Manchester University, 11 August
London LA2, 12 August
From: Graham Coleman
Some guff from Artful below... The title's now going to be something in the region of 'Narrativa - Thought Transference Complete.' Possibly.
"ARTFUL press release:
Mark E Smith The Post Nearly Man
Artful CD14: 503111000129
Release date: 24.08.98
Label: Artful records
'It may have been acknowledged that the Fall began Indie, but they also began Acid House. In fact they began Modern Music' [sic] The Times, 4.10.97
"And now it is here. The spoken word album by Mark E Smith. Spoken Word will
never be the same after this CD has done its work. Mark will be acclaimed
as the genius he is. For the first time he will be truly heard: the question
is: will his work be truly understood? There will be the same promotion for
this relase as there was for the Levitate album, which to date has sold over
On the last album there were interviews in Loaded, FHM, GQ, Select, the Times, Guardian, the Independent, Sunday Times, Observer, Melody Maker, and Vox, and wonderful reviews in Loaded, FHM, GQ, Select, the Times, Guardian, the Independent, Sunday Times, Observer, Melody Maker, Vox, NME. There will be marketing support by way of ads in Times, Guardian, Independent, Private Eye, NME & Mojo. On top of this Mark has finally agreed to do TV & radio promotion for this album and could include appearances on South Bank Show, Later, a possible Omnibus and BBC Radio 3 & 4."
Issue 12 of the fanzine TBLY is out now. For subscription details visit the TBLY page off http://fall.cjb.net; contents of Issue 12 are listed at: http://members.tripod.com/~GColeman/twelve.html
Subject: <fallnet> (article) Thoughts on 1984 by Mark E. Smith (from NME's Xmas Edition, no page no, date
"In 1984 so many people were in 'bands' OR at home with personal computers
that the motorways never got fixed - what was once a pleasure is now a
Great Britain is now contracting into an agrarian state - but maybe this
will stave off the Death of the Pub. But must give a mention to those
lovely roast beef dinners we had in them Yorkshire 'Ospitals.
Best quote I heard was 'The BBC World Service is the Oxfam of the mind'.
This could also apply to the Home Service.
The treatment of Peel I found/find shocking - where are those groups and
music press during this, comrades? The Horizons were too wide.
'84 was definitely;
BY NOT BRINGING NOTICE
NOBODY WILL NOTICE
This came to me when I was not asked to sing on the 'Feed the World' Xmas record.
The standard of sub-art groups rose though, with Jim Foetus, Frank
Chickens, Cabs, us, etc bringing out great LPs for a change.
BUT, some people have the wrong end of the stick methinks in seeing
innovation in second-hand sarcasm (I.E. Obligatory prole t.v. presenters,
rubbishy untalented bands) and slicked-up 80's cum 70's pomp-rock musical
A true appreciation of history, whether standard or musical, was never
groups' or their monitors' strongpoint anyway.
ENGLAND - ROBBER STATE! PLUS POINT '84:
SPITTING IMAGE PERSIANS - DON'T MENTION
THE PERSIANS! LIBYAN OWED BLOOD -
GIMME! NME VIDEO - WHEN WILL THE FALL
GET THEIR CHEQUE?"
(C) mes 1984
From: Pete Ferreira
CMJ Collins intrvw
CMJ: How did you get hooked up with Mark E. Smith [who contributes vocals to "Seventies Night]? Was he recording at your studio?
EC: A lot of people wanted to know how I got these sounds on Gorgeous George and things. So I told him to come and see the studio and he came down and we were just talking about this ongoing '70s revival on the High street level -- kids wearing polyester novelty print shirts and all this. Everywhere I go in the world, they still have '70s nights, not in a high fashion level, but on a High street level. And we were talking about this, and what it was like growing up in the '70s, and that's what we describe in the vocals. Unlike here, we say in the U.K. that 1977 was the year punk broke, but it was also a transitional period between disco and punk. For me this song evokes that period because you have the kind of Studio 54 slinky, sophisticated for its time backing track we're trying to copy. Juxtaposed with that, you have the horrible, guttural nasty Mark E. Smith sound. For me it makes for a really good tension of these two. They're opposites.
Fall refs in Wonderstuff page
It was during this time that the band began to enjoy the jet-set life of the true pop star, as Martin continues: "That Marina van was great. One night Dave phones up and says 'If you can get to Northhampton by 3 o'clock you've got a gig supporting The Fall.' We were at Dave's house in Birmingham, the gear was at Stourbridge, and I had to get this van from Wolverhampton then over to Northampton, all by 8 o'clock. We were doing quite well until the distributor cap broke - it was held on by one piece of wire. It took us about three hours in the end so when we turned up at 9 o'clock we thought there was no chance of them letting us go on." Malcolm took care of the band introductions: "I walked into the foyer and says 'I'm looking for John Lennon' and this geezer says 'Well I'm John Lennard, will that do? Get on quick.' Miles carries on "This guy sorted out our guitars for us, slaps a four pack into our hands and says 'Get on!!' Malc had to borrow a guitar strap so his guitar was up round his chin. When we went on the curtains were closed so we were like messing about with the gear and making a complete racket. Suddenly the curtain goes back and everyone thinks its The Fall so they go 'YEAH!!!', then they see us and go 'Oh dear.'"
From: Barrie Francis
A Public Service Announcement
Track Taken from
1 Telephone Thing 1
2 Das Vulture Ans Ein Nutter-Wain 2
3 Oxymoron 2
4 M5 6 7-PM 3
5 Powderkeg 2
6 Victoria 4
7 Edinburgh Man 1
8 Oswald Defence Lawyer 4
9 I Feel Voxish 5
10 LA 3
11 Guest Informant 4
12 ESP Disco 6
13 Mr Pharmacist 3
14 Italiano 6
15 Fiend With A Violin 5
16 Bremen Nacht 4
17 Man Whose Head Expanded 5
18 Bombast 4
19 Elf Fork Elopement 7
Where 1= Sinister Waltz
2= Light User Syndrome
3= 15 Ways To Leave Your Man
4= Oswald Defence Lawyer
5=Fiend With A Violin
7= Elf Fork Elopement EP
So now you know.
It should be noted that because Northern Attitude mixes live and
studio stuff some of the stuff off 15 Ways and ODL is a few seconds
shorter on NA as the applause at the end /beginning is edited out....
for example M5 6 7-PM on 15 Ways goes straight into 'Return' whereas
it's faded out on NA.
Also,the mastering is all over the shop as some tracks make it onto
NA sounding louder/crisper than originally,and some sound
quieter/more muffled on NA.
Sleevenotes "Northern Attitude" Pat Gilbert
Anyway the sleevenotes make amusing reading, be sure to read after slipping on your copy of *Twenty Seven Point Chaos* or the *haunting instrumental, "L.A.",*
-=-=-=-=-=- Sleevenotes "Northern Attitude" Pat Gilbert
The whole idea was so unlikely that was why it was so utterly brilliant There he was, this rat-fink office boy from suburban Manchester, dressed in regulation '70s secondary school anorak and hand-me-down V-neck pullover, creating an amateur, art-punk racket that defied categorisation. Mark E. Smith - for it was he had formed The Fall in January 1977, inspired by the punk explosion but somehow totally indifferent to its ideologies and pretensions.
The band's name was taken from a novella by the French-Algerian Existentialist writer, Albert Camus. Smith was that funny thing: a resolutely working-class, student-hating misfit, gate-crashing an intellectual world a million miles away from the grey homogeneity of his native Prestwick. Only Wire and Vic Godard & the Subway Sect down in London had anywhere near the kind of untutored intelligence and wit that The Fall exhibited an their debut single 'Bingo Masters Break-Out!'. Their first album, Live At The Witch Trials, reverberated around the early months of 1979 like a nail-bomb in a tin shed. It so idiosyncratic, so unusual and so out there, the prevailing opinion was that it was either by mad-men or geniuses.
It was indicative of the almost unhealthy creative tensions that fuelled the bands best work that the Witch Trials line-up fragmented soon after thealbum wass cut. The pattern of new album, new Fall would be repeated again and again, right into the 90s in fact, Smith would remain the only constant in a group that at various times included such luminaries as Martin Bramah [guitar], Marc Riley [later of The Creepers and currently of Marc & Lard fame; bass], one-time wife Brix Smith [guitar], Karl Burns [drums], Steve and Paul Hanley [bass, drums], and Simon Rogers [keyboards) and Simon Wollstonecraft.
Yet despite the ever-changing personnel, the group's sound has changed remarkably little. Dominated by Smith s nasal whine, the Fall experience has always centred around intense, challenging and rhythmic songsmithery, falling somewhere between the improvisational glory of Can and the studied unpredictability of Beefheart, with a wanton post-rock amateurishness that's all its own.
After October 1979's Dragnet, the marvellously obtuse follow-up to Witch Trials, The Fall strafed the nation with a string of mercurial releases, including Totale's Turns Ilt's Now Or Never Grotesque [After The Grammel [both 1980], Hex Enduction Hour Room To Live (Undilutable Slang Truth) [both 1982] and Perverted By Language1. It was only then that the band began to enjoy some stability, mostly because of a long-term deal with Beggars Banquet but also as 1a result of Smith's marriage to a Californian Elise - known to her friends as 'Brix'.
Down the pub, though, with a line of journalists every ready to deconstruct The Fall's enigmatic pose Smith revelled in his role as spokesman for the proletariat, ranting on in deliberately non-pc terms about Britain's victory in two World Wars [and one World Cup], the disease of Liberalism/Socialism/Nazism and just how much beer he could put away compared to poncey London scribes.
Brix's full integration into the line-up in 1984 brought a new glamour to the previously shabby and bloke-ish Fall. Within the context of their barbed, challenging art-punk, The Fall became a 'pop' band, their dislocation and wilful anti-commercialism assimilating a wondrous array of West Coast, R&B and rockabilly influences plus the customary cold-wave, Krautrock, art-rock and indie/punk designs.
World Of... (1984) but reached its apogee on This Nation's Saving Grace (1985), the first oin a long line of truly classic mid-80's outings. Featuring the haunting instrumental, "L.A.", and triumphant, geometric fare like "Bombast", it confirmed what many had suspected for years: The Fall were one of the most exciting and original bands to emerge from Britain in the last 30 years.
During the last half of the 80s, The Fall could seemingly do no wrong, with the incendiary (and funny) Bend Sinister (1986), Domesday Pay-off (1987), The Frenz Experiment and I Am Kurious Orang (both 1988) consolidating their reputation as arch musical seditionaries capitalising on a winning formula.
Lyrically, Smith was now being recognised as an impishly original talent; indeed he remains untouched as a virtuoso in the perversion of words and language, his garulous diatribes touching on an infinity of bizarre and unlikely subjects as Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturers, Eastenders actresses, Krautrock Singers, heraldic symbols, literary devices - you name it.
Take 'New Face In Hell', for example, off Grotesque. It concerned an amateur radio ham, who while twiddling the dial, uncovers government spies discussing a secret plot. "Radio operator runs next door to tell neighbour of his discovery, as neighbour was hunter, whose friendship radio operator secretly craved-ah" He finds the man poisoned by spies only minutes before, who then walkin and frame our hapless radio ham, "as part of their war against the people". "Merely a new face in hell!" concludes Smith.
After Brix split in 1989 the band ventured into hypnotic, occasionally dancey territory with Extricate (1990) and Shift-Work (1991) before returning to a bloddy-minded, instropective mode with the aptly titled Code:Selfish (199), The Infotainment Scam (1993) and Middle Class Revolt (1994). The Fall's latest releases have included the charmingly lo-fi Cerebral Caustic (1995) and the live odds 'n' sods package, Twenty Seven Point Chaos (1995). In recent years,Smith has underscored his status as misnthropic Manc elder statesman, collaborating with the likes of Cold Cut, Inspiral Carpets and Edwyn Collins.
This package of mainly 80s and 90s alternative takes, studio recordings and live stuff gives a rare glimpse into the fractured talent of a band who have existed in an eternally fascinating universe all of their own. Metronomic, offkilter, teeming with images and ideas, The Fall are that rare thing: brilliant and unique.
>From the New Zealand magazine Opprobrium, iss. #5...
THE IN OUT 'Hatched and Scrambled' 7" (Training Bra)
When I saw these guys live, they could best be described as a fine midget kickball version of Dragnet-era Fall. It only seemed right that I buy their wares. The less informed will surely harp on the ironic rowche rumble The In Out lay down, but since none of 'em were around to remember how much grief Smith & co. got for their shambling greatness in their infancy, I say fuck 'em, keep pluggin' away. When you're on, you're on.
- Tom Lax
From: Graham Coleman
John the Postman
John the Postman's Puerile (review in Q, Sept 98) overground over72cd
'Actual postman invents punk, possibly too-great length.'
Over-excited at seeing the Sex Pistols at Manchester's Lesser Free Trade Hall, a young postman got on stage at a Buzzcocks gig and sang Louie Louie a cappella. Soon, under the somewhat literal name of John the Postman, he was performing The Kingsmen's garage classic with a band for upwards of 20 minutes at a time. The first of the two albums collected here features the live version of the song, complete with Mark E Smith's introduction. and The Postman's raving delivery, which omits the original's lyrics in favour of announcing the arrival of 'the Sister Ray keyboard' and detailing how much he has had to drink (two pints of Old Tom and two pints of Guinness). The studio version is shorter. The second LP features a kazoo version of Hava Nagila, a punk-lite version of Them's Gloria and a lot of burbling and oddness. ** David Quantick
From: Chris Kovin
Grimm of the Week
The Golden Key
One winter, when the snow was very deep, a poor boy had to go outside and gather wood on a sled. After he had finally collected enough wood and had piled it on his sled, he decided not to go home right away because he was so frozen. He thought he would instead make a fire to warm himself up a bit. So he began scraping the snow away, and as he cleared the ground he discovered a small golden key. Where there's a key, he knew, there must also be a lock. So he dug further into the ground and found a little iron casket. If only the key will fit! he thought. There are bound to be precious things in the casket. He searched but could not find the keyhole. Then, finally, he noticed one, but it was so small that he could barely see it. He tried the key, and fortunately it fit. So, he began turning it, and now we must wait until ke unlocks the casket completely and lifts the cover. That's when we'll learn what wonderful things he found.
980727 FallNet address change
980719 Spoken word LP and band details (from NME), Disney's Dream Details
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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