The Fall play ...
||Stubb's Small Room, Austin, Texas (tickets)
||Gypsy Tea Room, Dallas, Texas (tickets)
||Club Congress, Tucson, Arizona (scroll down for tickets)
||Brickhouse Theater, Phoenix, Arizona
||House of Blues, San Diego, CA (link is to tickets)
||Glass House, Pomona, CA (tickets)
||Knitting Factory, Los Angeles, CA (link is to tickets). Also, Narnack is hosting an "after party" at the Beauty Bar; flyer here.
||Independent, San Francisco, CA (tickets)
||Independent, San Francisco, CA (tickets)
||Knitting Factory, Los Angeles, CA (link is to tickets)
||The Depot, Salt Lake City, Utah (tickets)
||Boulder Theater, Boulder, Colorado (link is to tickets)
||Record Bar, Kansas City, Missouri (tickets)
||Varsity Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota (tickets)
||Logan Square Auditorium, Chicago, Illinois (ticketweb)
||Knitting Factory, New York, NY * sold out *
||Southpaw, Brooklyn, NY * sold out *
||New Century Hall, Manchester. A 30th anniversary special gig, they say. Fall personnel will be the same as the current US tour lineup.
Tickets from ticketline; Easy Internet Cafe on St Anne's Square, Manchester; King Bee Records, Chorlton; Piccadilly Records, Oldham Street, Manchester; Endless Music, Prestwich. Also from quaytickets.com (£1.50 booking fee).
There's also a party at the NCH following the gig and spaces are limited (100 tickets available). Details on the official Fall site.
||Oya Festival, Oslo, Norway (schedule of bands)
||Reading Festival (Radio 1 / NME stage)
||Leeds Festival (Radio 1 / NME stage)
||Bestival, Robin Hill, Isle of Wight
added 7 June
I released a short movie (creative commons license) that uses *a hard sampled* version of "Blindness" for its soundtrack. If you like it enough, would you publish a link to it?
warm greetings from a friendly visitor,
M. Koppenberg: Soul Representative of the Tesla-K.Organization
Well, it's just about the coolest video I've seen all year, and MK uses the hard Blindness sample to fantastic effect.
added 7 June
Greg Harrison has copies available of his excellent poster advertising the 1 June Knitting Factory show. If you want to purchase one ($20 + $3 s/h for US orders, international postage will be a bit more), email Greg at email@example.com and tell him you saw it on the Fall news.
added 6 June
What Sven Could Learn From Me by Mark E. Smith (Guardian, 5 June)
Running the national football team is very much like running my group, the Fall. As a manager, you've got to maintain a certain detachment from your players, and it's the same with my musicians. When we're on tour, I sit at the back of the bus. We're friendly but the secret of it is never get too ally-pally. You can have a pint or two together now and again but you don't want to be going round their houses.
You don't want people to get too comfortable, because if they do, there's no way they'll be on top of their game. It's not a job for life. I see the Fall being like a football team with a two- or three-year cycle. There's always going to be a period where I'll need a new centre-forward.
I always like to keep a strong subs' bench of people who can step into the breach, cos you never know when you might need them in an emergency. [Smith is currently touring the US with pickup musicians, after a guitarist, drummer and bassist became the latest of around 50 "ex-players" who have sadly and suddenly departed from the Fall.]
You want a manager that's hard but not stupid. I met Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce on the transfer bus on the way to Amsterdam. He's a hard case. Some lads were going up to say hello, but he had this air of "That's all you're gonna get". I like Pearce but I couldn't stand Kevin Keegan. I saw him on telly once when City were playing Newcastle and he went up to the Newcastle fans, shaking their hands. The City players were looking at him, appalled. No surprise he never won a game against Newcastle or Liverpool.
The way the England team is now is ridiculous. A team of superstars is like a supergroup. It's like picking the best guitarist in Britain, the best drummer and the best singer, and expecting them to produce something that isn't prog-rock mush. It doesn't work: this England team will never work at the highest level. I know that. See, Sir Alf Ramsey [who managed England's 1966 World Cup win] - people never liked him for it, but he'd always have the full-backs from the second division. He took players and moulded them, like I do with musicians. Gordon Banks, the goalkeeper, was from Stoke City, who were bottom of the first division. They'd conceded more goals that World Cup season than anybody else. But it works. You want a goalie who gets bloody shot at every week! You don't want the Arsenal or Spurs goalie or whoever in any national team, because he's never got anything to do! He might pull off the occasional beautiful save, but he's never gonna be any good against a gang of Poles or whoever who know full well they're going to face the firing squad if they don't score.
Mind you, I shouldn't be talking about England. My wife's Greek, and when Greece won their first game in the  European championships, I said, "Put a bet on now." We didn't put the bet on, but I know these things. Two of my mates put £500 on at 250-1. When Greece won the tournament the wife went crazy, absolutely mad. We even ran a Greek flag up in the front garden. We were very popular that week"
Mark E Smith was talking to Dave Simpson*
* in late 2005, in case you were wondering - Ed.
added 26 May
Party time... after 30 years of Fall-outs by Adam Moss. Manchester Evening News, May 25.
He's been referred to as one of the most miserable men in the music business, but The Fall's Mark E Smith celebrates an unlikely 30 years of music-making on June 10.
Manchester's legendary purveyors of the punk spirit first appeared on an unsuspecting music scene in 1976, and his nasal tones and knowing scowl have lasted longer than most.
He may be the only original member of the band left but even his recent triumphant American tour has not been without controversy. He sacked the entire band half way through the tour and Smith was forced to recruit members of another act to fulfil the Fall's obligations.
Smith, inset, is now bringing the new band he recruited in the USA to play his 30th anniversary gig in Manchester on June 10 - providing he doesn't sack them first.
New Century Hall in Corporation Street will host the historic event and don't be surprised to see many of Manchester's music glitterati at the bash.
Alan Wise, part of The Fall's management team, tells me: "We are NOT announcing the names of the famous guests or they will all want paying thousands."
But my sources indicate you can probably expect DJ sets from certain members of New Order, as well as cameo appearances from assorted members of Manchester's rich music tapestry - step forward Buzzcocks, Pete Shelley and the gang.
The 'new' Fall are Mark E Smith's Circus animals - his latest creation. And they'll be playing songs from their new album on the night. There will also be a party downstairs at midnight for the usual vampires and some Fall fans and the Big Issue vendors, who Smith invited personally.
Dougie James, the other half of the management team with Alan Wise, and whose son Ryan plays Jason Grimshaw in Coronation Street - will host the night.
The Fall play New Century Hall on Saturday, June 10. Doors open at 8pm and The Fall are on stage at 11pm - provided Mark is in the mood! £16. Call 0161 832 1111.
added 26 May
The Fall by Ben Sisario. The New York Times, May 26.
In a way, you always know exactly what you're going to get with the Fall. As the most deliberately repetitive band in rock history -- its first record contained a song-manifesto called "Repetition" -- this is its virtue, its legacy. Since 1978 this British group, led by the invariably bored-looking and -sounding Mark E. Smith, above, has issued a steady, mostly predictable stream of songs characterized by jagged, jabby guitar; choppy rhythms; and Mr. Smith's cynical, tuneless slur, in lines that can be droll ("The dead cannot contradict") or simply stupid ("Pay your rates/Pay your water rates"). Nothing else has ever sounded quite like the Fall, even the many postpunk groups it influenced, from Sonic Youth and Pavement to Franz Ferdinand and Clinic. But there has always been something tantalizingly unpredictable about Mr. Smith, particularly on tour. Churlish as ever well into his 40's, he has on recent tours gotten into fights with band mates and been arrested. A few weeks ago, just days into the band's current American tour, three members left and were quickly replaced, as so many Fall players over the years have. "They are always different," the British D.J. and Fall admirer John Peel once said of the band, "they are always the same." (Thursday at 11:30 p.m., the Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street, TriBeCa, 212-219-3132; also June 2 at 9 p.m. at Southpaw, 125 Fifth Avenue, near Sterling Place, Park Slope, Brooklyn, 718-230-0236. Both shows sold out.) BEN SISARIO
added 25 May
Falling Forward by Darryl Smyers. The Pitch (Kansas City, MO), May 25
When he was 30, Mark E. Smith, iconoclastic frontman for the Fall, wrote "Living Too Late," an odd reflection on mortality in which he sang of crow's feet ingrained on his face. Now almost 50, one of rock's most original and recognizable voices sees no reason to reflect or dwell on melancholy.
"I haven't thought about mellowing out," Smith says from London a few days before starting an American tour that brings the Fall to Kansas City on Saturday. "Why should I?"
Speaking to Smith is a lot like listening to him sing. In his thick Manchester accent, he slurs and curses, answers one question with another, refuses to repeat unintelligible remarks and hides behind the dialect that often resembles Dylan on the worst whiskey bender imaginable. He's beyond petulant. But Smith often is also funny as hell, brutally honest and accurate.
"These bands like Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand, where do they get off claiming the Fall as an influence?" Smith says. "I wish I could afford a lawyer." Smith's right, of course: Along with Gang of Four, the Fall has been name-checked by bands whose members couldn't possibly recall the early '80s. Even such icons of American alternative rock as Henry Rollins and Sonic Youth have often praised the Fall as a forebear of their music. Some artists might be content with such praise, but not Smith.
"I mean, I wouldn't even shake hands with Sonic Youth, you know," Smith says. "And Henry Rollins is a bit of a lunatic. He gets up and gives a fucking lecture about how he wishes he was me."
Despite Smith's vitriol, there's actually little bitterness in his responses. He has fronted some form of the Fall for 30 years, creating a massive catalog of confrontational, original music. Secure with his legacy as the ultimate outsider, Smith speaks with a confidence easily mistaken for arrogance. He questions every assumption about his music and about himself while remaining unafraid to offend.
"I like this new band," Smith says about the quartet backing him for this tour and on Fall Heads Roll , the impressive new Fall effort. "They're a lot younger, so I have to kick their asses." Judging by the new tracks, Smith's favored mode of encouragement has proven quite successful. Cuts such as "Pacifying Joint" and "Assume" are intense mixtures of postpunk raggedness and Smith's literate caterwauling. His infamous talk-singing hasn't been matched by music this engaging since mid-'80s releases The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall and This Nation's Saving Grace.
The current Fall features Smith's third wife, Elena, on keyboards. His previous two wives appeared in earlier Fall incarnations, usually to the music's benefit, though Smith doesn't think it a big deal: "My wife's in the band because she's a good keyboard player. I don't care if it's my fucking wife or brother."
About the only soft spot Smith betrays is for legendary DJ John Peel, one of the Fall's greatest fans and supporters, who died in 2004.
"It's just not sinking in," Smith says. "It's ironic that we weren't even invited to the tribute for him. They invited all these bands, the Cure and INXS, folks he fucking hated. Luckily, we were in the States."
Last year's six-CD The Complete Peel Sessions presented as complete a picture of the Fall's erratic genius as anyone could hope for. It also brought the number of Fall releases to around 80, recordings that have employed a revolving cast of musicians numbering in the fifties.
In Mark E. Smith's world, the truth is often subjective. He sees ineptitude in labels, promoters and especially journalists, and he scorns any attempts to pigeonhole him or his band. "Postpunk?" he asks. "What does that mean? The Fall is the Fall, and I don't know what any of that other shit means."
added 25 May
Fall in Line by Ben Fulton. Salt Lake City Weekly, May 25. Read at your peril.
Conventional wisdom holds that rock bands are relevant only to the era from which they came. Take The Beatles, for example. Their music may be timeless, but you still feel locked inside the '60s when you listen to their albums.
Then there's The Fall. Singer and curmudgeonly frontman Mark E. Smith, the band's sole constant member after almost 40 years, has stood at the center of this Manchester outfit over the course of more than 25 albums. All you have to do is pick your era. Otherwise, you could easily call The Fall the most timeless band in rock history. Though I lost track of the band's output due to time and budget constraints years ago—1993's Infotainment Scan LP being my last purchase—I'll still go out on a limb and call them one of rock's great, enduring institutions.
You could always tell a Fall record by its trademark droning riffs, dry production values and glorious, ramshackle rhetoric. I loved this band to bits. Still do. I rarely listen to them now, but they remain on my hard drive. Beat poet Allen Ginsburg once praised William S. Burroughs' novels for their absence of any sentiment whatsoever. So it is with Mark E. Smith and Co. Even today, The Fall remain the unsentimental band supreme.
Long before the days of Internet shopping, I scoured record shops for all their LPs, especially the ultra-rare imports. Finding a copy of Hex Enduction Hour on white vinyl was one of my proudest accomplishments. So, too, was scoring a copy of Palace of Swords Reserved . The Fall were “independent,” “alternative” and “lo-fi” long before those words became attached to popular music as we know and, hopefully, love it today. With his reactionary attitude, working-class vitriol and deadpan visage, the uncrowned godfather of it all was and, for all practical intents and purposes, is Mr. Smith. Anyone who says otherwise will have to meet me outside.
The true test of any rabid fan of The Fall, or course, is whether or not they can reel off the band's entire 27-or-so-album discography in chronological order. (Prolific doesn't begin to describe this band's work ethic.) As an addled student making my way through the University of Utah circa 1987 or thereabouts, that was a task to which I easily rose. Not that anyone cared or was at all impressed. Back then, all anyone cared about was the Grateful Dead, and even when you did run into someone who dared listen to bands outside of Jerry Garcia's holy realm, contention ensued. I remember a heated conversation with one English major convinced that the Who were God's gift.
“Not on your life, man,” I said. “Anyone who knows anything about where music's headed knows it's The Fall.”
His face red with rage, he walked out, muttering something about “wasting his time even talking to you.”
Every passing year since that argument I've felt the immense pleasure of vindication. Especially whenever yet another “indie” band fronted by a flat-voiced singer with droning riffs, dry production values and a devil-may-care attitude appears on the scene. When Pavement's Stephen Malkmus put a megaphone between him and his microphone—as Smith did so many years before—I'm sure my opponent came to admit the truth as well. Townsend and Daltry could bray all day about hoping to die before they get old. Smith's still making records and rewriting his formulas.
As for the hitchhiking trip promised in the subhead, it was fantastic. In true reactionary style Smith might have been proud of, there was no way in hell I was going to see them live in San Francisco during their first U.S. tour in ages. The city was too trendy and, back then, crawling with too many Deadheads. Screw that. Portland it had to be, and Portland it was when The Fall played Pine Street Theater (long since renamed La Luna, if I'm not mistaken) in May that year.
Arriving two hours before showtime, I approached Smith with two Rough Trade vinyl singles—“Totally Wired” and “Kicker Conspiracy”—for his monogram, which he kindly signed between cigarette puffs. We shook hands. Waiting for the show to start I downed a few beers with my friend, a brilliant wingnut from Atlanta. There couldn't have been more than 100 people in attendance, but The Fall played a brilliant set all the same, including “Hit The North,” “Bombast,” and “2 by 4.”
Reading about The Fall now, it's good to hear that Smith's his same-old scabrous self, that he has trouble retaining bandmates from time to time, and that opening acts allegedly throw banana peels at him. By the time they get to Salt Lake City, their performance at The Depot could be a wreck, or one of the best shows you'll ever see. A true fan of rock's most iconoclastic act wouldn't have it any other way.
added 24 May
23 May - Knitting Factory, Los Angeles, CA
Formation FD /
Bo Demmick / Pacifying Joint / Theme from Sparta FC / Wrong Place, Right Time / Systematic Abuse / Mountain Energei / What About Us / I Can Hear the Grass Grow // Blindness
Reviews on the message board. The mighty Frank has some photos here and videos of Formation FD (partial) and Mountain Energei (all 10 minutes of it) on youtube.com.
Christ on a bike, the Fall were good last night...
All nights the lads were locked into a Velvet-y groove. Synth-babe
Elen-uh ensured there was nary any dead air (at the top of a given
song, she would hit her noodly micro-melodies before the applause had
subsided and the lads would dutifully and gladly follow suit), and
Mark E. Smith hit his marks consistently, both rhythmically, lyrically
"Wrong Place, Right Time" was punchy and the ensemble segued into and
out of the tune's double-time bridge with the precision of Juan Manuel
"Mountain Energei" was one of the finest r'n'roll moments I've heard
in more years than I'd like to think about: Smith in fine form,
poetically ruminating extensively over dusty, shuffling drums, a dirty
bass pulling like a V8 slowly gunning up the grapevine and shards of
guitar dropping like a bottle but never breaking.
What else? In lieu of referencing East Germany during "What About Us
Shipman," MES gave a sly lil' shout out to the homies w/ "I'm an
immigrant from East LA/I was sort of happy..."
Smith was on a roll during "Shipman," free associating at l-e-n-g-t-h
while the band churned on. The lads figured out the tune must've gone
on long enuff and killed it before the song reached the chanted chorus
of "What About Us, Shipman?" Nonplussed, Smith kept riffing over three
beats of acapella silence, the drummer thwacked the snare on the
downbeat of the "four" and the Fall were back on, churning out another
controlled maelstrom of sound and MES and Elen-uh shouting out "What
About Us, Shipman?"
It was really great.
(No "Mr. Pharmacist," neither...)
Easily, the best of the three 2006 LA County shows.
added 28 May; updated 30 May
25 May - The Depot, Salt Lake City, UT
The planned setlist (not sure what was actually played):
Bo Demmick / Pacifying Joint / Theme from Sparta FC / Mountain Energei / Wrong Place, Right Time / What About Us / Midnight in Aspen / I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Assume / Mr. Pharmacist / Systematic Abuse / Blindness
There are a couple of reviews at the tail end of this thread on the message board. Thanks to Ajay for the poster and Baseball Hatted for the setlist.
I was at the SLC show. I was interested to see what developed in the band since seeing them play in San Francisco on the first night. Plus, i was intrigued to hear the alleged new song Formation D (?).
Nice people at The Depot Box Office told me the band was expected to begin at 10:50pm. The venue was cool, an upstairs and downstairs, approx 150 people in the room capacity for 1200.
The video guy, Safy was well received. His set was better than what was performed in San Francisco.
The Fall hit the stage at approx. 10:30pm, busting out with Bo D. The set was very straight forward, workman like, and no inclusion of the song Formation D (?).
Done by 11:30.
The highlight was Midnight Aspen, Mark reading from crumpled notes. He also read from notes three songs later on Assume. The last song Blindness, fairly rocked.
He seemed happy enough, but no special love. No remarks to the crowd.
After the show i walked onto stage as kits were being broken down and grabbed two set lists.
added 28 May
26 May - Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO
Coming Down / Assume / Theme from Sparta FC / Mountain Energei / Pacifying Joint / Wrong Place, Right Time / What About Us / I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Blindness / Bo Demmick // Mr. Pharmacist
Reviews and a couple of photos on the message board.
The Fall played in Boulder, Colorado last night;
something that seems as improbable as Paul Simon
making an album with Brian Eno. I have never seen
them before, so I had no other shows to compare this
one to, Fall-wise. I thought they were raging.
Admittedly, I had low expectations, after reading
about all of the stuff that went down on this tour.
But they were tight, they had energy, and even smiled
a bit here and there. They played for about 90
minutes. Here is the set list:
??? (something with Mark saying "We Are The
Fall")/ Assume/ Sparta/ Mountain/ Pacifying Joint/Right
Place, Wrong Time/What About Us/I Can Hear the Grass
Grow/Blindness/Bo Demmick/Encore: Mr. Pharmacist
It was fun to watch Mark move the mics around the
stage, sometimes putting one in the bass drum,
sometimes singing into two of them at once. He would
sometimes fiddle with everyone's amps. Must've been a
sound man's nightmare! He embodied a lot of
"trickster" energy in his unpredictability. The other
musicians rolled with it all pretty well; and the
audience, at least up front where I was, seemed to
have a rollicking good time too.
I think my favorite thing about the show was noticing
Mark's shirt seemed to be fresh out of a package--it
still had the wrinkles--and looking closer even had
the "M" sticker on it for "Medium", I suppose, but
maybe for "Mark" as well. Anyway, great show!
added 28 May; updated 31 May
27 May - Record Bar, Kansas City, MO
Formation FD / Assume / Pacifying Joint / Theme from Sparta FC / Mountain Energei / Wrong Place, Right Time / What About Us / I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Blindness / Mr. Pharmacist // Midnight in Aspen / Systematic Abuse
Setlist TBC. Reviews on the message board. Thanks to Bryan for ticket and poster.
added 30 May; updated 31 May
29 May - Varsity Theater, Minneapolis, MN
Scenario / Pacifying Joint / Assume / Theme from Sparta FC / Mountain Energei / Wrong Place, Right Time / Formation FD / What About Us / I Can Hear the Grass Grow // Bo Demmick / Mr. Pharmacist / Blindness // Midnight in Aspen / Systematic Abuse
Reviews on the message board. Thanks to Bryan for the setlist.
added 31 May
30 May - Logan Square Auditorium, Chicago, IL
Bo Demmick / Pacifying Joint / Theme from Sparta FC / Mountain Energei / Wrong Place, Right Time / Systematic Abuse / I Can Hear The Grass Grow / Reformation / Blindness / Mr Pharmacist / What About Us
Reviews on the message board.
added 6 June
1 June - Knitting Factory, New York, NY
Many thanks to Anthony for the setlist. Actual set played:
Coming Down / Pacifying Joint / Assume / Theme from Sparta FC / Reformation / Mountain Energei / Wrong Place, Right Time / What About Us / I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Bo Demmick / Midnight in Aspen / Blindness / Mr. Pharmacist / Systematic Abuse // Youwanner
Reviews on the message board.
- opening act: loud guitars, but not the fun kind...
- music video: the soundtrack was GREAT, but went on about 10 minutes too long
- there's now a lumberjack in the Fall!
- new lineup is different in their sound
- this is not to say better or worse, but different
- the set was similar to ones in the past (same songs)
- They did a nice job on "wrong place, right time"
- Mark seemed in good shape! Very little amp messing on stage
- Costumes: Mark had on his leather jacket at one point and his glove on at another point
factory gig was ok
liked the band more than i thought i would but not better than the
previous line-up. It seemed very very different. I enjoyed it when the
band was on, from where i was it was numbingly, intoxicatingly loud, so
blindness was good. Everything seemed thinner, including the
guitarist. Blindness notwithstanding, why do they keep playing the
same songs over and over and over and over each show for years -- it's
not like the fall doesn't have a few good alternatives.
I don't feel like i saw the fall just now, though. More like a mark
I loved seeing tony, ron, pinto, mitsos, stefan (and mes) again.
don't expect a favorable review from tony on the message board.
added 6 June; updated 15 June
2 June - Southpaw, Brooklyn, NY
Many thanks to Orpheo for the setlist.
Bo Demmick / Assume / Theme from Sparta FC / Pacifying Joint / Mountain Energei / Reformation / Wrong Place, Right Time / White Line Fever / What About Us / I Can Hear the Grass Grow // Blindness / Mr. Pharmacist
One of the best Fall shows I've seen. Reviews on the message board.
Talking Points for the Press:
- The band was much better on the 2nd night, they played good n' sloppy.
- Still some folks not crazy about new line up.
- Once you know that the opening video goes on for a half an hour it's not so bad
- That said, most Fall fans didn't like the use of 70s pop music icons
- The lumberjack dude grows on you, and isn't a half bad backup singer
- First Time Spotting: Smith singing into two mics
- 2nd featured more knob turning than first night
- Stephan did snag the play list and will publish it on the unofficial Fall site
- The audience went crazy during Mr. Phara
- Southpaw was a much better venue than the Knitting Factory
> The band was much better on the 2nd night, they played good n' sloppy.
I'll never understand why so many of you thought so -- they were just awful, even i had to admit this time. all distortion and mush. guitarist botched blindness. and it's a sad state when you welcome that goofy keyboard riff in the song just to feel like it's really mark with the fall you're watching.
> Still some folks not crazy about new line up.
to say the least. not many of us, tis true. But it's been clear our fall expectations differ.
> The lumberjack dude grows on you, and isn't a half bad backup singer
maybe it was all the dampness that night, and the insistent knit cap in the ultra-warmth (soh so-cal!) but it did seem to me things probably were growing - thankfully not on me
> First Time Spotting: Smith singing into two mics
but not a single glove
> The audience went crazy during Mr. Phara
as mitsos said, audience not allowed to go that crazy during anything, remember? Though a tad obnoxious, the crowd's enthusiasm was more cheerful, rambunctious, had more muscle at knitting factory and people seemed to have a lot more fun (from where I was standing). all, especially muscle, completely lacking in new band. drummer is the only one that looks like he enjoys playing in this band. eleni slight and lovely as always.
> - Southpaw was a much better venue than the Knitting Factory
see above. good music before and after the set (for Pinto, even video soundtrack) and i did have a great time despite the band (and it being so crowded i missed seeing a couple of people I was supposed to catch up with). I wonder what the new new fall band will be?
A Humble Barfly's Contentment by Benjamin Lytal (New York Sun, 5 June)
No serious person can pretend to relish the behavior of Mark E. Smith, famed leader of the Fall, the influential and jangly post-punk band. On his latest tour, which came to a close on Saturday at the Brooklyn club Southpaw, Smith poured beer on his tour manager's head and pulled a corkscrew on his bassist. Onstage in Phoenix, Justin Williams, the frontman of opening band the Talk, retaliated by throwing a banana peel at Smith's head. Smith's own band then quit the tour.
The Fall has gone through many personnel changes, always preserving a sarcastic, catch-as-catch-can spirit that, while not identical to Smith's incidental rascality, certainly contextualizes it. Yet something about the band's oeuvre is straightforward and wholesome.
At Southpaw, Smith's new band came onstage with a tentative air. The bassist, a tall young man with a cuddlylooking beard, might have been born at around the time Smith first formed the Fall, in 1977. The guitar player sported black curls flattened against the side of his face. As one audience member later said, this was the Fall gone Williamsburg.
Smith's loyal third wife, Elena Poulou, looked more confident. A noted beauty, Poulou has not had as strong a hand in the Fall as Smith's first wife, Bennington grad Brix Smith. In the mid-1980s, Brix took the Fall in a more melodic direction, leading to some of the most celebrated of the band's 24 LPs. Poulou seems content to finger the keyboard.
After a moment's hesitation, Smith himself came onstage, wearing a trim leather jacket and a neatly tucked-in shirt. He looked like Andy Capp. Frail and almost cute, Smith gripped his microphone with both hands, nearly obscuring his small, frog-like face. Smith once famously intoned the words "All those whose mind entitle themselves, and whose main entitle is themselves, shall feel the wrath of my bombast." Twenty years later, Smith does not seem physically capable of bombast, but his voice is strong. His signature barker's drone,the extended voicing he gives to the last syllable of almost every word,washed over the Brooklyn audience like an air raid siren.
On "Pacifying Joint," a song from the Fall's latest album, "Fall Heads Roll," Smith made the refrain "pacifying joint" sound like a conversational remark, an explanation, a baleful announcement, a shrug, an obtuse slang, and, inevitably, an arty code word. On his first record, Smith announced that the three Rs were "repetition, repetition, repetition." He artfully elides words so that their sound and meaning change over the course of a song. In Brooklyn, that elision sounded more like a kind of lovable, arrogant laziness of the tongue. Everyone knew that Smith was saying something smart, and he knew that they knew.
Smith's confidence took on a paternal form whenever he acknowledged the bouncy rhythms of his young bandmates.His occasional head nod seemed to have more to do with approval than with keeping time. At one point, he leaned his own microphone stand over into the drummer's kit, as if quoting other, messier shows while also paying the drummer an almost fatherly compliment.
But there was no banter, and the band moved quickly from one song to another, almost all from "Fall Heads Roll." The new band couldn't reproduce the electronic dash of the recorded "I Can Hear the Grass Grow." A cover of an old psychedelic number,"I Can Hear the Grass Grow" sounds neither nostalgic nor ironic, but simply goodnatured coming from the Fall. It recalls their earlier hit cover, also sunny, of the Kinks's "Victoria."
Indeed, the Fall's long history of lineup changes and relentless production belies the cynicism of Smith's lyrics. Crapulous but marked by hard work, Smith's career is an essay in resourcefulness. If Saturday's show proves the fungibility of the band's identity, it also proves the competence of this seemingly erratic wild man.
Smith's only sign of personal power was his interest in his bandmates' microphones. Several times during the stage he took a second microphone, from the guitarist or from his wife's keyboard, and held it, along with his own, in front of his small face. During the encore, performing the slow and powerful new song "Blindness," about the blind British politician David Blunkett, he smashed down some of Poulou's keyboard keys.
Mark E. Smith has made a career of making messes and cleaning them up. In person, he looks like the picture of a humble barfly, and his kindly but distant attitude to his bandmates, along with his calm, droning vocals, all bespeak contentment.
Gabriele Caroti (Stop Smiling magazine, 13 June):
After the swirls of assertions regarding the chaos on the Fall’s recent tour, there was nothing more “together” than Mark E.’s juggernaut at their last stateside show at Southpaw in Brooklyn — they’re a band that thrives on turmoil. It looked, though, as if the crowd hadn’t really ever seen them before — the biggest responses were for tunes from their last two records. But when it comes to crowds, New Yorkers are weathered know-it-alls. I mean, the shit that went down in Phoenix, from throwing banana peels (I thought they just smoked ’em in the Southwest…) to opening band histrionics and frat-daddy kegger patriotism would never happen in NYC. (With the DJ playing Swell Maps and Rip Rig + Panic, it was a bit tough.)
And it didn’t happen — the night left me smiling, but began with little hope. The tropical deluge that enveloped the city kept a lot of people home (there was quite a bit of lunge-room at the venue, oddly enough — this definitely wasn’t the deathtrap that is the Knitting Factory) and the chill of the AC kept us numb. The evening started directionless and meandering: the “I’m-getting-too-old-for-this” cliché ran through my head a few times, and I arrived at the venue a bit on the early side. Then there was the unfortunate experience of the opener, Cairo Gang. I imagined a casbah band from out of Pépé le Moko. Instead, it was John C. Reilly meets Mike Watt on the drums Soft Machinin’ it up and following aimlessly (I mean, he was groping in the dark, a constant perplexed look on his face) the guitar meanderings of Thurston Moore/Eros of Gorky’s. It sounded like an amalgam of “Little Wing”/La Düsseldorf/Lonnie Liston Smith two-chord-hippie-jazz all processed thru a Small Stone and innocufied nicely, à la Elephant’s Memory.
Before the Fall took the stage, there was the requisite intro video (this time by Safi Sniper). To everyone’s dismay but mine, the video lasted a solid 45 minutes. It was what seemed like live video remixing, images scrubbing back and forth over split seconds of pop icons galore: Robert Plant singing a clipped “Waaaaaaaaaaaaay dooooooooooown inside… yooooooooooou neeeeeeeeeeeed” from “Whole Lotta Love”; Sonny and Cher rocking back and forth to muffled noise, Fat Elvis sweating and crouching, the side of his face a deep mahogany and sopping wet while singing “Unchained Melody”; Prince yelping “I Would Die 4 U”; Freddie Mercury circa Hot Space. The loops were entrancing — I could’ve watched it forever, and waited for the Fall forever. But by the time Babs appeared on the screen, that was it. Plastic cups and obscenities were hurled onto the stage, and a bald guy standing in front of me with a black cabana shirt from French Connection and a hideous earring (he might’ve had two, actually) booed and put a thumbs-down in the air.
But the Fall is the Fall is the Fall.... The band came out and they were all youngsters. But looks are deceiving — these guys were the tightest players since the days of Levitate, when Hanley, Burns and Wolstencroft were on the case. It was clear the teens were of the malleable variety. But they could spew the loud shrill punk at locomotive speed. And they didn’t care —they were getting to play with Mark E. Smith. A couple years prior they were most likely cueing the 15 Ways 10" on their college radio show.
The moment Mark came out, it was chilling, as ever (as usual). I was beaming so loudly I could’ve lit up the place. He was wearing pleated slacks, a patent leather (or maybe pleather) thin jacket and a belt that looked like it came with dress pants for 12-year-olds at Marshall’s. With this get-up, nothing could’ve stopped him — “Bo Demmick” was all snarling and screaming through two mics and R-rolling. And he actually enunciated! A rebirth. But by “Assume,” the bassist was terrified — he was looking over his shoulder and smiling nervously while Mark E. did his requisite mid-song knob-twiddling on the man’s amp. No matter — the drummer’s limbs were flailing, and even after Mark went over (God knows what he said), the lil’ guy just kept pounding away with the punk motorik of something out of Neu! 75.
At one point during “Mountain Energei,” the semi-stoic bassist smirked and seemed pleasantly amused as Smith continued his patented live-mixing. Might this be a new chapter for the Fall? Compliant band members? Mark E. still taking cues from the Buddy Rich Handbook of Band Leaders while slithering around onstage, bothering everyone and no one? I think so.
“Sparta FC” was solid as usual, and during “What About Us,” the bassist leaned in a couple of times to a mic-stand sans mic to sing backup. Funny. Hoping for some semi-obscurities, I yelled out, “The Pat-Trip Dispenser!” No dice. But I got “Wrong Place, Right Time” (a staple of recent live tours) that was less Michael Clark and more Moulty from the Barbarians: unyielding. Those hired hands get paid by the hour, you know.
After their Move cover and a new live staple, Merle Haggard’s “White Line Fever,” that was it. Elena (the most recent Mrs. Mark E. a.k.a. One Fingered Keyboardist) took her quilted Laura Ashley pattern bag off stage. But it wasn’t over.After a brief pause, the band came back and the drummer started thumping an uptempo version of “Blindness,” which is the consummation and distillation of the New Fall. Sheer gnarl and skullcrushery. Mark then steals the mic, puts it in the bass drum head and a piercingly loud and repetitive thud blares through the PA. This was it. This was the Real New Fall, and that was the gesture that brought it all together.
But how did it all end? In their speed of sound rendition of “Mr. Pharmacist,” the band sounded like the Seeds at their dirtiest and most pissed off. But as it was crystallizing, the drummer forgot to change to double-time during the bridge! Uh-oh. The bassist looked terrified. But just as Mark E. turned his head a few degrees to the left, the beat locked into place. Phew. Granny on bongos, indeed.
added 11 June; updated 13 June
10 June - New Century Hall, Manchester
Coming Down / Assume / Pacifying Joint / Theme from Sparta FC / Mountain Energei / Reformation / What About Us / I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Wrong Place, Right Time / Bo Demmick / White Line Fever / Mr. Pharmacist / Blindness // Midnight in Aspen / Systematic Abuse
Reviews on the message board.
Absolutely spectacular…may have got the order slightly wrong but here we go…
Opened with Coming Down, which seems to acquired far more lyrics than on the US tour…although many of them just seem to be the phrase ‘Veteran’s Day Poppy…’ repeated over and over…maybe it’ll develop into a full blown Beefheart narrative…whatever, it’s a great start, some nice guitar lines and some delicate little synth plinks from Elini…its really rather lovely.
Things move a up a gear with Assume…I’ve never been much of fan of this one…it’s the Fall at their most stodgy, but this is pretty good…the new guys play round with the structure and vary the attack a little instead of just going hell-for-leather all the way through as the previous group did.
MES turns down Rob’s amp at the start of Pacifying Joint and he accepts this as a signal to do nothing for a while, so he does this strangle little hand-jive thing to pass the time for a while, then turns up his bass and launches in about two minutes into the song. Its not one of my favourites this, but it rocks along efficiently enough…its OK.
Sparta FC is next up…I was getting really bored with the last couple of times I’d seen the group, but this is great…they’ve injected some space into it…I like the way Tim Presley slightly truncates the riff and adds quite a lot reverb…Tim and Rob Barbato make their UK vocal debut with some appropriate ‘Heys!’ (Tim - cool-as-fuck nonchalant, Rob - scrunched up face, yelling for all he’s worth)…
Then it’s Mountain Energei…some of the recent US recordings of this have been utterly awesome…and I’m a little disappointed they’re playing it so early in the set…I was hoping for a massive fifteen minute epic at the climax of the show…and it does actually start a bit shakily, but once it gets going it’s fantastic…a word here about drummer Orpheo McCord; as well as having by far the best name of any Fall member, ever, he may also be their best drummer ever. He spends the entire gig with a huge grin on his face like playing in the Fall has been some sort of wildly impossible fantasy since he was about six years old, and now he’s actually doing it and can’t believe his luck…and he’s just a fucking brilliant skinsman…he understands drumming, understands the dynamics of it, he knows when to push forward and take things up a gear, he knows when hang back and let some space into the song…
What About Us? … the moshers a few rows in front of me are in full-on-frenzy mode by now and MES is similarly working hard in full-on-microphone swapping mode…just about every possible permutation of microphone is tried and a constant stream of increasing irate roadies sneak onto the stage each time his back is turned to try and re-arrange things. However, unlike some recent performances, you just know that with all the mike swapping and amp fiddling he knows exactly what he’s doing and why he’s doing it…and it sound great. Elini’s synth gives out some lovely electronic growls and Rob absolutely thrashes away at his bass as screws his face up again to bawl along…‘What about Us?...Shipman!’
Like Coming Down, Reformation seems to have acquired many more lyrics although I couldn’t make many of them out…some nice growly vocals though…’Rrrrrefffforrrmmmationnnnnnn...uhhhh’…I really like this one…can’t wait to hear it on record…
WPRT, this is great…you can tell that the new guys haven’t just listened to this, learned the riff, and then tried to play it like it they’ve heard it. They’ve thought about it, played around with it, discarded some bits of it, added some new stuff…and its just miles better than it was before…hooray for the new guys!
I Can Hear The Grass Grow, I can sort of do without this to be honest…it’s three minutes they could have added onto Mountain Energei or What About Us? …but its fast, its furious, the moshers love it, so who am I to argue.
When MES looks at the setlist at his feet, grins a big smirk and the opening chords to Mr Pharmamcist blast out, your heart kind of sinks to be honest…but guess what? This is just wonderful! Great thrashy, poppy fun! Moshers go into overdrive…
An extended Bo D…actually, of the longer pieces, this is probably the least strong…it really belongs at the beginning of a set, not near the end, so its slightly anti-climatic, but never mind, its still great ‘Modeninity…what is it?’. What indeed…If this is moderninity I’m all for it…
White Line Fever…when I heard this played live in Stratford in March it was just teeth-grindingly awful…this is much better but still sort of inessential…it acts as a breather though before…
Blindness. There’s a minor problem with the bass at the start so the song actually starts without it…which must be a first…but its OK and soon everything is just fine…in fact its more than fine…its brilliant, it ebbs and flows, it builds and then subsides and builds again…this is how Blindness is supposed to sound…
Off they go and short beer / cigarette break later they’re back with Aspen, which is slightly ragged to be honest, but that’s OK, before a long, long version of Systematic Abuse….’ba ba ba ba ba…Mother sky…’ goes MES…wow, a Beefheart reference and a Can reference in one gig…this is a good tune and the band have it absolutely on the nail…it builds to climax and then, with a final drum flourish its over…
I have to say, that much as I concede that Ben, Spence and Steve seem have got a raw deal, I regard this new group as being far superior to the old group in every respect…they’re just so much more….I dunno, thoughtful? They have much more developed sense of dynamics…they know there’s so much more to it than just playing everything as fast and as hard as possible all the time…and I think MES knows this band is good…he’s sharp, in control, pushing it forward, having a ball…he looks like a man completely re-invigorated…
What the future holds for these guys is difficult to say…given that I imagine the Fall operate on a shoestring, I would think that its doubtful that they could afford to relocate to England (even if they wanted to) and equally difficult to imagine MES and Elini relocating to California…so this incarnation of the Fall is probably going to be a short-lived one…but a good one.
I thought I may as well submit a review of the New Century Hall
thing seeing as I've dropped in so recently. Tis a long one, to
atone for my long period of absence.
For those not in the know, the New Century Hall is essentially a
civic centre in the city centre: home to record fairs and model
train shows etc at the weekends, pensionable carpet, no smoking in
the main hall: you can imagine. As we went in, Lizzie had her bag
rifled through by the neon yellow-vested doorman, "no cameras in
there, are there?" he asked plunging in. The £500-worth of recording
equipment we were carrying passed unnoticed.
Inside there were loads (and I do mean *loads*) of security bods
wandering around, making their way through the crowd in the
auditorium - something I've never seen before at a gig. Probably
just looking out for people having a crafty fag and flicking ash on
the Axminster. Two bars: a proper one a dozen-deep by the time we
got there and a bottle bar (five quid for two bottles of Becks
poured into a plastic cup, yay) with a thirty minute queue.
After we'd been relieved of our cash we took to the main hall to see
John Cooper Clarke already onstage. He was leaning heavily on his
rather tired one-liners but did do a great Urban Splash-baiting
reworking of Beasley Street. I think this piece is getting an airing
on the radio one night this week, it's probably worth a listen.
And then came the video guy. Oh, dear Lord. This was some pillock
with a laptop looping tiny audio and visual segments of Led Zep,
Queen, Barbara Streisand and various others and then wittily jerking
the video back and forwards to make them dance. I cannot put into
words the pure and unremitting awfulness of this performance; I felt
like an indulgent uncle having an untalented idiot nephew's new
hobby inflicted upon me. Much booing towards the end and continuing immediately after this abomination which was swiftly followed by what one hesitates to call the Fall speedily taking the stage,
setting up and kicking off.
Now. Before I go any further, I should point out that I've read a few of the reviews of this gig that appeared on the
forum/messageboard thing and many of have been of the "stunning,
absolutely stunning" variety. And while this was by no means a poor
gig, I have to take serious issue with these gobshite fanboy wankers.
First up, I'm not going to talk about "the new line-up". I'm
presuming this pick-up band are only here to keep Smith, Wise et al
from losing out on the best part of 20 grand that this gig must have
raised. And I'd be willing to bet they're going to disappear pretty
sharpish when words like "work permit", "salary" and "room to live"
start cropping up.
They did do a pretty sound job of thrashing through the set (based
largely on the last two LPs) at great volume and the gig was far
from a washout. But it certainly wasn't a great, or even good, Fall
gig. As we left, Lizzie (not one much given to musical commentary)
said, "that wasn't the Fall; it was Mark E Smith backed by Green
Day". Fucking spot-on. It's an absolute travesty that this 30th
Anniversary (or whatever) show went ahead with a temporary band of
hacks sawing their way through the songs with no subtlety or
What made the Fall great, and what I reckon most people allude to
when they evoke the name, is that weird, unique chemistry between
MES and the weird, unique musicians that populated the great Fall
line-ups. The fact is, The Fall as such died somewhere between the
Chisellers and Levitate and has had its corpse dragged from pillar
to post ever since. If he had half the balls he likes to make out,
Smith would've called it a day in 96/97 and treated the last ten
years as an intermittently great solo career. As it is, he's held on
to the brand name, tarnishing it irreparably with anonymous,
uninspired musicians, barrel-scraping compilations, some dismal gigs
and that famous revolving door personnel policy.
And yet for some reason, the critical faculties of the fanbase have
deteriorated at almost the same rate as the quality of the band.
Around the middle of the gig, MES was really getting into it, like
the Smith of old - skulking around the stage, making weird hand
gestures as if to elucidate lyrics, mouthing along to backing vocals
off-mike and I thought "Ace! he's enjoying himself, maybe this new
blood has been good for him". In hindsight, however, since when has
having a singer who looks like he wants to be there been a signifier
of a great gig? Why was this a "stunning" performance? Just because
MES turned up? Didn't drop his mike and fall over dribbling? Didn't
get into a fight with the band? Managed to sing the right lyrics to
the right songs? Didn't have a piss-stain down the front of his
strides? Check the guy's track record.
For my money, the last decade of the Fall has been more about
keeping Mark Smith out of gainful employment and off benefits than
making music. And yet the band is probably at it's most popular
since the early nineties, certainly judging by gig attendances in
this country. But I fear that this is due to an influx of fans who
were too young or too dumb to catch the group in their prime and are
now desperately and vicariously trying to play catch up. Face it: if
you bought tickets to a Macca concert and said that you seen the
Beatles play live, people would laugh you out of the building. Ditto
the Fall, if you didn't see them pre-1996 (and that includes me,
sadly), you didn't see the Fall. You may have seen some good and
even great gigs (as I know I have) but what made the Fall unique
just doesn't exist anymore.
But still the vultures circle, and what a sad pantomime they have
made of this key band. If you toe the line, who knows - soon you
could be writing sleeve notes for reissues, editing the official
site, releasing compilations and bootleg-quality cds on your
crackpot record label, even playing in the band! Or promoting them.
Or managing them. Or marrying the singer.
Everybody wants a piece, everybody wants some sort of association
with that magical brand: "The Fall". And the most vociferous will
get one. But the true tragedy of this shameful debacle is that while
half-wits rhapsodise about the 30th anniversary shindig, many of the
people who imbued the b(r)and with this mercurial quality that
everyone wants to rub up against are working on the very peripheries
of the music industry, if they work within it at all. And the Fall
lives on as one man's pension scheme and karaoke machine: tribute
banditry at its very worst.
As for Saturday's gig - it was alright: loud, high energy, not too
much pissing around.
Financial Times (13 June) by Steven Bird
Following the fortunes of The Fall in the 30 years since they began in a Salford sitting-room, you feel they are less of a band, more a series of movies by the same director: the sole remaining founding member Mark E. Smith. How else to explain the changing membership, culminating in the latest revolution in the domestic fortunes of the world’s premier avant-garde garage rock band.
Four weeks before this 30th anniversary concert and halfway through their US tour three band members flew home, for reasons undisclosed, leaving Mr Smith and his wife (and Fall keyboardist) Elena Poulou behind.
As ever with this group, necessity is the mother of invention and The Fall acquired two guitarists and a drummer from a Chicago band and carried on. Incredibly, even for a band with a history of upheaval, by the time they reached Manchester they were ready to channel the spirit of the Sex Pistols, whose Manchester concert kick-started their career 30 years before. And I suspect even the band’s fanatically loyal but ever-cynical following were blown away by this latest incarnation of their heroes.
The drummer Orpheo McCord played as if his life depended on it, as did the guitarists Tim Presley and Rob Barbato. With cover versions from the drug- soaked 1960s (“Mr Pharmacist” and “I can hear the grass grow”) to stompers such as “Sparta FC” and several moments of Captain Beefheart-style genius, the crowd of 1,200 found much to celebrate.
Despite random accolades and Mark E. Smith’s often disdainful attitude towards them, The Fall occupy a singular place in British music history. In a space between the Stooges and Stockhausen, Smith’s world view holds sway. His world is often as uncomfortable for band members as for a casual listener: peppered with literary references, history lessons and righteous anger, especially towards the flabby middle class – leaving the Prestwich lad (aged 49) a bit of a cultural outcast.
After 30 years it is time to start showing some appreciation. Smith is a lot more than just a failed pop singer. [five stars]
added 6 February; updated 10 May
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, and the official Fall website has a few images from the exhibition and a full schedule of events.
13 June 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:
06may23 US tour (first leg), US press (LA Alternative, LA City Beat, SF Chronicle, OC Weekly), Smog Monsters, Morley on MCR/L'pool
06may01 Berlin gig, Reclaimers' footy song, MES "In Their Own Write", Praxis Hagen exhibit.
06apr06 UK tour, Greek/ Swiss gigs, "The Two-Year Gap" announcement, John Peel Fall intros/ outros mp3, Wire's Fall Primer, Q's Manchester special, Monks Beat Club clips, Fallnet's "Dr. Buck's Letters", Fall album survey results, Nikki Sudden / Ivor Cutler r.i.p., Brix's new house, cult musicians, Gavin Esler.
21feb06 Official Fall site now Unofficial, Guardian ex-Fall members article, Mojo interview and poll results, IS, IAH, MCR & CC remaster details, Mixing It session, Antwerp & Wigan gigs, Ding's two new bands, Ghostigital, New Year's Honours, fashion corner: Brix interview & Lagerfeld show, Blue Orchids new album, history of Salford bands.
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.