|New album The Marshall Suite is out! It charted way up at No.84.|
All venues take advance credit card booking unless noted otherwise:
|May 9||Sheffield, University||£8.50 adv/£9.50 door||0114 222 8777|
|May 10||Cheltenham, The Attic||£8.00||01242 516645 (Credit card booking: 01242 250002)|
|May 11||Cambridge, The Junction||£9 adv/ £10 door||01223 511511|
|May 12||Southend, Chinnery's||£8 adv / £9 door||01702 460440 (pay on door)|
|May 13||Luton, Venue 21||£10adv / £11 door||01582 749740|
|May 14||London, The Forum||£11.00 adv||0171 344 0044|
Leicester, Princess Charlotte 3 May
Gig: temp four-piece
Following were played: Spencer, Touch Sensitive, F-Olding Money, Jet Boy, The Joke, Ten Houses, This Perfect Day, Shake-Off, Anecdotes, Antidotes, Big New Prinz, And Therein, On My Own, Ol' Gang, Hurricane.
Best Perfect Day I've seen them play so far (despite MES attempting to do it all falsetto; only managed the first verse). Hilarious and wunnerful intro to Big New Prinz, where Nev launches into the Rock & Roll riff - for a moment I thought they were actually going to do the song. Smithy can't find a mike at first, so encouraces the audience to sing it for him.
Good stuff though, so the rest of the tour should be worth getting to.
I really enjoyed the Leicester gig last night. it was a short one since the Fall was on stage around 10.20 and it was over 11.10. I reckon this was the best I've seen from the new line-up. Mark seemed to enjoy himself on the stage and didn't look too pissed either :) There was a one new song - or at least one I couldn't recognise; don't know the name because someone snatched the playlist before I got hold of it. Encore was a funny one because Mark could not find a microfone (maybe he was pissed after all). He mumbled something on the drum mic and then shouted with the audience the beginning of 'New Big Prinz'. Finally he managed to get a mic from Nev.
Great to see them within two miles of home. Top evenings entertainment as usual.
Leeds Irish Centre, 4 May
Firstly, so much for his claimed 'younger' audience. Most of the people there seemed to be thirty-somethings, like myself, and Fall veterans at that. It was a very sparse stage set - no backdrop, podium, feedback speakers at front of stage. The group, positioned around the outside, seemed to be set up to give MES the maximum room to stalk round in. MES seemed to be in one of his meddlesome moods - he spent most of the concert wandering round and adjusting the settings on amps, keyboards, even at one point reaching over to the mixing desk and trying to screw that. Best song of the night was probably Big New Prinz, surely the most autobiographical of all Fall songs, which they played as first encore. Storming version, with MES putting some real feeling into it.
Best MES moment: unplugging the keyboard early on, forgetting, and spending ages trying to get it to make a noice.
Best overheard quote: from roadie fixing up MES's microphone before the gig started: "Shall we stick another cable on the end of this cos he's going to run round like a f**king idiot".
antidotes on my own f-oldin money touch sensative hurricane edward the joke ten houses of eve jet boy ? mad men-eng dog antidotes(jung nev's) shake off perfect day spence big new prinz calendar ol' gang
the fall were very tight, no sign of julia though, that may have been her stoking the dat machine though, but she wasn't on with the band, good sing-a-long-a fall on touch sensative, even some audience participation with the claps on big new prinz, 3 encores, lots of bouncing around to ol' gang, mental auidence in a 4ft box in front of the middle of the stage that kept spilling out onto the stage, some members of the old guard stood around with their beer looking bored, fuckers, even stareing at us when we bounced to f-oldin money, seemed to be lots of gay men there, new guitarists are very tolerant, didn't seem to notice mark fucking with the amps, or running his mike along the strings, he started sing perfect day without his mike, then ran back to get it, lots of bits of paper falling around.Incredibly fat Mr T lookalike parted the crowd like an a-team moses to get to the front, pushing everybody out of his way. Best gig I've ever been to. beachbuggy were good, 2 drummer line up, very fall like. Rico scared the shit out of me, ruined perfectly good drumbeats with garbled sixth form poetry, "fuck rock n roll", "fuck tony blair", "fuck the law" etc... I like the new fall, but most of all I like Julia, she's what keeps them from turning into a dirge-fall guitar fest, more nagle please, Levitate is the best fall album I've ever heard,the marshall suite is more traditional, but the crying marshall shows the potential of the new line up. I'd like to see the fall put more emphasis on the beats and programming,bring back wolstencroft, dose etc. mad men-eng dog was the last fall track I expected to hear, but it sounded Ok. The band came in a very posh bus, the last thing you'd expect the fall to arrive in, I was expecting a transit van with fall written in tip-ex on the side.
Birmingham Foundry, 5 May
This Perfect Day F-Olding Money (Instrumental) Antidotes F-Olding Money Spencer Must Die And Therein Touch Sensitive Love Bound (AKA Bound Soul One, AKA Bound) Mad.Men-Eng.Dog Anecdotes In B# Jet Boy The Joke Kill Kill On My Own Ol' Gang + Big New Prinz 10 Houses Of Eve
A pretty fine gig this one. After Mark walked off stage at the end of the first song, I was thinking that the old bugger was in one of his moods again, but it all seemed to be planned. I guess the band were supposed to be playing F-Olding Money along to a DAT, but instead we got four minutes of rockabilly stomp, followed by the DAT as an intro to the next song. Things were not looking good. But, as our friends at Winamp say, the rest of the set really whupped the llama's ass. Mark seems to be paring the songs down, in length as well as the arrangements.
Nev was occasionally inspired, but didn't always seem to be on the same page as the rest of the band. Mark was indulgent. He even patted him on the back a few times -- well, it was either that or he was using him for support. We even got a bit of patter. Tom is as good as you've all been saying, and Adam seemed to be doing a fine job, certainly more at home than last winter's gigs suggested.
The new treatment of And Therein has potential to be a winner. Acoustic guitar and open, acoustic-sounding drums. Was surprised to hear Mad.Men, and despite everything I've heard, I was still expecting Jet Boy to be a Damned song. It's not. The other new song, Kill Kill, is poppy at heart, but with loads of sonic masking tape over it in a VU type of way. Highlights for me was Big New Prinz, 'cause I'm the cliched old sod who likes old stuff best, Antidotes, and Touch Sensitive, which was an absolutely terrific performance.
The journey back to the station was packed with FallCon. I saw a guy going for a pee behind -- not a tree, this is Birmingham -- a concrete pillar, and a monk waiting for a bus. No, really.
> A pretty fine gig this one.
Super it was.
Also we discovered that the last train back from Birmingham was at ten to eleven. So I had to miss the encores. The good news though was that the band were on almost on time and they have perfected the art of playing 15 songs in about 40 minutes.
A good venue for The Fall, though whoever decided to put on gigs in a shoe box with half a dozen pillars was being just a tad too creative. It was packed, and I would guess that only about 12 of the people who were there could see very much.
I thought the band were fantastic, really tight, and agree with the Doktor that And Therein, Touch Sensitive were highlights. Mad.Men-Eng.Dog was great to hear - not what you expect!
> The new treatment of And Therein has potential to be a winner.
This was better than when I heard "them" do it on the Extricate tour. Really.
> The other new song, Kill Kill, is poppy at heart,
It sounded familiar to me, but the Venerable Steve thought it was a song by the Not-Sensibles, who I've never heard of.
Agree with Mr Flack et all on this one, mighty fine gig.
My highlights - This Perfect day, Big new prinz and the Jet Boy song, also the karaoke F-Olding money was great in its repetition.
My first Fall gig since November 1997 Stoke, which was a shambles. This was really tight -- I agree with those who enjoyed it. MES seemed to be in a good mood. Someone shouted after about the third song when there was a gap "You're looking well Mark". He began to reply "Well, I'm . . ." but stopped as if reminded that he does not like to engage in conversation in the middle of a set. The next song (can't remember which) he then introduced with "This one is dedicated to our PR men" and mumbled something about the Guardian. Also we had a "Good evening; we are the Fall" at the beginning -- I do like that.
Lots of moshing at the end on Big New Prinz. It looked like they might come out again for a third encore and certainly the roadies thought that they might, but the end not. The really plush tour bus was parked just by the venue in Beak Street and as we walked home we saw Mark and the band sitting round a table in good-ish humour. One fan banged on the window and said "Fantastic" on his way past.
This was the first time I had seen the Fall without Stephen Hanley and it did look a bit odd to me. It makes Mark look much older to see him with people who look like they could be his children. And it made me feel older to see people in the Fall who are clearly younger than I am. Put Peel on on the way home to hear an Email read out from someone who was at Leeds saying that the Fall were good and Mark was "sprightly" but that the audience were all thirty-somethings and that it was a shame that the audience is getting older.
The sound was basically sparse but tight. It reminded me of the Fall around 1991? before Dave Bush joined, Blood Outta Stone era -- sounded very much like that sound.
Nice not to have too much faffing about too. When the second track was solely instrumental I feared the worst but afterwards everything OK. Mark kept looking at the back of his hand throughout -- odd.
Birmingham gig, great, really abrasive sound. Yes, the band did look like his kids, as many people mentioned at the time. The 'Good evening...we are The Fall' was a return to form in itself and had me grinning for about 7 minutes. Track 2 the mantra instrumental was awesome, and as I didn't buy MS til gig-end, F-Olding Money was my first hearing - marvellous - White Lightning #2, my mate reckoned The Meteors would have been proud of it. Wasn't sure about the semi-acoustic 'And Therein', but the stripped down shortened 'The Joke' was classic Fall for me.
Clipped oblique menacing great gig (my tenth - frighteningly #9 was back in May '93). The Foundry's still a shit venue tho.
Id's partial Tour Report:
7) Sound: the sound-girl - Speth - gets a great sound with this band, but she got really muddled with her mini-disk (not DAT) tracks at Birmingham. The extended instrumental version of F-Oldin' Money, and subsequent walk-off, resulted from her struggling to open the MD case in time to load the correct MD. We also got a snatch of On My Own towards the end of Mad Dog. ( I was stood behind her)
8) Bound: I can't get over how this is invariably a highlight of the live set, yet so disappointing (relatively) on MS.
9) MES: I am struck by the way MES is using his voice as the fifth instrument. Even when he is spouting utter gibberish, he is doing so in a manner which adds depth, texture and tonal qualities to the mix like no other vocalist I can think of. Great.
10) Verdict: notwithstanding the above, I found the band to be ever-so-slightly below par at Birmingham and lacking the togetherness and fluidity of the XFM show. Mighty enjoyable, nonetheless, and on a better night they will be awesome, for sure ... maybe tomorrow, at Salisbury?
Brighton Centre, 6 May
the Fall on stage 10:40'ish
* the ussual MS stuff (not Bound as far as I remember)
* and therein - acoustic guitar
* jet boy - some poetry before song kicks-off, MES reads from the note but probably too dark to read, gives up; MES singing this better than in Leic; not the funny guitar intro like in Leic
2.31sec break (accurate) and two encores:
* big new prinz,
* familiar sounding song I couldn't recognise
Subject: ugly old cunt
Just one of the choice phrases hurled in the direction of Mr Mark Smith as he walked off the stage at the Brighton Centre last night. Full run down as follows:
<snip stuff about support acts>
About twenty minutes later, a woman resembling very much Miss Julia Nagle(?) is seen heading out of the auditorium, destination unknown.
10.45. Appear the band, minus Miss Julia Nagle, to perform numbers various, including a 40 second 'Shake off', a superb 'F-olding money' (including long periods of silence from the vocalist, who seems more amazed at the liverspots on his hand), and a stunningly unintelligible 'Antidotes'. 'And therein' got a look-in as well, as did 'Ten Houses'.
11.20 Mr Smith proposes a five minute break followed by a twenty minute set.
11.23 Mr Smith reappears to perform the Crying Marshall entirely from a lyric sheet at the back of the stage.
11.30 Mr Smith wanders off stage, followed by the rest of the band. Crowd sticks around for a few minutes, then disperses.
Salisbury Arts Centre, 7 May
Great gig...- best yet with new line-up.
MES is the cover star of the May 1999 issue of The Wire
I've just read Tony Herrington's MES interview in the Wire and his editorial about it. It's peculiar to think that the opinions of FallNet are being sucked into the vacuum of his Fall obsession. But reassuring that the editor of a magazine like that is as perplexed as we are. The rest of the issue starts to look like it's orbiting around Fall-ish concerns and you start to think that maybe one day Herrington will lose it and the whole magazine will disintegrate into analyses of Athlete Cured. I for one will welcome this and if you ever happen to read this, Tony, I want you to know that everything will be all right. As a cure for insomnia, run a bath of ice cold water and paddle in it for a few minutes, then dry your feet, return to bed, and sleep.
Guardian, 30 April:
The Fall The Marshall Suite (Artful/Circus)
The Fall's 24th album may start off in the same manner as every one of its predecessors, with Mark E Smith ranting like a drunk who's lost his wallet, and it may carry on thus through its entire four "movements". But sacking the entire band last year has sparked a creative renaissance of sorts. While The Marshall Suite contains the usual quota of itchy garage rock and irascible shouting (to little effect, as he's rarely less than completely unintelligible), there's also a sense of purpose that has long been missing. It's there in the raging rockabilly of F-Oldin' Money, the Gary Numan-style electronica of On My Own and the complete change of pace that is Birthday Song (a love ballad, if you can believe it). For the first time in years, Smith sounds lost in music rather than his own suppurating cynicism.
All this talk of gigs has reminded me that it's high time that I posted those Ritz photos I promised: http://home.clara.net/draygo/ritz.html
It's only been almost 5 months.....
From today's Melody Maker, Mr Agreeable has this to say:
Birmingham Foundry, May 5
It's amazing that people are still prepared to pay good money to watch useless old drunks waddle around a stage, vaguely growling the words to a minor hit no-one can remember. Shaun Ryder, Paul Heaton, Shane McGowan - yes, you pay their rehab bill. Worst of all is that pasty faced cunt Mark E. Smith. Obstreperous, toothless and talentless, he has to beat up his female guitarist to get any press these days. Words fail me."
John Leckie interview in today's Melody Maker:
...and working with the likes of The Fall's Mark "Mardie" Smith. "Even though he was bolshie and you never knew what you were doing from one minute to the next. We managed to do three albums together before it exhausted both of us," he (Leckie) smiles diplomatically. "The last straw was a mastering session for Bend Sinister. We'd mixed it, everyone was happy and we ran some cassette copies off, but when it came to cutting it, after side one he said, 'What are you fucking playing at? Do you think I'm some kind of twat? That's not the mix we decided on. You've done another one.' And insisted I listen to his Dolby chrome cassette, which was running at slightly the wrong speed. So the whole album was cut from his cassette." He shakes his head before good-naturedly adding, "We haven't spoken since."
"The other thing is throw away guitar tuners, because people swear by the bloody things and stop listening. Mind you, The Fall were always out of tune, but when I got them to tune up it didn't sound as good."
Simon Christian has encoded a real video of mes on the c4 thingy the other week:
http://www.postnearlyman.freeserve.co.uk/mes.rm (it's 804k)
Dear Mr Pinto
Thank you for your E-Mails of 27 April to the Secretary of State, Janet Anderson, Tony Banks, Alan Howarth, and the Permanent Secretary. I have been asked to reply.
The Department is keen to support and promote the music industry both at home and abroad as a vital part of our national economy, as well as contributing to the cultural vibrancy of the nation. We recognise the important role British bands such as the Fall play in promoting a positive image of the UK abroad as well as promoting British culture overseas.
The promotion of UK artists overseas has been highlighted as an important issue to take forward by both the Music Industry Forum and the Creative Industries Task Force, bodies set up by the Secretary of State to act as channels of communication between the Department and the creative industries. Under the umbrella of the latter, we have set up the Creative Industries Export Promotion Advisory Group to help promote music and other creative product overseas. In addition, the Foreign Office has organised a number of briefing sessions for Senior Commercial Officers on British music as an export commodity.
I hope you find this information helpful.
from the new issue of Uncut magazine:
THE FALL THE MARSHALL SUITE ***** (FIVE STARS!)
That difficult, erm, 33rd album...
Given the well-documented internal chaos of late, not to mention the fact that 21 years is surely too long for anyone to remain consistently innovative, statistically speaking this could be crap. If ever a time was ripe for the bubble to burst on Mark E. Smith's "Godlike genius", it's now. Yet with Touch Sensitive's opening war-cry of "Hey! Hey! Hey!" letting rip a chord-chopping, glam-chanting Sixties garage kick, you realise The Fall have pulled it off again. Heralding a welcome return to the guitar-driven Fall patent of yore - riffs, repetition and a taut rhythm section - The Marshall Suite sees Smith in his finest form in aeons. Be it a nostalgic nod to their mockabilly 12-bar prime on F-'Oldin' Money, the triumphant swagger of Antidote (The Fall do Led Zep's Kashmir) or typically absurd asides about chocolate dip and Teletubbies, Smith reclaims his undisputed slang king crown. The Fall exit the decade the way they came in, with an album as self-assured as 1990's Extricate.
Review by Simon Goddard.
And this from Saturday's Guardian Guide (May 8):
Hire 'Em, Fire 'Em
Now on their 27th line-up, The Fall are one of the few bands of whom it can be said that their gigs are like no other. They might just deliver a thundering show punctuated by Mark E. Smith's limitless fund of nasal-toned invective, but Smith could just as easily sack the entire group in the middle of the set. He did it to the 26th line-up in New York last year, apparently in a fit of pique, so it's probably safe to say that the current membership is looking over its shoulder at all times. Smith is currently touting The Marshall Suite, thought to be his 31st album (though even he's not sure) and widely acknowledged as a return to bilious form.
Okay, I've put up something like what a Fall t-shirt should look like at:
SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE
FIRST RECORD YOU CAN REMEMBER
'Stranger In Paradise' - Tony Bennett
"It goes, 'Look at me/I'm a stranger in paradise...'. I was born when that was playing, on the way to the hospital. Born to the strains of 'Stranger In Paradise'. My mother thinks it's really funny."
RECORD THAT REMINDS YOU OF SCHOOL
'School's Out' - Alice Cooper
"I remember 'School's Out', because that came out at the time I was in school and they were playing it all the time. I never really liked it much, but you can't really get more of a school song than that."
SONG YOU FELL IN LOVE TO
'Station To Station' - David Bowie
"With my mother's cooking? I don't know. Oh, with a . Probably 'Station To Station' by Dave Bowie. (Dissolves into fits of laughter) I always loved Dave Bowie. I think people underestimate Dave Bowie's influence on the British music scene. What would we have done without Dave Bowie? I remember going from station to station and missing a train at one point and it sums it all up for me. I met a at the train station and it brings it all back. I'm lying."
'Moses Und Aron' - Arnold Schoenberg
"It's a famous avant-garde classical piece. An opera. The beginning, particularly, is quite sad. It starts off quiet, then Moses comes in. I recommend it."
SONG FOR A NIGHT ON THE TILES
'Blitzkrieg Bop' - The Ramones
"Northern soul. Anything. The thing about northern soul is that you never know the names or the titles, because it just doesn't matter. I've got all that stuff but I can't tell you what anything's called. I'll tell you another great record, that 'Nuggets' compilation that Lenny Kaye did with Patti Smith. It was all these American records from the 1960s, pre-punk, like The Seeds. And 'Blitzkrieg Bop' by The Ramones. Yeah, put that one in."
SONG THAT EVOKES THE GREATEST SUMMER OF YOUR LIFE
'White Light/ White Heat' - The Velvet Underground
"I like summer very much, because I never go out in summer. Once April starts, people go out like dogs, so I stay in. Summer is hell. There are a few songs that remind me how horrible summer is. Like 'White Light/White Heat'. It says it all in one minute 30 seconds."
RECORD THAT INSPIRED YOU TO FORM A BAND
"None. I wouldn't have formed a band if there was anything out there I wanted to listen to. I saw a photograph of Black Sabbath when I was 14, and that rang a bell somewhere. And then there was Peter Noone out of Herman's Hermits. I liked the look of him."
RECORD GUARANTEED TO CLEAR THE TOURBUS
"On my tourbus you have to sit and listen to everything I play. You're not allowed to speak. If I play a cassette or whatever, you sit down, shut up and listen. If you argue, you get kicked out of the bus. I especially like to make a lot of guitarists and drummers listen to stuff like Boney M, because of the discipline of it. And lots of rockabilly. They all laugh and sneer, but they still can't play in time."
NEW YEAR'S EVE, 1999 - WHAT'S ON THE HI-FI?
'Monkey Man' - The Maytals
"I used to play The Maytals' 'Monkey Man' every New Year's Eve, so I guess I'll probably go with them. There's also that Augustus Pablo. You know, decent reggae before it got all that religion."
RECORD YOU WOULD LIKE PLAYED AT YOUR FUNERAL
'Pomp And Circumstance March No 1' - Elgar "Me dad had a Dean Martin record played at his funeral. He only had two records. One was Dean Martin, and the other was like 'The Attack Songs Of The Black Watchers' or something. I don't know what I'd have played at mine. I find the idea quite morbid, really. I think it's a very vain thing to do. I'd play something very, very short. Like 'Pomp And Circumstance'. The first bit is only a minute-and-a-half. I've been to a lot of funerals, and I find it very embarrassing because you can tell people have chosen these songs like ten years before. Like 'Anarchy In The UK' or some crap like that. It might have been funny when they thought of it, but it's really horrible when it comes down to it. Actually, I'll just get the bloody church organ player to do his job. Have him hold the note of E. But it has to be on a wind-powered organ. With pedals."
Vic Reeves had a 2 hour show in the early hours of Monday morning entitled "Vic Reeves is Cock of the Wood". Lots of Tommy Vance jingles with slogans like "as the sun sets, so the cock rises". He played some half decent stuff like Looper, Henry Cow and Todd Rundgren. About halfway into the programme he also played Touch Sensitive. He made everyone in the studio agree with him that "the Fall are fantastic" and told how he'd gone in search of Mark E Smith at the Phoenix Festival. He found the Fall's portacabin, knocked on the door and asked for MES. A band member took him round the back of the cabin, where it backed on to a wall. MES was lying there asleep on some wooden pallets. Reeves could not understand why Smith had chosen to sleep there rather than inside the cabin. But when woken up MES was polite.
Copyright 1999 Gloucestershire Echo
April 23, 1999
SECTION: Showbiz: Music, Pg.20
HEADLINE: Fall to head new season of name acts Top line-up will invigorate the town's band scene
BODY: A tasty selection of 'name' bands is set to make Cheltenham one of the best towns on the music circuit.
The Attic has planned an ear-shattering bill and on May 10 will welcome The Fall. Firing on all cylinders and promising to take no prisoners, eccentric vocalist Mark E. Smith is back. Even better he's with an all-new band, after seeing off his previous employees last year. He may be celebrating 21 years of excessive Fall-out but the band's latest CD, the Marshall Suite, is a blinder from start to finish. It's a sonic attack, taking in Krautrock, funk, rockabilly, hip-hop, warped house in the way only The Fall know how. Many agree it's the best thing they've produced for ages.
"I can see why they say that. It's quite snappy," says the Mancunian maverick. "Everyone else is tired. Except me," he says of his peers. "The album's a three-piece suite. It's sorta taking the mickey out of TV cop shows."
GRAPHIC: Mark E Smith fronts The Fall who play at the Attic next month
MS review in today's Times: (1 May, thanks to Paul Saxton)
The annual bulletin from Mark E. Smith is a typical assemblage of tortured doggerel lashed to primal garage rock. Today's Fall may not cruise in the high gears of their eighties incarnation but they can still nail-down a groove with that same blend of ruthless precision and perverse amateurishness. F-'oldin' Money is pilled up Eddie Cochran, (Jung Nev's) Antidotes a prowling, paranoide stomper. Smith's lingusitic distortions, meanwhile, remain as inspired as ever.
Review by Mike Pattenden. He liked it so much he gave it a massive 6/10.
Copyright 1999 Scottish Media Newspapers Limited
The Herald (Glasgow)
April 22, 1999
SECTION: Pg. 14
HEADLINE: Indie The Fall, The Marshall Suite (Artful)
BODY: Following apparent fatal disintegration after 21 years and 30 albums, archetypal one-man awkward-squad Mark E Smith re-emerges with an all-new band. Is there any change in approach? Essentially, no, for which fact we should all offer loud huzzahs and joyfully throw our trousers in the air. In other words, step right on up for reviving dollops of Mr Smith's gnomic shouting and stuttering, plus propulsive belts of pungent, steaming, white -noise cackabilly. If Eddie Cochran had somehow been born a disaffected doom -lover in Manchester in 1957, he might have sounded as good as Mr Smith and Co. Blistered; cracked; fab.
Copyright 1999 Scottish Media Newspapers Limited
The Sunday Herald
April 18, 1999
SECTION: Pg. 5
BODY: Artist: The Fall
Title: The Marshall Suite
What with their 20-year career, 20-plus former members and 30-oddalbums (some
very oddindeed), statisticians have a field day with The Fall.
And still there's no let up in the adenoidal whining of troubled vocalist Mark E Smith, the one constant in the Manchester band's turbulent history. Last year, after fisticuffs on and offstage and the loss of three long-serving members, it looked like it was all over. The Marshall Suite proves it isn't. Smith's new troops sway between the punch-drunk glam racket of Touch Sensitive and the usual chug-along Mancabilly, always with Smith's ranting on top. This time round there are strings, and something that sounds suspiciously like an oboe, on Inevitable. All other machinery involved sounds like it was picked up at a car boot sale. How they make such a guddle sound so fresh is anybody's guess. Since the album was recorded, two more members have received their P45s.
Dear God, Beki Bondage doing Because the Night.....your chance to get Space Oddity anyway.
And from Marty Willson-Piper at some site or other:
So to Utapc.Is that your name? I actually worked with Susanna before Brix.They are old chums.Last year Brix was playing bass with Susanna's little acoustic group around LA. I wrote a song with Susanna called Why Ever Did You Stay which although she didn't use I really liked.The thing with her is that she has such a characterful voice but it often comes across as twee with the kind of soppy or poppy songs she sings.As a folk singer though she is really great. You should hear her do To Sir With Love acoustic. Effortless ,rich poignant tones.I first heard her sing on this early eighties compilation of the then underground indie luminaries of the West Coast psychedelic revival called'Rainy Day'.She sang I'll Keep It With Mine and I'll Be Your Mirror.
Put together by David Roback there was no hint that she would become a mega pop babe sex symbol with loads of number 1's.After Steinberg and Kelly,my song just wasn't commercial enough but I wrote the kind of song with her that I wanted her voice to sing. My relationship with Brix came about because of Susanna.Brix was looking for some one to write with and Susanna recommended me when my name came up during a meeting with Jeff Jacquin our then manager.We got together in the Peer music studios in LA and since then we have written together again with us both living in London.Andy from AAE on bass on a couple of tracks and Dare on the faders.We have written about 15 songs and are still looking for a record deal.We had a couple of hitches .
We were a hair away from signing to One Little Indian and then the A&R
man left and obvously took his enthusiasm for the project with him. I really
like what we have done together but the other hitch came when I told Brix
that I didn't feel I could slog around the traps to try and get signed which
really was the next thing we had to do.At the moment it's on hold but as
we move to the country to get the studio going, Brix is one of the people
I'd like to entice into coming down there. I'm not sure what the future holds
for us.She is no longer playing with The Fall In a perfect world one makes
their own records, in their own studio with whoever they want and then sells
them semi independently ,through mail order and a distributor.But,that ugly
word 'promo' keeps on coming into the equation. At the moment it's at the
stage of plugging the 24 track up, which is a long way from checking that
HMV in Glasgow got their order.
21st November 1996
Just been to the chemist and saw that they had on sale tins of 'Rubbing Ointment' called Fiery Jack. Nice tin too, with a little illustration of a red devil holding his trident and surrounded by flames - grrr. Amusingly, on the back of the tin it says: "FIERY JACK - Topical Counter Irritant."
Marshall Suite review from the New York United States Magazine and Democratic Review (ta to Jeff Curtis)
"Mr. Smith is evidently trying to ascertain how far the public will consent to be imposed upon. He is gauging, at once, our gullibilty and our patience. Having written one or two "Passable" extravagancies, he has considered himself privileged to produce as many more as he pleases, increasingly exaggerated and increasingly dull.... In "Bombast," in caricature, in rhetorical artifice -- generally as clumsy as the posession is ineffectual -- and in low attempts at humor, each one of his albums has been an advance among its predecessors.... Mr. Smith never writes naturally. His sentiment is forced, his wit is forced, and his enthusiasm is forced. And in his attempts to display to the utmost extent his powers of "fine enunciating," he has succeeded, we think, beyond his most sanguine expectations.
The truth is, Mr. Smith has survived his band. If he had been contented with writing one or two songs, he might have been famous, but his vanity has destroyed all his chances for "Immortality," or even of a good name with his own generation. For, in sober truth, Mr. Smith's vanity is immeasurable. He will either be first among the record-making tribe, or he will be nowhere. He will centre all attention upon himself, or he will abandon the field of music at once. From this morbid self-esteem, coupled with a most unbounded love of notoriety, spring all Mr. Smith's efforts, all his rhetorical contortions, all his declamatory abuse of society, all his inflated sentiment, and all his insinuating licentiousness.
Dragnet was undoubtedly a very proper album for the parlor, and we have seen it in company with Grotesque, lying upon tables from which Bowie was strictly prohibited, although we were unable to fathom those niceties of logic by which one was patronized, and the other proscribed. But these were Mr. Smith's triumphs. Middle Class Revolt was a stupid failure, Infortainment Scan was hopelessly dull, SeminalLive was worse than either; and, in fact, it was such a very bad record, that, until the appearance of Marshall Suite, we had set it down as the very ultimatum of weakness to which The Fall could attain. It seems, however, that we were mistaken. We have no intention of quoting any passages just now from Marshall Suite. The London journals, we understand, "have bestowed upon the work many flattering notices," and we should be loth to combat such high authority. But if there are any of our readers who wish to find examples of bad rhetoric, involved syntax, stilted sentiment and incoherent English, we will take the liberty of recommending to them this precious album of Mr. Smith's."
990426 Guardian interview, Brix interview, more album reviews, MES' radio session
990419 more Marshall Suite reviews, NME chat, live at Sound Republic XFM session, tbly#15 out
990411 Couple of Marshall Suite reviews, Live 77 details, 1985/1987 interviews
990330 Touch Sensitive reviews, Marshall Suite details
990320 Shake-off lyrics, tour details
990314 MES Escape interview
990308 Ashton Tuesday reviews, Falling Through Time part 1, Dragnet reissue
990302 Ashton Sunday and Monday reviews
990221 LP announcement, Inch reviews
990214 not much
990207 various stuff
990128 Peel Sessions CD review
990118 Uncut pieces, Marcia interview, NZ art collection
990110 NME LA2 review, modern rock sociology
990103 Manchester Ritz reviews
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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