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Fall News

14 February 2006 : We are now the Unofficial Fall Website...

On 14 February 2006 Mark E. Smith telephoned Clayton Hayward (Clayts) and demanded that the Fall Forum be taken offline immediately, which Clayts did. Mark had taken exception to one or more posts on the forum. Mark also requested that the entire Fall website be taken offline. Clayts contacted me to discuss the situation and I refused to comply with Mark's request.

The website has always been a source of information for Fall fans, and for the site to retain its usefulness the editors must maintain full control over what gets posted, not Mark. It wouldn't do the fans any good to take the site down, so I refused to do so.

Conway and I both believe the forum is an important part of the website and we're not prepared to operate the site without the forum as a vehicle for fans to interact and express their opinions, even ones that may not find favour with MES.

However, Clayton's loyalties lie with Mark and he has launched a new official Fall website at http://www.thefall.info.

The status of this website and forum therefore becomes an "unofficial" fan site. Rest assured that, bar a few cosmetic touches, nothing will change on these pages.

Stephen Fall, who acts as a moderator on the forum, supports the views of Conway and me. We thank him for his support and he will continue in the moderator role.


The Fall play ...

18 January Club Nirvana, Wigan, England. Support by the Suzukis and the Dead Shores. Tickets on sale at wegottickets, SeeTickets and Ticketline.
26 January Petrol, Antwerp, Belgium: part of De Nachten 2006 festival's opening night, "Punk and Poetry." Details in Dutch here plus helpful translation on the Forum here (thanks to falparsi)
10 March Gagarin, Athens, Greece
11 March Mylos Club, Thessaloniki, Greece
12 March Cartoon Club, Croydon, England. Online ticket sales are sold out, but there may be a few available from Beanos or Fairfield Halls. Directions to the Cartoon Club kindly supplied by eccy.
13 March Cartoon Club, Croydon, England. Support: Gallon Drunk. Tickets on sale at Ticketline or locally from Beanos and Fairfield Halls.
14 March Cartoon Club, Croydon, England. Tickets on sale at Ticketline or locally from Beanos and Fairfield Halls
15 March Cartoon Club, Croydon, England. Tickets on sale locally from Beanos and Fairfield Halls; online sales are sold out.
16 March Civic Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon. Ticketline
20 March Carling Academy, Bristol. Ticketline
22 March Lemon Grove, Exeter. Ticketline
23 March Fez Club, Reading, England (supported by Heartwear Process)
Tickets on sale at wegottickets and Ticketline
24 March Charlotte, Leicester. Ticketline
21 April Maria am Ostbahnhof, Berlin, Germany (thanks to the Official site)
9-12 August Oya Festival, Oslo, Norway, according to their site


added 21 February

Former Fall and PJ Harvey bassist Ding has formed a new band, The Hired Help, with Josh Klinghoffer, who's also played in Polly's band. They have a page up on myspace.com with some tunes to download.


added 14 February


A message from Cole Coonce of KeroseneBomb Publishing re Dr. Buck's Letters: An Unauthorized Extrapolation of The Fall :

If the Fall are Mark E. Smith and yer granny on bongos, then FallNet is an internet mailing list of ketamine-coated cockroaches crawling across a keyboard and dedicating itself to discussing all things Mark E. Smith and The Fall... FallNet has taken it upon itself to liberate sundry Fall song titles, dumpster the original lyrics and reinterpret the message with our own verse and prose.

Paypal and US checks accepted. Price is $10.95 + s&h.



added 13 February; updated 14 February

A rare appearance of the Fall News fashion corner:

  • An interview with Brix appears in today's Guardian
  • Apparently a fashion show put on by designer Karl Lagerfeld on 10 February in New York and broadcast on WNYE's Full Frontal Fashion program (WNYE is the TV station of the NYC Media Group), used Blindness as background music. The show is available for download for iTunes. I don't want to install that program, but if someone wants to download the show and confirm this unusual Fall sighting, please do. Here's a Lagerfeld press release about the iTunes download (thanks to George for writing in).

    Michael downloaded the iTunes file and says the backing track is a drums and bass loop -- no Fall content after all, or at least it was confined to the television broadcast.


added 8 February; updated 14 February

The Mixing It session is available on the BBC's "Listen Again" player; the link is on the Mixing It web page. Tracks played were Higgledy Piggledy / Assume / Midnight in Aspen / Pacifying Joint and these were accompanied by an excellent if too brief interview with MES. Well worth a listen if you haven't already.

Elisabeth Mahoney commented on the interview in last Monday's Guardian:

The Fall's Mark E Smith is the master of the non sequitur. Asked on Mixing It (Radio 3, Friday) how he recruits new members for the band, Smith responded with what would become his default mode for the whole interview. Silence. Sigh. Whiny micro-mumble. Then, finally, something that doesn't really answer the question. "They can't be Fall fans," he declared. "I don't like musicians in a lot of ways," he added, "I don't like to socialise with them."

The very fine Mixing It team knows better than to be fazed by such curmudgeonly antics, and they know how to persevere to get gold. They ride languor well, chum up wherever possible (Friday's interview included an extended collective moan about how small recording studios are in the UK) and keep the questions simple. This eventually got results, revealing Smith's inimitable way of working on new material ("I whistle into a tape recorder and play it to the group"), and the inspiration behind one of the session tracks. "It's about humans and air flight and rabbits," he explained. "And things like that."


added 9 February

Sanctuary has announced the final tracklistings for the Middle Class Revolt and Cerebral Caustic remasters (to be released 13 March):


disc 1
original album

disc 2
John Peel session #17 - 5 Feb. 1994:
   1. M5
   2. Behind The Counter
   3. Reckoning
   4. Hey! Student
Permanent single PERMD13:
   5. Behind The Counter
   6. War
   7. Cab Driver
Permanent single PERM13:
   8. M5
   9. Happy Holiday
  10. Behind The Counter (Remix)
Permanent single PERM14:
  11. 15 Ways
Alternate versions:
  12. Happy Holiday (Promo Mix)
  13. Middle Class Revolt (The Drum Club Prozac Mix)
  14. Middle Class Revolt (The Drum Club Orange In The Mouth Mix)
  15. Middle Class Revolt (Rex Sargeant Mix)
  16. Surmount All Obstacles (Rex Sargeant Mix)


disc 1
original album

disc 2
John Peel session #18 - 17 Dec. 1994:
   1. Glam Racket - Star
   2. Jingle Bell Rock
   3. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
   4. Numb At The Lodge
Pre-release rough mixes:
   5. One Day
   6. Rainmaster
   7. Feeling Numb
   8. The Joke
   9. Don't Call Me Darling
  10. Pearl City
  11. Life Just Bounces
  12. I'm Not Satisfied
  13. The Aphid
  14. Bonkers In Phoenix
Alternate versions & interview:
  15. One Day (Rex Sargeant Mix)
  16. Bonkers In Phoenix (Alternate Mix)
  17. Mark E Smith & Brix Smith promo interview


added 7 February

The Blue Orchids have recorded a new "mini album" -- Slum Cavern Jest -- that's available only on their site. The band is planning a few UK dates later in the year.


added 6 February

An announcement from Bert of the Praxis Hagen Gallery in Berlin, Germany.

The Fall : Paintwork
A Tribute to Mark E. Smith

18 May through 12 June 2006 in the Praxis Hagen Gallery.

For the 30th birthday of The Fall there will be a special event in Berlin.

Twelve artists who either made artwork for the record covers, referred their work to The Fall, got inspired by the music and the attitude or used the band as a code, a cultural phenomenon will exhibit old and new work. The artists in this group exhibition are very different -- and very much the same: they all relate to music and transfer this passion into art -- paintings, drawings, videos, sculptures, performances.

Especially the artists who did the old album covers have since then developed and will be showing new work. Now, as then, inspired by The Fall.

So the exhibition will not only be a retrospective but a "work in progress" like The Fall. Paintwork.

It is the first time these artists exhibit together. Their only link: The Fall.

It looks like it will be a great show with many familiar names and faces. Artist bios and websites are on the gallery's website.


added 6 February

A website of interest to Greater Manchester area music fans: a history of Salford bands from the 1950s to the present.


added 2 February

A couple of poll results from the March 2006 Mojo.

Reader's Poll 2005:
Unsung Hero :
# 3. Mark E. Smith
Reissue of the Year :
# 3. The Fall - The Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004

The Fifty Greatest British Tracks Ever:
The Fall - English Scheme

"Though they're as unrelenting as the Bury New Road, in 1980 The Fall could pack as many great one-liners into 3 minutes as they now manage over a whole album. Finding the soul of the nation in lost mill towns like Haslingden, MES here has a pop at a country that thrives on 'Peter Cook's jokes, bad dope, army careers, fancy groups'. English Scheme's parent album was dedicated to 'grotesque English peasants', urging them to leave the country 'for jobs in Holland, Munich, Rome'. Norman Tebbit would have been proud."
Bob Stanley


added 31 January

A reminder about the upcoming Fall session on Radio 3's "Mixing It" program. From this week's Radio Times (thanks to Harry Lime):

"Robert Sandall and Mark Russell present an eclectic mix of musical styles and influences, and a session from rock band The Fall, including new versions of songs from their latest album, Fall Heads Roll, and an interview with the band's vocalist, writer and leader, Mark E. Smith."

The Mixing It in question will be broadcast on Friday, 10 February, from 22:15 to 23:30 GMT. The Radio 3 website will have a live feed and a "listen again" service. Also available on Freeview 703, Sky 853, Telewest 903.


added 27 January; updated 1 February

Petrol, Antwerp, Belgium - 26 January:


Thanks to Martin for the flyer and Kurt and Holger for the setlist fragment.

The Boss / Pacifying Joint / Clasp Hands / Higgle-dy Piggle-dy / What About Us / Theme from Sparta F.C. / Touch Sensitive / Mountain Energei / Wrong Place, Right Time > I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Assume / Green-Eyed Loco Man / Protein Protection / Blindness

Reviews on the message board, and photos by Ini Soyer on Martin's site.

Marcelle van Hoof recorded the gig and aired about 40 minutes of it on her Another Nice Mess show Tuesday evening (31 Jan.). You can listen again from this page until sometime next Tuesday.


added 30 January

What, no Tempo House?


added 26 January

The Fall made a rare appearance in a US sports column yesterday, in California's East Bay Express. Many thanks to Moe! for the link.


added 23 January

The Sanctuary reissues of In a Hole (same musical content as the 2003 Voiceprint edition but with different packaging) and an expanded 2xCD The Infotainment Scan are out today. Tracklistings here.


added 19 January; updated 23 January

Club Nirvana, Wigan - 18 January:

A generous, ca. 90-minute set with three encores. No new material but extended versions of What About Us (~ 15 minutes!) and Blindness (~ 12 minutes).

Youwanner / Pacifying Joint / Ride Away / Clasp Hands / What About Us / Assume / Theme from Sparta F.C. / Touch Sensitive / Midnight Aspen / Mountain Energei / I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Mr. Pharmacist // Blindness // Boxoctosis // White Lightning / F-'Oldin' Money (instrumental)

Reviews on the message board. Thanks to Smudger for the ticket.

A couple of photographers have posted their photos from the gig: Tim Pilling, Haribomort.


added 18 January

Ding, former Fall and PJ Harvey bassist, wrote in:

Just dropping you a little note to let you know that I have joined another band .... this time it's Manchester-based outfit 'Bobbie Peru' ..... Here's a link to their website: http://bobbieperu.tripod.com/

First gig is 25 January at the Academy 3 in Manchester.


added 17 January; updated 18 January

The Ghostigital/M.E.S. track discussed in last month's Fall news ("Not Clean") is out now on Honest Jon's Records. It's a 7 inch, backed with "Crackers". It looks like it's a limited pressing (400 copies?) and may be a bit hard to find, but you can check this site (and hear the tracks online). Or try Forced Exposure.

Action Records wrote in to say they'll be getting copies in the next day or two, and you can order from their website beginning tomorrow. Price will be £5.99 before the Fall site discount.


added 17 January

The Fall Heads Roll version of Clasp Hands is on the latest Rough Trade Shops 2xCD compilation ("Counter Culture 05"), out next Monday. If you pre-order from the Rough Trade Shops website they'll send you a four-track bonus CD.


added 9 January

The BBC4 documentary (The Fall: The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith) is getting a second US screening, this time in Portland, Oregon. Don Letts' Punk: Attitude is also on the bill.

Northwest Film Center
Guild Theater
Portland, OR
Saturday, 14 January at 7pm
details here


added 5 January; updated 17 January

The ex-Fall members article (Excuse Me, Weren't You In The Fall?) by Dave Simpson mentioned in the previous Fall News issue appeared in yesterday's Guardian.

An imageless version is on their website, and here's a PDF version with the excellent photos and captions.

One of the most entertaining articles on the Fall ever. Almost as entertaining as some of the posts on this thread on the message board...

Mark's reaction to the Pseud Mag and subsequently posted on Fallnet:

Hiya cock,

A word for you to ponder on the state of British Journalism in the modern age.

Given the hatchet job carried out by a Guardian journalist on Fall members past and present yesterday; I would like it to be known that any future dealings with the press by the Fall will not be through the aforementioned publication, but through a more worthy journal of a much higher calibre... such as the Daily fucking Star!!!!

Happy New Year.


The Guardian published the following correction on 11 January:

Kay Carroll, the former backing singer in Mark E Smith's band, the Fall, has asked us to point out that it was she who abandoned the band in America in 1983 rather than vice versa (Excuse me, weren't you in the Fall? page 18, G2, January 5).

FYI the split took place after the gig at the Rat, near Fenway Park in Boston, on 17 April. Details in Simon Ford's book, p. 116.

Steve wrote in to say that the split actually occurred the following day, on 18 April. He had lunch with Mark and Kay at a sandwich shop in Jamaica Plain; Kay and Mark parted ways later that day, before the band headed north for Montreal.


added 4 January

Mark's reading of the football results made it all the way to the New York Times last month. Thanks to Bryan for spotting it.

Rocker Meets Soccer, Witheringly
By Ben Ratliff

On Nov. 19, Mark E. Smith, the witheringly cynical singer for the British band the Fall, read soccer results on a BBC television show, "Score and Final Score." First he cleared his throat -- he seemed to have a cold -- and then, in a voice like a sharp stick, he began. "Charlton Athletic 1, Manchester United 3. Chelsea 3, Newcastle United nil." And so on, for about four minutes. Fall fans on the Internet have been fascinated by this, as others would be fascinated by Bob Dylan reading the Lotto numbers, but I haven't found anyone stating the obvious: it's like a Fall song. A report, cut into stentorian bursts of Manchester, anti-sentimental, full of proper nouns and not open to debate. (It can be accessed through WFMU's blog, blog.wfmu.org.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/11/arts/music/11play.html (if you're registered; alternatively, use bugmenot.com)


added 4 January

A reminder that the session the Fall recorded for BBC Radio 3's Mixing It program last October is scheduled to air on Friday, 10 February, 2006.


added 30 December

The Fall have issued their New Years Honours for 2005/06. These have been announced on the Forum, together with a Happy New Year message from Mark.


added 28 December

The February 2006 edition of Mojo magazine carries a three-page interview with Mark, written by Mark Paytress. You can read it here or if you prefer you can see it in PDF format here. Many thanks to Clayts for scanning it in.


added 31 October




Excellent news indeed from David Luff, publisher of 1985's "The Fall Lyrics." David has decided to unload the copies he has left over of the first edition (which has gone for as much as £81 on ebay) for a mere £10 (including p&p). The Fallshop has temporarily reopened for this item only, or if you prefer you can order a copy on ebay.


Claus Castenskiold still has some of his artist-signed PBL tour posters for sale on his site -- http://www.clauscastenskiold.com.

21 Feb. 2006

This is the latest news and gossip off the message board, 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...

03jan06 Word MES interview, ticket refund information, Festive 50, misc. year-end press roundups and Fall forum poll results, preview of Guardian's ex-Fall members article, MES lego minifig, Armitage Shanks & Necropolis Fall-related songs, Ghostigital's "Not Clean" & "Codomatopoeia," Corsa ad back on TV, John Peel's Record Box.

08nov05 Fall Heads Roll reviews, UK tour, Incendiary, Rock Sound & Pitchfork interviews, PBL book preview, Commercially Unfriendly cd.

30sep05 Fall Heads Roll details, MES to read footy scores, Peel tribute CDs, ChronicArt preview, Blast Off DVD sampler, Frank Skinner, Jacob's Cream Crackers, Stewart Lee, Deisel-U-Matic award.

18aug05 Paul Hanley BBC radio int., MES Metro "60-second" & Kitchen Sink ints., 1979 Jamming! int., Deisel U Matic award, Paul Wilson's Fall Mix, Stewart Lee's favorite things.

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.

Fall News archive