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Manchester Ritz - 29 Dec 1998
Good and bad tonight
Line up: two bass players! Same lot as London, with Karen back. Worked really well, with the other bass player doing the basics and Karen doing the sinuous stuff. Esp on the bassy Antidotes, which has a great stalking riff running through it. Julia mostly doing guitar and looking pretty unhappy.
New guitarist (let's call him Keith Allen) doing the usual, even toppling back into the audience when MES was trying to push him to the front.
Highlights: great extended F-olding Money, both parts of Antidotes, Bound Soul One, reworked Ol Gang. Band obviously well rehearsed.
Lowlights: MES pulling them off midway through a crap Powderkeg 40 mins in, a 15 min break then a couple of cursory more songs, MES falls and knocks over guitar amp.
The band sounded great at the beginning, but there weren't no ad libs from Mark. Left feeling glum, cos it petered out into nothing, but remembered the great first half on the way back. Definitely a good musical line-up.
my additions ...
> Good and bad tonight
hmmm ... can say that again ... i thought the first half was good and the rest was fairly shambolic ...
> Line up: two bass players! Same lot as London, with Karen back. Worked
> really well, with the other bass player doing the basics and Karen doing
> the sinuous stuff. Esp on the bassy Antidotes, which has a great stalking
> riff running through it. Julia mostly doing guitar and looking pretty unhappy.
can't disagree with that ... julia was sat on a speaker at the side during several songs smoking a cigarette ... massive contribution as usual
> New guitarist (let's call him Keith Allen) doing the usual, even toppling
> back into the audience when MES was trying to push him to the front.
no ... he was facing the back and mark turned him round and indicated he should be facing the audience. when he did this, KA did a stage dive mid song (not MES mediated at all) ... i actually thought he was quite good until he strated allecking about ...
> Highlights: great extended F-olding Money, both parts of Antidotes,
> Soul One, reworked Ol Gang. Band obviously well rehearsed.
for me, the second half was a shambles ... out of tune guitars and lots of 'what the hell are we doing' looks from band members ... i don't they actuallu know the songs that well yet ...
> Lowlights: MES pulling them off midway through a crap Powderkeg 40 mins
> a 15 min break then a couple of cursory more songs, MES falls and knocks
> over guitar amp.
guitarist refuses to leave stage and starts playing mr pharmacist ... the dj starts and he has to stop ... when they DO start playing it (mark has left by then) 3 members of the band are playing it in different keys ... MES did not fall ... he pushed to guitartist to stop fannying about tuning up and start playing ... guitarust pushed him back and mark fell (very pissed) into his amp, knocking it onto it's back ...
> The band sounded great at the beginning, but there weren't no ad libs
> Mark. Left feeling glum, cos it petered out into nothing, but remembered
> the great first half on the way back. Definitely a good musical line-up.
my overall feeling was that i was glad i hadn't invited anyone with me other than alfie (who would understand) ... the 1st half was great, but i thought i'd have difficulty justifying why i like them on the strength of the 2nd half ...
promising, i'd say ... even though he's a knob, i kinda like the guitarist ... definitely tryijg to pull it together ..
Have to agree with Id's assertion that "you know it's a good gig when it divides the audience." I enjoyed it immensely - the band were this huge blundering exciting sloppy mess. Powderkeg _was_ crap, but in that invigoratingly awful way that the home-taped New Puritan is.
Mark wasn't on great form, to tell the truth. He seems to like Nev the guitarist - who I think is one of the best things to happen to the band in ages. I think it would be a mistake to see his pratting about as "posturing"; he (and Adam the new bass player who plays in another band with Nev) were both enjoying themselves. Tom the drummer is great - dead solid, and really gets into it. Karen plays very well indeed, although this is somewhat counterbalanced by silly hair and facial piercing, surely a first for a Fall member.
There's no doubt that Julia's been sidelined and is not happy; there was very real tension there last night, and it was a relief to see her laugh a bit at something Nev said to her at the end, as she looked _incredibly_ miserable throughout. Terry's already mentioned her sitting out a couple of songs. Mark was giving her real - and gratuitous - stick that wasn't fun to watch.
This line-up has tremendous potential _if_ it doesn't crumble first.
Mark doesn't seem to give a toss about the old material; we got barely four or five lines out of him in Spencer. They desperately need some more new ones though - for all a seven minute or so F- olding Money was fun I wouldn't want to hear it too often.
Great bit in one of the songs where Mark decides to put all the mics he can find in the bass drum after having removed Tom's one and only mic fairly early on. It was like a bomb going off. Superb. He also did the thing with shifting the cymbal mics about that used to piss Karl off.
Another noticeable thing is that all the "new kids" are more than prepared to stand up to MES, which is probably about the only thing which will ultimately save the band (if it does).
Nev's solo attempt at Mr. Pharmacist was most amusing, and even funnier when he started it off as an extra encore (he and Julia, I think it was, persuaded Tom not to follow MES off stage and do one more song instead) and none of them knew it, least of all him.
Plastic glasses still being chucked at the stage at the end. Some real audience hostility/disgruntlement (is that a word? it is now). Probably only about half were still there for the encores. A certain ex-Fall member's verdict was that it made him even more glad he was out of it and that they were "fucking rubbish." Har.
Thoroughly enjoyed it myself and Keith Allen was a breath of fresh air. I can see him lasting about five minutes before Smithy sacks him, which is a shame as he was great.
Has anyone mentioned that the (I presume) new recording of Touch Sensitive was aired before the band came on? It sounded damn good.
The Ritz was a top venue. It had a 'The Shining' quality too it I thought. A very nice place to ballroom dance.
Fall Performance : on stage 12.20
J Nagle : She has a limited / restricted means/potential of screwing up the Fall sound recently, however, her unique sense of timing was prevalent as she plucked out the lead guitar line to Folding Money. 5/10
New Guitarist : He seems like a strong character and counteracted MES' sickly child tantrums with slapstick comedy. He can play well but I'm not sure how long he will put up with MES. 10/10
Bassist : She has come on leaps and bounds since St Bernadettes. Must be the radio receiver she has stuck in her mouth - a guy on the mixing desk was relaying her the fret numbers. 9/10.
Bassit #2 : He seemed like a good lad. He shows the early signs of (dare I say it) a Hanley replacement, he just needs another ten years in The Fall. 9/10
Drummer : Liked his performance. He seemed to wipe the destructive MES' actions out of his mind and play on as though nothing was happened. 10/10
MES : He played a blinder at St Bernadettes, which is a lot more than what can be said of the band at the time. Anyway, it looks like the band have been working hard and are well on the way to being a solid rhythmic mass. So, MES now, with the band needing less hand holding, he reckons he can rekindle his on stage hobby of trying to make the band members explode; he played the guy that goes around trying to bust everything - trying to push someone over the edge - like an attention seeking little twat. It is not good viewing. It's very boring. I was watching him a lot, like you do when you watch a band - he acts as though he is scoring points over us when he abstains from a song, smirking. MES was in a fooking waster mood. 2/10
It probably sounds like like I am coming down on him like a ton of bricks but honestly, all he has to do is leave the mics, the wires, the drummer, the guitarist and Julia alone and say his lines. It's not that hard to do. *But* that wondnt be MES would it? No. And that wouldn't be The Fall would it? As Id pointed out to me. I suppose I agree, but it would be nice for once for everything to go right? Am I asking too much? Yes. OK so I thought it would be the icing on the cake on what turned out to be a very nice xmas period. I suppose I am too greedy.
Simon's also put up a couple of live tracks from the LA2 gig a few weeks ago.
F-olding Money & Touch Sensitive
Sterling reporting by The Ritz-Fallnet Ensemble leaves me with little to add, except that I thoroughly enjoyed this one. True, it fizzled out, but that was only from that lousy Powderkeg onwards. Sadly, it's usually the last 10-15 minutes of a gig that shapes the post-gig feelings. Don't think anyone's posted the full set-list yet, so here goes:
This Perfect Day
Bound Soul One
Mr Pharmacist (sort of!)
Great band, great company, great chips 'n gravy, great night out; cheers, Happy New Year to you all.
Allegedly, Fall "Peel sessions" CD will be released on 25 Jan, linear notes (sic) by Peelie
Rebellious Jukebox, Mess of My, New Face in Hell, Winter, Smile, Middlemass, 2 x 4, Cruisers, What You Need, Athlete Cured, Dead Beat Descendent, Black Monk Theme, Idiot Joy Showland, Free Range, Strychnine, A Past Gone Mad, M5
The Fall made one (1) appearance in Peel's Festive 50 this year:
49. The Fall (Session) - 'Shake Off'
From: John Howard
Subject: <fallnet> From Matador Site:MCR Promo bio.
THE FALL Middle Class Revolt Since their 1977 formation in Manchester, The Fall have continuously updated themselves and striven for perfection. Their consistency has come in the form of quality, a quality that has and will be maintained past, present and future. The Fall's respect for and hatred of the fundamental values of consumer Europe, coupled with an appetite for communication and hard graft, has created a reputation that inspires fear, love, and respect. Increasingly, their command of the pop medium and and their irritating powers have produced a clarity of address and musical dynamic that takes their work into areas of sensitivity undreamt of in the "Virgin A-Z of Pop Music."
Founding vocalist/composer Mark E. Smith has been the diarist of this era, screaming truth at us in the most honest and inordinate fashion for all to hear. As a powerful lyricist, he has taken his poetry and set it in motion, his words continually analyzed and discussed.
Middle Class Revolt, their 25th album and 2nd for Matador, comes on the heels of 1993's The Infotainment Scan on Matador-Atlantic, the first Fall record to be released in the U.S. since 1989's Extricate. The Infotainment Scan bowled over U.S. press and radio personae, jabbing the media back to alertness after a four-year rest-period from The Fall's withering glare upon pop trends and conceits. With lengthy Fall appreciations written in music mags big and small and a six-month residence on the alternative charts (peaking in the top 5), The Infotainment Scan tore apart everyone who deserved it and proved that The Fall only gets better with age.
Mark E. Smith -- vocals
Craig Scanlon -- guitar
Steve Hanley -- bass
Karl Burns -- drums
Dave Bush -- keyboards
Simon Wolstencroft -- drums
I just noticed this favourable Fall reference in a little booklet given away with the latest issue of the trendy contemporary art magazine "Frieze"(which had an interview with MES in its Sept-Oct 1992 edition). A number of artists are asked to list "four or five books, essays, artists' writings, poems or whatever...that seemed particularly relevant to the art being made today, or that meant most to their own development".
Influential performance artist Vito Acconci selects some books and suggests as background music, "something from the past: The Fall (The Infotainment Scan, 1993)".
From: John Howard
Subject: <fallnet> More Drain Commissioner Problems for Mark!
Smith's comments torpedoed chances By Matthew Bach
One comment from deputy drain commissioner Mark Smith possibly spoiled his bid for interim drain commissioner, and opened the doors for Boss Engineering employee Brian Jonckheere. Jonckheere, 30, was unanimously appointed Monday to fill the remaining seven months on the term of retiring Drain Commissioner Richard Rudnicki. Jonckheere beat out Smith, 43, who served as deputy drain commissioner for 17 years, and nine other candidates. Jonckheere, Smith and seven other candidates also will vie for the drain commissioner seat in the August primary and the presidential election in November. Jonckheere's appointment was made Monday morning by a three-member selection team consisting of Prosecutor David Morse, Clerk Bill McCririe and Probate Judge Susan Reck.
Rudnicki resigned effective Friday, May 31, amid allegations that he misused county services. Rudnicki maintains that the allegations had nothing to do with his resignation after 23 years in office. Morse said that he saw Smith as the clear front runner going into the selection process, but his opinion changed during Smith's interview, particularly during discussion on the allegations facing Rudnicki. "In the interview Mark was grilled a great deal over the things alleged," Morse said. "Mr. Rudnicki was alleged to have used equipment and people on county time for his personal use. ...What bothered me was Mark said he was aware of what Mr. Rudnicki was alleged to have done and he believed it to be wrong, but he didn't take any action. That's where my (candidate) preference faltered significantly."
Morse was quick to point out that Smith was not involved in any of the alleged wrong-doing. "I don't want to say Mark doesn't have integrity," Morse said. "That clearly isn't the case. ...Mark was very candid about it and he didn't duck the issue at all. I was personally disappointed with his lack of action in the matter." Morse said Smith's statements did not shed any new light on the investigation into Rudnicki. Morse said he has the Michigan State Police investigation into the allegations and expects to decide whether or not to file charges next week. McCririe said he did not have a front runner going into the selection process, but agreed that Smith's comment about the allegations played a role in his decision to appoint Jonckheere. "The comment made during the interview weighed quite heavily in my deliberation," McCririe said.
Morse and McCririe said they were pleased with the selection of Jonckheere, who aside from Smith, had the most rounded experience in drain commissioner-type work. "It was my feeling that it was necessary for a change in the direction of leadership in the drain commission office," Morse said. "I felt Brian was the one who best embodied the principals I felt were important in providing leadership for the drain commission as Livingston County comes into a new century with a large amount of growth taking place." "I looked at the whole package," McCririe said. "I tried to pick the person I thought was best for the job." Reck was on the bench and could not be reached for comment about the appointment, but through a spokesperson said she voted for Jonckheere because he had a strong resume and the most qualifications.
Smith could not be reached for comment as well.
John Howard wrote:
Is the quote:
"Life is not always easy, but it is by overcoming what at first seems impossible that we prove the strength of our common humanity. In this way, every individual triumph of the human will is a victory for us all."
-Mark E. Smith
Sietse supplies the recipe of the week:
Goldfish Salad Emanuelle
* 1 pound goldfish, cooked * 1 cup chopped green onions * 2 tablespoons olive oil * 3 cloves garlic -- minced * 2 cups water * 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce * 3 teaspoons canary bouillon * 1 teaspoon red pepper * 1 cup rice * 2 tomatoes -- chopped * 1 bell pepper -- chopped
In large bowl, combine goldfish, onions, garlic and oil. Cover and refrigerate overnight. cook rice in water with bouillon, hot sauce, and red pepper for 20 minutes. Let cool. Add tomatoes and bell peppers. Add rice mixture to goldfish mixture. Refrigerate until chilled.
981220 Bristol F&F and London LA2 reviews, cut-out-and-keep guide to recent reissues
981214 NME & MM short pieces
981206 Dazed and Confused interview
981130 Nottingham 92 sleevenotes
981123 NME and MM news items
981116 nothing special
981109 Peel session reactions
981102 Melody Maker singles review, Action Records details
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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