Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle, Dorset, according to Rob Da Bank. With the Wurzels.
added 30 December
Yet more interview with Martin Bramah. The first one (see below) was conducted via email a few weeks ago. Here's the second from this month. O.S. = Odran Smith aka Noisette Triangle.
O.S. Hi Martin.
M.B. It's been a while.
O.S. Must be 15-20 years. (Turns out it's seventeen) So you're on Anglesey. Are you're there for the whole Christmas period?
M.B. Yeah I'm here until Wednesday 23rd December and then I'm off back to Manchester.
O.S. Subsequent to interviewing you by email a few weeks ago I read the ...Simon Reynolds book - 'Totally Wired' - and I thought we should discuss it because it's a great interview and he's my favourite journalist.
"When I first met Mark Smith he was listening to the Doors. I had thought initially The Doors were a band like Bread - some American soft-rock band!"
MES has been quite evasive in the past as regards how he got into various types of music. Do you not think it’s disingenuous to pretend that he didn't discover music through the John Peel show? What music did you turn him on to?
M.B. Well I just thought the Doors were just some beardy west coast band before I actually listened to them. I didn't even know that the Jim Morrison that Iggy Pop was talking about in interviews was the same guy. We discovered music in unison. MES read the rock papers (Sounds, NME and Melody Maker) religiously. Knew the names of ALL the journalists and what they liked. He had a particular interest in Lester Bangs and Nick Kent. If he hadn't succeeded as a singer I have no doubt he'd have made it as a journalist.
O.S. It's interesting that you say he digested the music press so completely - I mean Marc Riley sang in Jumper Clown "Don't buy the indie rock press anymore please may I look at yours".
M.B. He was very interested in Lou Reed and everything related and that fed into his fascination with Lester Bangs.
O.S. Your interviews often come back to a discussion of Gurdjieff. It's not a subject that seemed to interest MES.
M.B. No he certainly would have been aware of him but I don't think it was something that interested him greatly. We read all the druggy literature - Huxley and Crowley - we could get our hands on.
O.S. Well MES is interested in Arthur Machen and so was Crowley - apparently Gurdjieff and Crowley met but didn't get on. So you'd been into Gurdjieff for a few years before you saw 'Meetings With Remarkable Men'. I've seen this movie on
Youtube and its entertaining - particularly the dance sequences - but I would kind of agree with the caveat that it would be better if you knew something about Gurdjieff before watching the movie.
M.B. Yeah I wrote the song 'Agents Of Change' on the bus home after watching that movie in a cinema in Hulme.
O.S. One thing that strikes me is that Gurdjieffian thought has never become particularly popular.
M.B. Well it’s actually very popular in all kinds of new age beliefs but they tend to disassociate it from Gurdjieff because it suits them to do so. His image is so tainted and he can easily be painted as a charlatan. His beliefs are now common in modern European thought even though it’s not immediately apparent.
O.S. Another person that was around in the post punk scene was Julian Cope. He used your quote - "the only way out is up" - on the sleeve notes of Autogeddon and reviewed 'The Greatest Hit' online. Does his interest in the pagan cross over with yours?
M.B. Well Julian and Ian McCulloch used to come to all of our gigs. They used to roadie for The Fall. Coincidentally I jammed with an early incarnation of The Teardrop Explodes in the Band On The Wall. We're not in touch now but I'd like to meet him again. We both come from a particular hippy / punk background.
O.S. Were you ever in a Gurdjieffian 'Fourth Way' group?
M.B. I was for about a year back in 1983. It was called the 'School of Economic Science' and it was in Deansgate. It didn't really have anything to do with economics. Gurdjieff was never mentioned, but it was obvious to me. It was good as it taught practical philosophy and meditation and it came with no cultural baggage. However by the third term I became a little disenchanted when a lecturer said to the class you should all vote Conservative in the forthcoming election I felt like getting my coat. I found and continue to find Gurdjieff to be a remarkable individual. The things he said weren't rational and are at times contradictory. It's terrific food for thought.
O.S. I come to it with a lot of baggage because my late father spent a portion of his life trying to rubbish the ideas of Transcendental Meditation.
M.B. Well the Maharishi Yogi did do some fairly dodgy things over the years. I'm fascinated by the way that Gurdjieff came to London and elsewhere and captivated the cream and avant garde of society. The doctors and architects of 1920s London or New York treated this man like god incarnate. I think the core of his message is to think for yourself. His personal presence was by all accounts enormously powerful. I came to his work by a different route than 99% of his modern followers and for that reason I'm not afraid to discuss it. The secrecy aspect means that most refuse to discuss 'the work'.
O.S. Do you think MES could be seen to be a Gurdjieffian like figure? I mean look at the women he's attracted over the years - it's Rasputin like. And as far as 'esoteric Christianity' is concerned secrecy has always been at his core. I'm always struck by a particular Fall lyric - "My biggest fear is being found out".
M.B. Well he has a powerful presence and a core of inner confidence. He has fervent followers and he loves to rubbish cherished beliefs. Listen, Mark Smith's greatest creation was Mark E. Smith. That's his greatest literary creation. He was pretty well read before he was ever interviewed by a journalist.
O.S. Fourth way groups haven't really attracted controversy in the way that Scientology has.
M.B. Well it hasn't really become as successful.
O.S. You knew Mark's sisters before you knew Mark - they must share something of his personality - how is that played out as a female?
M.B. Well first of all he is the oldest. He has three younger sisters and he has a real matriarchal mother. He was the cherished son and his sisters doted on him as well. I went to his bedroom once and the walls were covered in scribbles from years before. If I'd made a mark on the wall at home somebody would have slapped me! It was a very loving family and he was the little prince.
O.S. Shane McGowan's childhood seems to have been a little like that...non-authoritarian...allowed to self educate.
The Aztec Camera song 'Orchid Girl' was that about Una Baines?
M.B. I don’t really know. You would have to ask Roddy Frame. He certainly got on well with Una and they would have very intense chats.
O.S. Are you still in contact with Roddy Frame?
M.B. Not really...I used to meet up when I lived in London.
O.S. How long did you live in London?
M.B. I lived in London for 14 years between 1991 and 2005.
O.S. Your and MES's paths don't cross anymore?
M.B. No we just don't get on any longer.
O.S. You NEVER seem to be say anything mean spirited about him.
M.B. Well I'm aware that people always want me to comment on the guy - he's an enormously talented lyricist but yes he has done things to piss me off over the years. In the long run it's just safer not to comment because if I was to say something that could be perceived as uncomplimentary it comes across as sour grapes. It doesn't annoy me and I don't waste mental energy on it but there were simple untruths in the autobiography. He says them and they are on public record but some of it is untrue.
O.S. You were quite monosyllabic in the written interview. You've mentioned in the past you're a fan of Andy Warhol's interview technique. I'm glad I'm not on the end of it today.
M.B. Yeah big fan of Warhol - very Zen in many ways.
O.S. You're quite anti-religion?
M.B. Yes even more so now than in the past. I just think people should think for themselves.
O.S. Your music has become more folk influenced in recent years.
M.B. Yeah with 'Mystic Bud' and 'The Battle Of Twisted Heel'.
O.S. I thought the former sounded a little like 'The Wicker Man OST'. I'm Irish. You know the Irish are a bit culturally superior on the folk music front.
M.B. Rightfully so. I'm more interested in Irish traditional ballads rather than jigs and reels.
O.S. Well the Hanley brothers are of Irish descent.
M.B. And so is Hop Man Jr.
O.S. The new song 'Lucybel' on youtube is superb.
M.B. Yeah I was kind of working with what I’d learned from the old Irish ballads.
O.S. Do you think the Gurdjieffian dance is like trance dancing in rave / acid house?
M.B. No. Gurdjieff described each posture as being like a letter in an alphabet. I always wanted to learn some of the sacred dances but it wasn't really an option. I think in many ways the kernel of what Gurdjieff was really about died with him. One of the reasons I got into Aikido was because I knew movement had to be important.
O.S. Did your interest in 'the fourth way' help you stay on the straight and narrow as regards drink and drugs?
M.B. Well if anything it was Aikido. Your mind is empty on the mat. I would spend half my week with my druggy friends and half the week in the dojo.
O.S. I did Karate very briefly and I was far too old to be taking it up but what I took away from it was that the 'Kata' part is really powerful. I mean my dyspraxic ways meant I was never any good at it but anything that requires deft movement and empties your mind has to be powerful.
M.B. It's interacting with people in a non-verbal environment as well. The original Japanese aikido insisted that no one talk. I tired of Gurdjieff but stuck with Aikido. It takes years for it to be of any use in a fight but I like that its not very aggressive. It’s like the Japanese Budo.
O.S. The Blue Orchids toured with Echo and the Bunnymen. How did you get on with Ian McCulloch?
M.B. Really well actually. Ian was really keen to help the band. He recognised my contribution to the early Fall. They came out and watched us (The Blue Orchids) every night. Some people in their management were less keen and said we were going down too well but Ian insisted we complete the tour.
O.S. So some one gave you 'Beelzebub's Tales To His Grandson' at the age of sixteen - who would do such a thing? The idea of a teenager reading something like that now just seems so alien...and I mean I'm nearly a generation younger than you.
M.B. Well I did shoplift records and books. (Doesn't seem particularly proud of this-coincidentally the only book I ever stole was Paintwork from Manchester Central Library - and no I’m not proud of it either ). It was like a magpie cultural education.
O.S. I suppose this all fits into the idea behind 'Bad Education.'
'A Bad Education' was an intellectual statement, rejecting what is supposedly a good education. 'I've read too many books, seen too much TV.' It's saying education is bad and I reject it. The education system is a mechanical thing that is running down because people are teaching by rote from dusty books, and a lot of it is misinformation. History is selective because there's an infinite number of things happening right now'. From "Totally Wired" - Simon Reynolds
M.B. I mean the education system is just so separated. The plebes, the grammar school kids and the public school boys are taught three different ways...it's social engineering.
You know if you're interested in the esoteric and you're Irish you should check out Michael Tsarion. He reckons that all civilization comes from the Irish and they in turn came from Atlantis.
O.S. So what about this new BBC4 documentary on ex-Fall members.
M.B. Yeah Steve (Hanley) knows a lot more about that than I do. I didn't get involved in the BBC documentary about MES for various reasons but I hope this comes to fruition.
So I thought to myself...if we do this right it could be definitive (not). You don't have to answer all the questions. You don't have to answer it all at once...it's quite long...you could do it in intervals...it was certainly composed over a few days... but if you could be as open as possible it's bound to make for a better interview. And you know you haven't really done that many interviews over the years.
If you just give your answers between the questions it should work out fine.
I'm not sure whether an email interview is ideal but you don't have to worry about being misquoted. I hope I don't offend you with any of this shit because that really would defeat the whole purpose of the exercise.
Oh and the font size and type go a bit funny at times....
1. 'Live At The Witch Trials' ...even by punk standards recording an album in one day was pretty hardcore. Do you remember recording the album?
Yes, we were booked into a studio in London for seven days – but Mark lost his voice on day one and as the plan was to play the songs live in the studio this was a bit of a problem. Our label sent him to see a doctor and we were told to do nothing until he was fixed – so we fucked about in the studio for five days driving the staff nuts (at least we got a good drum sound!) until Mark turned up on the Saturday with two days to go, and so we recorded the album in one day and mixed it on the final day (Sunday).
2. According to Simon Ford’s ‘Hip Priest’ book your relationship with Una Baines was one cause of your first departure from The Fall. However in the 'To Hell With Poverty' (1985) interview you say the reason you left The Fall the first time was due to arguments between yourself, Mark and Kay Carroll. Which is correct?
Both are true as it was my relationship with Una that Mark and Kay were concerned about – they felt that she was a disruptive influence in my life and therefore bad for the band – basically the last straw came when Una needed to go to hospital and as a result I missed a rehearsal – Kay called round the next day and had a go at Una for wasting my time and I ended up quitting the band.
3. What Blue Orchid’s song did Sonic Youth cover?
Is this a quiz?
3a. is 'Disney Boys' in any way a reference to the Beach Boys 'Disney Girls'?
Dunno - ask Una, she wrote the words for that one…
4. How did your path cross with Nico’s in the 1980’s? (It seems quite strange that a young band would find themselves supporting the German chanteuse. I suppose the nearest example in recent years was when Shack took a sabbatical to support Arthur Lee from Love). (My first favourite band were the Velvets but I kind of took the Lou Reed line of not liking her until I bought 'Chelsea Girls', watched The Royal Tenenbaums and listened to Bjork's Breezeblock mix and I changed all that).
She came to Manchester to play a concert and decided she liked it here, for whatever reason – I was introduced to her because she was looking for a band to play with and Blue Orchids, given our influences, were the obvious choice at the time. I was a big fan of Nico’s work and had been since the age of 15 – I had all her albums, etc.
5. Everybody else seems to have written a book about their time playing with Nico in the 1980s. Can we expect to see your tome soon?
“Soon?” – no
6. What did you think of the Richard Witts and James Young books?
I haven’t read them.
7. Do you have any Jim Morrison, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne or Andy Warhol anecdotes she might have shared with you that you might wish to pass on to our readers?
8. The whole scene surrounding Nico was pretty druggy. Any chance of a "My Drugs Hell" confessional?
“Hell” is a state of mind and drugs can help you to gain that state of awareness – as for heroin, I never could see what all the fuss was about. It seemed like a pretty crap drug to me, but I did try it a few times because it was freely available. The most I can say for it, is that it made me feel like “I don’t give a fuck” but I didn’t feel I needed heroin to feel like that, as I didn’t give a fuck anyway! Luckily for me I poisoned myself by overdosing on the stuff – I was very ill for about five days and I’ve hated the drug ever since.
9. Uncovered a website recently that said you were strongly influenced by G.I. Gurdjieff. Which of your songs were influenced by the writings of Gurdjieff? (Work presumably but quite a lot of your songs mention sleep or secrecy-both Gurdjieffian topics). (I used to know a girl and she was in a Fourth Way group / The Work so I've got a bit obsessed with it of late. Which in turn gives an Irish catholic boy like me all sorts of headaches). Anyway this Gurdjieff chap is REALLY interesting. Other musicians have been influenced in him in the past, for example, Robert Fripp and Kate Bush. What precipitated your interest in Gurdjieff?
I first became aware of Gurdjieff’s writing at the age of 16, when I acquired a copy of “Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson”. His ideas really struck a chord in me and I became rather obsessed with his world view. I’d say he has influenced a lot of my writing over the years – it’d be hard to name a specific song – as I say, most of them have a certain flavour that I’ve picked up from my ponderings and wonderings… as for the various schools that have sprung up since he died – I say none of them get it!
11. If as Gurdjieff says most people are asleep who in the public eye, for example, is awake? (Its all a bit like that movie The Matrix isn't it? (Yes)).
Mark E. Smith
12. So you rejoined The Fall for Extricate. Was it strange being back in a band with a teenage friend who was now something of a legend? That must have been difficult to adjust to.
It was strange, yes – but I’d followed the Fall’s career and pretty much knew what to expect – Mark hadn’t changed that much really – but yes, it was a pretty steep learning curve as it was one of the bands busiest periods and they were at the height of their notoriety – at the same time their creative “golden age” had already passed to some extent – or so it seemed at the time, within the band
13. Do you think your song writing credits on Extricate are accurate i.e. ‘Sing! Harpy’, ‘And Therein...’, ‘Error Orrori’ and ‘Zandra’? I suppose what I’m driving at is that most members of the Fall (past and present) say that MES has a strange way of deciding on song credits.
I think he just forgets who did what most of the time and doesn’t like to ask band members in case they start to think they’ve got a say in it!
14. Why the track listing credit as M. Beddington on ‘Sing! Harpy’ and other songs?
Not my choice - must have been a mix-up with the management – Beddington is my legal name – but I’ve been known as Bramah since my mother married Alan Bramah from Prestwich, when I was six years old – so it says Beddington on my passport but I use Bramah as kind of a “stage name” as that’s the name everybody knows me by and I was registered with the PRS etc. as Bramah, so it shouldn’t have been a problem…
15. How did your relationship with Marcia Schofield overlap? You were an item before she joined the band?
I met Marcia when I rejoined the band and we got on famously!
16. The only things you played on Shiftwork were ‘Blood Outta Stone’, ‘White Lightning’ and ‘Rose’. Is this correct?
I’d have to look at the track listing now that it’s a double CD – do you have a copy?
17. Wikipedia states that the reunion with Mark E. Smith at the time of Extricate ‘was never going to last’. Is this assessment correct?
18. I read recently that you joined The Fall for a third time in 1998. Was any material recorded during this period? How long did these rehearsals take place?
I think it was ’99 – I had a meeting with Mark and he seemed into it – then I had a play with Karen the bass player at the time – then I believe Ed Blainy stepped up and he had more to offer the band than I – no recordings survived…
19. Any burning regrets?
Yea, starting this quiz
For example... hooking up with The Fall three times, touring with Nico, turning down the offer to front the Inspiral Carpets or signing to various record labels.
Why would I regret any of that?
20. You’ve backed a few other artists in your time it does beg the question. Are you a reluctant frontman?
21. I presume your current band's name comes from Nico...she was after all a Factory Star. Was there a conscious decision not to call the band The Blue Orchids?
Blue Orchids, as a name, carried too much baggage from the past – I wanted a fresh start with a new agenda – I had a few ideas for band names but FACTORY STAR is the one that stuck – in the absence of Andy Warhol and Anthony Wilson, and as no one else was using it, I thought I’d grab the name and run with it – I like it because it’s plain and simple and kind of working class etc, so we can put our own stamp on it.
22. How many gigs have Factory Star played?
23. What has the reaction been like for Factory Star?
Great - so far…
24. How did you get together with the Hanley brothers for Factory Star?
Steve emailed me, and I believe that book “The Fallen” may have stirred the idea in his mind…
25. What is the proviso in deciding what Fall songs Factory Star play? Do they for example have had to be on ‘Live at the Witch Trials’ and ‘Extricate’?
That was the obvious starting point when we thought about playing some of the Fall’s old tunes, though we’ve played “psycho mafia” a few times, which isn’t on either of those albums and we had a pop at “stepping out” and “put away” when we played in Anglesey last September – but we’ll be dipping in and out of that particular ‘gold mine’ every now and again – last two gigs we didn’t do any Fall songs.
26. Who are Gnod? How did you meet Hop Man Jr.? Is there a Hop Monsignor?
Gnod are transcendental noise terrorists from Manchester. I met Hop Man Jr. via Neal da Fish, their Belfast born vocaliser – and yes, Hop Man has a Dad!
27. Siblings usually argue...Have you bore witness to any disagreements between Stephen and Paul?
Yea, they’re always fighting about what note goes where n stuff being too slow, n’at.
28. Are the Hanley brothers still working with Tom Hingley?
29. Can we expect any recorded material from Factory Star?
Yes – in the New Year – plus check our new free single “Lucybel” downloadable from somewhere or t’other.
31. What music are you listening to these days?(Please insert some trendy bands here or a worthy classic, maybe)
32. You didn't get involved with Dave Simpson when he was writing The Fallen. Were you wary and for what reason. I think you said to me some time ago that you were subsequently quite impressed by the book. Is this correct?
No, not really that impressed – it seemed to me like a “line ‘em up n shoot ‘em down” kind of deal to me – and Simpson didn’t do his research very well either – but I’m sure there are a few good laughs in there though – the truth is just a prison cell.
33. What's the origin of the name Bramah...it's not particularly common.
Anglo-Saxon: were the broom grows.
34. You seem to have aged remarkably well...pictures of Dorian Gray notwithstanding what’s your secret?
Dunno – drugs and Aikido maybe.
added 25 December
In keeping with Fallnet's fine festive frivolity, a Christmas Tail:
Pete: Fallnet's very own Tom Wootton has given me permission to forward this charming Christmas anecdote, along with the Season's greetings and all that:
Tom: Funny you should say that, but where I work, in RUPERT MOLOCH'S EVIL DEATH STAR, they've been trying to cheer the drones up with various Christmas 'events'.
One of which was getting three donkeys to hang around outside the canteen while tunes were played over a loudspeaker.
I felt sorry for the donkeys. They probably thought they were getting a nice day out from the sanctuary, but instead they end up in the middle of a light industrial business park being ignored by miserable media types and petted by sappy girls. (They handed out hygenic soap
gel after) (they - the humans attending the donkeys, not the donkeys
themselves) (or the sappy girls). I gave them a smirk of
commiseration, which they regarded balefully. (them/they - the donkeys
not the.... ah f' it.)
Pete: Hmm, I wonder what music they played over the loudspeakers?
The Fallnet collective:
Get a Colt's Smell
Like to Plow
No Xmas for Don-keys
Hay bales, the Donkeys
From the album Goatesque: After the Ram, Hands Up Billy Goat
My New Horse
Edin Burro Man (for those across the pond)
Goat Of The QuantifierThere's a Goat in My House
I Can't Get Over Ewe
A Donkey Walks
Beach Trip Dispenser
Donkey Me Darling
Stable Master's Breakout
I'm a Donkey
Bray of the Land
How I Rode from Prestonpans
The Birmingham Mule of Business Mule
Missed Her Harness, Miss (extra groan)
Herds of Equine Station (eh?)
Horse Trail Ends in Europe
And This Dray
Carry Nosebag Man
Hoof the North
Feiertag Jack (Feiertag = holiday, Jack = male donkey. Fuck, the fucker needs explaining for fuck's sake.)
Carrot and Carry
Jingle vs Jenny
Bournemouth Beach Runner
Carry Grant's Nativity Play
British Ponies in Cold Weather
Mary'll Crush Us
Kurious Oranj and a Few Strange Walnuts
Xmas with Seabiscuit
Misseltoe in Aspen
An Ass Gone Mad
Mule of Kintyre (they did a cover at my private Xmas party, OK?)
Breaking the Mules
Coach and Donkeys
Like to Burro
Eeyore the Moon Falls
Eeyore Not Up to Much
I Come and Stand at Eeyore
which led to Bill's one-man AA Milne tangent:
Tigger Just Bounces
Roo to Live
Live at the Woozle Trails
We Wish You a Protein Christopher Robin
Arid Owl's Dream
Owl's New House
Heffalump Found Bormann
Carry Balloon Man
The Bear Whose Waist Expanded
Mm, a Hunny
Pander! Kanga! Piglet!
Chicago Now We Are Six
A Lot of Wind (aka A Blustery Day)
I'm into Hunny
The Reckoning Spot
Blustery Day Ted (Edward, geddit?)
The $500 Pot of Hunny
Behind Pooh Corner
A very happy Christmas and best wishes for 2010 to Fall fans everywhere, from me and the house next door:
added 11 December
Next month BBC4 will begin filming for a documentary on former Fall members.
Thursday, 26 November The Assembly, Leamington Spa
Your Future Our Clutter (?) / Strangetown / Wolf Kidult Man / Slippy Floor / Chino Splashback / 50 Year Old Man / I've Been Duped / Wings / Cowboy George / I'm Not from Bury / Scenario / Psykick Dancehall / Reformation // Strychnine // Hot Cake
Reviews on the forum. Thanks to Rob for the setlist.
And The Fall's first appearance on national TV: The Tube, November 1983. Is that Fall News founder Rich Kidd in the polka dot top? I know he's in this clip somewhere.
added 24 November
Monday, 23 November Metropolis, Bristol
Your Future Our Clutter (?) / Strangetown / Wolf Kidult Man / Chino Splashback / Slippy Floor / I've Been Duped / Cowboy George / Scenario / 50 Year Old Man / Blindness // Psykick Dancehall // Mr. Pharmacist / I'm Not from Bury
Setlist TBD; reviews on the forum. Thanks to Ashley for the setlist.
added 23 November
Sunday, 22 November O2 Academy, Liverpool
Your Future Our Clutter (?) / Strangetown / Wolf Kidult Man / Slippy Floor / Chino Splashback / 50 Year Old Man / I've Been Duped / New Cowboy / Cowboy George / I'm Not from Bury / Scenario / Psychic Dancehall / Reformation // Hot Cake
Your Future, Our Clutter (?) / Strangetown / Sloppy Floor / My Door Is Never / Cowboy George / I'm Not from Bury / Wings / I've Been Duped / Chino Splashback / Wolf Kidult Man / Scenario / Psykick Dancehall / Reformation
Your Future Our Clutter (?) / Strangetown / Wolf Kidult Man / Cowboy George / I'm Not from Bury / Wings / Sloppy Floor / I've Been Duped / Scenario // Psykick Dancehall / Mr. Pharmacist / Blindness // White Lightning // Reformation
Reviews and closeups on the forum. Thanks to Mark for the setlist.
added 19 November
Wednesday, 18 November The Brook, Southampton
Your Future Our Clutter (?) / My Door Is Never / Slippy Floor / Cowboy George / I'm Not from Bury / Funnel of Love / I've Been Duped / Chino Splashback / Wolf Kidult Man / Over! Over! / Hot Cake / Reformation / White Lightning
Thanks as always to HanleyFP for the setlist. Reviews on the forum.
added 18 November
Two upcoming Factory Star dates:
Sunday November 22nd: Islington Mill, Salford
Teeth of the Sea, Gnod, and Thought Forms plus the Sandels and Factory Star
Thursday November 26th Kings Arms, Salford
Factory Star + The Sexual Objects (ex Fire Engines)
Factory Star not only have the obligatory myspace, but also the de rigueur Facebook.
added 18 November
Tuesday, 17 November Koko, London
Your Future Our Clutter (?) / Strangetown / Wolf Kidult Man / Slippy Floor / Cowboy George / I'm Not from Bury / I've Been Duped / Funnel of Love / Chino Splashback / 50 Year Old Man / New Cowboy (instr.) // Over! Over! / Mr. Pharmacist / Reformation // Psykick Dancehall
Your Future Our Clutter (?) / Over! Over! / Wolf Kidult Man / Slippy Floor / Chino Splashback / I've Been Duped / Cowboy George / I'm Not from Bury / Theme from Sparta F.C. / Psykick Dancehall // White Lightning / Reformation
Your Future Our Clutter (?) / Strangetown / Wolf Kidult Man / Slippy Floor / Chino Splashback / 50 Year Old Man / I've Been Duped / Funnel of Love / New Cowboy / I'm Not from Bury / Scenario / Mr. Pharmacist / Blindness / Psykick Dancehall
Your Future Our Clutter (?) / Wolf Kidult Man / My Door Is Never / Cowboy George / Chino Splashback / Hot Cake / I've Been Duped / Psykick Dancehall / I'm Not from Bury / Slippy Floor // White Lightning / Over! Over! / Reformation
Action Records, who are running the merchandise stall at the Fall gigs, have issued a one-off limited edition tour CD/single.
1. Slippy Floor (Mark Mix)
2. Hot Cake - Part 2
1. Slippy Floor (Mark Mix)
2. Hot Cake - Part 2
3. Strangetown (Live at Camden Crawl)
The 7" has been delayed to 7 December but you can order it now on Action's site @ £4.95 + shipping. Don't forget your 10% Fall Online discount (type "fallnet" in the coupon box). The CD is the same price.
Trainspotters will note that this release continues the tradition of releasing at least one new Fall song every year since 1978.
The Fall re-issues are slowly making their pilgrimage towards a release date. The choice of tracks for This Nation’s Saving Grace has been made and discs sent to MES for his blessing. There were 14 reels of studio recordings digitally transferred for TNSG. Most of these contained original master recordings but there were 4 reels of out-takes. These actually proved to be a bit disappointing since there is little difference between performances on the alternative takes. More interesting were 2 reels of early, rough mixes of the album recordings which lack the polish off the final mixes but have an accessible… well, roughness. Roughsticity. Rough-a-loogability – somesuch lack of refinement. There’s a tape with an extended version of Barmy which was recorded at the March ’85 sessions along with Cruiser’s Creek, Rollin’ Dany and Couldn’t Get Ahead. It’s the same basic version that was used on the album but with subtly different sonics.
One of the ideas behind the Omnibus releases is to include a contemporaneous live recording of the songs but this won’t happen on this release as the master tapes for two radio recordings, from Clitheroe Castle and Bremen, have been lost or thrown out. Careless. It’ll still be a 3 disc set though, with a second disc of the rough mixes and selected out-takes and a third disc of singles and relevant tracks from John Peel sessions. Also found is a completed master for Ma Riley, an unreleased, Bo’s beat song originally intended as the bonus track on the Cruiser’s Creek 12”. Hopefully The Wonderful And Frightening World digital transfers will be delivered soon.
added 11 November
Wednesday, 11 November Moho Live, Manchester
Your Future Our Clutter (?) / Strangetown / Hot Cake / Wolf Kidult Man / Chino Splashback / 50 Year Old Man / I've Been Duped / Scenario / Cowboy George / I'm Not from Bury / New Cowboy / Mr. Pharmacist / Blindness // Psykick Dancehall
Your Future Our Clutter (?) / Wolf Kidult Man / My Door Is Never / Cowboy George / Chino Splashback / Hot Cake / I've Been Duped / Over! Over! / Psykick Dancehall / I'm Not from Bury // Slippy Floor // White Lightning / Reformation
There's a great article by Paul Hanley about the Stuff the Superstars gig in Manchester (28 July 1979) in issue 7 of Reformation Post TPM.
added 23 October
The newly released Hex Enduction Hour deluxe (same as Sanctuary's 2005 expanded edition) reviewed by Mick Middles in The Quietus.
added 13 October
M.E.S. appears in two episodes of the new season of the Radio 4 comedy "Pick Ups." The first one was Thursday, 15 October.
added 13 October
Just a note to let you know that there's a Fallen/Perverted By Language night at Lancaster Litfest this Saturday (17th) at 9.30pm
The evening includes Fall songs, myself reading from The Fallen, Peter Wild introducing two writers who will read from the Perverted By Language book of fiction inspired by The Fall. There will also be a discussion/Q & A/book signing. As a very special guest, Dragnet-era drummer Mike Leigh will be making his first public appearance since leaving the Fall, talking about what it was like to be in the gruppe and his new band, the Pearl Divers.
added 7 October
A rare interview with Elena Poulou, in issue #3 of La Bouche. She confirms that the new LP - "Our Future Your Clutter" - is out on Domino at the end of January.
added 3 October; updated 20 October
Friday, 2 October 2009 O2 Academy, Leeds
Over! Over! / Chino Splashback / Wolf Kidult Man / Fall Sound / I've Been Duped / Sloppy Floor / Bury / Theme from Sparta F.C. / Reformation // Pat-Trip Dispenser // Psykick Dancehall // White Lightning (unmiked drum with MES orchestrating a crowd singalong)
Pat-Trip Dispenser included Daren from the Nightingales (who supported) on second drumkit. Reviews and good photos on the message board. Thanks to Mark H and Daren for the setlist.
added 2 October
Thursday, 1 October 2009 Theatre Royal, Windsor
Can Can Summer / Fall Sound / Wolf Kidult Man / Sloppy Floor / Cowboy George / I'm Not From Bury / I've Been Duped / Psykick Dancehall // 1969 (Stooges) > Reformation
Reviews on the forum. Thanks to Shayne for the photos.
added 2 October
There's a six-page interview with MES in issue #3 of the Niche Homo zine: "52 pages of superior toilet literature". Looks like a worthy purchase, which you can do on nichehomo.blogspot.com. £1.50 in the UK.
added 2 October
If you count the near-countless dodgy live albums and compilations, the new Fall album will be their 100th! Many thanks to Stephen Fall for listing them all. Naturally there's a heated debate about what should and should not be on the list on the forum.
01: 1979a – Live At The Witch Trials
02: 1979b – Dragnet
03: 1980a – Totale's Turns (It's Now or Never) [live 1979 & 1980]
04: 1980b – Grotesque (After The Gramme)
05: 1981a – Slates [mini-album]
06: 1981b – Early Years 77-79
07: 1982a – Legendary Chaos Tape a.k.a. Live At Acklam Hall, London 1980 [11/12/80]
08: 1982b – Hex Enduction Hour
09: 1982c – A Part Of America Therein, 1981 [live]
10: 1982d – Room To Live (Undilutable Slang Truth)
11: 1983a – Fall In A Hole [2CD] [live 21/08/82]
12: 1983b – Perverted By Language
13: 1984a – The Wonderful & Frightening World Of The Fall
14: 1985a – Hip Priest And Kamerads
15: 1985b – This Nation's Saving Grace
16: 1986a – Nord-West Gas
17: 1986b – Bend Sinister
18: 1987a – In: Palace Of Swords Reversed
19: 1988a – The Frenz Experiment
20: 1988b – I Am Kurious Oranj
21: 1989a – Seminal Live [half studio/half live]
22: 1990a – Extricate
23: 1990b – 45 8489 A Sides
24: 1990c – 45 8489 B Sides [2CD]
25: 1991a – Shift-Work
26: 1992a – Code: Selfish
27: 1993a – The Collection
28: 1993b – The Infotainment Scan
29: 1993c – BBC Radio 1 ‘Live In Concert’ [25/05/87]
30: 1994a – Middle Class Revolt
31: 1995a – Cerebral Caustic
32: 1995b – The Twenty-Seven Points [2CD] [live]
33: 1996a – Sinister Waltz
34: 1996b – Fiend With A Violin
35: 1996c – Oswald Defence Lawyer
36: 1996d – The Light User Syndrome
37: 1997a – In The City... [live 20-22/03/95]
38: 1997b – Archive Series
39: 1997c – The Less You Look, The More You Find
40: 1997d – 15 Ways To Leave Your Man [live 26/06/96]
41: 1997e – Levitate
42: 1997f – Oxymoron
43: 1997g – Cheetham Hill
44: 1998a – Smile…It's The Best Of The Fall
45: 1998b – Live To Air In Melbourne '82 [2CD] [02/08/82]
46: 1998c – Northern Attitude
47: 1998d – The Post-Nearly Man [Mark E. Smith]
48: 1998e – Live Various Years [93, 97, 98]
49: 1998f – Nottingham '92 [live 15/03/92]
50: 1999a – The Peel Sessions
51: 1999b – The Marshall Suite
52: 2000a – Live 1977 [23/12/77]
53: 2000b – A Past Gone Mad
54: 2000c – I Am As Pure As Oranj [live 17/08/88]
55: 2000d – Psychic Dancehall [3CD]
56: 2000e – Live In Cambridge 1988 [19/03/88]
57: 2000f – The Unutterable
58: 2001a – Austurbaejarbio Reykjavik May 6 1983 [live]
59: 2001b – Backdrop
60: 2001c – A World Bewitched [2CD]
61: 2001d – Liverpool 78 [live 22/08/78]
62: 2001e – Live In Zagreb [15/04/90]
63: 2001f – Are You Are Missing Winner
64: 2002a – 2G + 2 [live 11/01]
65: 2002b – Totally Wired: The Rough Trade Anthology [2CD]
66: 2002c – Pander! Panda! Panzer! [Mark E. Smith]
67: 2002d – High Tension Line [2CD]
68: 2002e – Listening In: Lost Singles Tracks 1990-92
69: 2002f – Early Singles
70: 2003a – It's The New Thing!: The Step Forward Years
71: 2003b – Words Of Expectation: BBC Sessions [2CD]
72: 2003c – Touch Senstive...Bootleg Box Set [5CD] [live 2001]
73: 2003d – The Idiot Joy Show [2CD] [live 1995/1996] (also available as two separate LPs/CDs, The Idiot Joy Show and Pearl City)
74: 2003e – The Rough Trade Singles Collection [vinyl-only]
75: 2003f – Live At The Phoenix Festival [1995/1996]
76: 2003g – The War Against Intelligence: The Fontana Years
77: 2003h – The Real New Fall LP (Formerly ‘Country On The Click’)
78: 2003i – Rebellious Jukebox [2CD plus DVD]
79: 2004a – 50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong
80: 2004b – Interim
81: 2005a – The Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004
82: 2005b – Live At Deeply Vale [22/07/78]
83: 2005c – Live From the Vaults: Oldham 1978 [21/08/78]
84: 2005d – Live From the Vaults: Retford 1979 [16/11/79]
85: 2005e – Live From the Vaults: Los Angeles 1979 [14/12/79]
86: 2005f – Fall Heads Roll
87: 2005g – Live From the Vaults: Glasgow 1981
88: 2005h – Live From the Vaults: Hof Alter Banhoff 1981
89: 2006a – The Permanent Years (Paranoia Man In Cheap Sh*t Room)
90: 2007a – Live At The Knitting Factory, New York, 9 April 2004
91: 2007b – Live At The Garage, London, 20 April 2002
92: 2007c – Reformation Post TLC
93: 2007d – Live At The Knitting Factory, LA, 14 November 2001
94: 2007e – Live At The ATP Festival, 28 April 2002
95: 2007f – Box Set 1976–2007
96: 2008a – Imperial Wax Solvent
97: 2008b – I Never Felt Better in My Life: 1979–1982
98: 2009a – Last Night At The Palais: Live at Hammersmith Palais April 1st 2007 [CD and DVD]
99: 2009b – Rebellious Jukebox, Volume 2
Von Südenfed and Smith/Blaney releases are not included. However, The Post Nearly Man and Pander! Panda! Panzer! are included because they include Fall music and lyrics.
added 29 September
From this moth's Mojo, thanks to Ocelot. Contradicts what MES said in recent interview about album coming out in January.
added 29 September
Aftergig party in Leeds:
30 Dec 2009
This is the latest news and gossip off the message board, Fallnet, and elsewhere. If
you have anything to say, please email Stefan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
29sep'09 Summer UK/Euro gigs; Factory Star; The Fallen twitter; another Smith/Blaney cd; Huddersfield Q&A; Beggars reissues; Greenwich Sound radio 1983; 1982 photos; Alan Wise; Chris Knox; Palais DVD; Jeffrey Lewis interview.
19may'09 Annual MES Missive; London, Glasgow, Cambridge gig reviews; Domino press release; Paintwork#2 exhibition + photos; Observer int; Nazi cattle; John Robb MCR book; Safi interview; Globo; Monks screenings.
04mar'09 Fall / MES+Blaney gigs; Paintwork#2; Broken Hip#2; Derby punk book excerpt; Huddersfield Lit comp.; Monks DVD; Gene Vincent radio; Lux Interior, Ron Asheton, r.i.p.; Fall rehearsal video; Dick Witts lecture; DNA's "Misery".
30nov'08vII - 2nd lyrics book; David Luff, r.i.p.; UK tour + 3 Euro gigs; The Fallen press; Smith & Blaney album; 2 Smith ints.; David "Bumble" Lloyd; Shiftwork & Holidays on DVD; Unutterable 2CD reissue; 2008 Fall Albums League results; Martin Bramah solo; Marcia Schofield's Private Passions; Orpheo on tour; Adam Buxton's Mojo promo; Globo
07aug'08 UK gigs and Euro festival reviews; Renegade & IWS reviews; MES Q&As; The Story of the Fall; Mojo Maverick award and auction; MES/ Blaney project; Bo Diddley RIP; Annual Bulletin from the Desk of MES; Scotland on Sunday, MCR Evening News, and BBCR4 Front Row interviews; WPRB review of 4/4/98 gig; Bard of Salford documentary; Maxwell Hall debacle
27apr'08 March UK tour / Renegade excerpts / The Fallen book / Imperial Wax Solvent / Squirrelgate / Daily Telegraph, MusicOMH, Uncut, Word interviews / Hex on Radio 4 / Blaney on Voiceprint deal / Messing up the Paintwork programme & abstracts / Fall news feed
21jan'08 VS / Fall gig reviews, Vice TV's "Soft Focus" int., Messing up the Paintwork conference, message from MES, MES reads Lovecraft, "Latch Key Kid", Suzanne Smith & Claus Castenskiold prints for sale, Flying Nun documentary, Dave Day r.i.p., Renegade preview, MES on BBC radio sitcom "Start", Unofficial Fall site now The Fall Online
16oct'07 Fall / Von Südenfed gig reviews, Zone / Jungle World / Chord / Taz interviews (mainly VS-related), Independent Q&A, 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.
3jul'07 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.
12apr'07 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.
22feb'07 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.
30dec'06 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.
30oct'06 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.
21sep'06 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.
17aug'06 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.
13jun'06 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)
23may'06 US tour (first leg), US press (LA Alternative, LA City Beat, SF Chronicle, OC Weekly), Smog Monsters, Morley on MCR/L'pool
1may'06 Berlin gig, Reclaimers' footy song, MES "In Their Own Write", Praxis Hagen exhibit.
6apr'06 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.
21feb'06 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.
3jan'06 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.
8nov'06 Fall Heads Roll reviews, UK tour, Incendiary, Rock Sound & Pitchfork interviews, PBL book preview, Commercially Unfriendly cd.
30sep'05 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.
18aug'05 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.
26jul'05 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.
14jun'05 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.
27apr'05 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.
25feb'05 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.
7jan'05 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.