The Fall play London Astoria on 16 December. Tickets GBP 10.50 available from box office 0171 434 9403/4, Stargreen 0171 734 8932 ( + unspecified large markup), Ticketmaster 0171 244 4444 (+ 4 quid markup), Rough Trade, Rhythm (Camden)
The band were trying to fix up some shows to coincide with the upcoming trip to the US on other business. Unfortunately the inaccurate media reports seen recently have putta block on these attempts. Apologies to US fans.
Action have agreed to give 10% off Fall and non-Fall orders pointed their way via the official website. Rather than any snazzy coded link, you just have to put something in the "special instructions" box when you order from their site like "I came via The Fall's site, so please apply the agreed 10% discount to my order". It's also available to subscribers of The Biggest Library Yet.
If there are any problems, send a mail to Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org
SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF THE FALL COUNCIL,
SINGLES REVIEW - MELODY MAKER - OCTOBER 3rd 1998 (Taylor Parkes)
Johnny Panic, When I Drink I Love You More (Fortunate)
We've barely arrived at The Fall's PR company office when Julia and photographer Lucy Scott-Harris spot Howard Donald, ex-of Take That, moping around the reception area. Lucy asks nas if he's that bloke out of Take That, to which his pat response is "Used to be!!!"
MES:(cackling)"See, you girls, you just discard 'em when you've finished, don't you? Can't even remember his name'
He's in the studios down the way, to finish off his "long-awaited" debut solo album, but we ask him if he'll drop in later to help us review the singles and he says he'll see what he can do. Mark is less excited by this prospective meeting of two great Hanchester heroes than he is by the prospect of going on the blag.
MES: (rooting through the pile) Roger Taylor out of Queen - he'll do, look at his PR people, they sound like a firm of solicitors. Let's ring him up and say The Fall are reviewing the singles and if they send some champagne down maybe we'll make it single of the week.
Calls are made, the bubbly is pledged, the creeps have got two hours to get the booze here before we tell the world what we really think. In the meantime: Johnny Panic, singer-songerly Eighties rubbish with a suburban singer and trundly acoustic backing.
JN: 'Well it's better than a Smiths single.
The Cardigans. Hy Favourite Game (Stockholm)
Not the eggshell pop of their recent past - a tougher stomp, sacrificing much of the chilly charm for modernity. Wouldn t sound out of place on early evening MTV, Pretty, but hollow
MES: They're quite famous, aren't they? Are they Irish or something?"
MES: Swedish? They're just fucking slates, aren't they? They just try and play whatever they hear on the radio. It's like when you go to Scandinavia, everyone supports Man United. They've just heard Garbage. Why do those cunts earn twice as much money as me? I'll tell you. Cos they're Cardie Lads.'
MES: Cardie lads, In Salford that's blokes who aren't 30, but dress like their grandads, Man United fans - 'my great-grandad's mate met Georgie Best' and all that. Cardie lad is as cardie lad does. That's the Cardigans'
George Michael, Outside (Epic)
MES: 'Bog standard Heh heh heh....
OK, OK Actually I think that's supposed to be his little joke, the title. Listen he's singing about shagging out-of-doors.
MES: You ever been in a public toilet in Los Angeles? Disgusting. It just reminds me of 1974, That glossy sound, all handbaggy, As an old Northern Soul boy, this used to be the enemy, Handbag funk, I was back in 1973 for a minute there, getting that churning feeling you used to get when you heard this kind of stuff. It almost makes you feel physically sick. See, people as they go on in their career, they start to show their roots, And that's obviously his roots, all that stuff I used to hate at the time. And I've got no sympathy for him - I was in court in America the same day he was, you know, i was in fucking court getting a fucking hard time and he was on the front page with a million dollars behind him. But I like George, Always have. Good luck to him.'
Family of god, Atomic Little Thing (Ochre)
MES: "Family of Dogs?'
Of God, Mark, God.
JN: Is it one of those Christian things?
Well, it sounds pretty religious - acoustic guitars that sound like they were played while walking down the street with a tambourine backing - but I dunno,
JN: "Maybe not - who's this on the back cover? Is he in the band? It looks Like Hitler.
Hitler, or coach of a non-league German football team.
MES: "I like this one, actuaiIy, I like the music, anyway, it's quite basic. Dunno about the singer. Bit too big a fan of Alex Chilton. Where are they from Cheltenham? They don't have mental hospitals in Cheltenham do they?'
Sounds like another one of those blokes who'd never left his bedroom until the day he got the call to join Family of Dogs, and his life was never the same again.
MES: Mind you, listen to that: 'When you blow your nose/Take care of your clothes'. That's brilliant, That's definitely lyric of the week
Starsky & Hutch, Theme From Starsky & Hutch (Virgin)
Lame dollar-hungry reworking of the old cop show theme, with a video featuring the bloke who played superfly Huggy Bear dressed humiliatingly, in cheaper clothes than the Virgin-backed band themselves.
MES: "It's the biggest load of rubbish I've ever heard in my life. Put this on instead (pulls out a tape of 'Were the Sweeney' by Filthy 3, an infinitely more interesting take on a similar idea). Huggy fucking Bear - it's a glorification of a snitch, that record, Jack Straw's favourite. New crime prevention offensive: snitch on your kids.
Ay Caramba Starring Buster, Stop Messing (Virgin)
Early-Eighties Ska, with the bass drum turned up to make it sound modern and a guest appearanca by Buster Bloodvessel of Bed Manners, once very famous in playgrounds up and down the land for being very fat and very bald,
MES: "Can't talk about this, I had a fight with his band once. It's a watering down of a watering down, basically, Put this on instead (pulls out a tape of the new album by Guido, German entrant in last year's Eurovision song contest. Much better, Where's that champagne?'
Enquiries reveal that it hasn't arrived yet, Roger Taylor's critical future, if only he knew, is hanging in the balance,
Pic Nic, Lectrosis 2 EP (R-Bennig)
Seven-inch vinyl, arriving with a free serviette and plastic knife and fork, plus bilingual sleeve notes that remind ne of street signs from childhood holidays in Tywyn, and a picture of the band, who all appear to be about 14 years old,
MES: "That's not saying the same as that bit in English, you can bet on that. That's Welsh for 'you stupid English bastards' and they think we won't notice. It's like Bernard Manning says, innit? All they do in Wales in eat and sing.
Good record, though. Crunchy and sloppy and noisy. Not indie as such which doesn't hurt, I'm quite intrigued by the band photo, but Mark snatches it away, accusing me of ogling the children,
MES: "Where are they from? Angelsey? Probably all shagging each other, It's all Scousers on the run, or claiming dole. No, It's good, this. Could do with a chorus, but it's good,"
We discover they're actually from Cardiff. Mark walks around talking about the Maker!s recent Wales-only Stereophonics cover in a Welsh accent that sounds Pakistani. Still no champagne, still no ex-members of Take That.
MES: "Where is he then? Orange Howard or whatever he's called? Ah, turn this off now. Get Welsh Melody Maker to review it."
Chris Isaak, Please (Reprise)
MES: "Is he an actor or something? You can tell,'
They spend a lot of time out of work, actors, Need to develop other avenues, He used to be good, though, Chris. This is just US mouse-food.
MES: "It's on Reprise, which is Frank Sinatra's label. I bet he fucking loves that. Don't mind this.'
JN: "I miss the slide guitar, I used to like his old, slow ones,"
MES: "It's still the time of those sad Californian guys who used to be the the Brat Pack, but they got another lease of life with 'Pulp Fiction'. Was he in that?'
He must have been in the bath when they rang.
Rialto, Summer's Over (China)
Pleasant romance-by-numbers out-of-season-seaside-town stuff, swooping down to peck it the bones of Scott Walker.
MES: Isn't it them who brought the single out on the internet? Something about how his girlfriead never rings him up on something,"
I'm not suprised. All I know is that they had a Top 20 hit then got dropped, which isn't fair really.
MES: That was the thinking behind that internet thing, I suppose, they've been fucked about by the majors, so they do their own thing. That's good. Not a bad song, that but I wouldn't listen to it more than once.
I liked that other one better. What, you did, too? I thought you'd like it, Taylor, they all look like you. London lads. Mod haircuts. Still think it's trendy.
Fuck Off, Mark.
MES: "Heh heh heh..."
Bjork, Hunter (Bjork Overseas Ltd)
As every year goes by, bits disappear from Bjork. First it was the sense of humour, then the tunes, now everything else seems to have gone too, leaving just a skeleton of sound and a few notes hanging like large dark dirds, It's actually a massive improvement.
JN: "It's interesting. She is unique, and I do quite like what she does, but I don't know if that's a single. We haven't heard a hit single yet!
I think Bjork's grown out of wanting hits, which is fair enough, but a slight shame.
MES:(with an expression that hovers between caution and disgust)"Don't want to talk about this, I don't want to get too close, you know what I mean? It's a woman thing this stuff. Let's move on, eh?'
Roger Taylor, Pressure On (Parlaphone)
So your eager reporter hares upstairs to ask Howard where the hell he is. "Oh sorry, mate,' he says, "I'd love to come down, but I'm a bit busy. I'm writing lyrics just now." I can see this would take a bit of time, so I leave him to it. And, of course, the champagne never arrived. That's just the way in today's music business, So....Roger.
MES: "I was laughing because all the Man United fans were going to have a big protest against Murdoch at Old Trafford the night they played Charlton, then as soon as their GBP 12.6 million player scores, they forgot all about it. Then Roger Taylor comes in, doing his 'Fans Against Murdoch' thing, and he gets the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and fills it with these embarrassed Man United fans, and tells 'em his son's a United fan and he's got to save the club, but in fact it's just that The Sun printed pictures of Freddie Mercury when he was dying, that's the real reason he wants to stop it."
That's fair enough, isn't it?
MES: "Yeah. but Reds is Reds, Here give us the sleeve, I'll write 'Southern Red' on his head,'
Mark E Smith supports Manchester City.
(The Dumper) This week's absolute stinker - The Green Jesus Saviours, Steam Of My Dreams (Domo)
You couldn't make it up.
MES: "Look at 'em (surveys shot of surly longhairs). These are the victims of the jagged little pill... that's what happens - you know that jagged little pill woman? This is what happens if you go out with people like that."
Rock so tawdry and washed out you might as well listen to a dog pissing.
JN: "I can't believe people still make records like this. It's like they just heard Sugar yesterday,"
MES:(singing along) 'I-am-shit-I-am-shit-you-all-right-missus?" (burns hole in face of ugliest band member).
The sleeve features "our cover star Annabel' - clearly the best-looking woman anyone in the band knew, or could persuade to pose for them.
MES: They're like bloody kids. Throw it out the window.
Singles of the week -
Ultra, The Right Time (east west)/ Polythene, Pet Hates EP (Guided Missile)
Ultra - floppy-haired so-and-so' - looks like the last boy band left in the cupboard, but can boast at least a little fire. We put on the record, and within seconds Mark looks interested.
MES: 'It's good this innit? Single of the week. First class. They look like, um, nice lads. Even though it's pop, it's got more bloody aqgression than anything else you've got here. Look at the sleeve. They dress well, look OK, then you compare it to that (points at grey smear single sleeve by a band called Elephant), and obviously it's gonna be better, isn't it?"
Polythene, meanwhile, feature just departed Fall drummer Kate Themen, and are Julia's choice ('That's very diplomatic of you Julia,' grins Mark) Extremely good, a complete racket, like having a vacuum cleaner run over your head and just as cleansing,
JN: 'I've always loved them, that's why we got Kate in the band. This is good, but it's an old track. I want to hear their new stuff'
From: Carlton B Morgan :
In today's Daily Mirror [Sat 31] it sez that "legendary weirdo Mark E Smith" (and that's all it says by way of explanation) was due to give the Manic Street Preachers their award for best band at the Q awards, but their mamagement was scared MES might hit them so they got actress Kathy Burke to hand it over instead.
I know this is sort of old, but I've moved the Philly and DC photos to a more permanent home. They disappeared from Chris' temporary space a while ago (I don't know if anyone was looking for them or not). Anyway, I've
reorganised them a little:
http://wkweb5.cableinet.co.uk/fiona.armstrong/Website/photos/photo.html should give you a sort of menu.
Otherwise, to go straight there
FallNet in DC: http://draygo.future.easyspace.com/DCFF.html
The Fall in DC: http://draygo.future.easyspace.com/DCFall.html
Fallnet in Philly: http://draygo.future.easyspace.com/PhillyFF.html
The Fall in Philly: http://draygo.future.easyspace.com/PhillyFall.html
St Bernadette's Hall: http://draygo.future.easyspace.com/StBern.html
(article) 24OCT1987 MM (single) Hit The North
Simon Gallup (yes him of The Cure) p32
Hit The North (Beggars Banquet)
I've hated everything they've ever done but
this is great - sounds like Van Der Graaf
Generator. They usually winge and moan a lot
because they come from up north but we won't
get into that. This is really good - it's
got a nice tune and a party mood, Luvvie.
It sounds like The Glitter Band too which
is great because, in the past. Mark Smith
has claimed his lyrics are really important
because he's a Northerner but you don't hear
what he's on about here.
There are further reports that DOSE intend to release Inch soon as they can get a record deal sorted.
981026 St Bernadette's Hall reviews, Astoria ticket
details, Nottingham 92 album
981009 NME interview, TBLY #13
981005 F-olding Money lyrics, couple of PNM reviews, Simon Rodgers' career
980927 Live Various Years details/review, 1994 interview
980920 more snippets
980914 bits & pieces
980907 NME interview, Post Nearly Man reviews, Mojo's How to Buy The Fall, Something Beginning With O
980831 Inertia tour details
980825 various snippets
980817 Observer interview, Manchester and LA2 gig reports
980811 Melody Maker interview, Live Various Years details, previews. Rick.
980802 Spoken word LP press release, Northern Attitude key & sleevenotes, Edwyn Collins, TBLY #12 details
Old stuff: Nov 1997 - July 1998
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