Fall News - 30 September 1999

The Fall play London Dingwalls on 20 October. There'll probably be a Manchester date around this date.


TBLY # 17 is out

The usual excellent job. 60 pp, incl interview with flux magazine, 77/79/80 press reviews, Part 1 of the Illustrated History of The Fall cartoon, The Nightingales, Blue Orchids, a great personal review of Bircotes Leisure Centre (2/11/79) aka Totales Turns side 1, Edinburgh/Reading/Leeds reviews.

Subs: UK 7 GBP, Europe/Eire GBP 8.50, USA $15 (bills only). Subs covers 4 TBLYs plus regular newsletters on behalf of MES. Subs will go up from issue 18, all monies payable to Rob Waite. [NB, not many extra issues are printed - 17 is sold out]

Also, merchandise:

2 designs of lapel badge, GBP 1 each

New design Fall t-shirt (L & XL): GBP 10 (the design is from frame 1 of the cartoon history)

Live audio tapes (sold with MES' consent):
London Astoria 2 (12 Aug 1998) GBP 3
Edinburgh Cas Rock (9 Aug 1997) GBP 3
Glasgow Plaza 1981 (GBP 3)

US orders multiply prices by something sensible to get $ price (about 1.6) P&P: t-shirt GBP 1, badges post free with another order otherwise enclose stamped self-addressed envelope, cassettes 1: 31p, 2: 49p, 3: 60p.

All proceeds split between The Fall and the Info-Service funds.

Orders to:

29 Leverton Road
DN22 6QF


16 sept Vera Groningen

From Eddy de Boer:

The concert in Groningen started (as usual) with an a accoustic introduction from the band. Shortly after MES appeared and all of a sudden THE FALL was present. He started singing immediately, I believe it was "(Jung nev's) antidote". I don't know the order of play but the gig contained "f-'oldin' money", "bound", "this perfect day" "antidotes" and "mad.men-eng.oog" for sure. It appeared that MES was drunk and was irritated by the guitarist, from whom he pulled out the plugs so that the little fellow wasn't able to play. He threw a suitcase behind the stage. After the first song he took the microphone of the guitarist, but it was wrapped around the stative and when it didn't came off quickly enough he got more irritated. Still the sound was very nice, the songs beautiful. After apr. 1/2 an hour MES he took off leaving the band, who also left. Shortly the band came back, followed by MES (take or leave a minute afterwards). They played 'Big New Prinz' and MES gave me me the mike for singing. I knew the line ofcourse, but choked. Thankfully he was too drunk too remember. After completed the song he left again, but the audience made it clear with banging and loud yelling that they were pleased with what they had seen. The band came back, followed again by MES. This repeated a couple of times. MES instructed then to the rest of the band to leave the stage, not to return. In a whole it took 1 hour. Later I heard it was the longest concert so far in this tour. Although a bit short, I really liked the concert. The band played well, they looked into it as it were, and MES, when wasn't concerned about other things, convinced the audience that he has written some bleedin' good material. It was the first time that I saw the Fall, and for a moment I thought it would be the last..MES looked almost 72 i.o. 42. Don't be mistaken, I was impressed nevertheless, it's the best I've ever seen, beats any other concert.

17 sept O13 Tilburg

Dirk Willems:

Anyway a couple of beers later band took stage.
Sound was horrible.(only nev's guitar could be heard).
Mark didn't look too good, indeed he looked like he woke up some minutes
before, still complete drunk/sleep drunk.
He started to mess around immediately with mics, amps,...
Very small stage, this pissed him off a bit.
Messed around with the keyboard.
Went to rightside of stage, staggered into a monitor and fell over it, like
you thought he would be in a coma, taking down julia's keyboard in the
As by wonder he crawled up and continued. mic cable strangled around
keyboard stand, threw stand away.
Keyboard now on floor (but still working - Julia coped well there to play
here keyboard parts whilst sitting on ground.)
Throughout the set there were only 2 walkouts (for seconds).
To get a cigarette.
To get his jacket (???, this was a bit strange as it was 40°C inside
packed, but small, venue (approx200-250)).
One of the best moments was when Mark was completely horinzontal at left
side of stage laying on ground with his head against nev's amp.(This was
probably his weakest moment throughout the set.)
Yet again, his mic cable was wrapped round keyboard cable, (3/4 into set),
and he than cut off power of keyboard and Julia concentrated on
guitar(especially her contribution to joke was amazingly good)
The gig was complete chaos.
It was exactly the kind of show I expected after the terror of the last two
Only this perfect day and a fantastic version of kill your sons were worth

10 houses of eve
touch sensitive
this perfect day
he pep
kill yous sons
shake off
mad men
the joke
folding money
on my own

ol gang

18 sept V.K. Brussel


The gig had just started when we arrived. I could hear a decent version of
He pep, but decided to take a beer at bar first.
Went inside.


Massive sound, really unbelievable.
I couldn't believe this was the same band as last night.
This was overwhelming.
mark e smith being in great form.
Constant in front of stage pointing his finger to stress his words.
No messing around, no walkoffs, ...
The public being into it as well.
2 real encores.
Nev starting to play new big prinz, but only adam followed.
Came back after 7 minutes, when lights had gone on yet to do on my own
(which was a bit of a disppointment as most people wanted to hear a
complete new big prinz).
Nevertheless, still there's hope.
The band sounded a lot like on 'live at the witch trials' or the early
'punk'-sound, of course with a nineties edge.

After the terror and horror of the last two years, confirmed by yesterday's
show(tilburg), this was a complete

setlist :

he pep
this perfect day
kill your sons
and therin
touch sensitive
shake off
the joke
10 houses
folding money
old gang(great)
touch sensitive
on my own

19 sept L.V.C. Leiden


Review below appeared in the local paper yesterday. Headline reads: "Washed up Boozer wrecks The Fall"


Ze geven een bande een naam maar kunnen er net zo goed hun eigen initialen aan verbinden. Mike Scott is the Waterboys, Karl Wallinger World Party en onbetwist beland je met Mark E. Smith bij The Fall. Knorrepot en brombeer eerste klas. Wisselt zijn bandline-up net zo snel als zijn schone onderbroek. Inmiddels aan zijn 27ste bezetting bezig. De berichten van het optreden van The Fall tijdens het Reading-festival waren in augustus niet erg hoopgevend. Mark had weer eens problemen met de drank en lag flink overhoop met een bandlid. Na zeven dagen touren in de lage landen was het niet alleen wachten op wat Smith ging spelen uit zijn omvangrijke oeuvre maar vooral hoe. Het beginmuziekje van The Fall wordt net ingezet als de man van het podiumgeluid al komt buurten. Breed gebarend en een luid toegeknepen "Louder" is zijn duidelijke geïrriteerde boodschap. Julia Nagle opent met een keyboardloopje en daar is Mister Booz himself, Mark E. Smith. Zijn gezicht ziet er pijnlijk verlopen uit en hij doet zijn naam "Grumpiest man in pop"onmiddellijk alle eer aan door dezelfde geluidsman met een "Fuck off" weg te sturen. Smiths staccato, declamerende teksten zijn vaak al moeilijk te ontcijferen tijdens de concerten, maar zondagavond lalde de frontman zijn teksten als een verlopen kroegtijger. Tijdens "Touch Sensitive" en "Anecdotes", beiden van de nieuwe CD "The Marshall Suite" komt Smith er nog net mee weg, maar daarna is het gedaan met hem en gooit hij de handdoek in de ring. Jammer, want de stuwende basissound van drummer Head en bassist Helal zijn onbetwist sterk refererend aan de oude New Wave-geluiden van The Sound en het baslijnwerk van "17 seconds" van The Cure. Een lekkere trip terug naar het begin van de eighties en met een geïnspireerde Smith had het wonderlijk genoeg makkelijk de andere kant op kunnen gaan. De desinteresse van Mark E. Smith straalt van zijn gezicht af en de Manchesterman klooit door met licht en drumstel. Vriendin Nagle is hem zo zat dat ze voortijdig het podium verlaat, waarna Smith met zijn verlopen kop geïrriteerd de keyboards omgooit. Na veertig minuten maakt Smith een welbekend gebaar en verdwijnt hij backstage. Wonderlijk genoeg blijft het publiek stoïcijns onder het vroege vertrek. The Fall bevestigt het beeld dat Engelse bands vaak problemen geven. Gebrek aan professionaliteit, verregaande arrogantie en gewoon keiharde minachting voor het publiek. De cult-wereld van The Fall mag wonderlijk zijn maar Smith was gisteravond zonder meer een karikatuur van zichzelf. Oftewel: afserveren met een enkele reis Manchester. (Hans Keijzers)

Translation courtesy of Andres Shires (well a mate of his)

They give the band a name, but might as well add their own initials to it. Mike Scott is the Waterboys, Karl Wallinger is World Party and without a doubt Mark E. Smith is the Fall. A complainer and a grouch of the first class. Changes his band line-up as often as his underwear At the moment on his 27th configuration. The reports of the performance of the Fall during the Reading festival in august were not encouraging. Mark had, once again, a problem with booze, and was falling out with a band member. After seven days touring in the low lands it was not just about waiting to see what Smith was going to play from his considerable repetoir, but also how he was going to play it. The first song of the set was started just as the soundman came to perform a final check. Making wide arm gestures and miming out the word "louder" is his obvious iritated message. Julia Nagle opens with a keyboard run and there is Mister (pun on the fact that the Dutch for angry - boos - sounds like booze) himself, Mark E. Smith. His face looks painfully wasted and he pays homage to his tag - "grumpiest man in pop" by sending away the soundman with a "Fuck off". Smiths staccato, declamational texts are often difficult to understand during the concerts, but on Sunday evening the frontman bawled out his lyrics like a wasted barfly. During "touch sensitive" and "anecdotes", both off the new CD "The Marshall Suite", Smith manages to get away with it, but after that it is done for him, and he throws his towel into the ring. A shame, because the forceful rythm sound of drummer Head and bassist Helal are clearly a strong reference to old New Wave sounds of the Sound and the bassline from "17 seconds" by the Cure. A nice trip back to the start of the eighties and with an inspired Smith it could have so easily have swung the other way to something special. The disinterrest of Mark E. Smith radiated from his face and the Mancunian fumbled through with light and drums. Girlfriend Nagle was so fed up that she left the stage early, after which Smith, in a drunken mood, knocked the keyboards over. After fourty minutes Smith made a well-known gesture and disappeared backstage. Amazingly enough the audience remained stoic in the face of the early departure. The Fall confirms the image that English bands often cause problems. A lack of professionality, extraordinary arrogance and a solid disdain for the audience and fans. The cult-world of the Fall may well be amazing, but yesterday evening Smith was a mere caracature of himself. In summary: get rid of him by handing him a single ticket to Manchester. (Hans Keijzers)


Eddy de Boer again:

The gig in Leiden was a bit worse. The band started first with a couple accoustic songs, waiting for their leading man. When he finally appeared it was sure that the had 'lost' their guitarist. Maybe they had a little dispute before the start. They tried to perform 'Perfect Day', but MES didn't like the mikes and complained to the sound engineers, (during the song, still trying to sing) who almost got a heart attack of the tension. During the first song he also requested to the sound-engineer to excuse himself ('fuck/piss off', 'go away-er') from the stage. Since there was no guitarist Julia took over that part. After the first song they played 'Shake Off'. MES looked even more drunk then in Groningen. But when he's singing, who cares. In the song 'Bound' he completely improvised his own lyric, and said something that this was the final of the Dutch tour, that he hasn't been here for 10 years, etc, etc. In that song he took the mike and walked quietly off-stage, giving it a macabre kind of atmosphere, very nice. Then he took off. To come back again. As he was drunk, he bounced into Julia, had troubles with the wires etc. As he suddenly dissapeared, the band didn't know what to do, even for them it was too sudden (after 3 songs I believe), so they improvised a little bit. He came back after apr. 5 minutes or so. At a certain point he pushed the keyboard so it fell on the floor. Julia pushed him and left the stage. She had clearly too much of this behaviour. The Fall played on. It even sounded nice, with only the base, drums and singer. They were playing "Anecdotes" I believe, when all of a sudden , in the middle of the song, MES took off. Julia returned a couple of minutes, recieving a big hand from the crowd, who were not satisfied with the performance of MES ('Piss off', MES: 'Piss off? You piss off too') and they tried again as MES came back too. He came back (at the back of the stage), signaling to the drummer that the whole band had to leave the stage. So they did, and that was the end of the Dutch tour. The concert took nearly half an hour.


Bruce T:

from Willamette Week 'Portland News And Culture' volume 25, issue 46 September 15,1999

One morning in April 1998 found Fall frontman Mark E Smith stewing in a New York jail after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. Just the night before his entire band had quit onstage. Now, little more than a year later, brand-new lineup has released the best Fall album in a decade. Starting with two guitar-heavy sing-alongs, Smith divides his talent between ballads, sound collage and the expected noisy bombast, often fitted with over-the-top synth drums. The Fall's incessant output of recordings and high import-only prices have made buying every release (and rerelease) an endeavor left to the truly dedicated, but this record - along with last year's Levitate and Smith's solo album, Post Nearly Man - is really worthwhile and adds needed cohesion to the Fall's willingness to experiment. The Fall has perfected an ambitious synthesis of garage rock, synth programming and increased studi production in a record that should provide die-hards with a kick in the ass and newcomers with an excitingly swallowable entry point into Smith's wonderful and frightening world. Jay Sanders


Paul Saxton:


Steve Katz


Some people have all the money, some have all the luck, and some have all the brains, and those who have all three have luck, money and brains. I can't say it matters to me now because I'm too old, but for some people every door opens on wealth, fame or power and every road bends toward success. It's a good thing there is a different type of person too because I'm one of them, and that's a comfort. I can't say that I've had nothing, because I've had a bit; that is, I've lived this long and I've rarely been hungry, though I've been scared. The best thing to do is to keep moving, which I do, because then I don't have to pay rent, not that I mind paying rent if I like the place I'm at. I just don't like to pay it to Plastic Man, but that's the other end or the story, and we'll cross over to it when we've picked around a while on this end. I'm a prospector, you see, and that keeps me moving. I look for just about anything and sometimes I have a little bit of luck. That's not always so lucky, as you'll find out, as I found out too late in the game. At first it was just my "love of the great outdoors" and who cared if I found nothing or not? I was young. I could look time in the face and tell him to brush his teeth. I'd do it on foot, or take a horse and a couple of mules, stuff the packsaddles and go. I could stay as long as I had grub, and then some. That living went on for a while at a great rate, but whatever a guy is doing, there always comes a time when he figures if he's putting so much in he ought to be getting something out. That was when I first began to see the sign on the desert. I was crossing this wide, arid valley, nothing growing but sage and tumbleweed, bronco grass, crested wheat, chaparral, rab bit brush, mahoganies on the mountains, willows in the canyons and chokecherry by the springs. Suddenly a whole mountain sat in front of me that looked heavy with minerals, sparkly outcroppings on it, and a slide the color of doeskin. The sight of it yanked at my feet and told them to step up. Then I saw the old sign nailed to a wooden stake. It was quite faded, and looked insignificant, so I didn't pay any attention to it though I noticed it said: ALL THIS BELONGS TO PLASTIC MAN. I thought that was amusing, probably put there by someone with a sense of humor, who read comic books. I pushed on into the hills and stooped at a spring to fill my water bags and water my horse and my mule. When I cleared the gravel off an old piece of tin that lay there in the spring I noticed there was some printing on it, almost rusted out. ALL THIS BELONGS TO PLASTIC MAN, it said. The thought "perhaps this is a remnant of the ridiculous lost city of Ult" crossed my mind, while the thought "This isn't a Shoshone landmark" crossed it from the other direction, leaving me without a thought. Nobody owned that country, because nobody could need to own it, it was so barren and so big. Hardly a road crossed it. Well, I crossed the ridge and prospected for a few days and was surprised to find, though I ranged pretty wide, that same sign poking up here and there. I just went on with my prospecting. What I finally found was some outcroppings veined with high-grade cinnabar. I picked out some samples, staked three claims, and figured on heading for the assayer's and the land office in a couple of days. I'd take the samples and my map, get over the red tape, and come back as fast as I could. The morning I was to leave I took an early walk around my claims and noticed a fresh sign tacked up on each of the stakes. ALL THIS BELONGS TO PLASTIC MAN. Someone had come in the night, without my knowing it and had slapped up the signs. From where did they come? What did they mean by PLASTIC MAN? I decided to solve that mystery when I got back.

"Did you ever hear about Plastic Man?" I asked at the land office. They looked at me as if I'd eaten locoweed.

"Did you ever see the signs he put up all over the desert out there?"

"Never been out there," said the land office man, and he looked for something in his drawer.

I registered the claims and took a couple of days to get rigged with powder, hand steels, fuse and grub and then I started back. I didn't expect I'd be leaving till the first signs of snow. It felt good when I saw again where I was going, like a home, except there was something peculiar about it, a kind of dull glitter from the distance, like a film of mucous over my claims. About a mile away my horse got jumpy and so did I, but not the mules, so we kept going. It seemed impossible. All three of my claims, from edge to edge, every rock, every bit of sage brush was covered with a film of clear plastic so slick and hard even the mules couldn't get a footing on it. The big sign in the middle said, ALL THIS BELONGS TO PLASTIC MAN. Well, I thought, let's see. I figured I'd drill a hole to blast the plastic out of there, but my hand steel wouldn't even scratch the surface. I put five sticks of powder on the surface with a two-minute fuse and took shelter down the hill. I still don't know what happened to the grub, my horse, the rest of my outfit, or to the plastic. I never woke up till I don't know when and after I did I wasn't anywhere I knew about. It was brand new, whatever it was, and it smelled like a room, and was slick and slippery wherever you touched it, and I was inside. Pretty soon a piece of it pulled open like a door and a man in a gummy suit told me that I had to get ready to meet Plastic Man. He was in a bigger one of those chambers with softer walls and everything there had the special glitter my claims had before I lost them. Plastic Man was bent over like a U bolt stuck in the ground. "Why is he bent over like that?" I asked a man in a gummy suit. "Plastic Man can't straighten up," he said. I sized up that situation and then asked for an iron, a heating pad, or anything hot. While he went to get it I rolled up my sleeves. Plastic Man didn't seem to be in pain. He winked at me between his legs like the son of a bitch that he was. "You see what happens when you're made of plastic," he said. They brought me a kind of heated rolling pin, and I began immediately to roll it over his back. Pretty soon he straightened out just like a bean sprout, and he wrapped each of his arms around me three times as if he couldn't have straightened out himself if he had wanted to. He apologized for what he had done to my claims but told me I should have read the signs. I told him I did read the signs, but that I didn't believe in Plastic Man, so I paid them no mind. He laughed at that and asked if I believed in Plastic Man now. I laughed at that. We chatted for a while over fancy sardine sandwiches and lemonade and then he could see I was getting ready to mosey on. "Here you are, have a glittering trinket for your glove compartment," he said, handing me a glittering trinket. "There is no glove compartment on my mule," I answered. "Well, keep it for an hour, then give it to your kids." He shook my hand.

"Why don't you," he said, just before I moseyed along, "go in with me fifty-fifty on developing that property. Fifty- fifty."

"Thanks, Stretch," I said. "But no thanks." And maybe that was my big mistake, but I didn't want to have any thing, nothing, to do with Plastic Man. "I'll just be on my way. I'll mosey along." Now, he didn't try to stop me from moseying, but since then things have never been the same. I keep moving, but everywhere I go, far or wide, there's a sign that says, ALL THIS BELONGS TO PLASTIC MAN. Every little prospect I try to develop never works out any more. He doesn't cover my claims with plastic like he used to, but this is what happens. Usually when I'm ready to put in my first round I suddenly feel his long arm wrap around me- gently-and I'm back having some fancy sandwiches and a Pepsi and the same conversation with Plastic Man. I don't know if he'll ever give up, but it's nothing doing for me. I'm not one of those. So I keep moving because I don't want to pay the rent to Plastic Man, and though it can't possibly ever come out right, I hope to edge out of it some day.

Recent news.... logo-a-go-go

990920 most of the Dutch tour reviews, MES interview
990912 Reading, Leeds reviews
990830 Manchester, Edinburgh reviews
990820 nothing special
990807 few old reviews, F-'oldin' Money cover
990726 Glow Boys reviews
990720 Dutch, Belgium tour dates
990711 TBLY #16 details
990704 bits & pieces
990624 Meltdown reviews, Calvin Klein rubbish
990613 not much
990606 NME Forum review
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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