The Fall play ...
||GDMW Festival, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, according to their site.
||Manchester Academy 2, Manchester University Students Union; seetickets.com
||Hull University, according to ticketline.co.uk
||Central Station, Wrexham
||The Mill, Preston; seetickets.com
||Boardwalk, Sheffield; seetickets.com
|7 Oct ?
||Boardwalk, Sheffield, although their site only lists the Thursday gig?
||Carling Academy, Liverpool; seetickets.com
||The Dome, Morecambe
||Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent; ticketweb.co.uk
||Fat Sam's, Dundee
||Renfrew Ferry, Glasgow; Tickets Scotland
||The Venue, Edinburgh
||The Sage, Gateshead
||Irish Centre, Leeds
||Zodiac, Oxford; wegottickets.com
||Rescue Rooms, Nottingham; seetickets.com
||Princess Charlotte, Leicester; seetickets.com (the date we were given was 22 Oct., but seetickets and the venue's website says it's the 25th, so I assume that's the correct date)
||Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
||Coal Exchange, Cardiff
||Patti Pavillion, Swansea
||Islington Academy, London
||Islington Academy, London
It appears very unlikely that they'll be playing the U.S. before October; possibly afterwards.
added 9 August; updated 18 August
perhaps a slight resemblance to...
The official word from Sanctuary -- the UK release date for Fall Heads Roll is 3 October 2005.
The release on Sanctuary's imprint Slogan Records will be on CD and limited edition LP (1,000 copies).
Prior to the album will be a double A-sided single I Can Hear The Grass Grow/Clasp Hands. Out Monday, 19 September.
The album will have 14 tracks with the running order...
Ride Away / Pacifying Joint / What About Us / Midnight Aspen / Assume / Midnight Aspen Reprise / Blindness / I Can Hear The Grass Grow / Bo Demmick / Youwanner / Clasp Hands / Early Days of Channel Fuehrer / Breaking The Rules / Trust In Me
... and the Narnack version of the single has been pushed back to September 6: I Can Hear the Grass Grow (album version) / I Can Hear the Grass Grow (alt. mix) / Bo Doodak (alt. version of the album's Bo Demmick).
There's a review of the album by Brother James on this German website.
added 18 August
Many thanks to Graeme for sending in Stewart Lee's favourites (from the September issue of Word):
added 10 August
Paul Wilson (creator of the M.E.S. Font, available in the computer resources section of the site), has done a Fall mix for Milton Keynes's The Garden of Earthly Delights radio show. There's a thread about it on the message board and you can contact the Head Gardener about getting a CD copy. It'll be broadcast live on CRMK 89.8FM on Friday, 12 August, from 10pm - midnight.
The unusual thing about the Fall mix is that it incorporates Paul's Fall covers project: he's scanned in a few Fall album covers and converted the images to sound. You can hear clips of the results on his website (you'll need a Quicktime plugin).
added 3 August; updated 15 August
The Diesel U Matic 2005 awards programme will air on Sunday, 14 August at 01:05 - 02:10 (not 00:30 - 01:35 as previously reported) on the UK's Channel 4. (That's late Saturday night/early Sunday morning.)
"The annual music awards show for undergound, unsigned bands, rappers and musicians. Edith Bowman presents awards to upcoming talent and music legend Mark E. Smith from The Fall."
Steven has a clip (Real media) of the program on his site. It's well worth downloading!
added 5 August
I interviewed MES on March 31st for Kitchen Sink magazine. I spoke to him for 20 minutes or so. He was in Manchester, taking a break from working on the final mix for the new album, and i was in Oakland, CA. The issue is coming out right now, but you can check out my story, and read the interview transcript, here:
The transcript link is at the end of the essay.
If you have trouble with that link, go to the Kitchen Sink website and scroll to the bottom of the page, where you'll see a link to the story.
added 2 August
Tony Fletcher has posted his interview with MES and Marc Riley from the September 1979 issue of his Jamming! fanzine (# 9). Many thanks, Tony! (And if you're a fan of the Who, I highly recommend his book on Keith Moon.)
added 1 August; updated 9 August
Rob Da Bank played "What About Us" from the new LP "Fall Heads Roll" on his show Thursday night (28 July). You can "listen again" on his web page -- it's about 31 minutes in. The track sounds great, but the sound on the BBC's player is crap; 47kbps when I connected this morning. Da Bank says the album will be out on 4 October on Narnack (that'll be the US release date since it's a Tuesday). There was no mention of the Slogan Records release.
Huw Stephens played the new single "I Can Hear the Grass Grow" on his show Tuesday night (26 July). He said the single will be out on 9 August, which is a Tuesday, so again this must refer to the American release. You can listen on his web page -- it's about 1h30min in.
Narnack says the US single has been pushed back to 23 August, and will include two versions of Grass Grow (album and alternate mixes) as well as Bo Doodak.
added 28 July
Graeme Green talked with Mark for a "60 Second Interview," published in today's Metro (UK edition):
Mark E Smith is the vocalist and leader of the influential Manchester band, The Fall. Since 1976, they've gone through a succession of line-up changes, released more than 80 albums and, as John Peel's favourite band, recorded 24 Peel Sessions. Last Friday, Mark E Smith was presented with a Diesel-U-Music Contribution To Music award.
What kind of relationship do you have with The Fall's fans?
They've been very good lately, helping out on the Net and things like that. They're always very concerned about us, which I think is nice. I know a few of what you'd call the 'old guard'. Sometimes I have a pint with one of them or a phone call with one or two of them.
Does it surprise you that fans have such obsessive feelings towards your work?
It does, really. It's very flattering. I also think what's good about The Fall is we're not a student group or an adult group. We always get promoters coming up to us after the gig and they say they've never seen a mix of people like this at a show.
Your wife, Elena Poulou, is currently a member of The Fall, as was your ex-wife, Brix Smith. Does having your wife in the band cause any difficult situations?
Not for us, no, but it was a problem with my other wife, Brix [the pair are reported to have brawled on stage]. Elena can take it or leave it and that's what's good about her.
How do you feel about your Contribution To Music award?
I'm very pleased. You're always a bit contrary with awards like this. It sounds like you're dead but it's good coming from Diesel because they're pretty young. It's funny because our audiences have been getting younger over the last five or six years.
Do you get invited to a lot of awards ceremonies?
None [laughs]. The only time we get invited is when we're getting something. To be honest, I've been to three or four of these awards things and, by three-quarters of the way though, I'm normally in the pub.
John Peel was presented with the same award last year. How much of an impact did he have on your career?
I never spoke to him more than three or four times face to face but the Peel Sessions definitely kept us afloat in really bad times. Funnily enough, I did catch him on that awards thing last year and I thought he was very funny. He said something like: 'I did National Service for people like you.'
The Fall operate regardless of trends. Do you listen to what's happening in new music today?
The group members are all a good ten years younger than me and they keep me informed on Green Day and all that. That Party Bloc, or Bloc Party - whatever they're called - they're not bad. I'm also using that thing on TV where you can get subtitles so you can read the band's lyrics. That's always a good laugh. Some of the lyrics they come out with are quite absurd. You get this really heavy guitar music, the band going DA-DA-DA, really loud and the words are just like, 'You passed me in the street. You said hello. I said no. We went up the hill. Then we went down the hill.' You would think from the music that they're saying something really profound.
A lot of bands cite The Fall as an influence. Is that something you're proud of?
To be honest, I see a lot of bands are influenced by us but I don't see them getting the core spirit of it.
What are they missing?
To me, there's no belief in what they're doing. The motives are suspicious. It's like they just want a career in music. I'm always suspicious of people like that.
Do you have a career plan?
No. Only recently have we started planning any more than six months ahead. It's quite ironic that we've lasted so long, really.
Do you wish that you had planned more?
I've had my misgivings over the years but my hunches have usually been proven right. I'd feel very uncomfortable with massive stadiums and all that. It's not for me. It's very fickle and your life's not your own but I wouldn't do this if I didn't believe in it. I always think that any of our shorter songs should be in the Top 20. I wouldn't be doing it otherwise.
Do The Fall have anything left to achieve?
We haven't done a really personal record yet and I think that'll happen in the next year or two. There's still a lot to do. All the time, I think I'm only halfway there.
You've got a reputation for being a boozer and quite confrontational. Is that fair?
No. They can't pin much on The Fall. I'm not a heavy drinker but I'm not a secret drinker. What I really don't like is when someone's career goes downhill and suddenly they're in rehab, when I know damned well their idea of a night out is two pints.
Do you enjoy touring?
I get a bit tense sometimes but I really do like it. I'm very bad at seeing new places, though. I went to Paris last week for a gig we were doing there and I didn't see a f**king thing - not even the tower. We ended up in a pub instead, just next to the venue.
When you appeared on Later With Jools Holland recently, is it true you had an agreement that Jools wasn't allowed to do any 'boogie-woogie piano' on any of your songs?
Yes, we told the producers that. They were cool with it. I wouldn't have anybody messing about with The Fall's stuff, not just Jools.
added 28 July
"Edinburgh based or bound Fall fans might enjoy the comedian/writer Stewart Lee
playing three and a half hours of the Fall and only the Fall when he takes
control of the decks in the bar of the Cafe Royal from 11.30pm - 3am on Thursday
25th August, as part of a season of Fringe Festival guest micro-celeb dj's."
added 26 July
Paul Hanley gave an excellent phone interview on Steve Lamacq's BBC Radio 6 show last night (25 July). You can listen online from Lamacq's page on the BBC site (it's about 1h 50m into the show), or download an mp3 of the interview here (thanks, Clayts!)
18 August 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:
26jul05 Berlin & Paris gigs, Fall site news, Diesel-U-Music & Mojo awards, Live from the Vaults: the "real" story, Sanctuary / Slogan Records announcement, Mayo Thompson, Commercially Unfriendly CD, links to loads of Peel box reviews.
14jun05 UK & Lyon gigs, Conway's guitar tab and Adult Net pages, Jools Holland, Deeply Vale cd, MES int. w/BBC on Peel, Lime Lizard 1993, Festive 50 book, Live from the Vaults delayed, Wake Up in the City, Cuz'n Roy's yard sale on ebay, Jahn Rhondos.
27apr05 UK gigs, Left of the Dial & Scotland on Sunday interviews, Deeply Vale CD preview, Bingo Masters press release, Scherzo Schist, Live from the Vaults, Simon Reynolds, Simon Armitage, Prenzlauer Berg, Fall Cafe, Poloraoids special offer, Brix & Gromit, MES on Funhouse, Fall documentary transcript, the Fall wants your photo.
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.