There's a new Official web page up at: http://fall.cjb.net
The UK & Ireland tour's finished now. There are new rumours that there will be a US tour at the beginning of 1998, on the back of a remixed Levitate.
Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms (4)
London Kentish Town Forum (5)
Cambridge Junction (7)
Norwich Waterfront (8),
Bristol Bierkeller (9)
Gez has some recent concert pics up at (the following link should work from Saturday):
And Mike Jones has some at:
From: "Beeho, Steve"
Subject: RE: Select article > Time Out
>Yet another MES interview in a music mag, Select this time. I'll send
This contains one of the all-time MES quotes: (in response to the sugestion that maybe the turnover of Fall members is detrimental to the band):
"It's like a platoon sort of thing. If the first 3 get shot, you have another 3 behind them".
Also, in this week's Time Out, various celebrities road-test London's trashier tourist "attractions" and there's a double page spread of MES visiting the Rock Circus (!!!). Great photo of him with a little girl who wandered up to him and asked "who are you?"
To which he replied: "I'm Artist Under Refurbishment".
Another great moment in rock's rich tapestry.
A two-part CD single, Masquerade, has appeared in the pre-release schedules for Jan 1998. See live reviews for details of the song's evolution.
971203 Oxford, Stoke, Leeds, Liverpool reviews; Esquire interview
971125 Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stoke reviews
971116 Manchester reviews, Loaded interview
971112 Band "back together", teletext interview
971110 NME report, various Dublin/Belfast reviews
971109 First Dublin/Belfast reviews, MES on Elastica album
From: "David I. Williams"
Subject: C.o.C.K. goes to Portsmouth
Me, Tony and the cut out Chris Kovin left my office car park at about 6.30pm headed to Portsmouth for the latest installment. Thanks for the directions Dave - pity I only just got them :-)
With perfect timing we hit the doors at 8.00pm - "sorry mate, doors not opening for another twenty minutes. Bit of a technical hitch." Sounds ominously like Belfast; I begin to think Mr Dyer is a bad omen. "It's a bit sensitive back there". He gestures towards the stage area. Oh-oh! "Doesn't want anyone to hear the soundcheck, know-wharrimean".
Tony, CoCK and I head for the nearest pub for pint, followed by a kebab across the road. Then to the Wedgewood Rooms to catch Foil - I'm prepared to reassess this lot, not bad at Stoke, and played a good set tonight.
But then ..... disaster .... where's the little guy? Oh bugger! I left him in the pub on his own!
Ask the doorman if I can pop out and get back in again. "What for?" "I've left something in the pub" "What have you left in the pub?" "A little man about two inches tall". Doorman shapes as if to knock my lights out - they don't take kindly to having the piss taken down that way. "A picture of a little man", I add hastily.
OK "two minutes, no more".
Get to the pub. Go to the table. There's a guy sat on his own. No CoCK, though. "Er, excuse me, have you seen a little man, about two inches tall"; "?!?!?!?!"; "I left him on this table"; "uh? no".
Go to the bar. "Anyone handed in a little chap?, 'bout two inches tall?", "uh?" "A picture, about so big, wearing glasses?"
Barmaid rummages in the bin, behind the bar. Pulls out CoCK covered in fag ash. "Brilliant, thanks alot. You saved my life!" Dust off the CoCK.
Dash back to the Wedgewood. One minute and fifty nine seconds have elapsed, and I made it in the nick of time.
Wait ages for the Fall to come on stage. Third song is Spencer Must Die. I'm three back from the front, centre stage. MES stares me in the eye relentlessly for three/four minutes, psychotic eyes, singing (I swear) "I-D-W-A-L, Schhpenschher" and later "C-O-C-K, Cock!", clear as crystal. Bloody spooky, I can tell yer!
The Fall finish an excellent set, and Dave John and Carina introduce themselves to me. I forgot to introduce them to the C.o.C.K, sorry Chris!
From: "David I. Williams"
Fallnetters in attendance:
diw, Tony Dyer, Dave & Carina, and Geoff Bennetts.
Into tape was the answering machine messages, then the following (order may be muddled in the middle of the set):
He Pep Pearl city Spencer Must Die Ten Houses Idiot Joy Oleano Levitate Hurricane Edward Hip Priest Masquerade M5 Lie Dream
Behind The Counter
Outro tape was an extended mix of Masquerade - more ambient sounding, goes on for ages, and if it is to be the single, then it is thouroughly deserving of release. Great!
A few words about some highlights:
Spencer Must Die - as I said last night, intensely spooky. There is something in this song that digs deeply into MES; those eyes, that stare, the intensity with with he spits out those apparently random utterings - which last night clearly (no lie) included I-D-W-A-L and C-O-C-K, Cock!
Ten Houses - pounding along splendidly, until MES snaps at Karl "can you cut out the fuckin' frilly bits and play it straight" - straight out of Totales Turns. Karl and Tommy split their sides and lose it completely. MES grins mischievously - he's in a mischievous mood tonight, but never going too far; having fun.
Hurricane Edward - splendid rendition tonight. Going too well for MES's liking, he starts messing with Tommy's guitar - breaking a string - then walks a complete circle around Tommy, wrapping the mic lead around him. Tommy doesn't seem to mind too much tonight, as he's really rockin' out tonight.
Hip Priest - "it's Hip Priest time" sez MES, grinning at Steve, who gets the joke, whatever it is. Quite brilliant tonight, awesome!
Masquerade - bit of a false start as Karl's out of time with the programmed rhythm track within seconds of starting up. Steve comes in with the programme, Tommy with the drums (or it might have been the other way round). Tommy screams at Julia to turn the bloody space invader off. Julia is not impressed and keeps it going. I'm thinking oh no, here we go again, when, Karl adjusts and comes in perfectly. Thereafter its tight as a ducks arse, and absolutely fuckin' brilliant. Now I know how it is supposed to sound (after, what? 5 gigs this tour).
M5, Lie Dream, Counter - lead to some of the more obnoxious moshing I've experienced this tour; an adequate finale to a fine show.
Great to add Dave and Carina to my list off Fallnetters met in person. Oh, and the C-o-C-K had a bit of an adventure. See y'all at the Bull & Gate, cheers.
From: Dave Carter
Subject: Portsmouth 4/12/97
Hey there fuckfaces
I'd been a bit anxious about this gig after reading the reviews of the other concerts (and Belfast) on the list. No problems at Portsmouth though, just an excellent perfomance! Sound quality was superb throughout from my position at the back, even Mark's vocals came through clear with less distortion than on record.
Stage left, Tommy, first time I'd seen him and he did a great job, especially on the older material on which he seemed to relax more. One fluffed solo on Masqarade (I think) and once loosing the rhythm when he got mixed up with Mark's mike stand.
Stage right, Julia, no problems with the keyboards in the mix here. I reckon The Fall's keyboard sounds are safe in her hands. She also did well on the older material, although she hasn't got to sound quite right on Lie Dream. Mark only fiddled with her equipment once, which she ignored.
Rhythm section, Karl? The drummer was lost in the gloom at the back, all I could see were the drumsticks and cymbals! Great tight drum patterns though and superbly in sync with Steve's bass. I must now support the Steve Hanley is God campaign after his performance last night. Mainly in centre stage, facing Tommy he seemed more in control of things than Mark. The pounding bass lines permeated the atmosphere and drove the songs along.
Vocals, MES - he was on fine form, the usual pacing, ducking out of sight, leaving the stage and fiddling with equipment but he was having fun! Grinning more than scowling. No instrumentals this time - although the intros to M5 and Masqarade were very long! Mark swapped his mike with Tommy several times although there seemed no difference to me. This was how Tommy got entangled in the mike stand. During M5 the mike was passed to the audience for a short while and was rewarded with an excellent MES imitation which drew a smile from Mark.
He Pep Pearl City Spencer Must Die Levitate Oleano Hip Priest Hurricane Edward Lie Dream of a Casino Soul Ten Houses of Eve Idiot Joy Showland M5 Masqarade Behind The Counter (only one encore)
This isn't the actual set order 'cause I was too out of it to remember beyond Levitate!
No Fall trivia on sale outside (Sorry stve - no T-shirts) and the gig didn't finish until midnight. This meant a trip across Portsmouth harbour in a small boat in what seemed, in my drunken state, like heavy seas, but that was still my most enjoyable gig since I last saw the Fall in 1993.
From: Stig from beyond
Subject: Portsmouth, or, the confessions of a virgin
Well, my first Fall gig, and I now realise something about the band I'd never previously understood - it's a fight. The whole thing. You have the rhythm section trying to keep things going, you have Tommy and Julia playing along as normally as possible, then you have Mark, completely seperate, attempting to cock it all up. We had all the classics - hand on keyboard, removing mic from bass drum, fiddling with the guitar after Tommy broke a string (Mark didn't break it), picking up a freshly tuned guitar from a stand at the back and throwing it off backstage.... disappearing, sitting down on the back of the stage only half visible, etc etc.
Why does he do it? Is it to keep them on their toes, or just that he's an objectionable wanker?
Shame I didn't get to meet any of you who were there, having just learned that several FallMekkers were in attendance. But I did meet a girl called Susan who was taken with my (really rather fetching) Beatnik Filmstars t-shirt.
> Spencer Must Die - as I said last night, intensely spooky. There is
> in this song that digs deeply into MES; those eyes, that stare, the intensity
> with with he spits out those apparently random utterings - which last night
> clearly (no lie) included I-D-W-A-L and C-O-C-K, Cock!
Jesus, he said no such thing! I couldn't make it out, but he was not saying your names! I'll put money on it that Mark does not read Fallnet. Aware of it, yes, but he's not *that* sad.
> Hurricane Edward - splendid rendition tonight. Going too well for MES's
> liking, he starts messing with Tommy's guitar - breaking a string - then walks
> a complete circle around Tommy, wrapping the mic lead around him. Tommy
> doesn't seem to mind too much tonight, as he's really rockin' out tonight.
Funny how Tommy tries to keep going, struggling and desperately trying to hold it together despite being tied up by Mark's excursion around the guitar amp... whereas Julia completely ignores him when he messes with the keyboard (which I think happened three times, but maybe only twice). She acts like she's ignoring an insolent child - don't pay him any attention, ignore him and he'll go away. I was right in front of Julia, keyboard perfectly audible, although bass seemed a little loud, drowning out the guitar completely at times. Maybe that's because I was at the front, nearer the bass amp than the guitar.
Favourite moment for me was when somebody flicked a half smoked cigarette onto the stage... a minute or two later, MES wanders on as if to sing a bit, notices the cigarette, picks it up, sticks it in his gob and walks off again, happy with his find.
> During M5 the mike was passed to the
> audience for a short while and was rewarded with an excellent MES imitation
> which drew a smile from Mark.
I think Mark was fiddling with the mic stand at this point, didn't have enough hands to get untangled, looked around for somewhere to put the mic, then decided to pass it to a fuckface to hold it while he got sorted. The fuckface in question sang along the words either to this song or a completely different one (sorry) with great gusto and verve, with plenty of 'we are the fall-uh, we are back-uh'. Mark seemed pleased and amused.
They were on for about an hour, didn't start till about 10:50. I arrived just before nine as they opened the doors (and it was bloody cold outside), when Foil were still soundchecking. Foil were OK - not half as bad as has been described. They do some straight punk stuff (in the vein of Travis Cut / Hooton 3 Car) which went down well, although admittedly the slower songs were shite.
Stig, no longer a Fall virgin
From: "David John"
Subject: Re: Portsmouth
Good gig, good sound and the band apparently in a good mood. MES smiling with the band and members of the audience, and remained on stage most of the time, although he set his mic stand up at the back of the stage for a while and completed some songs behind the curtain at the side of the stage. His silver shirt was being worn but remained underneath a darker one, and his lower lip facial hair could only be decerned when a light lit his profile.
Tommy's guitar amps had tape over the knobs to stop people from meddling. That didn't stop MES from removing the PA mic from the front of the amp. When he tried the same thing with one of the mics in front of the drums Carina spotted Karl spitting in retaliation, narrowly missing him. Tommy was being being tutored by MES in the correct way to stand on stage, physically forcing him to face forward and not look at the other band members. MES also took offence at Tommy's spare guitar, he probably thought it looked too Rock Star, so he casually lobbed it off the side of the stage, kicking the stand after it.
During Lie Dream the moshers pushed me into the person standing behind. I recognised his T-shirt as belonging to the carry-bag man from Gez's Dingwalls photos so later I was able to claim my five pounds.
Our biggest disappointment was the no photos policy of the venue. The bouncer
swooped when the first flash went off. We've had trouble from him before
when the Buzzcocks played in a tent in Southsea two years ago. Then we were
able to take shots when the bouncers were busy carting away stage divers,
here, however, it was too small and we could not hide. I took the camera
to wander about and take some shots during the second encore, but it did
not happen. When we complained the bouncer tried to convince us that MES
"would go ape" if we took photos.
Here's my version of the set list: He Pep Pearl City Spencer Must Die Ten Houses of Eve Levitate Oleano Idiot Joy Hip Priest Hurricane Edward Masquerade M5 Lie Dream
Behind The Counter
Dave & Carina, on the guest list courtesy of a bribe taken by our local record dealer
P.S. Disappointed not to meet the C.o.C.K., maybe tonight?
From: "Mel O'Reilly"
Subject: Forum (ludicrous escapades)
Well. The gig was great (in my view), good versions of er, most things. Smith in good form and wearing the jacket from the 'How We Met' interview, otherwise the same outfit as Stoke. Missed Garageland and Foil were still shit. backdrop slide with 'the fall' seemed to look like crappy web page design (one of ours?)
But, it was after the gig that the fun started. As various Fallnetters disappeared off into the nacht, it turned out that Id had a backstage pass to the aftershow party, as did a couple of others. So he went off, promising to return and collect me so we could go home together, whilst me Gez and Neil (the faithful), waited for an hour or more, only to discover that not a hide nor hair of Id remained anywhere in the venue (even at the party) that we looked pretty thoughroughly all around. Hanley, Burns and others are seen to depart. Anticipation mounts.
Eventually at half one/12 I don't remember we leave, and after some consideration all return to Oxford by bus. I stay at Gez's house (cheers), we nearly don't get there and freeze because of lack of buses, and return home to be bollocked and forbidden to leave the house ever again.
christ, what the f*** happened?
mel, knackered out of her mind and _supposed_ to be going out again in 2 1/2 hours. :-(
From: "Gerard Wood"
Subject: Fall Forum
Hmmm, the reviews are flowing in for last night's gig, eh?
First of all, the Bull & Gate meeting proved successful, loadsa faces there. Think everyone in the pub knew each other by 9pm.
Foil and Garageland were the supports - preferred pub conversation with Messrs Kettle, Saunders and Whidborne meself so no idea what they were like.
Fall group appeared at 10.18pm (!), MES a few mins later. This time, I took up residence well away from the front, trying to get a better sound. Succeeded too - everything just about right. MES's vox echoed a bit though, bit hard to pick out the FallNet victimisation in the opening "Spencer" ;-) In fact, MES took so long to appear for the first song that Spenser only had a few lines of lyrics before reaching cessation. "There is a packet of crisps behind your amplifier, Tommy Crooks" being the best.
As to the rest of the set - all passed without a hitch, really. Our 'ol mate terry had a point - a Fall set without a bit of chaos can make it all sound a bit safe at times. MES pissed about with Karl's cymbal mic. Had another barging competition with Tommy as he (unsuccessfully) tried to fuck up his playing. I heard that Tommy had taped up all the knobs on his amp to stop MES buggering it up ;-)
No new surprises with the set list. They started up "Glam Racket" (was that in the first encore?), but Karl suddenly stopped and charged off stage after barely a minute (before MES had appeared). Tommy and Julia followed, Steve carried on regardless for a few seconds before realising that he didn't want to start playing bass solos, and went too. Not sure what this was all about.
MES passed the mic to the crowd on a few occasions for odd bits of songs, which immediately led to the security ploughing in and wrestling (obBigDaddyCon) it back as though some poor bugger in the crowd had just stolen the crown jewels. Our own C.B.Power/D.Blake made another brief vocal contribution, and later got up on stage for a brief bit of, er, dancing/crowd surfing (looked more like diving from where I was...)
And so the gig ended. Id appeared, clutching a pass to the aftershow party. We hung around a bit. Mel, Neil & meself turned our backs. Id disappeared! Mel's chaperone gone! Spent the next hour trying to get into the aftershow to find him. Eventually made it with a spirited dash up the balconies when security weren't watching (got caught earlier!) - only to find no sign of any FallNetters.
WHERE DID YOU GO TO, ID?
Eventually left, trogged back into me flat in Abingdon at 3.30am. Another, er, interesting night.
From: "David I. Williams"
Subject: RE: Forum (ludicrous escapades)
Oh dear! Sorry Mel et.al. I didn't realise you were waiting for me.
I _was_ there, though - at the aftershow! I don't know what time I left the Forum, but I got home at 04.06am, pissed as a fart. So pissed, in fact, that I fell over flat on my face in Friar Street on the way home. Got a very sore head and shoulder today.
Spent much of the time chatting with Chris Power (who's just phoned me to check I got home OK, thanks CB), Neville and Steve Hanley. Steve's a top bloke - as you already know. He wrote down his E-Mail address for me, and - very apologetic about Belfast - promised to put me on the guest list for the next five years!!
More later, maybe. Nursing a mega hangover.
diw (feeling guilty)
From: "David John"
Subject: Re: Fall Forum
We arrived at 9:20, and thinking it was too late to go to the Bull & Gate went straight in. Foil were on and their sound was poorer than in Portsmouth, getting lost in the larger room. The Fall, however, sounded even better from where we were, in front of the guitar amp, and next to Alan McB.
The MES Vs Tommy struggle started off playfully enough, raising a brief smile from Tommy as he stood his ground and pushed back. Later it turned nastier, with MES pushing the guitar neck out of his way as he barged past, and Tommy angrily kicking his mic stand away when the roadie was trying to free MES's discarded mic lead (he probably thought MES was attacking him from behind).
The wrestling security man was trying to redeem himself after the first mic that MES gave the crowd went missing. He was left standing with a mic-less lead. The roadie fetched a new mic, connected it, and as the stand had long since been disposed of, placed it on the floor. Unfortunately the lead was within reach of the crowd who pulled it towards them. This happened several times and each time the roadie had to struggle to get the mic back. Finally when MES handed the crowd the mic again, security was mobilised to dish out the rough treatment.
After the aborted Glam Racket (thanks Al) and the outro music started there was a sense of finality about the band, this did not lift even after they all came back on for one more song, as that song ended with a chorus of "Wanker" from the crowd who were upset that they were not allowed to keep a second mic. Luckily this feeling has not been reported by anyone who attended the after-gig party.
Carina took numerous photos unmolested (MES showed no signs of going ape on this account) and got Tommy's set list: Spencer Idiot Levitate Lie Dream Hurricane Ten Houses Hip Priest Counter Mummy Orleano Pep Masquerade
the encores included: Pearl City that bit of Glam Racket Feeling Numb and possibly another?
Dave & Carina
From: Alan McBride
Subject: the fall stumble at london forum
So things have been looking good over most of this tour, despite the bitter dissappoinment of belfast. Some absolutely priceless moments. Even stoke was rescued from the brink of disaster to become a classic fall gig. After the media-saturation in anticipation of tonight, what would the fall deliver at london's forum?
'Another day, another fall gig!' I quipped to Rich. Now isn't life grand?
Rich and I got to the pub earlier than we'd expected, due to considerable luck with london traffic. Entered to find retford-rob and wife, and another non-f'face - warren - with his partner. Warren will no doubt join fallnet soon having invested in a pc.
Also present, at a table 10 feet away - smiffy and julia. Smith looking quite well-presented. Obviously aware that the table across from him was full of fall fans. At one point he beckoned to a chappie at another table, and tried to send him over to our table - pointing towards us, I heard him tell him to go tell us something but didn't catch the rest. The bemused chap didn't oblige, so we didn't get to hear what he had to say. Probably not complimentary! Warren sent smiffy over a pils. Mark drank about half of it then he and Julia headed off for the sound check. Must be odd to sit in a pub near a bunch of saddoes who are there to see you perform.
Pub was soon full of one of the strongest fallnet showings for any gig - gez, mel, raphael, tony, graham, michal - lots. Plus a healthy batch of non-f'faces - Alex, Rob, Julie, Warren, Colleen - a bunch who's names I can't recall. No sign of Geoff Bennet.
Caught the end of Foil. Didn't enjoy them much this time, after having warmed to them somewhat at Stoke. But have to say they certainly filled the space sound-wise. Lots of stage presence. These guys are going places on the rock/metal scene. Good luck to them.
Before the gig came on the backdrop was a projection of a computer screen-shot of some drawing appliction with 'the fall' on the drawing canvas in large, plain font. Made me wonder amusedly whether they'd follow with a sequence of web-page and fallnet-post screen-shots - now that would have been cool :-)
Secured a spot up front at the barrier. Only other fallnet heads nearby where David and Carina. Suffered the pissed-up rantings of some kid from liverpool - 'hey - I didn't know people with long hair and beards were into the fall!' he said, referring to david - well, maybe me too I guess. Eventually the band took the stage.
And they started into a promising rendition of spenser. Mood was businesslike, anticipation was building fast. Sound was pretty good even at the front (which usually misses the more balanced sound from the main speakers). The band looked real spread-out on the rather large forum stage. The london crowd are always real enthused at fall shows. Just Smith to come out now.
And just as he appeared, it dawned on me that his mike stand was missing! Where was smiffy's mike? Had the band hidden it as a cunning jape, I mused? He was flumoxed too - he came on stage right - walked towards the front, veered off towards stag-left then hooked around behind karl - said something to karl in passing, laughing. Glad to see he didn't seem to take the missing mike too badly. Must have felt like a bit of a prat though!
And he took his time coming back - wondered if he was going to bother. But out he came, screwing a mike into place on a very long lead - not bothering with a stand. Delivered a great but un-inspired version of spenser - none of the previous vitriol and improv - just a song about raspberries and other fruits. No fallnet references, deliberate, coded or imagined.
Before this gig we had reckoned it would be solid and professional, but un-eventful. The fall make some money out of london gigs, on headcount and on records sold of the back of the gig - so they don't usually mess about. Plus the size of the venues usually precludes the more claustrophobic, intimate interactions. And for a time that's just what we got - solid, professional deliveries of the standard fare. Bread and butter fall gig stuff.
Then before hurricane the first hint of discord.
'...what are you doing....with a packet of crisps...behind your guitar amp....I'm talking about you Mr TOMMY CROOKS!'
And Tommy didn't seem to find this funny at all. So they launch into hurricane, and half way through smiffy does the usual stuff - trying to hack at Tommy's guitar strings and fiddle with his knobs. Smith laughing, but Tommy scowling - not at all amused. Tommy resolutely pushed smith away, sometimes shoving or practically hitting him away. And he looked pretty livid by the end of about thirty seconds of this lark.
At the end of the song I shouted 'Don't mind him Tommy!' and he looked up - I gave him the thumbs up and mouthed 'he's being a cunt' and Tommy nodded. But he didn't smile.
And things trundled on. The usual fall-gig moments of musical euphoric mayhem. And then hip priest. The most mediocre, lame delivery of hip priest I've ever heard. '...and all the young groups know...they imitate but I teach...I'm a hip priest'. But it didn't sound so convincing this time.
Cop on Mr. Mark Smith - you let yourself down, not to mention your beloved band and the people who put bread on your table to come and see your peculiar genius, when you persist in thinking it's showmanship to publicly bully one of the fall's most hardworking contributers. Tommy's now a capable and worthy cog in the fall's machine. His guitar was the only thing to save the lacklustre and sloppy hip priest of friday's show, and fuck was masquearade tight tonite. It's difficult to see that your show deserves the dignity that Tommy has the guts to insist on retaining. Call yourself a bloody professional? Well don't think you ever have to stop proving it. Least of all to your fucking self mate.
Things picked up during mummy. A thrilling drum-only start - wondered if they were gonna repeat the oxford gem. But after a few lines the other instruments came in one-by one. Brilliant. And smith improv'ed - '...I'm a mummy - I just came back to get a record by paul mccartney...and to appear on open university...as a reject...' and later '...I just came back to watch fifth element....there are three people in my life....to one I am a mummy...to one I am a wife...and to one...I'm just (laughs) good around the house...but I give them all the best of me cos I'm a mummy!'. Julia was quite mirthful throughout this revelation :-)
And a storming delivery of pearl city. Daniel/Chris' friend (rather cute blond lass with pretty impressive tattoos) jumped on stage and did a spot of hippy-jiving, smiffy was amused. Chris/Daniel followed with his best effort until the bouncer chucked him off. (Hey Chris - so what was the point in the Daniel pseudonym anyhow?). Counter was it's usual rush as well.
Before masquerade smith stood at the back beside karl's kit and said 'and who is it that rented out the drum riser...to the channel four mobile broadcast unit'. And masquerade was great. The new intro, the new programmed bedrock. Smith stood back and let it build for ages, and then kept his vox down to let the instruments dominate. Looking good as a single.
But things went sour again come encore time. Smith had handed the mike into the audience and sloped off stage, but when he returned and retrieved the mike lead, there was no mike on the end! He feigned amusement, but couldn't have been too happy about having to sing Pep through Tommy's mike with rather poor sound. Mike lead got tangled in Tommy's stand, and Neville (tour manager) tried to work it loose from off-stage. Mike stand jerks sideways in front of Tommy, and he loses it - kicks it over real agressively obviously thinking smith is larking about again. Smith comes on stage again and Tommy kicks the stand towards him but it doesn't come near. Meanwhile plastic glasses aimed at rather agressive bouncer land around smith and julia. Bit of an ugly vibe develops alll round.
Second encore and they start into glam racket. But inexplicably smith leaves stage, gesturing to all to follow. They don't see this and keep playing. Moments later a worried looking neville skoots along at the back of the stage calling to them all to come off. Karl hears, but ignores for a time, then exasperatedly throws down sticks and storms off. Hanley and Tommy don't know what's going on, so they try to keep playing, get hopelessly out of step, and then Tommy and Julia leave the stage - Hanley plays on the bass riff of glam racket for a time then shrugs and leaves too.
They come back and do a mediocre version of numb. At the end smith waves them off again, then hands mike to audience again and goes to keyboards, seemingly planning on accompanying audience vox with some improv'ed ivory tickling. But over zealous bouncer spoils this by retrieving mike. Smith gives up and leaves, to a chorus of 'WANKER....WANKER...'. Ok - this was aimed at bouncer, but I'm saddened to say it applied quite nicely to mark too tonight.
And of all the times I've thought 'this could be the last gig', never as much as this time.
And then Jap Kid comes over the PA, real loud and mournful. Tommy's slides continue, and a slide of a sleeping or dead cat comes on. Looking at slide of dead cat, listening to a mournful jap kid, immersed in anti-climactic disquiet, I recognise the sour taste in my mouth and pray that the fall play cambridge tomorrow just so tonight isn't the way they end.
From: Neil Saunders
Subject: fall forum thoughts
Ho hum. Well I think Al McB has summed this one up extremely well, in that there was nothing that bad about it, but it was certainly a bit uninspired, to say the least. No "journey there" details to report, as I slept all the way. A good Bull and Gate turnout; nice to chat to some of the "older" FallNet contingent :-), hello James and Dave (and thanks again for the ticket). We mused on the possible future of the Fall, with much chin stroking. I do wonder if their days are numbered.
The gig-a different experience as always at the bigger London venues, coloured lights, smoke, very good sound. I started pretty near the front on the left, from where Tommy could be heard easily (and he's good), and Julia's keyboards were great-virtually the first time I've really heard them properly. The opening "Spencer" was very good, including the amusing "no mike" moment. Apart from that the usual sort of setlist. Still surprised that Levitate (the single) holds up so well live. Hurricane not quite up to Oxford level, but they've finally got Masquerade together by slowing it down a lot and doing a very long instrumental lead-in. Moved towards the front centre for a bit of jumping around later on, but not too energetic. One thing that really struck me was the lack of Brix-they tried Pep and Feeling Numb and Glam Racket, which to me are quintessential Brix numbers; I still wait for her to come in. Definitely lacking.
On the whole, fairly slick and professional but it really petered out towards the end, it was a bit like being at a gig underwater. In contrast to the superb Oxford Hip Priest, this one was lame, despite a slightly different keyboard arrangement running through. It really went to pieces during the encores-barely into Glam Racket when Karl made a dash for it, swiftly followed by Tommy and Julia, leaving poor old Steve looking most bemused, valiantly strumming a little solo before wandering off himself. Things did seem to turn a little nasty when the front row tried to make off with various mike stands and odds and ends, helped along by MES who smilingly gave a mike to someone, leaving the crew to demand it back.
So, another Fall tour grinds to its bitter end. Glad I went, but not a great effort by any means. We did get to witness a lot of the "indie" type club afterwards, whilst Gez combed the building for Id, before escorting Mel safely home, taking in the sights and sounds of nightime London as we went. Must remember that 24 hour Sainsburys in Camden, could come in handy.
Neil, leaving you all soon
From: Graham Coleman
Subject: Re: fall forum thoughts
Didn't enjoy the Forum _that_ much (Cambridge sounds much better) This was largely due to worrying about my friends who weren't enjoying it - their problem, but I felt responsible. I was accused of being wilfully perverse and possibly disturbed to find anything admirable in MES who is a 'miserable old drunk'. well they can bog off back to their Black Grape and D Bowie. One of them went missing in a diw-style, but I think he ran away/deserted the trenches. 'Will they play Hit the North?' 'I don't think so.' Never again. ungrateful kids these days etc...
Last year, a girl at work asked me if I was going to see any bands in the near-future. Yes, I said, Prolapse, Gorkys, The Fall (as usual). 'Arrrhhh! I saw them once and had the worst night of my life. My boyfriend took me and we split up that night. I hate him.' 'Who, your ex-boyfriend?' 'No, Mark Smith!'
Hard to remember sometimes how much they polarise, alienate people.
From: "M.Flack -Michael Flack"
Subject: My recollection of the Forum gig
>>it was a bit like being at a gig underwater.
Thanks for this description Neil, those were exactly the words I was looking for.
I stood quite far back hoping that I would hear everything a bit better. (I did it at Oxford and it worked well.) But it sounded awful to me. And being so far back I had no idea what was really going on up there with the aborted encore, tommy-wrestling, mic-snatching etc.. But really I think it was the dullest Fall gig I've ever been to, perhaps the only really dull one. I don't think a venue that size suits them at all, for a start.
Pearl City was good, and I enjoyed Lie Dream and Mummy. But I keep remembering songs they played, and each one I remember seems to have been a mess. Hip Priest was dreadful, too fast, and far too smooth in the loud bits. Feeling Numb was piss-poor, Levitate was underwhelming (and I normally like that one), and I didn't even enjoy Hurricane Edward - although you have to give credit to them, in the unlikely event that any other band wrote a song like this they would never try and do it live, time after time.
Out of the songs they did at both the Oxford and London gigs, I think every single one was better at Oxford.
Other overall impressions: Tommy could be a good steady member of The Fall if MES can stop victimising him. Otherwise, I think they're heading for a punch-up a la Riley. Karl sounds quite sanguine about everything from what Id says, but on stage he looks very pissed off a lot of the time.
Still, the Cambridge gig sounds like fun. For sheer strangeness, I think this tour beats the last one. As always with anything The Fall do, it's difficult to draw conclusions.
michael, giving up writing off The Fall
ps Bull and Gate notes: Thanks to Alan for selling me his spare ticket. Over the other side of the pub I met the man who kept grabbing MES' leg at Cannock last year. I told him what I thought at the time, which is that he was lucky not to get a good kicking.
From: Paul McMullan
Subject: RE: fall forum thoughts
Well, here's my story of Fall Forum Fiasco:
I had only days before managed to fool my company into paying for me to get across to London specifically for the gig, so I didn't really care whether this was a particularly memorable gig or not. I was just glad they came on, as I was still fucked off about the Belfast no-show. I could imagine telling my non-Fallfan mates that I had rushed back from London on Nov.6th to see the Fall not play, then I rushed to London on Dec. 5th to also see them not play... if they hadn't shown up, that (possibly) would have been it for me and The Fall.
Anyway, met Vlad in his office chomping sandwiches, and we headed to our pre-B+G meeting pub, The Princess Louise. Cheapest bitter in London, surely! Met a few more peeps, had a few sups, and headed for B+G about 8.00 or so. Kate, Vlads fairer one ducked out, being more sane than ourselves, but at least we managed to get another non-fan friend of ours to come along.
Arrived at the pub and met the others. Only faces I really recognised was Alan and Alec (Alex?). But apparently there were five of the Belfast crowd together. I was still nervous about them not showing, but a few more drams helped.
We rushed the last pint and got into the Forum just after 10.00. Luckily missed any support and only had to wait about 15 mins 'til they were on. I don't have an indepth report of the show, as I couldn't help myself dancing, and was in the mosh pit about half of the time. Anyway, here goes:
First off, Spencer, nice instrumental, with some vox at the end. Sort of like a "warmer" for the crowd. Jumped around a lot of "idiot". I like that one live... also, Lie Dream was good. Highlight for me was Masquerade. I was expecting a half-hearted attempt, but it was really good. Programmed Backbeat at the start, before karl came in, very sublty replacing them. I think the backbeat came back later during the song, but it all worked very well, and it seems like they were making an effort to get that track sorted. Okay, so some of you who saw hip Priest in previous gigs may not have thought much of it, but I liked it. A bit short, yes, but quite nice. Pep was also good fun, lots of Pogo.
I sorta knew there'd be two encores, so I kept my place and waited. Glam Racket, as has been reported ended with a small "ppffaahh", with Steve being last off stage. He kept playing and then looked around with this bemused grin. I think he shrugged to the crowd and then left. I didn't actually think they'd be out again, thinking the management had intervened or something, but no, it was just the old brat being a pratt. Anyway, I shoved my way to the stage in the hope of getting a set-list. did a bit of stage-thumping to Numb, and witnessed the whole mike/bouncer debarcle. Good fun. I remember a group of us at the front chanting "Hanley", when he was left on stage by himself in the first encore. When they came out, a few of us shouted "Nagle" too.
After that, jap Kid was played in the background, and it was only then I noticed some of the other slides. A bit bizarre, couldn't really see the point. I mean, it wasn't a Nine Inch Nails concert was it? Anyway, one of the roadies lifted a few of the set-lists, and I managed to persuade him to give me one, and I have it here on my desk. Lovely, that's two I have now.
Overall impressions: They still haven't impressed me half as much as the first time I saw them in Belfast, with the Infotainment tour, but it'ds still good fun. I don't really like them in The Forum, due to the size of the place. I think The Empire was a nicer place, pity I didn't see them there instead....
From: David Kettle
Subject: Re: My recollection of the Forum gig
>But really I think it
>was the dullest Fall gig I've ever been to, perhaps the only really dull
>one. I don't think a venue that size suits them at all, for a start.
I think there's a lot in that. The cavernous interior of the Forum seems to drain all atmosphere from a performance. It has no character. Id suggested, as I left, that it was a London thing, that they don't really open the throttle, as it were, for capital gigs. That is, if I remember correctly the thrust of his gist. But I remember Dingwalls, just 2 months ago. A very different experience, and one which fully satisfied cravings for the bizarre. Forum. Fall on Prozac?
From: Rich Kidd
Subject: Cambridge gig
I'm not gonna bother with London I'm afraid - boring as hell, and I enjoyed the pre-gig meet-ups twice as much as the concert itself. Alan had it off pat.
But Cambridge, oh Gawd Cambridge.
First of all, Tommy's setlist:
U. PEP CONTS. SPENCER MUMMY (crossed out) NUMB 10 Hses LEVITATE OLEANO SHORT HURRICANE JUNGLE HIP P M5 MASQ
and for encores they did Lie Dream (twice), Pearl City, then Mummy
So, The Junction, ridiculously empty (say 2-300 people). Nice to meet everyone again, Monaz for the 1st time.
General stuff first - this was about the best gig I've EVER seen 'em play. The sound at the Junction is usually awful, but the echo really sounded good this time. The whole gig was hard as nails (apart from the end bit, which we'll come onto later). Tommy was a revelation, really going for it. Keyboards up dead loud. Yeah. Difficult to pin down exactly what made it so good, but everyone seemed to be trying VERY hard indeed. So hard, it must be said that... well
Beforehand we had the Roadhouse Zulu tape, then the new heavy Masquerade, then Zulu again. Band come on and launch He Pep - Tommy shouts out b.vocs but no sign of Smith. They finish and straight into Container Drivers, oh now I can die happy. Carry on for ages, with one Karl drum roll, them MES appears and they more-or-less do the whole thing again. Astonishing, fucking excellent. Spencer comes up next, and though I can't remember the first initial I can certainly vouch for D.W.A.L. Numb was okay, then 10 Houses starts without the backing, and gets really buzzy later on. Average Levitate, then an amazing Oleano (first time I've ever liked this song) with the one-note k/board drilling thru the whole song. Short? was it bugger. MES had been swapping mikes, so at the beginning of Hurricane, he gave Tommy the mike, and gently relieved him of his guitar and went off to the back with it to torture. After Tommy had finished his bit, he looked around for a couple of secs, then took his guitar back - don't underestimate this guy. Jungle Rock was a long one, then an ACE Hip Priest, lots of k/boards. And then how does it get better? A huge M5, five minute intro at least with MES on one-note keys, then jamming his mike into Tommys amp to give a razor sharp guitar sound. Then strange things started happening....
They start Masquerade, which now has a really heavy programmed drum and bass pattern, with Julia playing some low farty keyboard bass. It sounds brilliant, but Steve stands around not playing bass for a while, then takes his bass off and sits on his monitor near Karl and nods his head for the rest of the song.
They fuck off and come back for encores without Julia (fair enough I thought, as she's been wiping her nose all night). Go most of the way thru Lie Dream, then Steve goes over to Tommy, puts his hand over the frets to stop him. Tommy stops, Steve makes to leave, Tommy starts again, Steve stops him, them Steve, Karl and Tommy leave - Tommy gives a wave. Mark is left on stage, determinly carrying on and finishing with "there's been a revolution - see yer", and leaves. 30 seconds later they're back with Julia (but Steve shadows Tommy rather than go to the other side of the stage) and run thru Lie Dream again, then Pearl City. I look away for a moment, then Steve seems to be removing Karl's cymbal stands. End. Lights come on. People start to leave. I wander down the front to piece together the story, then for no apparent reason, they come back for a stormimg Mummy. Steve this time gives a backhand wave at the end. Goodbye it seems to say.
I can't piece this together much. It was, as I say, about the best I've ever seen them in any incarnation. Tommy especially was great - his lead work on Container Drivers was gorgeous (Julia doing rhythm). They've obviously spent either yesterday or today practising a lot, else they just decided to do things differently. The only thing I can't figure is Steve throwing a wobbly; unless it's the Masquerade-sans-Steve bit. He may have pulled everyone else off stage to make up for London, where he was made to look a bit of a lemon, but it seems a bit much for that.
I came away thinking, "Jesus, that was great. Hope it's not the end - they were too good for that".
From: "David I. Williams"
Subject: RE: Cambridge gig
Rich is spot on the money. I've not got much to add, except that I managed to get back into the venue through the back door, after everyone had left, and got a few words out of Karl.
"What was going on with all the fucking about at the end?"
"We don't know. We never know whats going on. Thats what makes us such a fuckin' great band. That's why we keep coming back - and you'll never get rid of us."
Steve's sit down protest during Masquerade ties in with some of the things he said to me on Friday - like about no member of The Fall actually playing on 4 1/2 Inch or Spencer off Levitate. Said he doesn't even know how to play 'Inch', although I notice he's credited with writing it!! Last thing we need is Shanley getting programmed out of The Fall.
My reading of the Shanley led walkout on Lie Dream was that he spotted that Julia was missing. Before leading Tommy off, he pointed towards the vacant keyboard. I think he thought something was up with her. When he realised his mistake he led them back out again for second attempt at Lie Dream. At this moment, Mark & Julia could be seen holding hands through the stage door. As Julia walked on, behind Steve, she made a gesture behind his head - I couldn't see whether it was one or two fingered, but she certainly wasn't saying thanks!
That said, Steve's antics - including dismantling half of the mikes around the drums - appeared to be good humoured. Karl saw the funny side. Marks quip about a revolution seemed self assured.
There were other digs at Mark. Like Tommy's amp being wrapped in black tape to stop Mark removing the mike and fiddling with the knobs - he still manged to achieve both! - and a spare mike in the bass drum, so that when Mark moved the one on a stand, the sound wasn't altered at all. Nice touches.
Credit where its due. When an artist like MES can deliver a 16 year old song with as much passion as he did on Hip Priest, we must treasure that. Container Drivers was a treat - not the shambolic version we got at Stoke - this was the real thing; majestic.
The farting about at the end? I'll give 'em the benefit of the doubt and say thats a great band winding down and relaxing having got the prestige London show out of the way. A bit of tension, sure - what the hell do you expect after 6 weeks on the road.
Bristol should be right knees up.
From: Alan McBride
Subject: RE: Cambridge gig
was it really that good?
cannae remember much of the gig mesel'. more than usual pissed. plus where I was standing at the front you could hardly hear mark's vox (I knew the sound was better back a bit but I wasn't bothered).
I was just chuffed they turned up. great to hear it was a good gig though :-)
norwich tonite. ho hum
From: Gerard Wood
Subject: Cambridge notes
Think Rich covered most of it....
Secondly, Steve's setlist, complete with annotations:
* U PEP Ja 68
CONT (SHORT) gtr
SPENCER (SHORT) a
MUMMY (crossed out) NUMB organ (SHORT)
* 10 Hses b78
OLEANO (SHORT) U.
* HURRICANE bass
HIP P organ
* MASQ J.
>So, The Junction, ridiculously empty (say 2-300 people). Nice to meet >everyone again, Monaz for the 1st time.
Yep, and not forgetting Alex and co, plus Mr Discography himself Jeff Higgott. Geoff Bennetts also spotted, plus the odd contributer to my HMHB site...
>Beforehand we had the Roadhouse Zulu tape, then the new heavy Masquerade,
>then Zulu again. Band come on and launch He Pep - Tommy shouts out b.vocs
>but no sign of Smith. They finish...
...pretty suddenly - Karl flings his arms up in the air and shouts to Neville to get MES on stage - Karl's not happy. A quick conflab between the band, and they launch into Container Drivers, instrumental for a fair bit until MES appears.
>Spencer comes up next, and though I can't remember the >first initial I can certainly vouch for D.W.A.L.
I was pretty sure it was A.W.O.L. meself - said so to Id at the time.
>Numb was okay,
Don't think it works well without Brix. One to drop, I think.
>then 10 Houses starts without the backing, and gets really buzzy later on.
The backing DAT was started up late, so that when the band (& MES) reached the quiet middle bit, it was still thumping away. MES improvised an extra line to bring it all back together - "If only....in a Snoop Doggy Dogg sorta style....". Top stuff.
[Levitate -> M5 : nowt to add]
>They start Masquerade, which now has a really heavy programmed drum and
>bass pattern, with Julia playing some low farty keyboard bass. It sounds
>brilliant, but Steve stands around not playing bass for a while, then takes
>his bass off and sits on his monitor near Karl and nods his head for the
>rest of the song.
A strange half-grin on his face - obviously it was all planned. Just decided he wasn't going to play. Took off his bass, and laid it flat on the floor. Think he decided that Cambridge was the place to try and out-MES Mark...
>They fuck off and come back for encores without Julia (fair enough I
>thought, as she's been wiping her nose all night). Go most of the way thru
>Lie Dream, then Steve goes over to Tommy, puts his hand over the frets to
>stop him. Tommy stops, Steve makes to leave, Tommy starts again, Steve
>stops him, them Steve, Karl and Tommy leave - Tommy gives a wave.
Surely a reaction to Steve being left on his own to play Lie Dream at the Forum...? Or was it just the lack of sniffly Julia?
>left on stage, determinly carrying on and finishing with "there's been a
>revolution - see yer", and leaves.
I thought I heard "a revelation" from Mark, but everyone else heard the above so I guess I need me hearing sorted. I caught MES's eye as he waved to the crowd as he left - he found the whole thing pretty funny.
>30 seconds later they're back with Julia
> (but Steve shadows Tommy rather than go to the other side of the stage)
>and run thru Lie Dream again,
...they started up in mid-song...
>then Pearl City. I look away for a moment,
>then Steve seems to be removing Karl's cymbal stands. End.
This was hilarious, happened about half way through Pearl City, and very professionally done by Steve (!). Whereas MES usually fiddles with one of the cymbal stands and eventually moves it out of the way, there was no messing about this time - SH took out the righthand overhead cymbal mic, kicked over the snare mic, chucked away the hi-hat mic and pulled out (one of the) bass drum mics and kicked it around a bit. Karl was laughing along with Steve...
>Lights come on.
>People start to leave. I wander down the front to piece together the story,
>then for no apparent reason, they come back for a stormimg Mummy.
It sounded different again - can't remember exactly how, though. May have been something to do with the state of Karl's drum kit. Was quite funny watching MES (and Steve) putting the mics BACK into position at the start of "Mummy" though...
All in all, a winner of a gig. It may not have been the best *played* gig, but this was probably the most entertaining and enjoyable Fall gig I've seen.
Just imagine if we'd had the acappella "Mummy" to finish with as well....
Gez, bit knackered this morning
From: Konrad L Adams
Subject: Re: set list annotation
> > > >* U PEP bossanova
> > > CONT (SHORT) gtr
> > > SPENCER (SHORT) rock 1
> > > MUMMY (crossed out) NUMB organ
> > >* 10 Hses samba
> > > LEVITATE gt..
> > > OLEANO (SHORT) march
> > >* HURRICANE bass
> > > JUNGLE rumba
> > > HIP P ASDR
> > > M5 rock 2
> > >* MASQ waltz
> > The keyboard she uses is an oldish Roland analogue one by the looks
> of it - Juno? Jupiter? They certainly look like keys settings to me.
Nah mate - it's a Casio VL-tone placed inside the shell of an old Roland. Thems is just the programmed beats or synthesised instruments to use.
And today, here on the vitamin B glandular show...
From: Alan McBride
norwich. rich, alex and I made good time from cambridge, arrived in town not sure where waterfront was - resisted urge to ask copper where red light district was ('cos alex reckons that's where the venue is).
parked around block from venue - spotted julia strolling up the street. she came over and stuck her head in car window to ask if we knew where nearest pub was, just as alex was fiddling with his dat machine.
met neville outside another pub, looking worried, talking on mobile. had we seen julia? why yes - we'd just dispatched her to another nearby pub. neville looking for julia who's off looking for mark.
met jeff higgot inside. jeff was appalled to hear of the other three receiver releases, but will update his discography with considerable displeasure. reckons he might re-join the list for a while 'cos I told him the signal-to-noise ratio isn't so bad these days. mused about possibility of liasing with gez to try to arrange a bickies/ludes gig at cambridge boat race.
foil were awful, 'cept for the two tracks I like - one sounds like telescopes/velvets/sonic youth. other sounds like pixies. for most of the set they looked tired and bored.
fall came on to disquieting intro tape. only about 150 in the waterfront by then. unfortunately they have a four-foot cage around the front and sides of the two-foot high stage now, so it wasn't as intimate as last year's norwich gig.
set list was practically as cambridge - pep/containers/spencer/numb/houses/levitate/oleano/hurricane/jungle/prie st/showland/m5/masquearade.
neville came out and did the now customary taping up of tommy's amp, this time with vivid white tape which glowed under the uv. hanley pointed at this and laughed when he came out.
before they started I noticed a cloth bag hanging on a string from one of karl's cymbals. didn't know what it was, but when he started playing it became obvious that it was positioned to retard the cymbal below it to dampen the sound. early in the gig mark noticed this and said something like '...what's that...perfume...' and he removed the bag and tossed it away disgustedly.
the entire set was rock solid, tight and professional, but no surprises, no obvious improvs. a straight, competent, reassuring if not entirely inspiring delivery. quite a perfect way to end my experience of the tour, actually.
mark did try to create a bit of tension during parts of the gig by arsing with tommy's amp, fiddling with steve's knobs (he simply stopped playing to fix them), hacking at tommy's strings, removing parts of karl's setup - all the usual stuff - getting a little tired now. they simply ignored him. the only moment of slight discord was jungle where mark instructed tommy not to play a note until he said so, so tommy had to stand there poised like a prat for a ages, poor chap. until mark barked at him to start playing, and he could let rip. but it actually sounded good that way.
dodgy moment where roadie decided that the thing to do was to come on stage to put back the drum mike that mark had just removed! alex gestured from the audience to mark, pointing at the roadie behind him - mark turned around and promptly dispatched roadie but he didn't get aggressive with him. just as well - the guy was a lard mountain - he might have fallen on smiffy and flattened him :-)
the trax that worked best tonite were m5, oleano, containers and masquerade. oleano had some needle-sharp keyboards riffs from julia - almost painfully high in pitch, a bit different from the usual. 10 houses had a new keyboard bit played over the beat during the fast parts. spencer definitely had 'A-W-O-L', as it does on the tape of stoke we listened to (although stoke does have a line about someone thinking mark wanted to shag 17 yr old girls). definitely 'rap' sort of style, followed again by 'snoop doggy dog' reference. masq was the same backbeat-driven version. for some reason steve pointed at tommy and was laughing while tommy did the riff to masq - couldn't figure out why, unless it was because tommy was playing a single-string bass note, almost as if making up for steve not playing. but steve did play along for most of the track.
mark had actually left the stage after m5, clearly gesturing to the band to leave, and as he passed steve he said something about coming off stage, but the band elected to ignore him and do masquerade. for a long time it looked like it would just be a (rather good) instrumental but eventually mark did come back (having changed his top) and did the full vocal, so it worked out to be a real long version.
oh yeah - and steve fluffed the bass part of m5 a bit - not badly - he just got mixed up between the two main bass riffs that the song is built on and ended up playing them out of time with the keyboard riff, but it sounded great. so at the end mark said 'do it again' and we got the whole song again, better, louder.
and at another point during idiot joy mark managed to work the volume right up high by turning everyone's amps up and putting his mike against tommy's monitor for a time. it was a truly thunderous delivery, but even then he wasnae satisfied - he went over to the mixing desk sidestage and tried to turn up the volume but the guy got real agitated and slapped his hands away. mark gave up, a worried neville running over. the mixer chap laughed and gestured at his desk as if to say 'well he aint fuckin' with my kit!'.
and then the only disappointment of the night - no encores. still, probably made for a better balanced set, and as I said a great way to wrap up after the last few gigs. I'm honestly glad that I'm not seeing them at bristol tonight just because I've had exactly my fill of the fall for a time, for better and worse.
oh and the obligatory outfit report (sad huh) - mark came out wearing black jeans and the usual 'very good shoes', silver shirt with white sweat-shirt over top, tucked into jeans. later changed to a black jacket/shirt type thing over same shirt. tommy again bedecked in purple silk.
on the journey back rich and I concocted a spoof review that we would both send independently to wind you all up - it included fallnet references, projected fallnet postings on the backdrop, smith throwing a tantrum and leaving the gig after three songs, the singer from foil doing some tracks. but we bottled out :-)
From: Rich Kidd
Subject: Re: norwich
I can't add much to Alan's description. Good that the road to Norwich is so straight, allowing him to doze off a couple of times on the way up.
Again, disappointing turnout.
>set list was practically as cambridge - >pep/containers/spencer/numb/houses/levitate/oleano/hurricane/jungle/prie >st/showland/m5/masquearade.
Like at Cambridge, Pep was instrumental except for Tommy's bv, and Smith makes his dynamic entrance way into Container Drivers. I still can't get over how good it is to hear this again, with Tommy's rock-star guitar solo. Good versions of most songs, but Jungle Rock still sounds like a dog - the only version of this I've heard that was any good was the Dingwalls take, mostly guitar.
>the entire set was rock solid, tight and professional, but no surprises,
>no obvious improvs. a straight, competent, reassuring if not entirely
>inspiring delivery. quite a perfect way to end my experience of the
A couple of end-of-tour thoughts. These few concerts have brought home to me how much better the Levitate songs stand up vs. those on LUS. At the Manc gig in May I was thoroughly sick of hearing the LUS stuff - I love the album but a lot of it's in the production I think which just doesn't make it to the live renditions. But all the Lev stuff, it's just great (apart from maybe Jungle Rock). As Alan said, Spencer makes a perfect intro or early song, giving MES a toilet wall to scrawl over. Bit disappointed that Ol' Gang's been given the elbow tho. I've seen some top qality gigs though, restored my faith a a lot.
From: "David I. Williams"
A good show, without ever really getting into top gear - or maybe I'm just suffering TFS (tour fatigue syndrome) - feeling similar to Alan at Norwich.
Quartet of Doc Shanley - not sure I've heard this live before Ol Gang - v.long with Mark on second guitar The Carlton=Ravenelli=Ken mystery resolved More Shanley liaison.
that'll do for now
diw glad (it's) all over
From: M Jones
Subject: Brizzle Gig
Arrived at Rummer 7-20 ish, with K plus 2. Slow filter of FF's arrive Konrad, then DIW, Barry and virgin fall friend (virgin gig-wise not in the other sense).
Foil were soundchecking when we arrived - met hanley in the toilets looking harrassed.
Finally The Fall arrive 10-15 ish. Excellent long intro of Lie Dream, and smith in very good mood (smiling). Set in no particular order :-
Lie Dream Hip Priest Masquerade Container Drivers Ten Houses Idiot Joy Showland Spencer Quartet of D. Shanley Mummy M5 Oleano O'l Gang (excellent long intro with Hanley/Tommy doing Status Quo guitar poses, extermely loud Smith on second Guitar) Levitate U Pep
Plus a few more I think !!
All in all my Fave gig of the recent tour, though only did Dublin and Oxford ones.
1) K shaking Mes's hand then Jumping on stage to do an impromptu jig besides him :) and the incredibly loud Ol' gang.
2) Pinching one of Konrads chips.
3) Smiths happy mood and rambling.
Gig pix should be up on website sunday - providing sheriff stone didn't break the camera after throwing it 20 ft to me at the gig :(
From: Konrad L Adams
Subject: Re: Brizzle Gig
Brief review: A good, polished sound (inasmuch as the Fall ever are polished), though a minimum of stage antics. Mind you, I took the Alan approach of standing back a bit, so didn't get to see things at close hand. Only MESisms I noted were fiddling with Tommy's amps and walking straight through Julia + guitar, though Id reliably informs me that the horrendous geetar part on Ol' Gang was MES, not Tommy. T
he Stefan Bit (in correct order): Lie Dream / 10 houses / Containers / Spencer / Doc Shanley / Levitate / Mummy / Oleano / M5 / Hip Priest / He Pep / Masquerade // [encore] Idiot Joy / Ol' Gang
Obligatory FallNetter bit: Good to meet Carlton, who looked very chuffed with his Ravanelli joke. Barrie, meself and Id all fell for that one at various times - I'll let himself explain. Two stage invasions: K getting behind MES, doing a little jig and then running off at the side; one of Carlton's ol' gang (think) obviously not displaying K's feminine charms and getting unceremoniously chucked back into the crowd. Carlton is now unmasked as a rival of Ian's for scariest looking Fallnetter.
Mystery bits: (a) What did MES say at the beginning of 10 houses? Sounded
like "What are you doing here? What are you doing in Bristol?" as if he was
pleasantly surprised to see an old friend in front of the stage.
(b) If anyone was in any doubt as to Oleano being about that ship, "This is the story of HMS Oleano" should clear it up once and for all.
Revised tour highlights (from a subset of Oxford/Stoke/Brizzle):
1. I'm a mummy - Oxford
2. K's stage invasion - Brizzle
3. Steve & Tommy's rock-star posing - Ol' Gang, Brizzle (anyone get a photo of this? They looked to be having a right ol' giggle)
4. M5 & Hip Priest - all 3
5. With hindsight, MES' general demeanour at Stoke
Finally, postscript to the gig: got stopped for speeding (in a car sense,
not in a Rowche Rumble sense) on the way home. Let off with a warning (thanks,
Mr & Mrs Plod).
Small talk went something like:
PC: Where have you been?
PC: Who did you see there?
KA: The Fall
PC: Who? Guess you've got to be into them to appreciate it. What sort of band are they?
KA: Er, unique I think is the best description I can give.
Can anyone do any better?
From: Carlton B Morgan
Subject: Wurzels ripped my flesh...Brizzle Gig
> >Obligatory FallNetter bit: Good to meet Carlton, who looked very
>with his Ravanelli joke. Barrie, meself and Id all fell for that one at
>various times - I'll let himself explain.
I knew my mate Ken (looks exactly like Ravanelli-has even been chanted at in service stations by footie fans) was going so when Konrad asked me to describe myself I said "exactly like Ravanelli". Various Fallnetters descended on Ken thruout evening asking if he is me....Ken very puzzled, driven crazy by it until he twigged (Sean sidled up to me: "Ken's not pleased!"). Hilarious, thank you all for being such good-natured stooges....
>Two stage invasions: K getting
>behind MES, doing a little jig and then running off at the side; one of
>Carlton's ol' gang (think) obviously not displaying K's feminine charms
>and getting unceremoniously chucked back into the crowd.
Yeah, that was one of Ken's party,Ian...I haven't spoke to those guys (Ian, Sean, Ken) since but they were directly in front of MES whole time....all had got v pissed and considered Brizzle their "xmas outing"...
>Carlton is now >unmasked as a rival of Ian's for scariest looking Fallnetter.
...huh, you don't know from scary. You should see my brother.....(Think Arnold Schwarzenegger, think Art Garfunkel, put 'em together). Being scary comes in handy on occasions such as chasing off the guy who keeps following our local paranoid schizophrenic (can you believe that? paranoid schizophrenic gets loony stalker.....)
>Mystery bits: (a) What did MES say at the beginning of 10 houses? Sounded
>like "What are you doing here? What are you doing in Bristol?" as if he
>was pleasantly surprised to see an old friend in front of the stage.
I think when MES started song, said "Can" once unaccompanied and stopped as Ken had thought he'd said "Ken" and answered him; not sure though witnessed much banter (I was in fronta Tommy)....Ken had long chat with MES in 79 in Newport Stowaway and if MES remembered that I shall be very surprised....when I know more I'll tell you.
> >Finally, postscript to the gig: got stopped for speeding
Almost exact same thing happened when we went to Fall at Bierkeller in January. Stopped not for speeding, but for people travelling illegally in the back of a van. PC: Where've you been? My pal WAYNE: "To the Bierkeller to see the Fall..
they weren't very good...." Must be a Bristol thing...
PS And as if this weren't enough they even had a Kinks compilation on in Deep Pan Pizza (yes we did got "Victoria")... -- Carlton B Morgan
Subject: brizzle my view
Hello there FF's - although I am not a netter I felt I had to drop you all a line to say what a great gig you missed last night at Bristol. The last Fall gig I attended was at Dublin and although they played a sound set, it was kind of rehearsed and record like (!) and Mark behaved himself (I guess many of you like this band so much because of its soap-like qualities, me I like a good atmosphere and to see everyone enjoying themselves. I had this feeling that the Irish did not like the fact that we were 'foreigners' (I was punched in the mouth, though this could have been because I was jumping on the foot of someone who was repeatedly annoying me by bumping into me:-(
Anyway, I took the plunge - after saying that I was too old to go to any more concerts by this crooning band and found myself being persuaded to go to Bristol because if was the last gig of the tour and because it's the festive season. Apart from the fact that it looked very much like Markeeeee had done his usual trick of disappearing, the band actually came on much later than anticipated.
The vibes were mega, I managed to get to my preferred position of being in the front row (being a shortling as I am). Mark was obviously on the uppers and smiling his munchcin smile - and wow - he was standing directly infront of me - there were no barriers and I could reach him - so I did - I grabbed hold of his hand and squeezed it tightly (eat your heart out Mel:-))))) - he looked really embarrassed (bit more daring than undoing his shoelaces at Gloucester!) As the master and his merry men continued to play brill versions of most of Levitate and a compo of past greatest hits, the crowd, also being in good spirits and having a good bop, exploded to my current fave 'I'm a mummy' - at which point us few women and shorties in the front row collapsed into the mexican wave (not because we were in ore but because of the sheer crush) - it was my turn to feel embarrassed so I jumped on stage and found myself behind MES waving my hands in adoration and almost grabbing him - until I spied a bouncer who was about to excommunicate me from the stage so I walked off with a smile almost as big as Mr Smiths!!!
Anyway - the night went on and the music reached heights and I rocked until hometime and now I am a bit more of a fan:-\
Mark if you ever require a tambourine player or a trianglist then please do not hesitate to contact me.
Yours Cumfee K xxx
Late Oxford review
Subject: Later than late, blacker than Frank and Matt Black, but above all..crap.
Meanwhile...in the sticks...
Arrived at the New Inn later than planned after unable to locate the copy of MoAM tape for Mikey J and having to run off another copy afap. Permanently borrowed i think, by the same git who 4 1/2 inched my HMHB tape. Met Mel, (looking knockout as always, and proving that, in the dress department at least, all things spangly are not necessarily crap), Mikey J (Cheers Mike! RTL n.p. (Now i understand all the fuss about Papal Visit....) If i had a top 5, it would be upthere. But i don't. So it isn't. And wonderful to hear 'Tatty Seaside Town' again Mike) STuart for the first time, (again, obliterating another preconception as regards appearance), someone who, in these in these parts, might be described as "intelligent, interesting, and not at all fat". Alan McB, who doesn't seem to smile much (but that might just be me and/or my papparazi approach..<flash!!><flash!!> :) Id, (must sit with that elusive beer or 3 and tell me about your seasons one day), that prolific and allround decent fellow Gez! of course! more knowledge than the music section at Central Library, more energy and vitality than a bag of Magnuz Pikes eating Chum, (though five+ hours of alcohol did slowly begin to take affect..did it not Gez.. :} Neil The Impatiently Boisterous Shouter (and praise be the size of a hundred wellingtons for the procurement ala tix vis a vis Prolapse mon ami etc etc) always good to see again, but not long enough (and meant to ask, who was the chick?) Al, which al? i've no idea, but not astronomer al, or arid al, Al-as, Rich, most briefly as usual, no talk of camel hair this time, and Konrad (more of an "alright..?" and a grin, than a proper 'met'), and two friends, Big G and wifery.
With a well stored but unshamrock'd Guinness hurriedly downed it was up to the zodiac (via an ALldays to buy 20 smokes at the new and improved price of 3.39... but let's face it..0.0042375p for a deep satisfying lungful of burnt tobacco is a small price to pay) to be charged on entry for having my bag mit camera taken from me. (their policy on cameras, and their general attitude to live music sucks) Not much to tell about the decor, as it's all pretty much black. Matt black at that. And the bar...ah..err..that's black too. Rigging. Some rigging. Up to the front-left of the stage, with Id, Gez, Neil, and Big G et wife (Anna-Elise, who after inhaling the vapour of the zodiac's smoke machine...along with a fairly hefty joint, promptly hit the deck with a dazed and confused expression on her face. But fortunately, thank goodness, all before the music started.)
Shirt-wise, mes bedecked in something that resembled those half striped mirrow windows, like in supermarket staff-rooms? But inverted. And black jeans that, to his credit, haven't been anywhere near an iron in their trousered life. The Doc, unruffled by broken strings at one point, as usual kept most stuff on track and in the right direction in his own inimitable way. Tommy fluffed now and then, and then, annnd then. But otherwise...he was...well...adequate. Actually, to be fair he was alright, and i did like his go-with-the-flow reaction to mes attempting to play the neck of his guitar, and he did shine at times, but it did leave me wishing someone had maintained their amps in the proper fashion. But, there's hope for him yet. (not that i can play any better of course)
Opening number was a more than adequate Pearl City, which i took as topical, bearing in mind the collapse of the eastern banks business, Idiot Joy Showland and then, or not long after, was a scary mary Hurricane Edward, which again i took as a kind of warning, as to the state of the world et al.
A slowed down and sublime version of Hip Priest sang by amp was breathtaking, slow easy and full of depth. Brilliant. Personally i'd be happy to see both the slowee and the fastee version in the same set. Both so different, and yet still so good.
Good to see mes and burns connecting so well throughout the whole set, always tight (in the musical sense) togetrher and in particular of course, their combined rebellion with the unplugged version of "I'm a Mummy"... Top Stuff. Recognised a live Lie Dream without being told "hey you idiot, this is LieDream" and happily soaked up every bopping second. And of course had the delight of hearing it again after getting home with Mikey's RTL cd. 10 houses also memorable, esp. for the fact that i'm sure that's the first time i've ever seen our man actually show such strong (and seemingly vunerable-like) emotion during a song. At one point i was convinced he was going to buckle and lose it, the "if only the shards...would reconnect" part seemingly the trigger. At a guess, i'd say that this must be close to his heart, tho' i've no idea why. i'd be intrigued to know exactly what shards he would like reconnected.
What i liked so much about this gig was that he seemed to be, what i can only describe as genuinely relaxed, open and honest within the music, and more so as it went on, than i've seen before. (Which made the Zodiac's pulling the plugs so much more of a crime.) The tape of mes's answering machine messages in the intro also gave me the feeling of him giving something more of himself. (but anymore of this and i'll be wondering how he wrote elastic man) It wasn't a stomping blinding gig in the same way as the last zodiac one (but this i believe is due to a lack of Brix, fewer attendees, and the fact that LuS is generally more energetic than Lvte), it wasn't anything to put in yer dairy marked 'And from that day since..', but it was still a good gig, and a thoroughly pleasure to see. The atmosphere overall, i thought, was low in key once it started, and unusally relaxed. No bad thing at all. And the cherry on the Fall cake was of course the karl/mes refusal to let a lack of electricity put an end to the entertainment. As with most Fall gigs, i left inspired, and was glad to have been there, though appalled in the cynical approach taken by the Bormann Zodiac management. Long Live The Fall, for reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated. For now.
After a return for a re-sup in the New Inn, (nice long bar, almost as long as the pub which always makes for a good bar, red and reasonably unattractive wallpaper at one end, and a pinball machine, a comfy sofa and band posters on the walls at the other creating a mix of alternative and standard pub feeling) where rather foolishly i got caught up in conversation with a couple of friends in there (who i can talk to any day of the week) and missed most of the post-gig banter with the remaining FNs. Being late on arrival, and therefore not having quaffed the required amount it was on to the Kari (on drin) King for a nan-bread and 3 sauces of various colours, mmmm delishious, shared by Gez, meself and a couple of pop stars. (One of whom had his laptop with him and was working on their flyer...an adult cartoon picture from Lion King with the heroine getting gratefully sorted from behind by the hero). A fine way to wrap up a top (but cut painfully short) evenings entertainment. Only regret of the evening was i wish i'd got to the pub earlier and made more of the oppurtunity to meet more Fallnutters. Still, next time.
Got home just in time to witness the immediate aftermnath of a Veedub Scirocco driven and rolled thru several front gardens after a chase with a panda. Unlike the Zodiac, managed to get a few photos. If any of them come out, those interested in joyriding and the consequent effects on shubbery and gatework will find them on my webpages, along with some Fallnutters in New Inn shots. (*when* i get round to it..)
\sh, my wiperblades will cut down your entrance
For those concerned amongst you, Anna Elise was fine btw, just got a bit dizzy and fainted. i think plastic permeation gear-wise had something to do with it. Big G in his capacity as husband took her outside for air and she was ok for the rest of the gig. Enjoyed it too.
For those unconcerned amongst you, it was a severe heart attack. How d'ya feel now?? eh??
Julia's still cool, and still dangerously sexy.
he said "chick"
If this news ain't good enough for you, try Graham Coleman's
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