Manchester University, 11 August
London LA2, 12 August
THIS NARRATION'S SAVING GRACE!
THE FALL's MARK E SMITH is to release a spoken-word album and one track details the events in New York in April which led to the walkout of three members of the band. Smith has since replaced them and will debut a new Fall line-up at London WC2 LA2 on August 12.
Smith has described the album, which has the working title 'The Post Nearly Man', as "shouty, violent, and nothing like a Radio 4 play". The album was put together at a number of friends' houses and Pete Waterman's Manchester studio in May and June. Many of the pieces are taken from poems and stories Smith says he's had "stacked up in boxes while I've been stuck doing my day job". The album is released by Artful in August.
"They contacted me. They'd done one by Gordon Banks (ex-England goalkeeper) on fishing and it was really good," Smith said. "Most of my album is just prose really. It's very much Edgar Allan Poe, very low-key with no sound effects."
In April this year bass player Steve Hanley, drummer Karl Burns and guitarist Tommy Crooks left The Fall after a riotous US tour, claiming Smith was "impossible to work with". The walkout followed a number of inter-band fights and the arrest of Smith on a charge of assaulting his girlfriend, Fall keyboardist Julia Nagle.
"There's a song that's about that, but it doesn't go into the gossipy side of it," Smith said. "It's more the aftermath. It's a pretty good sort of sketch about what I went through there. It's not like, 'Oh aye they've bloody left me 'ere!' or anything like that. It's about being in New York with nothing, no money or anything."
Smith said that he'd played the album for Artful but their response wasn't quite what he was expecting. "They said it sounded prehistoric! It's pretty violent considering there's only bits and pieces of music on it. But that's what I was going for."
Meanwhile, Smith and Julia Nagle have been joined in The Fall by new bass player Karen Leatham. Former Polythene drummer Kate Methen, who appeared with the band at London Camden Dingwalls in May, has also joined the band full-time. Smith is currently looking for a full-time guitarist but says he's toying with the idea of using ten guitarists when The Fall play live again! "It's sounding good. I haven't heard from the old band, they've changed their phone numbers, not that I've tried to call them you understand."
[Karen Leatham used to play for The Sons Of God, who played with Mark Burgess a few years back.She was also in Wonky Alice, whose single MES reviewed years ago:]
From stve's 'Complete Fall Articles' collection (via Dave Carter)
Originally from NME, 27 June 1992
MES reviews singles . . . WONKY ALICE: Sirius (Pomona) A deranged, post-psychedelic, hippy guitar rush that slows down, speeds up, raves on about cosmic stuff and generally betrays all thesigns of having been brought up in a house where whole food is consumed on dirty old wooden tables. Not bad for all that.
Got the sleeve of this one, cock? Never heard of them. Sounds a bit dated, don't it? Great guitar though. It's quite good. You're getting fed up with it then it livens up. You do this every week, do you, Dave ? I like this, it's got a weird arrangement. Loads of influences. Brains of mush. Their mums and dads played em 'Sgt Pepper' and their brother's played 'em The Jam...totally f--ed up! Ha ha ha !
So an all-female band
MES as Robert Palmer anyone?
From: Peter Reavy
Subject: Man Whose Head Expanded
Below, notes you may all be familiar with but I hadn't seen before, as included with PBL reissue. I have tried to keep caps, layout and punctuation.
The Man Whose Head Expanded: KNEW:-
a) ALTHOUGH the mind grew on revelation of hidden vistas, daily life became a stuttering chore;
b) WHO stole cafes collection box;
c) THAT Smith applied cut-up technique literally to brain;
d) THIS 'press release' was well nigh over d.j.'s heads, irrelevant of status;
e) NEW art forms hit recession cities and societies best;
f) WHY Val Doonican refuses to sing "Paddy McGinty's Goat" on his show;
g) REASON colour pop magazines pertaining to cover English sub-culture crapped pants at mere mention of above group's name;
h) JOB DEARTH in England caused The Fall to compete with groups comprised of people who'd normally be Civil Tax Collectors, stockbrokers and hairdressers, but were Wrongfully encouraged by Channel 4;
i) BEST SOUNDS hide in studio carpets, Mountain Oaf.
B R I C K O N W I N D O W
From: Pete Ferreira
Subject: Fall brilliance
In today's Village Voice, article on Chopping Timbre The Art of the Indie-Rock Remix
at the bottom it sez:
"That's started to happen in the mainstream, with things like the last couple of Bjvrk albums and even Brandy & Monica's Aphex-inflected single "The Boy Is Mine," but aside from Gastr Del Sol's semi-successful attempts to integrate Popp and pop into their final album and a few flashes of brilliance from Dub Narcotic Sound System and the Fall, it hasn't happened much yet down in the rock underground."
From: "John F. Monroe"
Subject: new Perverted By Language cd
This one is a comparable to the otehr re-issue ( Grotesque ) . You get more art in the cd booklet ( cover art for two singles ), and Ludd Gang is now on cd. i think my 7" of it sounds a little crisper, but maybe that is my record player. So, it starts off with Man Whose Head Expanded, Ludd Gang, Kicker Conspiracy and WIngs. I compared the three (except Ludd Gang ) vs. the original Place of Swords Reversed versions, they do seem a little duller. As i thought with the other re-issue, it is as if someone had given you a tape of it. It doesn't sound bad, but not as clear as on POSR. The actual PBL album is comparable to the older cd, i doubt with headphones off i could tell which was which. The last track is Pilsner Trail, and the evil elf of artwork typos attacks again, as it is listed as Pilsner Trai on the back. grr, was this put together by a roomful of bonobo monkeys with typewriters?
The insert under the cd tray seems to be the master tape studio sheet for side 2 of the album, where you can see Pilsner Trail listed, with a note 'not used on album, not on cassette'. I just skipped up to Pilsner Trail, and it sounds good.
So, if you don't have PBL and always wanted to get it, this is a very decent re-issue with the bonus songs ( always exciting for Ludd Gang to pop up ) and overall genral decent sound quality. No sign of vinyl being used, no cracks or pops.
From: Stuart Estell
Subject: PBL revisited
Wait, Garden's been remixed. That bit about "[burble, burble] and it blew up, Yours sincerely etc." is missing, and some of Smith's "jew on m/bike" backing vox have gone too. It also didn't end when I expected it to. Keyboard trashing noises are louder too. Question is who's responsible...
From: "Gregory Ellis"
Subject: Disney's Dream Debased
This is how it really happened apparently...
The Matterhorn earned its underground sobriquet of "widowmaker" in January, 1984. This time, its victim was no innocent, hi-jinking teenager, but a respectable 48 year old matron. Dollie Young of Fremont had been enjoying an impromptu Disneyland visit with old friends from Arizona. The survivors later recalled that "It started out like one of those magical, happy days" so frequently depicted in Disney promotional materials. And the day had gone well, until they dared the deadly slopes of the Matterhorn.
Dollie was riding alone in the rear car of the sled, so no one saw quite what happened. Disney workers swear they had buckled her in. However, two thirds of the way down the slopes, her so called "safety" belt was definitely unbuckled. She fell to the track, and, as she bounced along track while struggling to regain her feet, a second speeding sled smashed into her. The "bullet" sled dragged her for a car-length before stopping with her corpse pinned beneath its wheels. She was pronounced dead at the scene from massive head and chest injuries. The Matterhorn was closed for the rest of the day due to "technical difficulties", and the bullet sled riders evacuated via a hidden elevator. The nearby motorboat cruise and monorail ride were also shut down, presumably to spare Fantasyland guests the sight of a real-life police investigation.
From: "David I. Williams"
Subject: Ark interview - transcript
...well the best I could do, anyway, from a crappy tape recording:
For the next hour I'm going to be joined by a new band, Ark, who as I said before, have risen phoenix-like from the ashes of The Fall. Erm ... Steve Hanley, and ... let me get the piece of paper, 'cos I've forgotten everybody's name ... Pete Mac ..er .. Pete Nakamura... that's hard to pronounce ... not for you, 'cos you've had to live with it ... and erm Karl Burns, and also, just along for the ride ...
PH: hey, do you mind?
we've got Steve's brother, Paul
PH: I'm in the band as well though. I haven't come along just to hold his hand, like ..
what do you play then?
right, cool ... it's not actually down here ... I won't be pedantic about it, sorry about that, mate. Erm ... right, so ... how long ... you were in The Fall for ... you must be the only person that's stayed with The Fall for ... how many years?
SH: Well .. I was in it for 18 years. Karl was in it from the beginning ... on and off, he's always been around.
KB: More off than on.
... More off than on, yeah. But, I mean, to start off with ... I think the thing with The Fall, and possibly the good thing about The Fall was a lot of the time you didn't know what to expect and the band were, I mean, so prolific ... do you remember, I mean, are there any real big songs that stick out?
Because you seem to, sort of, have that many .. and ... so prolific, and ditch a load and then just go and play new stuff all the time ...
SH: It didn't seem that much to us ... we can't understand people taking 4 years to record an album .. I mean, an album a year ... ten songs, twelve songs ... that was putting it down for us, you know.
The band always seemed to be ... erm ...erm ...mmm .. what can I say ... there always seemed to be ... erm ... what can I say? There always seemed to be the edge there ...there always seemed to be .. erm .. a battle of wills ...
SH: .. there was a lot of musical tension
Right from the very start...
SH: that's good, yeah ... until it sort of became too much
What was the straw that broke the donkey's back?
SH: Well, it just became ridiculous, y' know .. I'm sure er... I'm sure it's very ... I mean, I've never seen a band fighting on stage, I'm sure it's great to see, but ..ah ...when it becomes every night it gets a bit much. You know, we didn't mind it once in a while .. we expected that, but it seemed to be just turning into, like a musical Jerry Springer show.
Haha, which, I suppose in ...
SH: .. which Americans love
... yeah, for people watching is great, but ...
SH: yeah, try living it
... for the band is completely different
KB: It's like the way people were behaving, certain people ... if you behave like that one night in your life, and you expect anyone to be round next morning, right ?
SH: ... when you're behaving like that every night... and it wasn't just on stage, it was 24 hours, so ... you know, all these people who think it's great entertainment and think we're making the wrong decision ...and thinking we should be privileged
Some bands do this just to get some publicity, but this is like real life isn't it.
SH: No, no, this had gone beyond that, this is like ... we were doing the best we could to keep The Fall going.... putting everything into it, and we were just like hitting, a brick wall, that's when it .....
KB: This decision was only made like recently, we're not going to start slagging off anything we've done.
No, no, no.
SH: And it wasn't the usual musical differences, or whatever, you know, we were determined to carry on.
We'll be able to tell that with the new stuff you've been doing; because there's ... it's very on the edge like a lot of Fall stuff was .. really good stuff ..
SH: Just carrying on really ...
KB: Just carrying on, we just got rid of the singer
OK, great, we'll play some of that a little bit later. What we're gonna do in the meantime is play some stuff that you've brought in. Erm .. loads of influences, yeah?
KB: Can't play well enough for 'em to be influences.
SH: Perfect chance to play yer favourite records, which, you know ...
KB: That's what it is. Don't sound like any of them, 'cos we can't play like that.
That's right, so what's the first one?
SH: It's The Only One's and Another Girl, Another Planet
THE ONLY ONES - ANOTHER GIRL, ANOTHER PLANET.
The Only Ones and Another Girl, Another Planet ... that's [?????] 1977, I think ..[?????] ... other influences?
SH: It's not really an influence .... [?????]
[?????] just playing the stuff you like ..[?????] Steve's record collection ...
SH: Nah, this is a democratic band.
Unlike! [?????] You were saying before .. [?????] ... explain the fact that you are The Fall as much as anybody else and you were saying you just sacked the singer.
KB: People will either come and see it or they won't. Thing is, we're not trying to convert anyone who'd see The Fall to come and see us.[?????]
SH: In the last two years people were more intersted in the stories and the press reports...
...than in the actual music of the band, yeah?
SH: It's ridiculous y'know.
OK, well later on we'll be playing a few tracks from that. I've heard it and I'm totally knocked out by it. Right now, what's the next one we're gonna play ... some Iggy Pop?
SH: Neighbourhood Threat [?]
IGGY POP - NEIGHBOURHOOD THREAT
With us we've got members of Ark, and right now I'll just have a quick word with Pete Nakamura ...is that ... go on tell me how to pronounce that properly.
I take it you're not of total Mancunian extract?
PN: I am actually. You got that wrong.
So, where does the name come from then?
PN: It's Japanese, actually.
So, how do you get in with this lot?
PN: Urm, well I have known them for many years. And, when the demise actually came, they actually asked me to come along and try out singing, really. So far it's worked out great.
Have you been in other bands in the past?
PN: Yeah, yeah ... I've not sang for a while, but urm ...
Whov'e you played with in the past .. go on tell us.
SH: No don't.
KB: No, you don't want to mention that
PN: No, there's no need to talk about that.
Oh, c'mon, you're fudging this one.
SH: Nah, it sounds dead .... he was the obvious choice for us [?????]
The next song I'm going to play is Yoko Ono; who's choice is this?
PN: ... nothing to do with Japanese or anything like that .. it's a brilliant song and ..er .. totally brilliant person as a singer and artist.
YOKO ONO - WALKING ON THIN ICE NEW YORK DOLLS - LOOKING FOR A KISS ROLLING STONES - HAPPY
They were the selections, by the way, from my guests in the studio this evening, Ark, and, as you probably know, Ark are the band that were The Fall without Mark E. Smith. Who are now The Fall without Mark E. Smith, I should say.
We were just chatting before about bands that ditch their singers and they don't seem to do particularly well. Is this a bit of an omen? Neither do the singers, funnily enough.
SH: That's what we're up against. I can't think of another band really that have gone on, after losing their singer, and done better than they were before.
KB: People are going to be persuaded by the music and sod the comparisons, you know what I mean? If you want to get into that, I mean ....
SH: But we're aware that we don't want to become a pale imitation of The Fall, like the Foo Fighters or like Cast are with The La's.
Sure, yeah. Well, we'll find out about that in a few minutes, 'cos we're gonna be playing the tracks from the CD you've brought in for us. Three tracks we're gonna be playing. Right now, this is a band that .....
SH: We'll just have to send a message to our missing member, Tommy, our guitarist.
Where is Tommy tonight?
SH: He's in Edinburgh.
He'll have to have good ears to pick this one up. This is one of the bands we were talking about before, this is The La's.
THE LA'S - THERE SHE GOES ARK - SKYSCRAPER
That's Skyscraper from Ark. What a cracker, brilliant stuff. You are tuned to Radio Space, Steve Tune on Northern Quarter live, Ark live in the studio. Thanks for coming in tonight lads. The songs on this ... how long have you guys been together? I know, since The Fall split up.
SH: A couple of months, yeah, about three.
A couple of months. Was this stuff work in progress with The Fall?
SH: Yeah, it was. Well, Why Don't You Do Me Right was like .. after The Fall split we went in the studio and we tried three of us singing and it, you know, it .. wasn't a success, but Why Don't You Do Me Right with Karl singing really worked, so we decided to keep that.
So, is that you singing on the next one, is it Karl?
PN: oh no, both of us.
KB: A duet. [?????] Frank Sinatra
PH[?]:.... the New Dollar actually
SH: ... work in progress, actually, we were seeing what we could do.
We've go two more coming up from you .. Karl, shut up! .. I'm going to play them both together, and you're going to come back next week and play some acoustic songs for us, yeah?
This is Ark and Why Don't You Do Me Right.
ARK - WHY DON'T YOU DO ME RIGHT
You are tuned to 87.7FM. This is radio Space
From: Chris Kovin
Subject: Grimm of the Week
There was a poor but good little girl who lived alone with her mother, and they no longer had anything to eat. So the child went into the forest, and there an aged woman met her who was aware of her sorrow, and presented her with a little pot, which when she said, cook, little pot, cook, would cook good, sweet porridge, and when she said, stop, little pot, it ceased to cook. The girl took the pot home to her mother, and now they were freed from their poverty and hunger, and ate sweet porridge as often as they chose. Once on a time when the girl had gone out, her mother said, cook, little pot, cook. And it did cook and she ate till she was satisfied, and then she wanted the pot to stop cooking, but did not know the word. So it went on cooking and the porridge rose over the edge, and still it cooked on until the kitchen and whole house were full, and then the next house, and then the whole street, just as if it wanted to satisfy the hunger of the whole world, and there was the greatest distress, but no one knew how to stop it. At last when only one single house remained, the child came home and just said, stop, little pot, and it stopped and gave up cooking, and whosoever wished to return to the town had to eat his way back.
980713 MES & Elvis, several lyric/literary
refs, a few reviews of the rereleases
980706 Some Grotesque/PBL details, Twilight Zone stuff
980620 MES communication, MES font, Falling Through Time, Grotesque/PBL rerelease details, Northern Attitude ripoff, British Grenadiers
980614 Fall cover version details, US tour provisional dates, BEF
980607 not much...
980531 The Fall as a can of beans with a dead mouse inside, Lovecraft, Bracewell
980525 Lay of the Land, old fan club stuff
980517 Alchemy, chiliasm, Michael Bracewell spouting bollocks
980510 Another NME report
980504 Dingwalls and Reading reviews; Guardian, NME articles; pointers to Fall pics and PSF's Fall tribute
980426 German Levitate review, Dee Pop's tour diary
980419 NME online report, Lathe of Heaven
980414 Wire Levitate review
980410 More Philly reviews, Black Cat DC, NY Brownies reviews. Loads of stuff on the Thule group. Select interview from January
980405 CIH, Loop Lounge, Middle East Boston, Plilly Troc reviews. Various press reports.
980331 Details of Live in Melbourne 82 CD, Smith on Smith spoken word CD, Nine Unknown Men, initial Coney Island High reports
980329 bollocks Smile comp details
980322 Vox interview, other stuff
980315 TBLY/Info service details
980308 Peel session details; US tour dates
980227 a few bits & pieces, RTL, PoSR out
980222 NME interview
980215 Destroy punk covers exhibition, Masquerade single details
980207 Brats award transcript
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
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