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Fall News

I'm back. Many thanks to Conway for keeping the Fall news up to date and to Steven and Jon for the pints!


The Fall and Von Südenfed play ...

1 July The Ritz, Manchester, part of the Manchester International Festival. Tickets on sale. Support: readings from the Perverted by Language short story collection.
6 July Von Südenfed at Fabric, 77a Charterhouse Street, London, EC1. Ticketweb.
13 July Von Südenfed at the Melt Festival, Ferropolis, Gräfenhainichen, Germany CANCELLED
14 July Ashton Court Festival, Ashton Court Estate, Bristol. Tickets.
17 July Carling Academy, Islington, London. Tickets (£15 or £50 for all four nights) available from ticketweb and wegottickets.
18 July Carling Academy, Islington, London
19 July Carling Academy, Islington, London
20 July Carling Academy, Islington, London SOLD OUT
4-5 Aug Tales Of The Jackalope Festival, Kimberley Hall, Norwich.
17 Aug Von Südenfed at the Pukkelpop Festival, Hasselt, Belgium. It appears that it's Mouse on Mars playing, not VS.
2 Sept Electric Picnic, Crawdaddy Stage, Stradbally, Ireland. SOLD OUT
6 Sept Maria am Ostbahnhof, Berlin. Tickets
23 Sept Von Südenfed at the Arches, Glasgow (not the ABC as previously listed). Tickets.
24 Sept Von Südenfed at Liquid Room, Edinburgh. Tickets available from Tickets Scotland 0131 220 3234 and Ripping Records 0131 226 7010.
25 Sept Von Südenfed at Irish Centre, Leeds. CANCELLED
18 Oct Von Südenfed at Heaven, London. Ticketweb, Seetickets
2 Nov Albert Halls, Bolton. Tickets on sale on Ticketline, Seetickets and from Alan Wise (see below).
22 Nov The Barfly Club, Birmingham. Tickets from Ticketweb, Ticketline 087010000, Swordfish and from Alan Wise (see below).
6 Dec Von Südenfed at the Festival des Transmusicales de Rennes, France, according to their myspace page (note: previously listed as 8 December).
7 Dec Von Südenfed at Apolo, Barcelona, according to their myspace page.

Alan Wise has confirmed the 2 November show at Bolton & 22 November Birmingham. He is offering to sell tickets directly for 16 with no booking fee. You can email him at alan.wise3@virgin.net to reserve tickets, then send him a cheque at the following address for 16 per ticket. He will post your tickets back. You can also just send a cheque and SAE as previously, without emailing first. Please write your phone number on the back of the cheque. His address is:

T A Wise
26 Lockett Gardens
Salford M36BJ

Alan says We Got Tickets will also be getting an allocation of tickets (but they charge a 10% booking fee). The Barfly Club in Birmingham holds only 400, so tickets are expected to sell out fairly quickly. Alan says "Birmingham which is near Coventry ! and its twin town I think. Anyone remember when and where the Fall last played in Coventry for a pair of free tickets for Birmingham." First correct answer to Alan's email address above wins!

Also, Alan says a small number of additional late November dates may be confirmed shortly.

Von Südenfed cancellations

Elena has asked me to pass on the message that the Von Südenfed shows were not cancelled by Mark E Smith, they were cancelled by the agency and the clubs. Mark apologises to all Fall fans who bought tickets.

The message apparently applies to Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as Leeds, although the club websites still show those gigs as being on. We are trying to clarify the status of those shows.

Update: The promoter and both clubs say the shows are still on in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Thanks to the people who checked and let us know so promptly.

Further update: Elena confirms the Glasgow and Edinburgh shows are happening. She says: "Mark insisted on playing there though the promoters wanted to cancel them!"


added 16 October

Thanks to da fox for forwarding this bulletin from The Residence (in Hackney, London):

S p e c t r e . v s . R e c t o r

TO: Dear Parishioner

ALL HALLOW'S EVE. I'll rip your fat body to pieces. Do NOT lock me out. I was NOT born in Hampshire. I am NOT M. R. James. I am THE RECTOR. Do NOT lock me out. I am a BONONIAN. My HATE is CRISP. I am SOAKED in BLOOD. I AM The Rector and I AM SOAKED IN BLOOD. Douglas Park is THE DEACON. Ranga padem. I am The Rector. Unlock your doors and bring me FLOWERS. I wash EVERY DAY and I AM THE RECTOR. You are UNCLEAN. Bring me FLOWERS. Do NOT lock me out. I am The Rector AND I am THE CURATE. Raúl Piña Pérez is THE SPECTRE and Mark McGowan is THE INSPECTOR. Simon Ould is THE HERO. Ranga padem. I am The Rector. You are UNCLEAN. You are THE DRUDGE NATION, A NATION OF NO IMAGINATION. Take those flowers away. You are UNCLEAN. Your DECADENT SINS will REAP DISCIPLINE. I am a BLACK BONONIAN BEAST. Do NOT lock me out.


Elaine Arkell / Majed Aslam / Anna Barratt / Luke Brennan / Vanessa Brown / Sam Burford / Gail Burton / Blair Butterfield / Luis Carvajal / Cedric Christie / Toby Clarkson / Patrick Coyle / Clem Crosby / Richard Crow / Sohrab Crews / Adrian Dannatt / Dædalus / Daisy Delaney / Oliver Dungey / Jack Duplock / Deej Fabyc / Bern Roche Farrelly / Jon Fawcett / Tim Flitcroft / Laura Oldfield Ford / Karl French / Gaia Giacometti / Jason Gibilaro / Polly Gould / Anthony Gross / Mark Hammond / Michael Hampton / Pauline Hoare / Lucinda Holmes / Jenny Holt / Robin Holt / Marc Hulson / Calum F. Kerr / Damian Le Bas / Delaine Le Bas / Adrian Lee / Harry Levene / Alan Liddiard / Cathy Lomax / Mandy McCartin / Mark McGowan / John McLeod / Lee Maelzer / Micalef / Alex Michon / Alex Gene Morrison / Jurgen Ots / Simon Ould / Russell Oxley / Douglas Park / Tony Peakall / Cath Pearson / Raúl Piña Pérez / Brendan Quick / Zak Reddan / Claudia Reyes / Jill Rock / Aeon Rose / Geraldine Ryan / Kurt Ryslavy / Paul Sakoilsky / Steve Schepens / Liam Scully / Niki Sehmi / Bob and Roberta Smith / Dave Smith / Rose Smith / Sarah Sparkes / Matthew Stradling / Jonni Stutterer / Peter Suchin / Damian Swarbrick / Carina Thorén and John Chantler / Mike Watson / Katsunobu Yaguchi / Yog Sothoth (David C. West) / Ingrid Z

THE RESIDENCE: NOT at Whitminster, but AT THE VERGER'S COTTAGE, through black wooden gate to the RIGHT of St Mary of Eton Church, Eastway, Hackney Wick, LONDON, E9 5JA. PHONE: 020 8986 2324. BUSES: 26 (Waterloo), 30 (Marble Arch), 236 (Finsbury Park), 388 (Blackfriars). TRAIN: Hackney Wick.

FOR: THE UNFALLEN. And meanwhile and meanwhile. You can only tell stories nowadays if it's all down on paper, so we're breaking it in easy for you. Listen to the song 'Spectre vs. Rector' by Mark E. Smith and The Fall, on the albums 'Dragnet' (1979) and 'Totale's Turns' (1980). It concerns Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936), Provost of Eton College, and author of "Ghost Stories of an Antiquary" (1904). Eton College founded the Eton Mission at Hackney Wick in 1880, to bring Christianity and Charitable Works to the poor of the East End. The result is there for all to see. In 1890 the foundations of the Church of St Mary of Eton were laid.






added 15 October

A recent exhibition entitled "We Be Neophytes!!!", which showed from 3-5 October at the Et Cetera Gallery in Hackney, East London, featured a series of fabric dolls made by Farida Begum. There were dolls of several musicians including Mark E Smith. The MES doll was the most expensive at 150. An edition of one, apparently. Thanks to Richard Gallon for the info and photo.


added 11 October

Thanks to Rik Neace for tipping us off to Intermittent Signal, a new band from Altrincham featuring Simon Wolstencroft on drums. They seem to be a covers band that plays "the kind of 60s, 70s, punk, indie and contemporary mix that has something for everyone to sing, dance or stomp along to", according to their website. A video of them performing Brown Sugar (yes, that Brown Sugar!) is on youtube. They have been gigging around Altrincham in recent months.


added 5 October

As part of this year's John Peel Day events, the Bull and Gate in Kentish Town, North London will be putting on a show on Thursday, 11 October with Simon Breed, The Elizabeth Vice, Sam Amant and DJs who will be playing "lots of tracks by The Fall".


added 3 October

We have been contacted by Hugo Simms who is writing a book about music fans and what makes them fall in love with a particular group. He intends to represent a wide range of rock/pop tastes and he is attempting to discover what it is that draws people to one band in particular - why one band stands just that little bit higher in their view than other favourites. He would like to hear from people through email and also would like to speak to some of them first hand in interview form. He also plans to speak to people outside gigs. If you are interested in helping Hugo out, please contact him at hugosimms@uwclub.net.


added 27 September

Seattle residents with a strong constitution may be interested in a 7 hour Fall marathon being put on by Derek Erdman, who will be visiting your fine city, on Thursday, 4 October at The Pony, 506 East Pine. Derek will also be doing another Fall night in his local Chicago the day before Halloween (details coming soon).


added 25 September; updated 27 September

Monday, 24 September     Von Südenfed at Liquid Room, Edinburgh

Speech Contamination - German Fear Of Osterreich / The Rhinohead / Wipe That Sound / Family Feud / Serious Brainskin / Fledermaus Can't Get It / Slow Down Ronnie // Flooded


Edinburgh was short and to the point. And rather wonderful. Albeit I come from the side of the fence that enjoys MoM music. There were those there who seemed to be playing a game of statues all night. Granted many people don't want to be too over enthusiastic or dance around but you'd think twitching a leg in time wouldn't be too much.

Same set as Glasgow and Mark singing/mark-ing along where required and in the finest voice/form for a decade. Quite possibly he was singing from the smoking balcony at one point but I can't be sure... No fannying around, no real changing of lyrics, some ad libs and all in played it as straight as I've seen him play it since the mid 90s. Usual bunch of mid 40s standing around with there 'go on mark, do something funny' looks on their faces and fucking talking too much. Yap, yap, yap. Gave up recording it and moved elsewhere.

Loud, bass was bowel moving, until I moved and then it seemed a bit light actually. Played all the hits, mic given to the audience who joined in on 'Flood'... All in, superb :) I hope they do another album, I hope they come back and I hope they at least attempt to publicise it to MoM fans. I do recommend going to see them if at all possible. Fantastic.

Oh, and my Mrs Smith fashion report. I always like to detail what she was wearing. Tonight she was in a pale blue dress with a knee length coat and accessorised by a camcorder. Mostly to be seen dancing around the (shut off) balcony bit.

The Scotsman - 4 star review by David Pollock:

Von Sudenfed are a match made in Hades if you're in any way satisfied with a nice tune and a pleasant singalong chorus from your music. The ungodly creative marriage of German glitch techno duo Mouse On Mars and Mark E Smith (The Fall), the band are pure, undiluted art-rock, and not the drab contemporary version, which seemingly involves starting a rubbish indie band in your first year of art college. In form and execution, they make a statement.

Combining the dense, noisy, deeply danceable music of Mouse On Mars's Andi Toma and Jan St Werner and Smith's anti-aesthetic ranting, their songs offer no clue that any music existed before them. It should be a mess, and it kind of is, with Smith perusing his lyric sheets and ambling off stage to bark at the crowd. But such waywardness is a thrilling gob in the eye to bland commercialism. Von Sudenfed are more punk rock than anything to have crossed a stage in years, including The Fall.

The Herald - 4 star review by Neil Cooper:

When dancer Michael Clarke began throwing shapes to The Fall's garage guitar growl, it wasn't, as he has made plain since, an attempt to co-opt a sliver of post-punk cool. It was simply because of the band's relentless, repetitive rhythm. However unlikely Fall fuehrer Mark E Smith's liaison with German techno-head duo Mouse On Mars for their Tromatic Reflexxions album may seem, then, the pairing is more logical than you might think.

Live, the trio's wonderful incongruities are heightened. Manning a console at the back of the stage, Mouse On Mars' Jan St Werner and Andi Toma, two sexy German boys at the peak of the game, are already cooking up enough of a bass-heavy electronic storm by the time Smith slopes on looking like he's walking in slow motion.

As they bounce through the bulk of the album, the effect is somewhere between a club-land PA and a wedding karaoke. Where Smith's usual band are slaves to Smith's penchant for messing up the sound, St Werner and Toma can absorb such knob-twiddling into their sound with ease. And if Smith won't sing, well, hell, they'll just play a sample from earlier in the set.

Most of Smith's time onstage is spent with his back to the audience as he reads from a sheaf of lyric sheets, oblivious to his wife and Fall keyboardist Elenor gleefully camcording proceedings from the balcony above. For the bulk of the set, though, Smith stands at the side of the stage, on the stairs or however far his lead will stretch. Which, given that in Mouse On Mars he looks to have finally met his match, isn't far at all for an experience both breathtaking and hilarious.

More reviews on the forum.


added 24 September; updated 25 September

Sunday, 23 September     Von Südenfed at The Arches, Glasgow

Speech Contamination - German Fear Of Osterreich / The Rhinohead / The Young The Faceless And The Codes / Fledermaus Can't Get It / Family Feud / Serious Brainskin / Slow Down Ronnie // Flooded

First report in from black dog on the forum: "utterly utterly brilliant! MES sauntered on stage for a brief appearance, it was great, but so was Mouse on Mars! LOVED them!". More reviews now on the forum.


added 20 September

The Monks documentary film, The Transatlantic Feedback, that was tied in with the Silver Monk Time tribute album, gets its theatrical release in Berlin on 4 October 2007. The Monks will do two live performances coupled with film screenings in Austria on 13 October and Frankfurt on 15 October. Full details on the Play Loud! Productions website.


added 16 September; updated 17 September; updated 3 October

Tom Hingley & The Lovers (featuring Steve and Paul Hanley) will be playing The Ritz, Manchester on 28 October as part of Oxjam's month of fund raising gigs. Headliners are Monaco and there will also be sets from Terry Hall and Vinny Peculiar. Tickets are available from ticketline.

Says Paul Hanley: "I think it's the first time the Hanley brothers have shared a stage with Hooky and Mike Joyce since the Liverpool City Council Benefit gig at the Royal Court in Liverpool... which was a while ago!" 21 years ago, in fact - 8 February 1986.

Steve adds: 'I've been setting my gear up in front of Pete for 30 years. I bet he still doesn't give me any room".

The response from Peter Hook (possibly):


added 8 September; updated 24 September

Thursday, 6 September     Maria am Ostbahnhof, Berlin

Reformation / Senior Twilight Stock Replacer / Wings > Wolf Kidult Man / I've Been Duped / Pacifying Joint / My Door Is Never / Fall Sound / Strange Town / Theme from Sparta FC / Alton Towers / Mr. Pharmacist / What About Us // Blindness / White Lightning

Reviews on the message board. Heike has a large collection of photos on flickr.


added 5 September; updated 25 September

Reviews are coming in on the message board of The Fall Box Set 1976-2007, which was released on Monday 10 September. Full details of the box set are on this special discography page.

  • Mojo, September 2007 - 4 stars
  • Sunday Times, 26 August 2007 - "surpasses all previous compilations"
  • Record Collector, September 2007 - 4 stars
  • Q Magazine, September 2007 - 3 stars - "idiosyncratic flick through Mark E Smith's backpages with the emphasis on alternate versions and rarities"
  • Thanks to Ocelot for the Mojo and Record Collector review scans. If someone could please email me scans of the Sunday Times and Q Magazine reviews for the news archive, that would be much appreciated.


    added 3 September

    Sunday, 2 September     Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Ireland

    Wings (partial) > Wolf Kidult Man / Pacifying Joint / Fall Sound / Theme from Sparta FC / What About Us / Strange Town / My Door Is Never / Over! Over! / Mr. Pharmacist / Blindness

    Setlist TBC. Reviews on the message board.


    added 31 August

    After a hard-fought battle that went into overtime, Leave the Capitol vanquished Garden in the forum's Fall Cup 2007. The final result: 97-96. Links to all the draws, results and discussion here. Congratulations to the winner.


    added 30 August

    Elena has asked me to warn Fall fans that there's a predatory MES impersonator on Myspace. I assume she means this guy: http://www.myspace.com/smith_e_mark. It's blatant to me that that page has nothing at all to do with the real Mark, but in case you were fooled... The Myspace MES is a very popular guy, though. I wish I had 707 friends.

    Are we the Official Fall Website again?


    added 28 August; updated 25 September

    Von Südenfed are releasing The Rhinohead as a single on 15 October (put back from original date of 24 September), backed with a new song -- Slow Down Ronnie -- and a 7-minute remix of the title track.



    added 28 August

    There's a good article about Wyndham Lewis on the Popmatters site, including a quote from MES.

    These days, modern English curmudgeonly wordsmith Mark E.Smith calls him “a funny old stick...the most underrated writer this century...hard to read...a man years ahead of his time.”



    added 28 August

    Mark's reading of the football results in November 2005 made BBC3's TV's Most Annoying Pop Moments programme. He came in at #31.


    added 28 August

    Big New Prinz will be on Andrew Weatherhall's Sci Fi Lo Fi Volume 1 mix CD. It's out on Soma on 8 October. Full tracklisting and discussion on progressive-sounds.


    added 22 August

    Mick Middles has a second Fall book out soon, entitled The Fall: The Complete Guide to Their Music. It's out on 14 September according to Amazon.


    added 22 August

    Thanks to Tom for spotting this post about London's strip bar history on the Undressed to Kill forum. The Fall connection's about half way down.


    added 21 August; updated 22 August

    Sanctuary will release a CD + DVD set of the Fall's gig at the Hammersmith Palais last April Fool's Day. The tracklist for both discs is

    Senior Twilight Stock Replacer / Pacifying Joint / Fall Sound / Over! Over! / Theme from Sparta F.C. / Hungry Freaks, Daddy / Wrong Place, Right Time / My Door Is Never / The Wright Stuff / White Lightning / Blindness / Reformation!

    Tentative release date is 29 October.

    Also, Sanctuary's 5-disc box set has been pushed back two weeks to 10 September. The tracklisting is in last month's Fall news.


    added 12 August

    Volkmar has kindly translated the Von Südenfed review posted on the taz.de site.


    Mark E. Smith and Mouse on Mars call themselves Von Südenfed. And by the way they cleared up the contradiction of Rock and Electro.
    By Jörg Sundermeier (translation: Volkmar Helgenberger)

    The band name alone! Von Südenfed! No Brit can pronounce it, even the Russians will have their problems, presumably the Chinese, too. Funnily, Germans have their problems, too. Yet it claims to be a German name. And presumably everyone will recognize it as a German name. Because of that strange umlaut. The album title alone: "Tromatic Reflexxions"! The title of its first track alone: "Fledermaus Can't Get Enough"! How really daft is that? What does a band want to achieve with titles like these? One assumes: nothing concrete. Anyway, these weird neologisms do impress. This alone seems to be the intention of this band.

    The video of the first single alone! Three beautiful drag queens, or drag queen actors, with a lot of make up and beards, lip-synch and dance to the song "Fledermaus Can't Get Enough", which is a stomper. Although they teasingly flutter their eyelashes and bare their teeth, they have one problem: the singer -- whose words they should be singing -- babbles, rants, barks, and coughs his words, and much of it is simply incomprehensible. Does he sing 'I can't get enough cause I can't get it' or does he sing 'I can't get enough, but I can get it', or does he sing 'I can't get it now, but I can get it'? The lip-synchers decide to do resolute babbling and dramatic grimacing.

    At least: This band alone! They're formed by Jan St. Werner and Andi Thoma, who usually perform as the duo 'Mouse on Mars', and Mark E. Smith, who has probably sacked more members of his band The Fall than he's ever had shirts. Von Südenfed are said to be a supergroup.

    And it really is a supergroup. For years Mouse on Mars have proved at their gigs that they don't want to be intellectual mice, they want to party. They always prefer the raw beauty of a fat and deep bass rumble to the fragile stiffness of musical patchwork art. During the last years their albums increasingly tend to prove not what hip stuff they've read or how many unique samples there are on their laptops.

    Now as Von Südenfed, where they are responsible for the music while Mark E. Smith writes the lyrics, they are forced by their singer, this weird stage hog just turned 50, to even more limitation. The singer, who even gave the members of the Fall line-ups the greatest possible freedom (within a narrow framework) -- provided the result was anything but "pop" -- used to surprise Toma and St. Werner -- in their own words -- by saying 'Well, it's OK now'. Suddenly, during the session. Just so. And then it was over.

    Logical consequence: "Tromatic Reflexxions" is anything but overproduced. But they didn't do too little, either. The sound is heavy, the beat fat, and the sounds are pleasant. Von Südenfed made a record that would have been catalogued as 'Big Beat' some years ago. Rough party music with hints to the sound of Fatboy Slim. But then there's a -- hmm -- shouting backed up by good old guitar. Prole art threat -- like one must say thank God, it sounds like another Fall record. Every band for whom Mark E. Smith was a guest singer, he forced them to do at least one song that sounded like The Fall; only Long Fin Killie and Prefab Sprout successfully got him into their own.

    Mouse on Mars are obviously devoted to the myth of Mark E. Smith much of the time. This record -- which is not planned to be the only one -- is even built up like a Fall record. There's a field recording track ('Jbak Lois Lane'), which should shock and awe anyone who plays this record as background music. It's something like the 'hidden track', though it's not hidden at the end of the record, but put between the traffic of boomin' and barkin'. There's the nearly concillatory 'Dear Dear Friends' and the sung-to-guitar 'Chicken Yiamas', which ticks off wonderfully at its end. Only the (for Fall records) obligatory cover versions you won't find.

    Also, the structure of these songs are like The Fall's song structures. A stiff beat is recorded and mercilessly held for 3 or 4 minutes while keyboards and guitars build upon it. Were this a Fall record, it should have been released in 1997, just after the record 'Levitate', which was mainly influenced by keyboard player Julia Nagle. 'Levitate' was more electronic, it deeply irritated the more 'rockish' - the majority - of fans of The Fall. The Fall, who Godlike John Peel in his unlimited admiration for Mark E. Smith, always called 'the Mighty Fall', always recorded tracks more than songs. Even on their first record 'Live at the Witch Trials' (1979) it was obvious that this band was influenced as much by krautrock and experimental American rock as by punk.

    But it stayed rock. Now 'Levitate' was one of the most exciting records in The Fall's history just because Smith gave his keyboarder free reign. Some of those songs even name her as composer, though all others also name him. Had the band returned to rock after this album, and had they not released -- after several lineup changes -- the fairly miserable "Are You Are Missing Winner" in 2001, where the band nearly got lost to pigrock, "Tromatic Reflexxions" could possibly have been a Fall album. But now - again with several changes of the line-up - The Fall recreated themselves as an almost stoic super rock group and 'Von Südenfed' seems to be the electronic job of Mark E. Smith.

    But don't think The Fall and Mouse on Mars are contradictions. It's more that two equals found one another. You would do wrong to Toma and St. Werner (Mouse on Mars) to say this record was only created by the honoured master. Smith is called a misanthrope, but maybe he's more a cynic and a secret melancholic. He insists on being working class, hates right-wingers and left-wingers, and most of all stays uncomfortable with his barkin' and slurrin'. Some time ago a review wrote the dumb but true sentence: 'I never understand the lyrics, but I always know what he wants.' Mouse on Mars obviously met old grumpy at eye level, despite their admiration, and were improved by his mood. Both had been stars and Mark E. Smith can't fire them. He really seems to like that. Here we have an album that's unique. If ever there's a reason to party it's this one. That's nice.

    [Note by the translator: I translated this mainly to let you understand the content. Several points are not my own opinion. And if you found mistakes, PM me at the Fall-Forum. Sorry, my English is not that good anymore and I had problems to translate idioms. In some - very few - points this is not a translation, but more an interpretation. Volkmar.]


    added 11 August

    Very sad news: Tony Wilson died last night following a battle with cancer. Among the hundreds of obituaries and tributes are these on the BBC site: obit / tribute. RIP, Tony.


    added 5 August

    Saturday, 4 August     Tales of the Jackalope Festival, Kimberley Hall, Norwich

    I Am Me Mark / Pacifying Joint / Over! Over! / Theme from Sparta FC / My Door Is Never / Fall Sound / I've Been Duped / What About Us / White Lightning (aborted) / walk off

    Reviews on the message board. Thanks to Michael for the setlist and wristband and to Conway for the flyer.


    added 2 August

    Another Von Südenfed interview, this one from the June issue of Chord magazine (chordmagazine.com). Thanks to Michael Layne Heath for sending it in.


    added 24 July

    A couple of recent European articles:

    - Zone 5300 #530 (PDF - 639k) - thanks to the author Neil Young.

    - Jungle World #28 (12 July). Volkmar kindly translated this German interview into English:

    Them Bastards Hooted

    Bands, names, fashions and music styles come and go. But he lives in the same house in Manchester and sings for 30 years in The Fall. Without doubt this 50 year old is an icon of underground music. An interview with Mark E. Smith about fame, poorness and the advantages of being a plumber.

    The failed terror-attacks in London and Glasgow recently headed the news. Did the events effect Manchester ?

    No, not really. People of asian decent seemed to be a bit more nervous. All others took out their trash as usual and didn't think about it.

    Do events like these precipitate in your music or your lyrics, or do you seperate between The Fall and what's happening in the world ?

    Sometimes things like these do influence me. But what happened in London didn't surprise me that much.

    What motivates you to compose your lyrics ?

    Well, I write every day. It's a very common activity for me.

    Just to name an example: With the musicians of 'Mouse on Mars' you're in a band called 'Von Südenfed'. At the record, which was released in may, there's a song named 'Speach Contamination / German Fear of Österreich'. What do you think germans fear of Austria ?

    Actually this song title has no sense at all. The others said, I couldn't name a song like this. And I told them: You do your things, I do mine. (laughs)

    So the title of this song is just an example for your preference for absurd humour ?

    Indeed, it's a joke. The other two lads alwas had these serious titles to suggest. So I just had to contradict. But the germans I met so far always found the title very funny. But now I remember why I named this song the way I did! We were on tour in Germany and Austria and played some gigs with Berlin band Doc Schoko. It was strange: Those guys had always been very professional, you could really drink with them. But as we played in Vienna, they got very nervous and unbalanced.

    On The Fall's last record there's the song 'Das Boat'. On 'Tromatic Reflexxions' by Von Südenfed' there's not only this mentioned song (Speach Contamination). You also use the line 'It fits well to your new skirt'. Obviously you're doing your jokes with german language.

    No, not really. It's more like this: You're on tour in a foreign country. The roadies and the members of the band always try to learn some sentences in the respective language. Of course that's funny. Cause everyone who hears that, thinks they're idiots. How does that sound if I - as an English - say 'ich' or 'mein' (what means 'I' or 'mine'- VB) in german ? I always write down some sentences in the actual language into a notebook for the crew, so they know how to order their breakfast. Sometimes I write some very wrong stuff (laughs). But say: How did you like The Fall's recent record 'Reformation Post TLC' ?

    'Immer anders, immer gleich!' John Peel's statement about your band still hits the truth. The Fall never really disappointed me.

    You're one of the few!

    Do you really think so ?

    No, no. But to be honest, I don't really care whether people like my music.

    Do you use a computer ?

    No, not at all. I was interested in computers in 1984, when they entered everyone's homes. I couldn't really get warm with computers, so I gave mine away.

    So you don't download music from the internet. What do you think about people getting your music from the internet ?

    I never really worried about this. There are about 100 different records by The Fall, not to count the bootlegs. Why should I prosecute someone, who copies these records ? In the 80s there were several bands who sued people just because they copied records to tapes. But you can't prevent or forbid this. People want the music. And they're too many. You can't catch them all.

    Facing The Fall's 100 records: what would you suggest a newbie for a start ?

    'Hex Enduction Hour' would be quite good. And of course our latest record 'Reformation Post TLC'. And 'Fall Heads Roll' from 2005.

    With your publishings you influenced quite a lot of musicians and writers. At the International Festival in Manchester recently the book ' Perverted by Language: Fiction inspired by The Fall' had been introduced. The authors of all those short-stories referred to you. Are you flattered by this ?

    It's a horrible book. It's been presented at the festival. But we declared very distinctly that it's got nothing to do with me.

    When will your own book, the autobiography 'Renegade: The Lives and Tales of Mark E. Smith', be published ?

    It's goin' to be released in September. It is really good.

    What can we expect ? A typical Rock'n'Roll biography ?

    The original concept was to write the book like the biography of a soccer player. Like: 'I can really remember my first match for Liverpool'. But this idea didn't stand the test. There already are books about The Fall. But they're crap. I wanted to clear up several things with this autobiography.

    You have released this incredible amount of records. You are established as one of the most important figures of underground-music. Nevertheless you were flat broke in 2000.

    Yeah, that's right. Fortunally Im a bit better now financially. But its a very weird contradiction: You're on the frontpages of many musicmagazines, but don't even own an egg. You can't live on positive record reviews.
    But it was also my own fault. I signed wrong contracts. Of course I could bother about all those Fall-bootlegs other people earn their money on. But I prefer to make music and lyrics. In addition I would need about 8 employees to get all the money people owe me. That'd be a real fulltime-job.

    Would you as an author and musician still say you're working-class, where you came from ?

    It's always up and down with The Fall. In the meantime I enjoy the advantages of age. I live at the same house for 25 years now. The situation in Britain is really strange. The government was successful making people believe they belong to the middle-class.

    When you were a teenager you had a job in the docks. Could you have imagined a life staying at this job ?

    I think I'd be better off in this job nowadays (laughs). At least regarding the money. My father was a plumber. You earn more money as a plumber than as a psychiatrist.

    About 30 years ago, august 1977, when you and The Fall were at the beginning of your career, Elvis Presley died. Was this a remarkable event for you and the band ?

    I remember the day when Elvis died. We played at a Punk-Club in Manchester. It must have been our 2nd or 3rd gig at all. We just finished and left the stage when someone announced that Elvis died. All those bastards hooted and applaused. So we went back on stage and said: 'This is for Elvis!' And we played a Rockabilly-number. People spit at us and threw bottles. It's quite funny how times change. Half the people who were at this concert now work for television, are musicjournalists, or play in their own bands. Nowadays they all say Elvis had been a great influence on them. Well, people tend to paraphrase history.


    added 21 July; updated 24 July

    Friday, 20 July 2007    Carling Academy, Islington, London

    Wings / Pacifying Joint / Over! Over! / Theme from Sparta FC / Fall Sound / What About Us / Ponto / My Door Is Never / I've Been Duped // I Can Hear the Grass Grow / Hungry Freaks, Daddy // Systematic Abuse / White Lightning

    Reviews on the message board. Thanks to Mark for the setlist, and for this clip of a bit of Wings. And here's a great clip of MES bashing the cymbals during Blindness, thanks to madprof. And a load of photos by Caacrinolaas on Flickr.


    added 20 July; updlated 24 July

    Thursday, 19 July 2007    Carling Academy, Islington, London

    Wolf Kidult Man / Over! Over! / Theme from Sparta FC / Fall Sound / Ponto * / My Door Is Never / Hungry Freaks, Daddy / Systematic Abuse / I've Been Duped / Blindness // White Lightning // Strange Town

    * Either Ponto with Like to Blow lyrics added, or simply Like to Blow. Either way, I don't think LTB's been played/sung live since 1978. Reviews on the message board, and lots of photos by Caacrinolaas on Flickr. Thanks to Mark for the setlist.


    added 19 July

    Wednesday, 18 July 2007    Carling Academy, Islington, London

    The Man Whose Head Expanded (!) / Pacifying Joint / My Door Is Never / Theme from Sparta FC / Fall Sound / I've Been Duped / Hungry Freaks, Daddy / What About Us / Mountain Energei // Senior Twilight Stock Replacer / Strange Town / Reformation

    By all accounts a better gig than Tuesday's. TMWHE last played in November 1985? Reviews on the message board, and lots of photos here thanks to Neil McNab. And thanks to Mark for the setlist!


    added 19 July

    There's a blog by Michael Hahn on the Guardian site about whether the Fall should pack it in. You can have your say if you like.


    added 18 July; updated 24 July

    Tuesday, 17 July 2007    Carling Academy, Islington, London

    Senior Twilight Stock Replacer / Over! Over! / Pacifying Joint / Theme from Sparta FC / Fall Sound / Ponto / Wrong Place, Right Time / Mountain Energei / My Door Is Never / I've Been Duped / Strange Town / White Lightning // What About Us // Blindness

    Same UK lineup. Reviews on the message board and one of the tabloids (Daily Mirror?). Thanks once again to Mark for the setlist and Graeme for the clipping.

    There's a blog by Michael Hahn on the Guardian site about whether the Fall should pack it in. Comments welcome.


    added 18 July

    Derek Erdman (www.derekerdman.com) is doing another Fall night in Chicago -- Four Hours of The Fall -- on Wednesday, 25 July. It's at Danny's, 1951 W. Dickens, and runs from 10 pm - 2 am.


    added 17 July

    The Fall reviewed on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered"

    In the better late than never department...

    I was shocked to hear Robert Christgau review Reformation Post TLC on NPR a couple of minutes ago. This program is heard by millions of people throughout the USA and beyond; it may well be the biggest exposure the Fall has had on American radio to date. The transcript and audio of the review are on this NPR page.


    added 15 July

    14 July 2007    Ashton Court Festival, Bristol

    Wolf Kidult Man / Pacifying Joint / Fall Sound / Over! Over! / Theme from Sparta FC / What About Us / I've Been Duped / walk off / Strange Town / My Door Is Never / Blindness // White Lightning

    Fall UK lineup: same as the Ritz. Reviews on the message board.


    added 14 July

    There was a 30-year retrospective on the Fall in the November 2006 issue of Norway's Backstage magazine. It's a PDF, in Norwegian.


    added 9 July ; updated 11 July

    6 July 2007    Von Südenfed at Fabric, London

    Speech Contamination / The Rhinohead / Flooded / Fledermaus Can't Get It / Family Feud / Duckrog (instr.)

    Reviews on the message board, and an interview with Jan St. Werner on the Dround in Sound site. And excellent photos of The Great MES on flickr.


    added 1 July; updated 11 July

    1 July 2007    Manchester International Festival, The Ritz, Manchester

    Wolve Kidult Man / Pacifying Joint / Fall Sound / Over! Over! / Theme from Sparta FC / Hungry Freaks, Daddy / Wrong Place, Right Time / My Door Is Never / I've Been Duped / Mountain Energei / Strange Town (a Groundhogs cover) // Blindness / Reformation // Senior Twilight Stock Replacer

    Lineup UK: MES / Elena / Pete / Dave / Keiron

    Reviews on the message board; the Manchester Evening News; the Metro. And a BBC interview with Peter Wild, editor of the support.


    added 30 June

    Another one of those Q&A's in today's Independent - this one entitled "My Secret Life: Mark E. Smith, Singer."


    16 Oct. 2007

    This is the latest news and gossip off the message board, Fallnet, and elsewhere. If you have anything to say, please email Stefan at fallnews@gmail.com.

    To subscribe to Fallnet, send mail to:

    ta to biv for this

    Recent news...

    07oct16 Fall / Von Südenfed gig reviews, Zone / Jungle World / Chord / Taz interviews (mainly VS-related), Fall Box Set reviews, Hammersmith Palais DVD, Mick Middles' Complete Guide, Wyndham Lewis, myspace MES imposter, Fall Cup 2007, Derek Erdman Fall nights, Intermittent Signal (Simon W.), MES fabric doll.

    07jul03 Newsnight Review int., Independent Q&A, Barcelona gig, Von Sudenfed reviews & interviews, Fall box set, Julia Adamson, Hurdy Gurdy Man video, Word of Mouth, John Leckie TapeOp int., Reformation video, Ideal TV clip, Record Collector / Manchester Confidential / Harp Magazine ints., Lee on I'm Into CB, official site problems, Foggy Notions letters, PBL fiction collection.

    07apr12 UK tour, RPTLC reviews, Narnack edition, Reformation single, Von Sudenfed, MES's 50th, Uncut Q&A, Foggy Notions / Telegraph / Liberation / Rock & Folk interviews, Renegade delayed, Saturn 5, Universal reissues, Culture Show / Transmission TV spots.

    07feb22 RPTLC UK released, Malaga gig, MES interviews: Independent, Welt am Sonntag, Stool Pigeon, The Times, Fantastic Man; Johnny Vegas' Ideal preview, Memorex of the Krakens, Anjulireeves on youtube, Packing a Gun, 7 Wives of MES, Saturn 5, Grayson Perry, Brix's "Star," Frank Sidebottom.

    06dec30 Reformation Post TLC announcements, NYC & Strangeways gigs, Julia Adamson photos, Dave Milner songs, Gusgus Not Clean remix, Fall forum crash, Sonic Arts Network cd, PBL book, Mitsubishi Blindness, Monks live session, MES on Dylan.

    06oct30 Silver Monk Time & Monks gigs, Oct. UK & Ireland gig reviews, Ben Pritchard interview, "Renegade: The Gospel According to MES," MES DJ set on Radio 1, Environmental Health News, Stewart Lee in Sunday Times.

    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.

    06feb21 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.

    06jan03 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.

    05nov08 Fall Heads Roll reviews, UK tour, Incendiary, Rock Sound & Pitchfork interviews, PBL book preview, Commercially Unfriendly cd.

    05sep30 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.

    05aug18 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.

    05jul26 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.

    05jun14 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.

    05apr27 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.

    05feb25 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.

    05jan07 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