Also one of those Q&A's in the latest Mojo. Thanks to Ocelot for scanning it in.
added 3 June
A Fall night this Saturday in Melbourne, Australia:
Wonderful and Frightening: A Tribute to The Fall - Facebook page
Saturday 5th June at The Workers Club, Fitzroy
$10 at the door
“If it’s me and yer granny on bongos it’s The Fall”. So said Mark E Smith, founder and only consistent member of the Manchester post-punk legends he’s fronted since the late seventies. While lacking both Smith and your granny, we have in true Fall fashion assembled a motley group of whoever was available for a night of tribute to music’s most idiosyncratic alcoholic genius/loony. Fell Over (members of Witch Hats/Pets With Pets/Parading), Breaker Morant and YIS (with special guest Sasha from Spitfire Parade/Constant Light) will be playing cuts from classic Fall records such as Dragnet, Grotesque, Hex Enduction Hour, Perverted By Language, This Nation’s Saving Grace, Live At The Witch Trials and more.
Apologies for the lengthy gap in Fall News updates. I've been overwhelmed by a family emergency, but things are settling down now and I'll have a little more free time for frivolity.
added 27 May
Maurice is running edition #2 of Rebellious Jukebox Yeah, a Fall night at the Twisted Pepper in Dublin on Thursday, 3 June. Lots of information on the event blog.
added 27 May
Claus Castenskiold is offering his Perverted By Language tour poster once again. The posters are thick paper stock 30" x 24", in color. Each poster is hand signed by the artist and dated. The price is $25.00 USD for each poster (including shipping) in the US. The price for one poster to Europe is $30.00 USD (shipping included). The posters are sent in thick, sturdy tubes.
Payment options are; E-check, Paypal, or other pre-arranged payment.
Sunday, 2 May Keele University, Newcastle-under-Lyme
O.F.Y.C. Showcase / Over! Over! / Hot Cake / Cowboy George / Bury / I've Been Duped / Slippy Floor / Chino / Wolf Kidult Man / Weather Report // Theme from Sparta FC
Reviews on the forum. Thanks to Philip for the setlist.
added 8 March; updated 7 May
Your Future Our Clutter CD and LP (the latter with two extra tracks: 986 Generator and Get A Summer Song Goin') are available for preorder on Domino and Domino USA. Official launch dates are 26 April in the UK and 4 May in the US.
NOTE: US vinyl has been pushed back to 18 May due to production delay.
Domino is hosting a stream on Soundcloud, which is worth a look.
There are some reviews on the forum, and I'll add links to the press and web (the more thoughtful ones, anyway) reviews as they come in.
Deep down John wondered if the Aqua Rosa beauty vouchers
were really the best birthday present for Mark.
Congratulations, Andrew, and thanks to everyone for entering. Masochists may read all the entries on this thread of the forum.
Your Future Our Clutter competition time!
Domino USA has kindly offered a copy of the test pressing of the 2xLP as a prize to Fall News readers. It's a white label with no track listing (nor any printing at all) and it comes in a generic Domino record company sleeve. Very rare!
The best caption to the photo of John Cooper Clark & M.E.S. (courtesy Mojo magazine) takes the prize. Entries (one per person, please) must be received by high noon EST (5pm GMT) on Sunday, 2 May. Please send your caption to firstname.lastname@example.org with CAPTION CONTEST as the subject, and I'll pick the winner.
Update: lots and lots of entries but no clear front runner. Now regretting choosing this photo; it's a tough one for a decent caption.
In the opening moments of “O.F.Y.C. Showcase,” a new song by the British band the Fall, something’s up with the singer, Mark E. Smith. He sounds like a man in a cartoon who’s been hit by an anvil, birds tweeting over his head. He’s muttering, woozy. He seems in no shape to sing a rock ’n’ roll song. Mr. Smith is 53 and doesn’t sound younger. You can hear his age not just in his voice but in his nervous system. Other rock singers try to sound louche, but this one could be under sedation.
Hard four-four drums pile in, followed by a dirty-toned bass repeating a single note; thus begins a round of vamps and choruses that won’t diminish for six minutes. It’s the beginning of the Fall’s 28th album, “Your Future Our Clutter” (Domino) — strangely, for any band at that stage, one of its best. The album is good medicine for shortening historical memories. It is not a heritage act running through a hardened iconography; it’s a good rush, but perverse, wriggly and hard to reduce. It’s a useful reminder that the Fall itself has been worth paying attention to for a long, long time.
Mr. Smith, in his Manchester accent, is saying something about Archibald Yates, whoever that is: “There goes old Yates there.” He’s getting vexed, but not in the cumulative way that rock singers tend to, working up to a boiling point. His voice hardens, retreats and trails off. “Ex-pats!” he barks, a snake-strike heckle. Yes, you think, ex-pats, what a nuisance. Go on, sir, get yourself home now.
But then comes the chorus, and Mr. Smith chants a phrase that sounds like a slogan: “Your future, our clutter.” Later he transposes it: “Our future, your clutter.” You want to hear this as a political statement. But it doesn’t really track, when you think about it. At best it’s something an old person whispers over the op-ed pages, or a shrug about how all matter is relative. The tag line connects to nothing else in the song. But it energizes Mr. Smith. “A showcase of Fall talent,” he boasts, stentorian. By the end he’s singing wordlessly, happy in some private ceremony, while the band keeps working harder, laying into the vamp. It’s a tough song, an event. You may be affected by it without having any idea of what it’s all about, or what he’s up to. It’s almost a theoretical performance. After 28 records that’s not bad.
In Britain Mr. Smith is a fairly well known part of musical culture: a common subject in The Guardian and even occasionally in The Daily Mail, such as when he suggested to an interviewer in 2008 that he would happily kill an endangered red squirrel if he found one vandalizing his garden. In the United States the Fall is mostly noticed, if at all, for still being around. Mr. Smith is the only continuous member of the Fall since it was founded in 1976, and has come that far without ever being what he defines as a musician. (“I tell musicians what to do, really,” he said in a video interview last March for the Tate Museum.)
In a recent book, “The Fallen,” the British journalist Dave Simpson tried to track down every former member of the Fall. He counted 45. Mr. Smith dismissed the book after it was published, saying that he’d burned his copy. “The Fall are about the present, and that’s it,” he declared in his own recent autobiography, “Renegade.”
Mr. Smith is a mode of resistance. Like Miles Davis after the 1960s he’s less a part of his group than a director and agitator, sometimes boiling his input down to discrete sung phrases and spontaneous interference — altering the mix, hitting a cymbal, playing a cassette recording through the microphone. His words are like misheard bits of official reality: fragmented lyrical announcements, copy heisted from the data cloud. They sound inspired by advertising slogans, old pop songs, witness depositions, soccer commentary. They can be paranoid or macabre, but not boringly so. Mr. Smith has denied having much time for William Burroughs, but he has copped to admiring Wyndham Lewis’s blunt, headlinelike manifestoes for Vorticism, England’s first modern art movement.
His words look from a distance like poetry, but aren’t really. They’re meant only for their performed context, and to be pronounced in his voice. Close listeners will have heard changes over time in that voice. It used to break and squeak; now it can turn into an outrageous phlegmy bark. His signature — an echo of a final syllable (in which Mark would become “Mark-ah”) — has receded; and over the years the hissing he once loaded into the letter “s” has fully extended into the letters “t” and “d.” (From the new song “Chino”: “When do I quit-tssss?”) He’s an actor, an orator; but he is also, despite what he says, a musician. He knows how to make any note sound right.
Fall songs aren’t necessarily about anything specific. Proper names flash by, places, initials, numbers, sometimes having to do with the Manchester area, where Mr. Smith has spent nearly his entire life. Sometimes, as in “O.F.Y.C. Showcase,” he seems to be improvising, or snatching phrases from different places. Elsewhere, as in another new song, “Mexico Wax Solvent,” the lyrics sound like a concentrated block of text.
The band has toured around the world, but psychologically Mr. Smith has stayed determinedly local, using Manchester as his looking glass. (“Bury Pts. 1+3,” on the new album, refers to the borough, where he lives with his wife, Elena Poulou, the Fall’s current keyboardist.) Yet when Manchester rock was briefly a thing, in the late ’80s and early ’90s, with bands like Happy Mondays and the Stone Roses, he distanced himself from it, moving briefly to Edinburgh.
The Fall was a direct influence on the sound and lyrics of some important American bands, and Mr. Smith has never stopped insulting them. Stephen Malkmus of Pavement once said that Mr. Smith “was my Wallace Stevens”; Mr. Smith countered that Pavement “didn’t have an original idea in their heads.” (He also once suggested that Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth should have his rock license revoked.)
Mr. Smith creates traction and texture in the world, like a machine making rough grading on new roads. It’s a strange job for a man in compromised physical shape; he’s a heavy drinker and smoker who’s been spending time in wheelchairs lately, having broken a hip in 2004 and a leg in 2009. The point is to last; the point is not to stop.
But, as a rule, bands that last this long don’t make great records anymore. How to explain “Your Future Our Clutter”? Some of the band’s rhythm sections since the mid-90s have sounded interchangeable but uninspired; this one, with the guitarist Pete Greenway, the bassist Dave Spurr, the drummer Keiron Melling, and Ms. Poulou on keyboards, takes care of business, roaring and well directed. The album is full of words, themes and ideas that roll among the songs, tying the record together, or building up a strange emotional resonance. “Bury Pts. 1+3” segues three different takes of the same song, recorded in different levels of audio fidelity, from practice cassette to finished take. In the second half of the record, a theme emerges of a patient held against his will. There’s a recurring image of a “slippy floor,” references to television, the need to go home, too much time to mull over gratitude and frustration. ”When do I quit this hospital?” Mr. Smith sings. “My darling is waiting. Can I leave this trench alone?”
Mr. Smith has been smart enough to bet against his own past. When the band tours, it plays few songs predating five years ago. It’s been reconstituted over and over again, playing fairly simple songs with different affects. At first the Fall made a kind of scratchy primitive para-punk; after many subtle changes it’s become heavy-featured, trance-inducing garage rock with clear and steady rhythm.
One of the big questions around the Fall is: What’s the way in? I grew up hearing the band on college radio, ignoring it. At first, around the time of “Hex Enduction Hour” (1982), I found it bitter, bossy music, and a pile of noise, even by my low standards. At a certain point I became a music critic, and such people are expected to buckle down and pay attention to the Fall. I had children instead. But not long ago “Perverted by Language,” a record I’d bought when it came out in 1983 and forgotten about, drew me in: first with its title — think about it for a minute — then with its sounds.
It’s got bullish bass lines and two drummers. It’s got inscrutable chants: “Eat Yourself Fitter.” “Smile.” “It was not an unreasonable offer.” From guitars come open chords in strange tunings, scraping against the key; from keyboards come mellow polytonal clusters. It has a decent amount of echo, and an incredible aura.
So that was finally my entryway, and after that I couldn’t stop. The Fall has recorded almost an album a year since 1979, and the 27 live sessions they recorded for the BBC, under the supervision of the disc jockey John Peel, tell another story: different versions, different inflections, different energies. Sorry to say, but in American terms, this is a Grateful Dead situation. I like hearing “Your Future Our Clutter” all the way through: as an album it works as few do anymore. But I’m happy to discard it and move on to the next.
Mr. Smith’s voice — both the vocal instrument and the point of view — is a template. He’s proven that it doesn’t depend on youth and good health, so theoretically it can go on as long as he lives. After a while it’s a voice you want to climb inside and get to know, or even start controlling yourself.
Recently I played a highly repetitive Fall song to a 9-year-old — I think it was “Cruiser’s Creek,” from 1985, to gauge his reaction. He loved it at first, then found it unreasonable. I told him I wasn’t sure why I liked the band so much all of a sudden. “You might be going through a kind of Japanese puberty,” he said. It’s an anime joke, describing boys who think they’ve turned into Pokemon characters. That sounded to me like the makings of a Fall song, along the lines of a few others about metamorphoses or half-man, half-somethings: “I’m a Mummy,” or “Wolf Kidult Man.” My favorite new Fall song is imaginary. It’s no less good for that.
added 30 April
Thursday, 29 April Tripod, Dublin
Set along the lines of O.F.Y.C. Showcase / Over! Over! Cowboy George / Bury / I've Been Duped / Slippy Floor / Chino / Wolf Kidult Man / Weather Report / Hot Cake / Funnel of Love / Reformation // Theme from Sparta FC / Blindness (cut after a minute or two)
Yes it’s true , the singer songwriter of long time music refuseniks The Fall , Mark E Smith has written a world cup song with ex Fall member and collaborator Ed Blaney and Jenny Shuttleworth ( aka Girl Peculiar), and here it is in all it’s emotive glory. A world cup song with a Salfordian slant.
“ This is not 1974 , this is not 1976 , you are not at Stamford Bridge , but you are on a Boer Ridge”.
It invokes English players to “take care of the invention of your nation”, “socks up at last or be a brazilian breakfast” ,
It’s even got a rousing chorus and a tune to win the world cup for and a hard edged twist at the end.It’ll frighten the wits out of the old enemy too.
Witty and impassioned it’s an appeal for a show of pride from England in South Africa , “remember the pitch in December” , gone should be the days of England teams wilting in the June sunshine and acting like a bunch of big girls blouses. This is possibly the greatest world cup record ever , it’s England;’s Heartbeat , sent from heaven.
England's Heartbeat by SHUTTLEWORTH will be released June 7th 2010 on Yip-Yop Records
added 19 March; updated 17 April
Domino are releasing a very limited (750 copies, I think) Fall 7" on 17 April to coincide with Record Store Day: Bury Pts 2+4 b/w Cowboy Gregori. Bury Pts 2+4 sounds very much like the LP's Bury Pts 1+3 with most of the intro removed. Cowboy Gregori is new, though, and was called "Cowboy 2" on recent setlists.
A SPECIAL REQUEST! Can someone please buy me a copy of the single? It won't make it over to Record Store Day here in the USA. I'll repay with cash or Fall gigs or something.Thank you Tina!
The latest Spex magazine from Germany has an MES interview and a freebie CD with Cowboy Gregori on it.
18 April — Harrops Bar, Stalybridge
28 May — Blue Cat Cafe, Heaton Moor, Stockport
25 June — Blue Cat Cafe, Heaton Moor, Stockport
16 July — Blue Cat Cafe, Heaton Moor, Stockport
14 August — Blue Cat Cafe, Heaton Moor, Stockport
added 16 April
In case you haven't heard about it before, Dave Simpson has been Cursed by The Fall. He retells the tale on The Quietus.
3 June 2010
This is the latest news and gossip off the message board, Fallnet, and elsewhere. If
you have something to contribute, please email Stefan at email@example.com.
02apr10 Berlin gig; FIGFALP; Domino YFOC press release; Tate's "Sound & Vision" series; Gorillaz' Glitter Freeze; Gavin Friday int.; Beggars archive update; #1 Cult Figure (Alex Chilton, rip); MES as Narrative Lyric Writer; Quietus, Independent interviews; couple of Youtubes.
30dec'09 Oct-Nov UK tour +Berlin +Milan; Slippy Floor single; Paintwork #3; Elena int. in La Bouche, Martin Bramah int.; Your Future - Our Clutter announced and delayed; HudLit transcript; Beggars archive update; Fallnet Xmas; Frances Stark; 100 Fall albums; Radio 4 Pick-ups; Factory Star; Pearl Divers (Mike Leigh).
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.