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Fall News

The Fall play ...

7 Oct. The Village, 26 Wexford Street, Dublin as part of the Heineken Green Synergy Festival. Tickets from the venue and ticketmaster.
13 Oct. The Canteen, Barrow in Furness. Ticketline; seetickets
14 Oct. The Boardwalk, Sheffield. Ticketline; seetickets
15 Oct. The Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham. Ticketline, wegottickets, seetickets or locally from Swordfish Records, 14 Temple Street, Birmingham 0121 633 4859
4 Nov. Hiro Ballroom (fancy!), 363 W. 16th St., New York. CMJ Showcase. Tickets $22 from ticketweb All three November dates now confirmed on the official site.
6 Nov. Studio B, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (259 Banker Street). Tickets ($20) on the door. This isn't a CMJ event so you can't use your pass.
12 Nov. The Warehouse Project, Old Brewery, Strangeways, Manchester. Tickets from wegottickets.com, seetickets.com, ticketline.com, or more cheaply via SASE to Alan Wise (details on the official site)

The three American musicians - Tim, Rob & Orpheo - returned for the mid-October gigs, joined by Dave 'The Eagle' Spurr as second bassist. The group that played in Dublin included Dave Spurr, Pete Greenway and a new drummer, Keiron Melling. Keiron is from the group Motherjohn, the same group Dave Spurr comes from.


added 30 October

Bravo to John Pegg of the Fowey Port Health Authority for ensuring MES's continual presence in the UK's Environmental Health News. Here's a scan of the 27 October's Bug Day page, with thanks again to John Roberts for sending it in. Sorry about the image quality.


added 28 October

No longer entitled "The Two-Year Gap," M.E.S.'s autobiography, now deemed Renegade: The Gospel According to Mark E. Smith, is scheduled for publication next April.

Here's the blurb from Penguin:

The first autobiography by the legendary leader of The Fall

Still going after thirty years, The Fall are one of the most distinctive British bands, their music — odd, spare, cranky and repetitious — an acknowledged influence on The Smiths, The Happy Mondays, Nirvana and Franz Ferdinand. And Mark E. Smith IS The Fall. For the first time we get to hear his full, candid take on the ups and downs of a band as notorious for its in-house fighting as for its great music; and on a life that has endured prison in America, drugs, bankruptcy, divorce and the often bleak results of a legendary thirst.

Mark E. Smith grew up in Prestwich, Manchester. He founded The Fall at the age of nineteen and for thirty years has been the hub around which the band has operated. The term 'living legend' is used too easily, but in the case of Mark E. Smith it is entirely appropriate.


Pub Date: April, 2007
ISBN: 9780670916740
Price: £18.99
Format: Hardback Royal
Extent: 256pp
Territory: 1W
US rights: Penguin UK
Translation Rights: Luxton Harris
Film Rights: Luxton Harris
Serial Rights: Penguin UK


added 17 October

A Fall night tonight in Chicago. Sorry for the late notice.

4 Hours Of The Fall
"The Band By Which All Others Must Be Judged"
With DJ Li'l Derek Erdman

Tuesday OCT 17
@ Danny's
1951 W. Dickens
Chicago, IL


added 16 October

15 October - The Custard Factory, Birmingham

My Door / Pacifying Joint / Theme From Sparta F.C. / Hungry Freaks, Daddy (Frank Zappa cover) / Mountain Energei / I Can Hear The Grass Grow / What About Us? / Wrong Place, Right Time // Blindness / Systematic Abuse / Midnight In Aspen / Mr Pharmacist

Reviews and photos on the message board. Thanks to Mark for the setlist and footage of Hungry Freaks, Daddy on youtube.


added 15 October

Further to our report of Mark's appearance in the occupational health and safety magazine, Environmental Health News (see down the page, news item added 28 September), his photo has appeared again in a report of our report... They used a slightly more flattering photo this time. Thanks once again to John Roberts for the scan, taken from their 6 October edition.

By the way, we meant "obscure" in the nicest possible way! And can all our readers please ensure their computer screens are at least 80cm from their eyes and the bottom of the screen is less than 30 degrees from horizontal below eye level. We would also recommend that you get up and stretch your legs every hour - perhaps now would be a good time to go and grab another beer. Or if you're reading this at work, a cup of tea.

Next week's Fall news will be brought to you by the Employer's Federation, who are promoting their zero tolerance policy for personal internet usage in the workplace....


added 15 October; updated 16 October

14 October - The Boardwalk, Sheffield

My Door / Pacifying Joint / Theme From Sparta F.C. / Hungry Freaks, Daddy (Frank Zappa cover) / Wrong Place, Right Time / Mountain Energei / Reformation / What About Us? // I Can Hear The Grass Grow / Blindness / Systematic Abuse

Reviews and photos on the message board. Thanks to Mark and Toby for the setlist.


added 15 October

13 October - The Canteen, Barrow in Furness

My Door / Pacifying Joint /Theme From Sparta F.C. / Hungry Freaks, Daddy (Frank Zappa cover) / Wrong Place, Right Time / Mountain Energei / What About Us? / Reformation / Fall Sound / I Can Hear The Grass Grow / Blindness // Wright Stuff / Mr Pharmacist

Reviews and some photos on the message board. Thanks to altfish for the setlist, which wasn't completely followed.


added 13 October

BBC Radio 1 broadcast a DJ set by Mark E Smith on the Mary Anne Hobbs show, from 2-4am on 13 October, as part of a John Peel tribute show. The tracks MES selected were (spot the old faithfuls!):

Big Youth - Wolf In Sheep Clothing
Der Plan - Hans und Gabi
Glen Campbell - Try A Little Kindness*
Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps - Race With The Devil
Can - Father Cannot Yell
Hank Mizell - Jungle Rock
The Fall - Rebellious Jukebox
Lee Perry - Kimble
Dave Berry - Strange Effect
The Ramones - Beat On The Brat

* The lines "If you try a little kindness, then you'll overlook the blindness" from this song have been ad-libbed by MES during some live renditions of Blindness.

The show will be available online for a week from the broadcast date on BBC's listen again streaming audio player.


added 11 October

The Lovers featuring Steve and Paul Hanley play Manchester's Academy 4 on 16 November, previewing songs from their forthcoming second album. Tickets from http://www.seetickets.com/ents24 or £5 each by sending a cheque made out to Newmemorabilia Ltd to P.O. Box 121, Manchester M19 2XE.

Streaming real media footage of their show at Dry Bar, Manchester on 26 June 2006 is online here, including their version of Totally Wired, starting at about 46:30. It finishes with a 10 minute interview, during which the group sing Happy Birthday to Steve Hanley!


added 9 October; updated 17 October

7 October - The Village, Dublin

My Door / Bo Demmick / Pacifying Joint / I Can Hear The Grass Grow / Reformation / Theme From Sparta F.C. / Mountain Energei / What About Us? / Fall Sound / Mr Pharmacist / Blindness // Systematic Abuse

Reviews and some photos on the message board. More photos by Mark Harris on flickr. And another set on flickr. The new drummer was Keiron Melling from Motherjohn. A review by the Dublin Opinion.


added 6 October

Thanks to Andrew Bennett for sending in his review of the 93 Feet East 12 September gig from the October issue of Spill magazine.


added 5 October; updated 9 October & 16 October

Further to our previous news report about the Monks documentary film and tribute album, we can now confirm the full tracklisting of Silver Monk Time, as follows:

double CD

7" single

1. Mense Reents - Minimal Monk
2. Cycle - Blast Off
3. 27/11 - Were Ever/Oh, How to Do Now
4. The Gossip - Drunken Maria
5. Gudrun Gut - Tumbling Monks
6. Jason Forrest - Monk Hop
7. Fehlfarben - We Do Wie Du
8. Die Goldenen Zitronen ft. Chicks on Speed - Complication
9. Mouse on Mars - Monks No Time
10. Silver Apples/Alan Vega - Silver Monk Time
11. The Raincoats - Monk Chant
12. Michaela Melian - Blaster
13. Nista Nije Nista - Kuchhuche
14. The's - Cuckoo

1. FSK - The Transatlantic Feedback
2. The Fall - Higgle-dy Piggle-dy
3. Alec Empire ft. Gary Burger - Monk Time
4. Floating di Morel - Shut Up
5. Jon Spencer/Solex - Complication
6. PTV 3 (Psychic TV) - Boys Are Girls and Girls Are Boys
7. Alexander Hacke - I Hate You
8. Doc Schoko - Sei Still
9. Barbara Manning - I Can't Get Over You
10. S.Y.P.H. - Oh, How to Do Now
11. The Havletones - That's My Girl
12. Singapore Sling - I Hate You
13. The (International) Noise Conspiracy - Shut Up
14. Charles Wilp/The Monks - (It Is Charles Time) Sexy-Mini-Super-Flower-Pop-Op Alles Ist Drin
15. Faust ft. Gary Burger - Beware (The Transatlantic Feedback)

The double CD is out on 23 October, preceded by a 7" single available now with Monk Time by Alec Empire ft. Gary Burger b/w Higgle-dy Piggle-dy by The Fall. The single is limited to 500 copies. Releases are available directly from Play Loud Productions. Action Records is trying to import some copies.

Spencer Birtwistle dropped us a line to say that Higgle-dy Piggle-dy was recorded with the lineup of himself, Ben, Steve, Mark & Elena some months ago at a rehearsal room in Salford on Spencer's 16 track digital studio (the same one he used to record My Ex-Classmates' Kids, Distilled Mug Art and several other tracks). He says: "It's a very angry mix, hope you like it. Cheers Spen."

Mark E Smith will appear as a special guest when the Monks play at the CD release party on 23 October at Volksbuhne, Berlin. The evening kicks off at 7:30 with a press conference to mark the release of the tribute album, followed by a screening of the documentary film Monks - The Transatlantic Feedback at 8:30, then the Monks take the stage at 11:00.

Tickets can be bought on the venue's website. It's in german until you get to the purchase pages... click "KARTEN" on the lefthand menu, then click on "Hier konnen Sie Karten online kaufen <<< HIER KLICKEN", next click the "Start" button. On the next page click the "Search" button & it will list all the forthcoming shows. After that you should be able to find the Monks show and continue from there. David Millington has acted as our guinea pig and successfully achieved a ticket purchase. Cheers for the detailed instructions Dave & we look forward to your review of the night!


added 2 October

Many thanks to Anthony Meirion for this exclusive interview with Ben Pritchard, given just a month after Ben, Steve & Spencer walked out of The Fall during the 2006 US tour. It's a very lengthy and detailed interview in which Ben talks candidly about his time in the group and gives what many people have been waiting for - the other side of the story on the US tour walkout.

And Anthony says this is just part 1, there is more to come... The interview is published here with Ben Pritchard's blessing.


added 2 October

Mike Aldridge has kindly alerted us to this online article at www.ireland.com, previewing the forthcoming Dublin gig.


added 2 October

The October issue of Mojo magazine has an article on the Monks, with a sidebar quote from MES:

Iím really excited about their return. Itís about time they got the recognition they deserved. Back in the early í80s a friend gave me a tape of The Monks written on the spine, no tracklisting. I hadnít a clue who they were but it straight away appealed. Itís got that U.S. garage feel, but they are totally unique, the lyrics are mad, they are clearly insane. The musicís very complicated, all their voices coming in together, the electric banjo... totally mad. Iíve got some footage of them on The Beat Club from the í60s, sharing the bill with Dave Berry and The Searchers. Itís clear they are so ahead of their time. America ignored them totally. The Fall covered some of their songs - Shut Up, I Hate You - we didnít know they were the titles, we just took them from the lyrics so itís lucky we got them right! After that I got a letter from Gary, the singer. He said heíd turned his back on music for 20 years. Now everyoneís coming out of the woodwork and claiming theyíre fans.


added 28 September

Thanks to John Roberts for this clipping from what must surely be the most obscure publication to have ever featured Mark E Smith, the Environmental Health News (Vol. 21 No. 37 dated 22 September 2006), an English health and safety magazine.

The text says: And finally. Who is this man? No, it's not a grumpy CIEH trustee, pictured in Chadwick Court after a bad-tempered Council meeting. It is none other than Mark E Smith, the legendary front man of The Fall. He was snapped by EHO David Carlisle of the Derbyshire Branch at the Isle Of Wight Music "Bestival" earlier this month. He uttered the immortal words "Cheers Dave, I respect what you inspectors do". Bug is chuffed.


added 26 September

Dalyzach turned up a few M.E.S. interviews from last year that I'd missed. Thanks!


added 24 September

From today's Sunday Times: Live and Kicking: The Fall by Stewart Lee

This notoriously volatile cult band played four London dates over the course of five nights. For the final show, at the Galtymore, a delightful Irish venue in Cricklewood, two of the line-up that played at 93 Feet East, in Brick Lane, on Monday, had already departed. When jazz soloists seek out new collaborators, itís seen as artistic restlessness, but rock journalists find the erratic line-up changes of the group that Mark E Smith formed in Manchester in 1976 endlessly amusing.

The Fallís front man, glossing over accusations that he is simply unbearable, compares himself to a football manager, reshuffling his squad.

Smith currently operates two basic Fall formations. At Mondayís show, we saw him and his wife, the keyboardist Elena Poulou, backed by a principally American Fall, hastily assembled in San Diego last May when the duo were abandoned by their group after an incident involving a plantain. The drummer Orpheo McCord maintains the streamroller thrust of What About Us? and Pacifying Joint while making them swing, and the guitarist Tim Presley lends an uncharacteristically psychedelic flavour to the Fallís pulverising riffs. The bearded bassist Rob Barbato and the British bass-player Dave Spur create a heavy, laval bedrock. Smithís voice has recovered a range presumed lost, and his cryptically compelling lyrics are riddled with dog-growl rumbles and falsetto yelps. The new material ó the high-octane drone of Reformation and Fall Sound, a speed-metal declaration of intent ó is among his most electrifying work to date. His apparent lack of stagecraft conceals an understanding of the dramatic power of the smallest gestures.

Three nights later, Presley has gone home, and an ashen-faced Pete Greenway, of the band Das Fringe, plays the same guitar riffs with harsher, serrated textures. Barbato nods the group through the changes. In a pleasingly unprepared encore, Poulou reads her husbandís lyrics over improvised backing. ďYou are the sort of person who keeps a pair of plastic womenís breasts under his desk,Ē she declaims, to the delight of the crowd.

By Friday, Barbato is gone too, and the band have peaked, shrinking back to a five-piece. The Fallís music remains impossible to define, incorporating the visceral, blue-collar thrills of 1950s rockíníroll and the visionary experimentalism of Krautrock and dub reggae. Its sound exists only in Mark E Smithís head. In these gigs, he came uncharacteristically close to defining it.


added 19 September; updated 20 September

Steve Trafford is organising a Tribute to Syd Barrett for Cancer Research at the Night and Day Cafe in Manchester on 28 September (7 pm - late). There are loads of bands scheduled, including Steve's and Spencer Birtwistle's new bands, Tycoons Follies and The Blimp.

Details on the obligatory myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/sydbarretttribute.

The Blimp has another gig scheduled: they're playing the Salutation pub in Hulme on Saturday, 30 September.

30 October 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...

06sep21 Simonfb, r.i.p., Bournemouth & London gigs / UK festivals, Silver Monk Time, Sunday Herald & Maximum RnR interviews, Julia Nagle's latest projects, another Peel tribute CD.

06aug17 Brooklyn Vegan / Arena Homme Plus interviews, Oya Festival, Tesla-K, The Blimp, Tycoons Follies, Artrocker review, Tony Friel archive, PBL book update, KFNY poster, Billboard, more Voiceprint CDs.

06jun13 US tour (second leg), more US press (NYT, The Pitch, SLC Weekly, Stop Smiling), Manchester gig (inc. MEN preview & FT review), What Sven Could Learn from Me (Guardian int. from last year)

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.

Fall News archive