Fall News

News for week ending 7 February 1998

NME Awards 

Alan McBride's put in the transcript of MES appearance below, and you can hear the speech and Wiley interview in .wav and .rm (thanks to Ash): http://www.planetash.demon.co.uk/moody.html. Also a competition:

Name your favourite 5 Fall albums - including compilations - and the nearest to the NME's choice will win:
First prize: One signed ultra-rare chromalin of the Levitate album
Second: Two signed white labels of Masquerade
Third: Two signed white labels of various Masquerade single remixes

As a tie-breaker, make up the title of The Fall's next album in less than ten words. Answers, on a postcard, to:
The Fall Top Five Comp.
25th Floor
King's Reach Tower
Stamford Street
SE99 0BB
(No closing date given).


No Fall news at the moment, apart from this implausible snippet:
>Escape Route-East German Refugee Dog
>MES-appearing live in NY at the Hinge 2-20-1998
>Oranj poetry alive.

But we do have, on Thursday 26 February:
Ludd Gang + I Ludicrous
"The promoter is a jerk! A sincere salute to the best band since music began featuring Ludd Gang - a Fall tribute band featuring members of Prolapse, and I Ludicrous, long standing favourites of Smithy, and suitably fallish of musical hue. Plus guest DJs spinning fall and fall related sounds. Never bored with ESP medium dischord..."

Hope and Anchor, 207 Upper St, Islington.
4.00: or 3.50 with flyer. 3.00 UB40/NUS.
Nearest tube: Highbury & Islington, or Angel
Doors 9pm to midnight. Info 0171 378 6095


MES is interviewed in this week's NME. We'll get it scanned soon, but in the meantime Sietse puts up a snippet.

Ian Leaver spotted a letter in this month's Q


The Masquerade single is out on 9 Feb. It comprises a 10" and 2-part CD.

A Peel Sessions compilation comes out on 23 February: Rebellious Jukebox, Mess of My, New Face in Hell, Winter, Smile, Middlemass, 2 x 4, Cruisers Creek, What You Need, Athlete Cured, Dead Beat Descendent, Black Monk Theme, Idiot Joy Showland, Free Range, Strychnine, A Past Gone Mad, M5.

Recent news....

980130 Bits on NME Award, POSR/RTL reissue details
980125 Shanley i/view
980118 Time Out interview w/pics, Melody Maker review, Oh Brother press release, Oxford review
980111 Dutch Opscene interview
980104 Melody Maker interview
971221 Not much
971211 Portsmouth, London, Cambridge, Norwich, Bristol reviews
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 disaster reports
971109 First Dublin/Belfast reviews, MES on Elastica album


NME Brat Awards ceremony aired on Channel Four, presented by comedian Eddie Izzard.

"We're shiftin' through it - fuckin' 'ell - don't 'ang about..."

(Stage is done out like a toilet, blue-white tiling, toilet bowls set into the walls, the podium has urinal bowls set into it, the inimitable Eddie Izzard stands behind delivering the award spiels)

"...the Godlike Genius award for Unique Services to Music, voted by the NME."

(Izzard standing behind the urinal podium with the NME award trophy in front of him - it's a cast of a fist held in a one-finger salute, with a bracelet around the wrist)

"For twenty years he and his group have stood outside the mainstream of popular music, sustained by inovation, genius and a stern command of the protestant work ethic.  They have been everything from amphetamine rockabillies to mithering techno-futurists - their one constant has been their leader.  Easy to impersonate but impossible to emulate, his style is hugely influential."

"A generation of stream of conciousness (Izzard camply drawls this as con-shen-us) mumblers from pavement to prolapse, from happy mondays to lo-fidelity allstars (Izzard had presented the lo-fi's with award for Best Newcomers earlier in the show) have all felt his power..."

(At this point the camera pans to Smith making his way up the stairs at side stage, cheers begin, Izzard looks a bit surprised because he hasn't even announced the winner yet.  Smith stepping his usual studied, hunched swagger, flicks his B&H into the pan of one of the toilet bowls as he passes, strolls up to podium...)

"...he's here...he's gonna get it now...and there it is...."

(Izzard, a bit thrown, grins and shoves the trophy into Smith's hands -Smith feigns bemusement, takes it, hastily replaces it on podium where it came from.  More cheering, and barely audible discussion between Smith and Izzard...)

Izzard:  (inaudible - handing Smith some papers)

Smith:  "What..."

Izzard:  "...you can have it to take home"

Smith:   "...what...yeah the rest of it....no I don't want it, no"

(Guess the papers were the text of the rest of Izzard's interrupted achievements speech.  Smith, grinning, slouched over mike, continues - dressed in black jacket over dark polo-neck, black jeans, polished black shoes.  Caption comes up - "Godlike Genius - Mark E. Smith" - up to this point neither his name or the name of the band has been announced - guess there were a few confused viewers)

Smith:  (grinning widely) "Not like you to be funny Eddie!"

"Thank you very much for this award.  Eh...it's all due to erm...(pause, fiddles with nose, fiddles with mike) John Lennox, Stephen Hanley (more mike fiddling)...without eh...which eh...and Caroline an' emm...(looks up, closes eyes grinning as if straining to remember)...Irene.  And Julia."

(Caroline is Mark's sister.  Julia the band's keyboardist and reportedly Mark's partner.  Irene?  His mum?)

"What's it mean?   ...I think the achievement should go to those who read the NME who can read it from cover to cover, a'right...."

(Audience laughs at quip, Smith makes a brief move to pick up trophy but waves it away, quickly turns and exits leaving it on podium, salutes to audience as he leaves the stage.  Izzard returns)

"Ladies and gentlemen Mr Mark E Smith"  (cheers)

(Cue shot of toilet flushing followed by video clips - caption says Mark E. Smith and The Fall - five seconds of Hit the North, ten seconds of Big New Prinz from Kurious Oranj with Michael's ballet troupe ("check the record...he is not appreciated!"), a clip of Hey Luciani (the maggots shot), Cruisers Creek (the shot of the band emerging from behind a statue, Smith with megaphone).  Lastly a dub of the album version of Masquerade, over cleverly cut bits of the VH1 appearance to make it look as if he was singing Masq.  Another cut of a toilet flushing, then cut to the room side-stage where they interview the awardees as they come off)

Wiley:  "...emm...your thoughts on winning this award..."

(Smith looking distractedly at camera, brief big fake open mouth scrunched-up-face grin, turns and looks down at Jo Wiley)

Smith:  "...wha'..."

Wiley:  "...what about winning this award - godlike genius..."

Smith:  "..wha' 'bout it?..."

Wiley:  "...well what do you reckon..."

Smith:  "Well what would you think about it...wha' was it about?"

Wiley:  "It's about recognising all the work you've done..."

(uncomfortable pause, cut to Wiley, bravely smiling but clutching her chest defensively)

Wiley:  "...for music..."

Smith: "...wha'..are you here for channel four..."

Wiley:  "yeah"

Smith:  "of course you do of course..."

(Smith sneers this accusingly, knowingly, sinisterly amused somehow, sounding a bit like Vera Duckworth or Dot Cotton, as if having uncovered some curious betrayal or social indiscretion on the part of the confused Wiley)

Wiley:  "...yeah...I'm workin' the radio as well..."

Smith:  "That's right yeah...yuh..."

(Smith looks away, tosses eyes upwards a touch, as if to say "so that's who you are - now I have you placed")

Wiley:  "So are you pleased to get it?"

Smith:  (snaps, annoyed) "...What."

Wiley:  (impatient)  "The award that you just got for Godlike Genius."

Smith:  "...what' wha'...yeah can you tell me what the award was."

(Smith looks challengly at Wiley, tongue sticking out to upper lip, shuffles a bit threateningly, grins)

Wiley:  "One more time...no I can't I'm bored of saying that now"

(Smith looks distractedly at camera, ignores question)

Wiley:  "What'd'ya think of Marc Riley getting his award...for best radio show?"

Smith:  "I thought it was hilarious.  Like emm..."

Wiley:  (grinning mischieviously)  "...you gonna see him later on?"

Smith:  "...Laurel 'n 'Ardy were'n'it."

(Cuts forward - did Mark say something more unkind?)

Wiley:  "Thank you very much for doing this interview.  See ya."

Mark:  (turning away, grinning)  "Yeeeaahh...(to camaraman) you fuck off..."

(Wiley probably thought the remark was aimed at her)

Wiley: (good humourdly)  "And you too".


from uk.music.alternative...

Steve Sutherland (NME ed) was on Xfm's X-Rated prog on Sunday as usual, and was talking a bit about the Godlike Genius: said he basically ruined it by standing up far too early, then later complained that they hadn't shown the Fall film clips (must have been edited into the TV show) while Sutherland tried to explain to him that the only reason they hadn't was because Smith had bolloxed the whole thing, what with being dead drunk and everything.

Sutherland also commented on the Verve's not coming onto the stage to receive their award. He said it was fine by him, he was really pleased they'd turned up at all.  His taking the awards to them at the table was simply breaking some sort of Mexican standoff.  He knew beforehand that they didn't want to go up on stage ("too rock-star"), and Eddie Izzard didn't seem to want to walk into the audience, so Steve took control of the situatio


From Q:

Dear Q
In your recent article about film soundtracks and their respective albums (Q137), you dared to suggest that The Fall would be an unsuitable artist for inclusion in a film. As one of the many former members of this respected beat combo, I would like to take issue with you on this point. Anyone who saw the film Silence Of The Lambs will be familiar with the scene where Officer Starling confronts Buffalo Bill in his own home, playing in the background (presumably Bill's choice) is Hip Priest from the Hex Enduction Hour album (featuring some sterling drumming). I even got my name on the credits. Unfortunately, the manager of the cinema was keen to lock up and threw me out before it appeared. Hopefully the follow-up, if it ever gets made, will feature some more PRinducing Fall tracks.
Paul Hanley, via e-mail
PS. It wasn't on the soundtrack either.


Gez: There's now a Ludd Gang Website, of sorts, housed at the palace of Prolapse:


It sez:

"As the hardest working tribute band this side of the Narborough Road we are proud of the record of one gig a year which has been kept up for a staggering 3 years. The first gig was at the Pump and Tap in Leicester supporting techno boffins Voon sometime in 1995. After that it was the turn of The Council ('The band not the local government organisation' Steve Lamaq) to face the unfancied prospect of taking the stage after Ludd Gang, this was at the Physio and |Firkin in Leicester sometime in 1996. Last year we left it a bit late and played with Novak and L'augmentation, again at the Physio, just before Christmas.It has therefore come as a surprise to all concerned, that this year's gig (or indeed the first of this year's gigs) is to take place so soon into the new year.

Gig Announcement!

Ludd Gang are playing a Fall convention (of sorts) at the Hope and Anchor in Islington, London, on Thursday 26th February. Support comes from, wait for it, wait for it I LUDICROUS  them of Preposterous Tales fame. We couldn't believe it either. There will also be guest DJ's playing, I would imagine lots of Fall records, so if you're at all that way inclined get your tank top/armani jacket on,(depending on your era) and head down there. As yet I don't know who the DJ's will be, probably John Peel and Thurston Moore -I somehow doubt it, more likely the drummer from The Keatons. Ticket price is unknown too at this moment but I can't imagine it will break the bank."


The NME interview isn't that bad really, I think. Couple of good quotes anyway, and some interesting news, like this:

' ''I've done all these scripts for a science fiction series, actually," he continues, "a British science fiction series, worked me fucking balls off on them. Six stories, really short. Did the music, everything, made it all tight as fucking fuck. And they said it was complete crap. Then The X-Files comes on. Same company, they want to see me scripts, because The X-Files is running out of ideas, or they want to use the music or something. I said send 'em back, I just need to look through them, and I fucking burned them." '

He says the lyrics for the new album were stolen at the London show. Then there's a bit about how he never saves anything, like cuttings (which might not be quite true if you look at some of the press clippings that are on Fall sleeves). It says he likes Americans because of that: 'Everything in their culture is geared towards the new, never undermined for a reverence for how things used to be.' (this isn't a direct quote from MES, but paraphrased)

There's also a nice selection of quotes from previous interviews, one where he calls socialists and communists "second rate Christianity". It's probably gotten harder to interview him, 'cause he just hasn't got the patience for silly questions anymore - and rightfully so.

I thought it was hilarious to hear MES talk to Jo Whiley by the way, especially the part where he says, in a higher tone, very condescendingly, ''Of course you do, 'course you do.'' She was just doing her job of course, but that's the problem too, she wasn't really interested in what he had to say, just wanted a sound bite, and he wasn't prepared to go along with that, which is fair enough I think. A smart or witty remark or question might have gotten a better response.


Oh yeah, the quote that's in the subject line is from this: ' "You're never going to be on Top Of The Pops every week if you're in The Fall, that's not what The Fall's about," says Mark finally. "The Fall's about hard work." '

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