Fall News - 6 June 1999

The Fall will appear at Radio 1 Evening Session Stage, Friday 27th Aug Reading, Saturday 28th Aug Leeds

The new single will be F-Oldin Money. A 2 CD set, and it's down for 28 June release.


From the NME:

The Fall
London Kentish Town Forum

If The Fall were ice cream they'd be Guinness, anchovy-stuffed olives and Marmite flavour. Yum. This crowd are drooling. And that's probably not entirely due to the unsightly combination of senility and tooth decay. BONK. That's the sound of a plastic beer beaker bouncing off Mark E Smith's gnomish skull. The new boys troop on - black T-shirts taut over impressive biceps. Phwooar! But it's important that we don't know their names. That we don't become emotionally attached because, like the red-shirted dudes who beamed down to a polystyrene planet surface every week with Kirk and Spock in Star Trek, these poor sods are probably doomed. Cannon fodder. Bright-eyed donkeys led by a raggedy old lion. In the bogs, three songs in and a trio of slashing Fall fans bark angrily into the porcelain. "It's fucking shit!" "It's fucking pathetic!" "He's got to get better than this!" What? Can this be!? Stone the blasphemers! Or maybe not. This, you see, borders on the tedious. Then it crosses that border, lies down, falls asleep and just fucking sucks. Maybe Mark knows he's losing us. He certainly becomes more animated as the gig grinds on. And on and on. And fucking on. Judged by The Fall's own criteria, this gig was positively vegetarian. Smith's tight, acerbic, pithy poetry and the mental Krautrock-abilly Fall sound both struggle miserably in a muddy mishmash of merely workmanlike musicianship. Oh dear. Oh we stay and watch and wait. For a bit. Maybe he'll twat someone. Throw a wobbly. Throw up. Fall over. Lose it. Implode. Something. No, fuck that for a freak show. There's a Last Of The Summer Wine special on Granada Gold tonight. We're out of here. Pull your socks up, Smith.


Pete Conkerton:

MES/William Blake connections...Specifically in Jerusalem - not the hymn, but the long poem subtitled "The Emanation of the Giant Albion", which is concerned with, er, the renewal of the spiritual health of England. A lot of the early part goes on about how man must overcome his Spectre, or inner demon (a bit like the dark side of the force) before he can progress to spiritual harmony. Here's a sample verse:

The Spectre weeps, but Los unmov'd by tears or threats remains. "I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Man's. I will not reason & compare; my business is to Create." So Los, in fury and Strength, in indignation and burning wrath. Shudd'ring the Spectre howls; his howlings terrify the night.

...and so on and so forth. Incidentally, this type of poem - an allegorical battle between good & evil - is known as a Psychomachia....

Still, there's some interesting parallels between Blake and MES. I'd recommend 'William Blake: His Life' by James King (1991) to anyone who gives a shit.

Also, I'm sure thus has been mentioned before, but just in case: Silence of the Lambs, Chapter 22:-
"You believe he's a catatonic schizoid?"
"Yes. Can you smell his sweat. That peculiar goatish odor is trans-3-methyl hexenoic acid. Remember it. It's the smell of schizophrenia."


Paul Saxton:

The free CD with this month's Uncut magazine features Shake Off. The accompanying blurb to said track sez this:

"Who would have thought in 1977, when they released their debut album, Live At The Witch Trials, that more than 20 years on, The Fall, as volatile then as they have continued to be since under the irascible leadership of the permanently cantankerous Mark E. Smith, would outlive virtually all the bands who emerged during the summer of punk? And not only have they survived, they continue to flourish as The Marshall Suite - the band's 23rd album! - so vividly demonstrates. Brilliant."

And inside there are reviews of the re-released Dragnet, Hex and Extricate:

HEX ENDUCTION HOUR - ***** (5 stars)
DRAGNET - **** (4)
EXTRICATE - **** (4)

Is there no end to Mark E. Smith's back catalogue? Nominate any of these as The Fall's best album and you've sufficient grounds for a decent car park fracas with anyone who says otherwise. 1979's Dragnet is a bitter and twisted masterpiece, capturing them in the infancy of their uncompromising brilliance. Today, we'd call it lo-fi. Back then it was just "white crap let loose in the studio". Ten years on when Brix had left, some of us seriously believed The Fall were all washed up. But 1990's Extricate put us bang to rights with their most impressive creative realisation to date, not least "Telephone Thing" - Smith's bizarre ode to Eastenders' Ethel Skinner with a sprinkle of Coldcut wah-wah magic. Both are worth saving in a fire, but if you're ever going to risk third-degree burns for a Fall album, make it 1982's Hex Enduction Hour. As comedian Stuart Lee told Uncut last year, he once went on holiday to Iceland purely because this album was recorded there. Buy, and trust me - you too will yearn to fly Air Reykjavik.
Review by Simon Goddard.


Peter Reavy:

The new Wire (Stockhausen on cover) has a cheery review of The Marshall Suite by Edwin Pouncey. He hadn't been following the Fall too closely but was attracted back by the last few LPs and likes how Smith handled The Horror In Clay.

A few letters deal with the recent MES interview. One says Smith has "all the hallmarks of some sinister cult leader" and ends "there's more to life than reading meanings into the gibberish output by that drug-addled freak". Another one criticises Smith's "bloody Serbians" comment. The last letter says it would be worth hearing what the sacked band members have to say.



Apparently "The Incredible Sound of Jo Whiley" is released on Incredible Records (Sony) on June 14......

Recent news.... logo-a-go-go
990526 Wire interview, more reviews...
990517 Salisbury, Sheffield, Cheltenham, Cambridge, Southend, Luton, London reviews
990509 Leicester, Leeds, Birmingham, Brighton, Salisbury reviews; NME fave songs bit
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
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

Old stuff: Nov 1997 - Dec 1998

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