logo-a-go-goFall News - 20 Sep 1998

Live Various Years - out on Cog Sinister


From: Stefan Cooke

The Fall - Live Various Years

Liner notes by our pal Al Spicer of the Rough Guide:

"You never forget a Fall gig, you never forget the first time you hear a Fall song. They're rich, full of natural badness and contain plenty of artificial ingredients. Like all the best things in the world, one taste just isn't enough and you find yourself irresistibly pulled back, for one more listen, to work out that one last lyric, just to join MES in his cries of outrage once more. There's no getting away from it. The Fall have never used false histrionics, dry ice or lasers to grab the crowd. Making a sound like they do, with a vocalist who sings like he does, they've never needed to.

"The Fall have pulled it off, you see. Twenty years is a long time to keep on pointing out the world's failings and injusticies without repeating yourself but, the longer they went on, the more the world had for them to reject and the better they became at showing it.

"Right, let's see what we've got here then. A grown up band, with grown up problems, concerns and observations; capable of distilling all life's frustrations into a well-honed phrase. Moved on from the punch-in-the-throat approach to music, now producing swaggering powercruises that you want to go on for ever.

"A mixed bag of lost gems here, fresh versions with new insights and alternate sessions torn from the vaults. We're mining a vein of prime Fall material here...excellent 90s treasures. An orchestral, swirling version of Hip Priest balanced by an almost deranged New Big Prinz. Deadbeat Descendant and Why Are People Grudgeful are casually tossed to the crowd whilst the all-time winner of the Amphetamine Anthem Prize, Strychnine is prefaced by the urgent enraged stuttering of 'encouragement' that won Mark E. Smith the hearts of millions: "Come on! We're not waiting for fucking POTHEADS! Come On!"

"Y'see, what you've got here is a postcard from the edge, delayed in the post for a few years but just as sharp and dangerous as if it had been written yesterday."

What's on the discs themselves:

Disc 1 (47:05)
1. Deadbeat Descendant (2:56)
2. Big New Prinz (7:08)

"NYC Sept 93" probably The Academy Sept. 17 1993. Soundboard recordings--Hanley could be louder but the bass is often too low when recording through the board. Is this the Big New Prinz that Peter Messian is always going on about? It is a great one.

3. Grudgefull (5:40)
4. Free Range (4:02)
5. Shiftwork (7:02 !)
6. Strychnine (2:24)

"Munich Oct 93" I have no idea what the exact date/venue are. They played Hamburg on the 1st, Hildesheim on the 4th and Dortmund on the 6th or 7th. Soundboard. Grudgefull {sic} goes on forever. Free Range is great... "This is the winter without end. This is the spring of New Order's mix. This is the idiotic (or 'idiot tech?') Rex--get that bass right boy! Trouble! Pomerania! Whup! Turn it up!" Extended Shiftwork, blistering Strychnine after a lethargic start--Mark kicks the band into gear with the lambast mentioned by Al above--"We're not waiting for fookin POTHEADS! Come on!"

7. Das Vulture (2:38)
8. Spine Track (2:04)
9. Behind the Counter (5:29)
10. Interferance (2:25)
11. Hip Priest (5:06)

"Bristol Jan 97": Bristol Bierkeller Jan. 18 1997 soundboard; the only Chipping Sodbury date without a tape circulating so I'm very glad to have these. The sound quality takes a slight down turn after New York and Munich but the performance is brilliant. As mentioned before I think, "Interferance" is one of Julia's Hurricane Edward DATs. First Hip Priest since ?Manchester Hacienda July 27 1983?

Disc 2 (15:16)
1. Carry A Bag Man (5:33)
2. Yes Oh Yes (3:19)
3. US 80's 90's (6:22)

"16.04.88": At least US 80's-90's is from the Fritz Club, Vienna, April 15, 1988. Most of this gig was broadcast on Austrian radio; I have a poor copy of the broadcast tape and compared the US 80's-90's--they're the same. I'll be getting a complete audience tape of this gig soon and will compare the rest but it sounds like they're from the same gig.

A gig from 1978 next please, Mark.


It seems that The 27 Points has ben rereleased on Cog Sinister


Steve Beeho:
From this week's NME:

Primal Scream's Mani, Mark E Smith, Alvin Stardust, Frank Sidebottom and former Smiths bassist Andy Rourke are helping new band The Filthy 3 launch their new single "We're the Sweeney".

They all make cameo appearences in the video for the single, which samples the theme tune of the 70s cop show of the same name.


I don't read the Sunday Sport obviously, but I happened to notice that there's a photo of MES in it this week. The story went something along the lines of "Chaos on video shoot for some dance band (The Dirty Three or something similar) which has one scene with a riot in it, which the police mistook for a real one. Anyhow, several celebs make fleeting appearances, including some bloke off the Bill, Frank Sidebottom, a couple of busty Sport lovelies, and "the Fall's Mark E Smith". Sorry there's not more info, but I was drunk when I read it.


From: Jack DeGuiseppi Date: Tue, 20 Sep 1994

Formed by Mark Edward Smith during the British punk explosion of 1977, The Fall have continued, through-out the years, to develop their cynical take on post-punk rock. Regardless of fashion or sentiment, they have bounced from label to label, with the focus of their work remaining dutifully on their music. We at _The Rocket_ thought thatSilkworm's Tim Midgett and the unflappable Mr. Smith might make agood cerebral match. We put them together via transcontinental telephone wire and here is what happened. . .
Tim Midgett: Do you watch much television?
Mark E. Smith: A bit, I've been watching it since I got in last night, yeah. In Britain, no; I don't attempt to anymore. It's get-ting very...it's fucking lousy, actually.
TM: It seems like most bad American TV is just, you know, horrifyingly bad, but bad British TV is just boring.
MES.: That's right. In America at least you can always laugh at something. What they're trying to do in Britain is a sort of cable and they're not really used to it It's just sport all the time. Or talk shows, but these people aren't really Oprah Winfrey, you know? [laughs]
TM: Is that dog-training show still on?
MES: [Long bout of laughter] Noooo ..
TM: What the hell, wasn't that thing like the number one show in Britain for a while?
MES: Yeah, right, Barbara Woodhouse, you mean?
TM: Yeah.
MES: Yeah, well, that's fucking typical, allright. They're all people with problems, you know. The British are not really used to talking about them. It's really just em-barassing to them. Like I say, it's either all sport, or, they're not really investing in any programs. It's all reruns and that, which you never used to get.
TM: Ithink the perception of most is that,for all intents and purposes, you are the Fall, along with whoever you cobble together to play. Is that at all accurate, or do Steven Hanley and Craig Scanlon [bass and guitar, Fall members since I979] have more influence on things than might be readily apparent?
MES: Well...l am perceived as the spokes-man, but at the moment we've got five other composers in the group. Four or five years ago, I really did have to push the group through, you know, musically. Now they're all writing and that. They have become pretty indispensable. I kind of leave 'em to things and that, which I never used to do. I never used to trust anybody, really.
TM: How do you pick the songs you end up covering? You do such a wide range of material from the Kinks to Sister Sledge, yet they're always apt, really great versions of the songs, and they all sound like The Fall in the end.
MES: That's because we can't do them properly. [laughs] Ah. . . I decide. I think it's a waste of time doing a cover version if one, it s not timely or topical, and two, if it sounds the same. I like to embellish everything in a cover, you know, a few more Iyrics, different arrangements.
TM: Is that a Henry Cow cover ['War"] on Middle Class Revolt?Are you actually a fan of that group or just that particular cut?
MES: Well, that's not really Henry Cow, it's Slapp Happy. No, I didn't like a lot of that stuff, actually...
TM: I was kind of surprised that it was on there
MES: Yeah, I find most of it very boring, though the Slapp Happy bits of it were good. I decided we should do it because it fit in with *Free Range* [single released dur-ing Operation Desert Storm] and stuff like that, what we'd been doing. But I went to get the Slapp Happy LP out, and I'd lost it; I hadn't really played it for about eight years. So, all I had were the Iyrics on the back, and I had to explain it to the group, you know? from memory. TM: I suppose that can sometimes be more fruitful than picking it out note-for-note. . .
MES: Well, the funny thing was that I found the record again, and it's a completely different bloody song. [laughs] Same Iyrics, you know, but the arrangement is completely different, not even the same notes. It's funny what you think things sound like.
TM: Well, see, now you can put your name on it and get a piece of the publishing.
MES: [Laughs] No, no, I don't believe in that.
TM: A lot of critics have had difficulty accepting the more "techno" moves on the last few records as legitimate. They kept saying, "Oh, isn't this ironic that The Fall are using these techno things,"like it was some deliberate ploy to comment on the state of pop music or something.
MES: Well, there's a bit of that as well, but, um. . .I mean, Dave [Bush], our keyboard player, he really is into all that stuff, and l'm quite into a lot of it, especially some of the Italian rave music. It's really ex-perimental, really heavy and good. I think it's bullshit to say that, you know. For some reason these people have still got this idea that we're a college band. There's this sort of misguided image that The Fall are, like, an indie band or some-thing....We've always been into abusing instruments, you know. Especially new ones, because you can sort of. ..destroy them [laughsl-
TM: So here it is, 1994, most of the bands you started off with have either com-pletely sold themselves out or mutated into other and usually less vital things or justfallen by the wayside. What do you think TheFall's "place in history"is going to be if and when you ever decide to call it quits?
MES: I don't know. They'll find something bor ing to say about us. I never stop to think except enough to where we keep going. It's always the next record for me.
TM: Is that why you've been able to keep at thisfor so long?
MES: That's right, yeah. I still haven't made the best one yet.

From: Mark A. Desrosiers

Hey folks, thought you'd all be interested in this newsbrief that I received on my Southeast Asia mailing list.

From the Far Eastern Economic Review:

>JAKARTA: Still reeling from the student protests that ousted him from
>office last May, Suharto granted a rare interview yesterday. In it he
>declaimed the students' rejection of his proposal of a new Indonesian
>national anthem, a cover of a pop-rock song by British artists the Fall,
>entitled "US 80's-90's."
>"'US 80's - 90's' was able to inspire the patriotism of my family to new
>heights," said Suharto. "I renamed it 'Indonesia 80's-90's' and flew Mark
>Edward Smith down from Scotland so he could sing a new version over a
>computer instrumental track I just created."
>Asked why he thought students rejected the song, Suharto seemed pensive,
>then said "Most students seemed to prefer their own decadent anthem,
>'Oswald Defense Lawyer.' When I heard them chanting it outside the
>Peoples' Consultative Assembly, my son Bippo nearly vomited in agony."
>Turning suddenly serious, Suharto earnestly pointed to me and said, "You
>know what the Fall's best cover song is, don't you? Don't you?"
>"Most people think it's the counter-Golkar ideological rat's nest 'I'm a
>Mummy.' But in fact, the Fall's best cover is 'Turning Japanese,' which
>Bapak Mark E. Smith gently croons at the end of the Fall's finest LP,
>Backdrop. It is nuanced and thankfully brief. A 'Her Majesty' for a
>glorious new age!"
>By this time Suharto seemed excited by the prospects of a new Indonesia,
>but at the same time his grasp on reality seemed to slip. This reporter
>was afraid to mention that the consensus of most political scientists was
>that "I'm Going to Spain" would do the most to lift Indonesia out of its
>political doldrums. But to argue with Suharto would be futile. We can
>only thank the world that artists like the Fall are able to produce music
>that inspires such mass loyalty, and such fierce devotion on the part of
>world leaders.


John Howard:
Subject: <fallnet> Travis MES mention

This interview, which was done around the release of U16 Girls, is taken from the new issue of Aberdeen-based fanzine, Rancid Quiche. There's an advert for their zine on this page <../travis/more.htm>. Interview printed with kind permission from Greg (thanking you very much!).

The band recently played a benefit gig at the LA2 in London supporting The Fall and Ash. How did that go? "It was for a guy called Leo Finlay who worked for Music Week. He had liked the band and we'd spoken to him just before we'd went away before Christmas. The day we came back to London to start mixing [the album] I got the phone call. He'd taken a heart attack getting out of a taxi the week before Christmas. It was like "Fuck's sake" we were just talking to him and he was so nice. So we did that and it was magic! We got to meet Ash, we didn't meet The Fall. You can't talk to Mark E Smith he's always so steaming drunk!"


From: John Howard
Subject: <fallnet> Tim Roth in MES mention Shocker!

Uncut - June 1998 issue
This Gun's for Hire: by Neil Kulkarni

Actually, he's not boring. Rather, Tim Roth is disarmingly downbeat an unassuming, in the way that most good actors are. Time and time again during an hour with Roth in a little hotel room off Tottenham Court Road, he seems so bemused and disinterested with the interview process that your mind wanders off and focuses in on the face. That nose, those eyes, the goatee--the oddly sexy face that's convinced you of so many things every time you've seen it since 1978. Tim Roth is the Mark E. Smith of cinema; his career is defiantly, definately one in which the dictates of integrity have weighed far heavier than anything else, a filmography which seems to show a wilfully perverse insistence on only doing films he believes in and can learn from. There's no baiting to be done here, but no wave to coast either; his constant insistence that his public persona lasts as long as the camera rolls is both admirable and makes for a bugger of an interview. Yeah, he's a lovely fella.

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