The Fall play ...
||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
||Lemon Tree, Aberdeen (w/ Uncle John, Whitelock, and Phil Shöenfelt). advance tickets
|Apr 30 |
|Liquid Room, Edinburgh (w/ Uncle John & Whitelock). These three Scottish dates were part of the Triptych.05 festival. CANCELLED - see below for details.
||Nuits Sonores, Lyon, France. The Fall are on night 3 of this five-day festival.
||The Forum, Kentish Town, London; advance tickets. Downstairs is sold out, tickets still available upstairs. See this post on the forum for something to do after the gig.
||Liquid Room, Edinburgh. Rescheduled date from April 30.
||Maria am Ostbahnhof, Berlin, according to their website.
||Feedback Festival, Parc de la Villette, Paris - a free, 2-day event (July 9-10). The organizers say the Fall will be the last band on July 10, and that they want the show to end at around 9pm, so perhaps a 7:45 or 8:00 start time for the Fall? Here's an article about the festival.
The Fall Live at Deeply Vale cd is now available: see below for details.
Conway's done a Fall guitar tabs page and an Adult Net website.
Steven has a great clip of White Lightning from the Jonathan Ross show on his site.
Trainspotters' corner (aren't they all?): Finally, the date Mark met Brix can be revealed. Thanks to Fallchase for the scan.
Cuz'n Roy's Fall yard sale now on Ebay...
The Fall were on Later with Jools Holland on May 20, performing Pacifying Joint > I Can Hear the Grass Grow and Blindness (all pre-recorded on May 3). An array of opinions on the message board.
The Fall's discography is intimidating enough as it is, but it's about to get even more confusing. A new album plus an arsenal of reissues will spurt forth within the coming months.
In an e-mail to Pitchfork, president of Narnack Records (the Fall's label) Shahin Ewalt revealed that the upcoming album, entitled "The Fall Head's Roll" will be released on September 20. Produced by spectacularly belligerent frontman Mark E. Smith in New York and Manchester, the record is nearly finished with only four tracks remaining to be completed within the next couple of weeks. As for the album's sound, Ewalt wrote that it is, "Exactly the way Mark wants it. Either very garage rock sounding or just garage rock." A full tracklist is not yet available, but some song titles include "The Grass Is Greener", "Clasp Hands", "Pacifying Joint", and "Assume". The first single, "The Grass Is Greener", will be released in the middle of July and a video for it should go into production soon. A probable B-side for the single is a version of "Blindness", a track off Interim, which was released earlier this year.
Another tantalizing tidbit about the upcoming album Ewalt shared with us was that "Supposedly [xxx] did a stop in to play the banjo." We can only hope that Elvis Costello contributed a washboard solo. [name of musician removed upon request - she did not contribute to the album at all - Stefan]
Coincidentally (or not), the Fall will do a full tour of the U.S. in the late fall in support of Head's Roll.
Like we said before, things are about to get messy. As part of its comprehensive series of reissues of Fall albums, Sanctuary Records will release Room To Live and Perverted by Language on June 13. Room to Live is Smith at his vitriolic best, recorded during a creatively fertile period fed by England's involvement in the Falklands War, which eventually led the Fall to produce Hex Enduction Hour (also reissued by Sanctuary). Marking the debut of Smith's wife Brix with the band, Perverted by Language-- to be released as a double CD-- saw the band veering into somewhat accessible, pop-friendly territory. Both reissues will feature bonus tracks, special album art, and most likely, extra material such as a DVD. Also on Sanctuary's already impressive schedule will be reissues of In a Hole, The Infotainment Scan, Middle Class Revolt, and Bootleg Box Set, Volume 2, which contains all the Voiceprint Live two-finger salute discs. This wealth of re-found sound is due the second half of this year.
Yet to be announced are the release dates and full tracklists for the reissues of The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall,This Nation's Saving Grace, and Bend Sinister. Before our hearts explode, we will provide updates as details emerge.
Thanks to Marco:
I've just found out there's a likeable interview with mes by david sheppard in the BBC COLLECTIVE's #149 issue: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/collective/A4010239
To order the Deeply Vale CD with the booklet autographed by author Mick Middles, email Chris at email@example.com. The price through Ozit is £12.75, which includes postage within the UK (overseas will be a little more). To get this deal you have to mention the Fall website and ask for a signed copy.
Ozit Records kindly sent me a preview CDR of the July 22, 1978 Deeply Vale festival gig they're releasing later this month. I'd not heard this gig before and I was delighted to hear that a tape had surfaced, since decent-sounding recordings of pre-Dragnet Fall gigs are not particularly common.
The set: Repetition (6:19) / Psycho Mafia (2:27) / Rebellious Jukebox (3:17) / Frightened (4:54) / Stepping Out (2:46) / Like to Blow (1:46) / Mess of My (2:54) / Mother-Sister (3:22) / Industrial Estate (1:51) / It's the New Thing (3:28) / Futures and Pasts (3:00) / Music Scene (fades out at 4:58)
Although the sound is not perfect (there's tape hiss, a murky rumbling sound during the first couple of tracks, and on the whole the sound's a bit "thin"; you might want to play around with your EQ settings on playback), this is a terrific document of the early Fall. I'd guess the CD was sourced from a master or first-generation audience tape made on a handheld recorder. Mark is on fine, belligerent form, and fortunately the vocals are clear and upfront throughout. There's plenty of Mark's sarky between-song banter (e.g. "We like to be in tune, this being our first experience of open air festivals" and "A song of contrasts, for my mother and my sister." He also adopts a pisstaking American accent for three of the song intros.) I wouldn't describe the Fall as a particularly tight outfit on this afternoon performance (Yvonne's keyboards in particular are not always in time) but it hardly matters since this show is all about Mark's vocals and Martin's scratchy guitar (Karl's drums and Riley's bass are somewhat buried). The highlight for me is a haunting, sinister Frightened. The tape sounds to me a little too fast during Music Scene and finally runs out at the end, so we're missing the second half of this song.
There's a little bonus track tacked onto the end -- a medley of snippets of studio or rehearsal versions of Psycho Mafia, Dresden Dolls, and Industrial Estate. These might have been extracted from the Dresden Dolls bootleg single (have to check), although I don't *think* I've heard this version of Dresden Dolls with un-Fall-like funky keyboards before. Anyway, it's short (2:16), sweet, and has very good sound.
An update: the medley tracks weren't sourced from the Dresden Dolls 7" but from the So It Goes Granada TV show from 1978. However, I don't think Dresden Dolls made the cut on that TV show (it's not on my copy anyway), so this is from a non-broadcast source.
Before The Fall - the horrible truth (thanks to Jonny for sending this in):
Your chance to buy a piece of the Fall catalogue from Ed Blaney -- minimum bid £1,000. This may have been a "joke" all along, says Gaz, who interviewed Blaney for the next Mere Pseud Mag.
Hmm... well if it was a joke, it's an elaborate one. The winning bid of £1,320 was placed during a brief bidding war when the auction closed on Sunday afternoon. Ed has now moved on to selling bits of the Hacienda's dance floor.
Many thanks to Elderford for scanning this interview with Mark from Lime Lizard, March 1993.
The Fall will appear on BBC2's Later With Jools Holland on May 20.
Someone who works there says the Fall recorded two tracks for the show yesterday evening (May 3): Pacifying Joint segueing into I Can Hear the Grass Grow.
From Stuart's friend:
A friend of mine who works at the BBC has told me they recorded "Later with Jools Holland" on Tuesday along with Robert Plant and Athlete. He said that as The Fall finished their set MES hit a note on the keyboard that continued way after the song finished and walked offstage. The note continued on and on and on, until a BBC guy went and unplugged the keyboard. It'll probably be edited out when it airs on the 20th, but he said it was quite funny at the time. Mercifully, Jools Holland didn't have his keyboard at the ready or do any dreadful interviews with any of the bands.
Scurrilous gossip about the taping from the latest popbitch.com newsletter:
They are on Jools Holland on May 20th, Mark is the only artist in the history of the show to have a clause in his contract to state that Jools will not play fucking boogie-woogie piano over any of his songs, or words to that effect. He also delayed filming several times by wandering in and out of shot, calling Robert Plant cunty and just generally behaving like what he is The Last Great Englishman…..Robert Plant turned up in a bullit proof limo, the Fall were transported by Salford Van Hire…oh and the Go-Team kept fucking up much to the annoyance of all.
And from Jools himself -- good news that Blindness will be on the show as well:
Mark E Smith is a man who doesn't follow anyone's rules but his own. Over their near 30 year existence THE FALL has had a myriad of line up changes. At the moment the current line up are on fire as you will witness on this week's show. The Fall will be performing two tracks, "Pacify the Joint / I Can Hear The Grass Grow" and "Blindness".
A new way to view Fall product on Amazon.com.
Uncut by Simon Goddard
Manchester Online by Richard Hector-Jones
The Times by Nigel Kendall
PlayLouder by Iain Moffat
Mojo by Ian Harrison
Daily Mirror by Gavin Martin (it got 5 stars in the paper version)
Morning Star by Lee McFadden
Believer by Douglas Wolk
Dagsavisen by Bernt Erik Pedersen (for my many Norwegian readers)
Incendiary by Chris Dawson and Richard Foster (a great read this one)
Rolling Stone, June 16
Pitchfork by Joe Tangari, June 13
All Music Guide by David Jeffries
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 was #88 in the UK charts, but at week's end it hadn't broken the top 75. However, it's #18 on the BBC's Indie album chart.
The excellent Action Records are selling the set for £29.99 (up from the pre-order price of £24.99) minus the 10% Fall site discount (type "fallnet" in the coupon box). They'll also knock off VAT for overseas orders.
According to Amazon (never the most reliable source), US distribution has been pushed back yet again, this time to June 28 (it had been scheduled for mid-May, then June 7).
I've heard that some shops in the UK (HMV, in particular) may be selling the box without the booklet, so watch out.
||Mark Whitby has written a book on John Peel's Festive Fifty -- full details and ordering information in this thread of the message board.
Details of Voiceprint's five (so far...) "Live from the Vaults" Fall CDs are here. Apparently the release of these CDs have been delayed, although there's no mention of it on Voiceprint's site. An email from Action Records, dated April 26:
"Sorry we have now been informed of some contractual problem between voiceprint and Mark E Smith with the live cd albums at the moment there is no fixed release date."
R.I.P., Hasil Adkins, April 29, 1937 - April 26, 2005.
April 28, 2005 - Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow University:
short set, late start. Reviews on the message board. Thanks to djbawbag for the setlist:
Sparta FC / What About Us / Pacifying Joint / Clasp Hands / Mountain Energei / Wrong Place Right Time > I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Touch Sensitive / Blindness / Boxoctosis // Bo Doodak / White Lightning // Ride Away / Mr. Pharmacist
Review by Neil Cooper in The Herald:
Nothing's ever straightforward with The Fall. Even after 28 years in the saddle, pop's most relentless cult heroes remain spectacularly inconsistent. When they should be triumphant on the back of the release of a 6-CD set of John Peel sessions, their Edinburgh Triptych date is cancelled, while tonight they are apparently delayed by transport breaking down. As larger-than-life Manc impresario Alan Wise reassures the faithful that "Mark E Smith is in the building", if it's true, one can't help but sympathise for whichever poor AA man had to face Smith's wrath.
By this time, Glasgow's own deep-fried swamptrash blues explosion, Uncle John & Whitelock, had already come a-hollerin'. With a demented frontman sporting a Mr Whippy quiff having recently instigated a very Fallish cull in the band's ranks, so scuzzball tight are the new boys that it's probably best Smith was late – lest he poach Uncle John's players for his own.
Mercifully, The Fall's latest incarnation have settled in since their last visit, looking less like terrified YTS placements than a well-oiled punkabilly garage machine, perfectly able to cope with Smith's habit of messing up the sound levels. From the terrace chant of Sparta FC to Touch Sensitive, however, it's a strictly workaday rattle through an abridged set. It provokes plastic-glassed euphoria anyway, with Smith and Co looking for all the world like the best wedding cabaret showband in the world.
Sponsored by Tennent's.
The Sunday Herald (May 1) did a review as well; many thanks to Alan for sending it in.
DJBawbag, myself met up with Jack Glancy and two of his pals, one of whom had travelled a fair distance to see the gig, sadly he didn't get to see much. The QM is as much of a student dive as ever, a good place to see a band if it's not sold out, a bad place if it is. Couple that with a stunning lack of bar staff and you're not going to start out well. Support bands come and go, people head in about 10.30 to await the Fall. 10.45ish and the twat in the hat appears to tell us they're having car trouble and are en route, currently getting changed in the dressing room...spouts some crap about the DJ and leaves the stage. The band appear just after 11. Jack's mate has to leave shortly after. A storming set for the most part, with the exception of Touch Sensitive which was played too fast for my liking. Band are tight so a major personnel change must be in the pipeline.
MES mutters something about a curfew early on - apparently there's a half eleven curfew in the QM, but they play till just after twelve. I'll come back to this later. The new songs are fantastic live and at one point we get several vocal mikes in the bass drum, which adds to the barrage of noise. Each kick of the bass feels like a blow to the chest. And shouldn't it I hear you say...well not if you're standing right at the back of the balcony, I'd've loved to have been nearer the front at that point. One thing that springs to mind - What about us/Pacifying Joint are just the same glorious racket aren't they? One downer, shortish set so why Pharmacist and White Lightning, I'd rather have heard none of these and maybe Dr Buck's Letter instead.
Edinburgh - the big bag of wank. As we all know was cancelled and rescheduled for next month. There's no concrete reason and much speculation on the message board. It seems to be either (1) MES got pished in Aberdeen (2) some nonsense about wanting to come back and do a proper show (3) to do with curfews. (3) to me is most plausible as coming on late has become a pattern of behaviour in recent years. This is a bullshit excuse as they've played there before twice & the Liquid Room always insists on early shows for bands as there's normally a club night after. They were forced onstage at 9 and wheeched off at 9.45 a few years back at this venue so they do know the score here.
Of the three Fall shows I saw last year I had to leave 2 early to ensure I got back home without hideously expensive taxi bills (Irvine & Edinburgh) and they came on at 5 to midnight at the other (Glasgow). The Fall seem to live in a fantasy world where bands come on really late. Maybe they should ponder for a second - people travel a long way to see them, others have to get home or go to work the next morning - me, none of these things as I'd taken the Friday off work. If they want to have gigs that go on late then they should do two things - (1) advertise them as late shows and don't open doors at normal times (2) arrange this with the venue beforehand. Don't treat your audience like shite Mark.
Now I'm in the quandry of do I risk a return to Edinburgh to see what in my opinion is a good band but may not be able to see the whole show. Or do I stay in Glasgow and go and see another good band, but one who are appreciative of their audience (The Magic Band), knowing that I will get home having seen a whole show. It's not a difficult choice, but a sad one.
April 29, 2005 - Lemon Tree, Aberdeen:
From the Evening Express via the This Is Aberdeen website
Sean Wallace saw The Fall at The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
AFTER nearly 30 years and countless band member changes, Fall frontman Mark E Smith remains just as vital and unpredictable as when he broke through in 1978.
His trademark sarcastic snarl may have degenerated into a slur but he remains as charismatic as ever on stage.
At 48, with his hang-dog features, Smith looks the antithesis of a post-rock icon.
But as soon as the band starts and Mark E delivers his trademark introduction of We Are The Fall, you remember why they are one of the most significant acts of the last 30 years.
Prowling the stage at The Lemon Tree, Mark E goes through the band's extensive back catalogue, delivering a mixture of obscure tracks and favourites like Mr Pharmacist and Sparta FC.
After that, highlights included Extricate, First Place and Wrong Time.
A near sell-out crowd viewed yet another quality concert from The Fall.
You're still appreciated, Mark.
According to another attendee, the setlist (no Extricate or "First Place"...) was:
Sparta FC / What About Us / Pacifying Joint / Clasp Hands / Mountain Energei / Wrong Place, Right Time > I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Touch Sensitive / Blindness / Boxoctosis / Bo Doodak (no encore)
Scant reviews on the message board.
April 30, 2005 - Liquid Room, Edinburgh
Gig cancelled on the day; the following issued by Tennent's Lager:
Tennent's Lager are sorry to announce that due to unforseen circumstances beyond their control, The Fall's Edinburgh performance at Triptych has been postponed.
Originally scheduled to take place in Edinburgh's Liquid Rooms on April 30th, the show will now take place on May 23rd 2005, at the same venue.
All existing tickets are valid, and refunds are available at point of purchase.
Tennent's Lager and Triptych regret any inconvenience or disappointment this may cause.
Reactions on the message board.
May 6, 2005 - Nuits Sonores, Lyon, France
Jerome sent in some blurry but vivid photographs; many thanks.
I saw the Fall at Nuits sonores in Lyon. Great show (my first one., sorry i' m french, impossible to see the Fall live here) 12 songs, one encore. Sparta FC 2 was the first song, lots all materiel from last albums: The Past #2 , Boxoctosis, Janet, Johnny + James.... Audience contents lots of fan.
You got a few lines about the Fall's gig in french newspaper " Libération" of today. I didn't write this paper.... http://www.liberation.fr/page.php?Article=295051
Comments on the message board.
May 20, 2005 - Forum, London:
Bo Doodak / Theme from Sparta FC / Ride Away / What About Us / Clasp Hands / Mountain Energei / Assume / Pacifying Joint > I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Touch Sensitive / Janet, Johnny and James / U Wanna (?) // Blindness (instr.)
well e werent smiling last nacht. what is it with london crowds, the only other time i've seen the fall persistently rained with cans and glasses was at the same place (forum) 6 years ago. a certain irony in him having blood running down his forehead during sparta but not really that amusing all in all. at the end of the brief set (when the smithless band turned into Cream for 5 minutes) it dawned on me that i had enjoyed the performance even though no songs were more than about 2 years old and that i didn't actually like any of them. that john cooper clarke has lost it too.
There are loads of reviews on the message board.
May 23, 2005 - Liquid Room, Edinburgh:
Many thanks to Kevin for these photos.
Bo Doodak / Sparta F.C. / Clasp Hands / Ride Away / What About Us / Pacifying Joint > I Can Hear The Grass Grow / Mountain Energei / Assume / Touch Sensitive / U Wanna / Blindness // White Lightning // Boxoctosis
It was a full moon, and so under an apocalyptic downpour, I drove to see The Fall for the second time in a month. It was one of the best Fall gigs I have ever seen.
They were playing at the Liquid room in Edinburgh, a venue I like because the sound is always so good (although Smith did remark at one point "could you stop dicking about on the mixing desk, please"); it was only about half full, with everyone who had been in the pub next door (including a tall Geography teacher type in Berghaus and bicycle clips) attending the gig.
I know that it's pointless even trying to communicate how truly wonderful the Fall were last night, as possibly I could be accused of not being an impartial observer, but this gig really did remind me why I ever liked the band in the first place. Smith sounded as sharp as he does on the 1983 Peel session singing his lyrics like they actually fucking mattered for the first time in twenty years, dropping in funny asides and obviously relishing lines like 'Blackpool: return to sea!" There was a song about being a nineteen year old trying to score hash; a song about someone whose life was a constant "work-in progress-ah!" who Smith tells to "stop moaning-ah!" There was only one old song ('Touch Sensitive'), which Smith gave an entire alternative lyric : "who wrote that bloody car advert-ah? Was it Ms. Julia Nagle, or Mr. Stephen Birtwhistle-ah?" before rhyming off a few other past members of the Fall as possible candidates as writers of the song before settling on "or was it Alfred Hitchcock, in one of his better moments-ah!" Smith brought the song to a conclusion by slapping his hand over the bass-player's strings.
Then there was 'Blindness': The Fall's take on The Dr. Who theme, which went on for about fifteen minutes, with Smith adding his own 'keyboard' parts. It was terrifying. The stage was invaded several times by fans, but were very quickly and one has to say, violently subdued by some very ugly-looking bouncers. Smith tried to intervene each time to let the bouncers leave them alone, at one point putting his arm around a woman who was stupid enough to invade the stage. She repaid this unexpectedly touching gesture by grabbing onto Smith's face as she was being dragged stage left by two predatory bouncers: I think she got a good few yards still holding onto his saggy mug, before letting go and allowing it to slowly return to its former porridgey physigonomy. Smith didn't seem to mind.
At this pont he decided to get a rise out of the drummer by knocking over his cymbals; the drummer didn't break beat once, and despite face-pulling stage invasions and lack of cymbals, the song continued, just getting louder and louder and more intense. After having delivered the 'calvary/cavalry' line, Smith removed his single black Alvin Stardust tribute leather glove, and slouched off, the rest of the band following suit. The drummer, however, stayed put, doing an improvised drum solo. I immediately thought 'sacked', and then, to everyone's surprise, the bass player and guitarist walked on, and in what seemed to be a gesture of solidarity, started playing along, before launching right back into the 'Blindness, riff again. The place went bananas, even the geography teacher possibly losing a bicycle clip, before the drummer finally threw a complete berky, kicking over his kit and throwing the high-hat into the resulting mess of equipment. I couldn't believe it: this was the best I had ever seen the Fall, and the band had split up right in front of my eyes.
To everyone's surprise, however, they all came back on. While the drummer sheepishly reassembled his kit, Smith apologised to the audience "Sorry about this, but the band can't seem to handle these village gigs: too much good food." They then did two more songs, Smith turning off the bass at certain points, seemingly enjoying the now tinny sound of the drummer's reduced kit. Who needs yer fucking 'Magic Band'?
Lots of very positive reviews on the message board.
14 June 2005
This is the latest news and gossip off FallNet and elsewhere 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:
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.