loved The Fall. Mark Headley from the band and I have corresponded a bit since then and he's now come up with a special offer for anyone here who would like to buy some Polaroids stuff.

They've put out two 3-track EPs that are on sale on their website for £3 each - "Urban Fox" and "Space Rock Hunter". Mark is offering us a specially commissioned 6 track CD containing all the tracks for £3 (includes postage within the UK; overseas they'll add postage at whatever it costs them). According to Mark: "the design people will do exclusive artwork including a reference to "Fallnet Exclusive" so it will be a genuine Ebay-friendly collectable once we are covering Totally Wired at the Maracana in Brazil in a couple of years time :-)".

There are streaming audio clips of all the songs on the group's website: http://www.thepolaroids.co.uk

If you would like to take up this offer, please just order either single EP here:

and then email the secret code "Fallnet offer" to Astrid at polaroidscds@gmail.com


A transcript of the BBC4 Fall documentary!


M.E.S. talks about the Stooges' Funhouse LP in this month's Mojo, and The Classical appears on the magazine's free CD. And Mark was voted 2004's #1 unsung hero by Mojo's readers.

There's also a bonus CD with the current Rip and Burn magazine, featuring Touch Sensitive. They include a blurb about the Madchester hit Hit the North.

Many thanks to Clayts for scanning these things in.


Brix and her pug Gromit appeared in the Sunday Times supplement (Feb. 27). Again, thanks to Clayts for scanning it in.


Details of Voiceprint's five (so far...) "Live from the Vaults" Fall CDs are here. Sadly Deeply Vale 1978 is not among them; these are all common bootlegs in Fall trading circles.

In other Voiceprint news, the CD single mentioned in the last Fall News is out now. Contrary to what their website says, Rude (All The Time) is in fact not on the CD. The four tracks are:

1. Distilled Mug Art
2. I Wake Up in the City
3. Where's The Fuckin Taxi? Cunt
4. My Ex Classmates Kids

1, 2 and 4 are all previously unreleased mixes, while track 3 is a drunken studio chat.

The sleevenotes:

Produced by MES/Ed. B./Spen
Vocals MES
Guitars Ed Blaney/Jim Watts/Ben Pritchard
Drums S. Birtwistle
Witness the fitness, the chief with one leg in plaster, firing on form, wentworth 19 ave No losers in this camp, unplanned well captured, one session, one night in salford. 2 point 06-161/5 (?) Thanks to the neighbours for not complaining, no midnights in Salford! The Fall Rule! The Fall Rule!


March 7 - Civic Centre, Middleton:

Bo Doodak / Boxoctosis / Clasp Hands / What About Us / Pacifying Joint / Sparta FC / Ride Away / Wrong Place, Right Time > I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Hit the North / Mountain Energei / Blindness / Touch Sensitive // Assume / White Lightning // Dr. Buck's Letter / Big New Prinz

Reviews on the message board. Many thanks to Martin Slater for these somewhat blurry photos and to Michael Pollard for his sharper ones.


March 8 - The Junction, Cambridge:

set played: Bo Doodak / Boxoctosis / Clasp Hands / What About Us / Pacifying Joint / Wrong Place, Right Time > I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Sparta FC / Ride Away / Assume / Mountain Energei / Touch Sensitive / Blindness / Blindness (again) // Hit the North / White Lightning // Mr. Pharmacist / Big New Prinz

reviews on the message board, including one from former Fall News editor!

From Varsity (Cambridge University student newspaper), by Sam Blatherwick:

Man and The Fall

Example of the demographic of Fall fans; The couple in front of me had seen The Fall more than seventy times, including in New York and Moscow, and had booked a week off work to follow them around the country. The fan beside me was at his third Fall gig, having got into them in 1978 when he was thirty-two. A woman behind me moaned that it was one of the most male dominated gigs she had ever been to. I, am a huge Fall fan, they dominate my cd collection and I only envisage the problem getting worse as my life goes on and I continue to buy up their gaping back catalogue. For me, however, this was the first time I had ever seen one of my favourite bands, nearly thirty years after their birth. They have been round longer than my parents have known each other.

When I say they, however, I mean - HE. The Fall is very much one constant and his reign across a huge number of musicians who have worked under him. Mark E. Smith trails behind the rest of his band on stage, he saunters onto stage in a leather jacket. He looks like the granddad you always dreaded in comparison to his once biggest fan, he stalks the stage dragging his microphone stands along with him and as the gig goes on the entanglement of wires and stands becomes ridiculous - but of no concern to the man, he simply takes the next microphone on stage and starts all over again. Sometimes two microphones - especially in the closing song of the main set "Blindness", where the layers of sound are so brutal, so bruising and so incredibly powerful that he needs the added velocity to snarl over the racket.

Interaction with the crowd is reduced to a mere "I think you'll like this" before the band rockets into ‘Theme from Sparta FC Pt 2' and handing the microphone over to members of the crowd to sing along during the final song ‘Big New Prinz'. Surprisingly they play quite a few older songs, Hit the North and Mr. Pharmacist both being tracks I didn't expect to hear, it may sound strange to talk like this, but The Fall tend to play almost solely songs off their latest record. They also hammer through ‘Touch Sensitive', as heard on a Vauxhall Corsa advert recently, but this is probably the most disappointing song of the evening and comes across as fairly shambolic.

This was the only downer though (if we discount the lack of support - John Cooper Clarke got lost). ‘I Can Hear the Grass Grow' is another in the long line of Fall covers, I was told by the guy next to me it was the first song ever played on Radio One, but in the hands of the Fall it is timeless. ‘Open The Boxoctosis #2' is danceable to fuck and "Mountain Energei" pounds like a jackhammer to the skull live, adding so much raw energy to the studio version. The presence of old songs only shows up how brilliant their latest stuff is. ‘Blindness' is just immense, a powerhouse of sound building and building whilst Smith cries "Blind man; have mercy on me".

A Fall fan claims that no matter how much music he listens to he always finds himself being drawn back to the Fall. They are a band for the obsessive in a certain type of person. They have been constantly touring and releasing records for nearly 30 years, they have outlived so many bands whilst still retaining a hardcore base of fans. They rip apart bands, they ooze charisma, they never age, because they never look back - only forward. And I can't wait for the next chance I get to see them.


March 9 - Irish Centre, Leeds:

gig reviews on the message board.


March 10 - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham:

They didn't play Damo; I'm not sure how accurate the rest of the setlist is. Reviews on the message board.


March 11 - Concorde 2, Brighton:

gig cancelled due to Mark being ill; rescheduled for April 3.


March 12 - The Empire, Milton Keynes:

Bo Doodak / Boxoctosis / Clasp Hands / What About Us / Pacifying Joint / Wrong Place, Right Time > I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Janet, Johnny and James / Sparta FC / Assume / Ride Away / Mountain Energei / Touch Sensitive / Blindness // White Lightning / Mere Pseud Mag Ed // Big New Prinz

Reviews on the message board. Many thanks to Paul Lewis for these photos and Marcus Kittridge for these, featuring Mark's unexpected dancing partner.


March 13- Waterfront, Norwich:

Reviews on the message board. Many thanks to Paul Saxton for these photos.

The Independent Sunday (London, England), March 20, 2005 p. 19

Old misery guts and his monkeys go through the motions. D J. Taylor.

Reliably constrained by the local licensing regulations, the Norwich Waterfront - a two-storey edifice along the river Wensum - operates a strict 11pm-shutdown policy. This fact impresses itself upon the lads behind the mixing desk as early as 8.30pm. "If we tell him he's got to go on by 10," one of them darkly confides to the other, "he's just going to play up, isn't he?" "He" being The Fall's legendarily irascible front-man Mark E Smith, who, it seems safe to infer from this exchange, has the capacity to sabotage this evening's proceedings almost before they have begun.

In the event it's 10.15, a good hour after warm-up John Cooper Clarke has shuffled amiably off, before Mark E and his somewhat fresher-faced satellites troop on stage. It may be that these cosseted ears have lost their resilience to sonic overkill, but The Fall these days are incredibly loud. A slight sussuration that whispers in my left ear for the first two or three numbers eventually declares itself as the snare drum. Bass lines, meanwhile, reduce themselves to a kind of gargantuan seismic shudder creeping up through the listener's chest. They are also, and in slight mitigation, incredibly tight, together and vocally focused. Rather than having to delve for floor-level lyric sheets (as at certain gigs in the early 2000s) Smith knows the words and is manifestly on the case.

It would be ungenerous, no doubt, to characterise a band that has gone through well-nigh 60 different supporting musicians in the 28 years of its existence as the Organ Grinder and his Monkeys; and yet Smith's dominance of the resulting hoe-down is faintly ominous. Of the five persons beneath the arc lights only our leader, roving distractedly between the three microphones, really moves; only the second Mrs Smith, on vestigial but resonant keyboards, shows the least sign of enthusiasm. As to the repertoire, old-time Fall classics are in short supply. They do "Quality Street", a rock-hard cover of the Move's "I Can Hear the Grass Grow" and a storming elephants-in-the-jungle version of "Theme from Sparta FC" off the 2003 Country on the Click album. A hastily breathed "Good-evening-we-are-The- Fall" and a complaint about a defective microphone are the solitary off-the-cuff remarks.

What kind of an audience is the world's greatest indie band now attracting? Tonight's age-range is wonderfully random: a Coke-swigging pre-teen brought along by his dad; stick-supported greybeards; knowing students. The house lights, undimmed for the two-number encore, reveal this diversity to dramatic effect. A middle-aged woman jives frenetically to "White Lightning", while a double of Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age writhes around in some sort of newfangled dance routine where you nod your head violently while remaining rooted to the spot. Having barked out "Hit the North", a Fall favourite, with monster keyboards replacing the original brass, Mark E departs in silence. Mute, respectful, but also slightly peeved by a demonstration that works out at 25p a minute (tickets are £14), the crowd debouches into the raw, East Anglian air.

Quality Street? a particularly poor reference to "open the box" perhaps?


April 3 - Concorde 2, Brighton:

Bo Doodak / Boxoctosis / Clasp Hands / What About Us / Pacifying Joint / Wrong Place, Right Time > I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Sparta FC / Janet, Johnny and James / Assume / Ride Away / Mountain Energei / Touch Sensitive / Blindness // White Lightning // Big New Prinz

Reviews on the message board. Many thanks to Mark Howard for these photos.


Market corner:

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


Claus Castenskiold has launched a website where you can purchase this PBL poster and browse his artwork (Fall and otherwise).


27 April 2005

This is the latest news and gossip off FallNet and elsewhere 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...

25feb05 BBC4 Fall doc, Hex reissue, KFNY gig, Fall Forum's TNSG, Ice Magazine (UK) MES int., Sun Zoom Spark articles, Playlouder appreciation, unofficial Sparta FC video, Peel set postponed 1 month, MES's New Years Honours list, 9may81 photos, Hunter S. Thompson, RIP.

07jan05 Jim Watts resigns, UK gigs, Pseud Mag, Festive 50, Deeply Vale, documentary, City Bar "fall-out", Polaroids on the Fall, Wipe That Sound, Narnack sampler.

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