Why does anyone like the Fall?

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This question might've been posed before, but there are too many threads to sort through so Im just aking it. They just sound like rubbish. Granted all I have is This Nation's Saving Grace and the Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall, but I just don't see it. I've heard nothing but wonderful things about them, but when I sit down to listen to them, all I hear is an unrehearsed band with a tone deaf lead singer, and absolutley no hooks. I'm not a bubblegum pop-purist by any means, but their appeal eludes me. Is there just something wrong with me?

Felcher (Felcher), Monday, 16 June 2003 20:44 (seventeen years ago) link

The entirety of the SLATES EP and HEX ENDUCTION HOUR (esp. THE CLASSICAL) is my reasoning.

But then, I tend to like things that sound like rubbish to most people.

doug (doug), Monday, 16 June 2003 20:48 (seventeen years ago) link

yes. you're a mess. so sort yourself out now!

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 16 June 2003 20:49 (seventeen years ago) link

Funny, those are the only two albums I have and I'm just waiting to earn some more money so I can expand my catalog. Oh and I was gonna go see them this Thursday but then I realized I couldn't afford it. Waiting on money.

No hooks? What about "Barmy" or "2x4?"

Famous Athlete, Monday, 16 June 2003 20:50 (seventeen years ago) link

and "The Classical" and "Industrial Estates"...

Will (will), Monday, 16 June 2003 20:53 (seventeen years ago) link

or cruiser's fuckin' creek for fuck's sake.

scott seward, Monday, 16 June 2003 20:56 (seventeen years ago) link

Felcher, it's about repitition. They like repitition in their music, and they're never going to lose it. President Carter likes repitition, do you?

Seriously though, perhaps name one or two bands that you do like?

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Monday, 16 June 2003 20:57 (seventeen years ago) link

yes, plz do that.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 16 June 2003 20:58 (seventeen years ago) link

I found my first Fall album, The Unutterable, to be quite simply priceless. Mark E Smifh has an irreplicable delivery. Of course he also puts out quite a bit of rubbish, but then who doesn't? If possible always listen before buying. Some of the riffs on I Am As Pure As Oranj are also fine indeed.

Millar (Millar), Monday, 16 June 2003 20:59 (seventeen years ago) link

There are plenty of catchy Fall songs.

The appeal of the Fall, broken down:

1) Heavy emphasis on rhythm and spoken word - sort of like a purely British of rap.

2) One of the best punk vocalists of all time.

3) Excellent lyrics, often brilliant packaging.

Matthew Perpetua (Matthew Perpetua), Monday, 16 June 2003 21:00 (seventeen years ago) link


Mike Taylor (mjt), Monday, 16 June 2003 21:02 (seventeen years ago) link

matthew perpetua has got it right on, especially with pt 3

there is no other band i can think of who have recorded several HUNDRED tracks i like, as opposed to a handful, a dozen or even a few albums worth. and still the lyrics can be endlessly original.

kieron, Monday, 16 June 2003 21:04 (seventeen years ago) link

Yo, Felcher - my 1st 2 Fall purchases were _This Nation's Saving Grace_ AND the 2-CD '84-'89 b-sides collection, both of which didn't do much of a damn thing for me. (I 1st heard about the Fall via Girls Against Boys name-dropping them 76 times (+/- 35) in various interviews.) The stuff that turned my head came from "back in the day" ('77-'83). If you don't have access to Soulseek or some other file-swapping utility, the most economical solution for you would be to seek out _Hip Priests & Kamerads_, which collects a slew of stuff from the Fall's early days. Listening to _TNSG_ in light of knowing where The Fall came from, the album sounds positively (WARNING HYPERBOLE WARNING) godlike. If you're feeling lucky & generous, then you might want to get EITHER _Totally Wired - The Rough Trade Anthology_ (2 CDs) or _Psykick Dance Hall_ (3 CDs). All 3 of the anthologies have some overlap (a hallmark of the Fall discography), so pick your poison accordingly - were I you, I'd proceed in the order I listed the albums.

Be warned - if you're looking for stodgy professionalism & precision in the Fall's method of madness, then backtracking to their earlier releases is not what you want to do. If fact, if you come around to liking / loving / wanting to spoon w/ the Fall, it's this very lack of precision & professionalism that you'll probably fall for 1st.

David R. (popshots75`), Monday, 16 June 2003 21:05 (seventeen years ago) link

I've got everything from Live At The Witch Trials through The Unutterable (though I'm probably gonna be getting rid of some stuff soon). I just think they're lots of fun.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 16 June 2003 21:08 (seventeen years ago) link

Wait, you have Stephen Song, Craigness, Disney's Dream Debased, Spoilt Victorian Child and Paintwork and you hear no hooks? I think you'd better just give up.

N. (nickdastoor), Monday, 16 June 2003 21:10 (seventeen years ago) link

I just like that he says "-ah" at the end of every line.

And the drummer goes whomp-a-whomp-a-whommmp-a.

I guess I'm easy to please.

(Subthread: Great songs about The Fall: "Mark E. Smith & Brix," Barbara Manning)

JesseFox (JesseFox), Monday, 16 June 2003 21:12 (seventeen years ago) link

Download "Rebellious Jukebox" from the Fall's first album. HUGE hook on that one...

Ben Boyer, Monday, 16 June 2003 21:31 (seventeen years ago) link

this is quickly becoming the tone of the thread, but i can't resist asking: if C.R.E.E.P. isn't catchy as all hell then what is~?1?!?

brains (cerybut), Monday, 16 June 2003 21:34 (seventeen years ago) link

I do really enjoy the Fall, and apparently in the same way as the people who've responded here: the flashes of wit, the repetition, the charming shamble of the band banging and jerking along all primitive while Smith sneers in the space over the top. You do sort of need to enjoy the broken-downness of it all, and maybe the laziness as well. And I'd say the real meat is in the way their hooks and bits of smoothness just clang out from inside all the steady beating so clearly and surprisingly: you get bonk bonk bonk bonk [big clear wide-open guitar riff hook!] bonk bonk bonk bonk.

What I'm more curious about is how the Fall have such serious devotees. Their formula seems to me to result in pretty wide stretches of less-than-necessary stuff, and it's static enough to leave me pretty confident that, say, a two-disc comp of highlights is more than any person could ever need of them. The dedication of their fans, on the other hand, makes me wonder: are there really little gems scattered all through the discography, enough little shifts of personality to make slogging through the whole thing worth it? The fact that people remember the names of their individual songs so readily would lead me to believe they must settle into very different places, but god, my limited Fall listening has not given me much indication that that's the case.

(Good way of testing this, I guess: start an "essential Fall" thread and see how lively and specific and Smiths-like the debate over what tracks count can get.)

nabisco (nabisco), Monday, 16 June 2003 21:38 (seventeen years ago) link

this thread makes me sad.

jess (dubplatestyle), Monday, 16 June 2003 21:40 (seventeen years ago) link

Why I like The Fall.

jess (dubplatestyle), Monday, 16 June 2003 21:46 (seventeen years ago) link

are there really little gems scattered all through the discography, enough little shifts of personality to make slogging through the whole thing worth it?

In a word, yes. Sometimes it is often necessary to immerse oneself in a prolific artist's work to fully understand it all. Mark E Smith has changed a lot over the past 30 years, and it shows in his work. The Fall certainly can reward those with a casual interest, but if you really want to appreciate the nuances and details, you can't just be a dilletant with a best-of cd.

(Jess's list is pretty cool, by the way)

If you start an "essential Fall" thread, you will find that a lot of people like a lot of different Fall songs, and it probably won't make getting through the huge discography any easier on you.

Matthew Perpetua (Matthew Perpetua), Monday, 16 June 2003 21:48 (seventeen years ago) link

i don't think the fall have really done a thing worth a good goddamn for the last 18 years, nitsuh, and i'm not really interested in picking over their scraps from those years to pick out a handful of classic songs. but they did enough in those first 8-9 years to justify their acclaim to me...that's like 10 albums/records right there, at least 6 or 7 of which are solid start to finish. which is a damn sight more than most bands ever release.

jess (dubplatestyle), Monday, 16 June 2003 21:53 (seventeen years ago) link

that's it jess! pistols at dawn!

James Blount (James Blount), Monday, 16 June 2003 21:58 (seventeen years ago) link

I'll second James. I refuse to let alleged fall-oid give up until after Code: Selfish. And even then I think they should get Light User Syndrome.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:09 (seventeen years ago) link

sorry, i have cassette copies of "extricate" (?...i might be getting this wrong) and "light user" (bought in an ohio goodwill!) and i cant remember the last time i felt the need to play them

and i swear this has nothing to do with them being cassettes

jess (dubplatestyle), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:11 (seventeen years ago) link

I cant remember the last time I felt the need to eat a slaw dog! doesn't mean I can live without em!

James Blount (James Blount), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:13 (seventeen years ago) link

B-b-b-but Spinetrak! SPINETRAK! SPINETRAK!

Extricate is pretty weak, I'll admit.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:14 (seventeen years ago) link

what about those hotdogs with the cheese inside em?

jess (dubplatestyle), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:15 (seventeen years ago) link

those are disgusting

James Blount (James Blount), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:18 (seventeen years ago) link

Jess, have you heard the Unutterable album? There's some great songs on that one, and there's a couple good ones on that last one with the words Missing Winner in the title.

Matthew Perpetua (Matthew Perpetua), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:19 (seventeen years ago) link

big ups to everyone big upping The Unutterable on this thread

James Blount (James Blount), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:19 (seventeen years ago) link

can someone compile all the best bits from the last 18 years?

gaz (gaz), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:20 (seventeen years ago) link

If Mark E. is a singer, then anyone could be vocalist, rock-star, anybody, if he/she really wants. Mark gives us hope.

Margus Kiis, estonian rock critic (Margus Kiis, estonian rock cri), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:24 (seventeen years ago) link

b-b-but, i don't want to be a singing rock-star

gaz (gaz), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:25 (seventeen years ago) link

totally coincidentally I'd made a "20th Century Fall" (Witch Trials through Unutterable) track listing for my website today. When I put it up there I'll put it up here too. I should be getting a CD burner soon so I can make copies if anyone wants one (it'd be a double CD).

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:26 (seventeen years ago) link

I really do think there are, as nabisco puts it, gems scattered throughout their discography, though the Slates/"Elastic Man"/"Totally Wired" period has the greatest concentration of them. But "Inch" from _Levitate_ is one of their three or four greatest moments ever as far as I'm concerned, and yesterday when I had my iPod on random "The Real Life of the Crying Marshall" from _The Unutterable_ reached over and whacked me upside the head (in a good way).

First Fall I ever heard was _The Wonderful and Frightening World..._, which did nothing for me at the time. _Palace of Swords Reversed_ was my conversion experience.

Douglas (Douglas), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:27 (seventeen years ago) link

Best-of comp I made for a friend about 4 years ago:

1. Prole Art Threat (1981)
2. How I Wrote “Elastic Man” (1979)
3. Totally Wired (1981)
4. Inch (1999)
5. Fortress/Deer Park (1982)
6. New Face In Hell (1980)
7. Free Ranger (1992)
8. Black Monk Theme, pt. 1 (1990)
9. Masquerade (1998)
10. U.S. ’80s-’90s (1986)
11. Kimble (1993)
12. Slang-King (1984)
13. Repetition (1977)
14. Hit The North (1988)
15. Leave The Capitol (1981)
16. Edinburgh Man (1991)
17. Put Away (1978)

I believe almost every band I've ever been in has covered a Fall song at some point, and sometimes it wasn't even my idea... I have vivid memories of playing "U.S. '80s-'90s," "Frightened" and "Fantastic Life."

Douglas (Douglas), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:32 (seventeen years ago) link

My first Fall record was the A-Sides collection, which is probably about as consistently "pop" as a Fall record is going to get. I highly recommend it as a starting place, even if it means you won't hear songs like "I Am Damo Suzuki" "Repetition" "How I Wrote Elastic Man" "Hip Priest" "New Face In Hell" "The Classical" "I'm Into CB!" or any of the songs from Slates right away.

Matthew Perpetua (Matthew Perpetua), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:34 (seventeen years ago) link

I burned myself out on the Fall during my big Fall obsession period, by indulging in too many live CDs. The Fall were the first band by whom I ever enjoyed hearing lots of live versions of the same songs - even, in some cases, preferred them to the album versions. I made it to "Extricate" and went "blah" around the same time I couldn't muster up the enthusiasm to hear another echoey version of "Totally Wired," or, indeed, any Fall at all (for awhile). But I've been waiting to catch my second wind, and sample '90s-and-beyond Fall. (As mentioned on another thread, I'm hoping seeing them for the first time this week may kick my ass in that direction.)

Sam J. (samjeff), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:35 (seventeen years ago) link

as far as albums go you really only need Bend Sinister, The Frenz Experiment, I Am Curious Oranj, Live At The Witch Trials, Dragnet, Hex Enduction Hour, Peverted By Language, The Wonderful and Frightening World Of The..., and 458489 B-Sides. It's simple, really.

scott seward, Monday, 16 June 2003 22:36 (seventeen years ago) link

and the other ones that i forgot.

scott seward, Monday, 16 June 2003 22:36 (seventeen years ago) link

I made the mistake of starting with the first album, which I thought was an odd and somewhat neat, but it didn't compel me to explore any further. It wasn't until several years, and an encounter with "Hex Enduction Hour," later... (I still think "Witch Trials" is not much fun to listen to; something about the way it's recorded...)

Sam J. (samjeff), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:40 (seventeen years ago) link

I made a Fall compilation for a friend, and though I can't remember the order of the songs, it went something like this:

The Classical
New Face In Hell
I'm Into CB!
I Am Damo Suzuki
New Face In Hell
Hip Priest
Couldn't Get Ahead
Dr. Buck's Letter
Living Too Late
Hit The North
Cruiser's Creek (live from Seminal Live lp)
Dktr Faustus
Clear Off!
Oh! Brother
Impression of J. Temperance
Prole Art Threat

Hopefully this, in addition to what Douglas and others are posting, will give you a nice long list of songs to download from your favorite p2p.

Matthew Perpetua (Matthew Perpetua), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:43 (seventeen years ago) link

the totally wired comp is actually quite a good introduction, even though it only covers the rough trade years

jess (dubplatestyle), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:46 (seventeen years ago) link


That's a Kinks song, Mike!

Anyway, I think the hype is a bit overblown, and they sound like absolute shit on pot, but they have their moments. Eh.

Farmer Al (King Kobra), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:50 (seventeen years ago) link

here's that "20th Century Fall" deal. It's pretty pop (though I didn't put "Victoria" on it, though for the double CD version - this is for a c90, I'd definitely make the cut.

1) “steppin out”
2) “rebellious jukebox”
3) “dice man”
4) “rowche rumble-live”
5) “pay your rates”
6) “fit and working again”
7) “totally wired”
8) “the classical”
9) “room to live”
10) “lie dream of the casino soul”
11) “i feel voxish”
12) “c.r.e.e.p.”
13) “rollin’ dany”

14) “couldn’t get ahead”
15) “living too late”
16) “frenz”
17) “wrong place, right time”
18) “dead beat descendant”
19) “black monk theme part I”
20) “free range”
21) “strychnine”
22) “hey student!”
23) “life just bounces”
24) “spinetrak”
25) “touch sensitive”
26) “hands up billy”

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 16 June 2003 22:52 (seventeen years ago) link

what they said = why i like the fall. though i have only heard everything they did up to perverted by language.

di smith (lucylurex), Monday, 16 June 2003 23:02 (seventeen years ago) link

Starting with Palace of Swords Reversed was a very good thing for me, I realize. Most recent Fall acquistions: the rerelease of Fall in a Hole and Listening In. Must get the solo spoken word thingy oh yes. Excuse me, my headache is still doing me in.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 16 June 2003 23:05 (seventeen years ago) link

Because they sound like absolute shit on pot.

Kris (aqueduct), Monday, 16 June 2003 23:33 (seventeen years ago) link

thx lbi

Yanni Xenakis (Hadrian VIII), Wednesday, 1 April 2020 13:00 (one year ago) link

That was unexpected... on many levels.

Voice as instrument, indeed.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 1 April 2020 13:17 (one year ago) link

april fools

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 1 April 2020 13:22 (one year ago) link

The unutterable truth:


Alba, Wednesday, 1 April 2020 13:54 (one year ago) link


Yanni Xenakis (Hadrian VIII), Wednesday, 1 April 2020 13:55 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

^Totale's Turns is my go-to/"pick-one-only" Fall album (and I'm on intimate terms with their entire catalogue through Extricate).

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Monday, 4 May 2020 16:08 (eleven months ago) link

Well that's different!

Angry Question Time Man's Flute Club Band (Tom D.), Monday, 4 May 2020 16:12 (eleven months ago) link

I mean, Hex and PBL are world-class, gold-standard albums... but I'm reaching for some Fall, Totale's is what I hit Play on.

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Monday, 4 May 2020 16:15 (eleven months ago) link

Post-Extricate Fall are clearly worth getting intimate with. Only fair-weather fall fans listen to the first 12 albums and ignore the final 19! ;)

Michael F Gill, Monday, 4 May 2020 18:28 (eleven months ago) link

I've bought a few over the years, but nothing's really Clicked (that's a clever album-title pun)... I fully admit I'm like the Star Wars fan who's only seen the big movies, etc.

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Monday, 4 May 2020 18:31 (eleven months ago) link

love star wars

i am a horse girl (map), Monday, 4 May 2020 18:42 (eleven months ago) link

Aren't all Star Wars films big movies?

Angry Question Time Man's Flute Club Band (Tom D.), Monday, 4 May 2020 18:48 (eleven months ago) link

I mean, hasn't read any of the books or watched the animated TV series, like next-level SW fans. If it's unfair to compare '90s/'00s Fall appreciation to that level of fan devotion, choose yr own analogy!

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Monday, 4 May 2020 18:52 (eleven months ago) link

Post-Extricate Fall has many, many great songs but I find their albums inconsistent. Even the mighty "Unutterable" falls down the last 4 or so tracks. But a cherry-picked 90s/00s/10s playlist will take your head off.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 4 May 2020 20:14 (eleven months ago) link

Aren't all Star Wars films big movies?

the fourth one didn't even get a theatrical release in the US tbf

Elon's musk (sic), Monday, 4 May 2020 20:45 (eleven months ago) link

Country on the Click is all killer nó filler imo

Saxophone Of Futility (Michael B), Monday, 4 May 2020 20:47 (eleven months ago) link


epicenter of the fieri universe (sleeve), Monday, 4 May 2020 22:14 (eleven months ago) link

Listened to The Unutterable again and yeah, there is a tail off towards the end. Also however, Octo Realm/ Ketamine Sun is even more strange than remembered, it's like some sort of bitter foodstuff which is also bad for you but is somehow completely addictive, Each of its three parts is terrible in it's own way, and also I love all of it and have probably listened to it more than any other post-80s Fall, what is wrong here?

Wuhan!! Got You All in Check (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 4 May 2020 22:35 (eleven months ago) link

I've had "this is a top quality Fall album" and "I can't stand this right now" moments with every Fall album, even Hex, Unutterable, Nations. Your Future Our Clutter was the last one that scoured new heights for me (not that they displaced the old heights). I'm surprised how things that struck me as clunkers at first (Re-Mit, Reformation Post TCL) sometime hit the spot perfectly.

Julius Caesar Memento Hoodie (bendy), Monday, 4 May 2020 22:37 (eleven months ago) link

I think it was the last album where for me he sounded like what everyone else said he sounded like to them.

Mark G, Monday, 4 May 2020 22:57 (eleven months ago) link

one month passes...

that is great

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 9 June 2020 12:40 (ten months ago) link

yeah excellent

Yanni Xenakis (Hadrian VIII), Tuesday, 9 June 2020 13:29 (ten months ago) link


This whole clip is classic but specifically skip to 3:15 for 2 minutes of Kay busting Tony Wilson down to his component pieces

chr1sb3singer, Tuesday, 9 June 2020 13:54 (ten months ago) link

Great article!

JRN, Tuesday, 9 June 2020 17:08 (ten months ago) link

Awww RIP. I'd found her on FB when MES died but never followed up... :(

weekly shopper helper (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 10 June 2020 09:50 (ten months ago) link

smdh at anyone who doesn’t think post-extricate fall as rich and strange as pre. that’s my hill and i’m dying on it.

anyway, friend sent me this lovely piece when Carroll died, of a reminiscence of hers when Smith died. (apologies if this has been posted elsewhere):

A repost of Kay's missive after MES' passing: "It's been a long couple of days now since the news of the shocking death of The Smith... my head forever spinning with triggers, travels, and lyrics. So much so that I have felt compelled to say something that would be both anecdotal and amusing, but not surprisingly, I struggled to find some stories that would encompass both of them at the same time. He was, to me, quite simply an enigma. I have thought of many stories over those seven or so years we spent together, as his friend, his lover, cohort, and manager of The Fall. Some very personal reminiscences, some totally Fall business and/or combinations of both, and although most of them started off as really interesting and amusing, they would however end up making me angry and pissed off. It is the nature of the beast I suppose. So for the prevention, I think, for my sanity, and his dignity, it feels appropriate to tell of the last meeting Mark and I had, and it’s the word Serendipity that springs to mind...

I was visiting England for three weeks in the summer of 2011. I’d been thinking of trying to make contact with him once I got to Manchester. I still had some unresolved issues with him that I wanted to address, but had been warned by more than a few people that he had become quite the recluse, and tended not to answer his calls; both phone and door. So I thought, ah well screw it,why bother? The day after I had arrived, I was showing my daughter and now ex- husband around Prestwich village. We had just come out of a thrift store near the Foresters. I turned around, and there at the bus stop, six feet away stood himself. My family went off in a different direction, so I walked over to him, and with that iconic plastic shopping bag in hand, I said "Hiya Mark." I think I kind of stunned him a little at first. It had been some time since we last met (New York 86). He said "I thought you were living in America." I said "I still am." “What you doing here then?" he said. "Oh I decided to come back and kill you." I said with a straight face, and held the comment there for a few seconds, then burst out laughing. He laughed too, but it was obvious to me, he still wasn't sure. Anyway we exchanged some pleasantries. He said he was off to Berlin in a couple of days but would be back in two weeks and to give him a ring, and we could meet up then. I asked, and he gave me his phone number as the bus was fast approaching. He got on it, shouting "Call!" and he was gone.

Two weeks later, my US family returned back to the States so I could spend the last week or so with my UK family and friends. Time to give Mark a call. Of course I got voice mail. I left a message and not surprisingly, no response. I did that another couple of times over the next 2 days and pondered to myself, “Maybe I really have come back to kill him.” Finally I decided to hell with it and moseyed over to his house in Sedgley Park and knocked on his door. There was a rustling of the blinds at the side of the bay window. I knocked again, but still nobody came to the door. I opened the letter box and shouted “I know you're in there ya daft sod! Open the bloody door!” His voice echoed back, and he came out with some crazy ramblings on why he couldn't open the door, and our conversation continued through the letterbox. So after a few more choice comments from me, I angrily retorted back through the letterbox "OK have a good life!! and walked away. Over the years, in retrospect, I have found myself laughing out loud every time I think of our letterbox meeting. Anyway, that day, a little pissed off, I just shook it off, got on the bus and went back to the village. I thought I would drop by The Foresters to see if any old friends were in there. I had just stepped inside the lounge, through the back door, when my cell phone went off. It was Mark. "Sorry about that. Wanna meet at the Woodthorpe on Friday?” So we did.

It was a beautiful summer evening, and there he was, sat outside on the patio of the Woodthorpe. Pint in hand, as though he had been waiting there for years. Nothing seemed to have changed.We looked at each other. He stood up. We smiled and hugged. He offered to buy me a drink, but I wasn't sure how he would react after I told him I had been in sobriety since 2006, (still am). As per usual, Mark surprised me. He didn't say a word. No put downs. No smart arsed comments. Nothing. He just offered to buy me a non alcoholic drink and a few more after that, and those momentary thoughts, previously of killing him, just drifted away.

We talked about his dad, especially knowing this pub was his dads local, and who had since passed away. If you knew Mark, you knew his dad, the apple didn't fall far from the tree. I asked, and we talked about his mum and his sisters who he loved a lot, and of course the freakin music biz, which was spoken by us both, with its usual passion and chagrin. He seemed even more disillusioned than ever. Obviously due to the arrival of the internet, with its downloads, copyright infringements, and such. We spoke of and reminded ourselves, with lots of laughter of "what happened to…” conversations, and of all of those characters, both friends and foes, who had drifted in and out of our lives all those years ago.We also spoke of the ones who were with him now, and his plans, and ideas and of course those sardonic perceptions of his. It felt like time had just stood still for me. I got my issues resolved, and I flashed back to remembering the love, the magic, and intensity of just being together. Before I left, I thanked him for getting me involved, as well as other things including becoming the manager of The Fall, even though I knew he had some ulterior motives.We laughed at the way in which he had finally coerced me into the “job” by saying "You can be like, Faye Dunaway in Network.” Mmmm, I think I got close, but I think I was a little more sensitive, and had softer edges than Diana Christensen.

There were no regrets from each of us, and we told each other. So, I called a cab, and told him I wouldn't have missed it for the world, and how amazing things seem to have worked out. "Great seeing you Kay" he said. "Same here, Mark.” I offered him a ride when the cab arrived, but he said "No, I like to walk". It was the last thing he said to me and then we laughed again. One final hug and kiss. The exorcism was over.

He was supposed to come to New York with The Fall this February. My friend Katy, who rescued me back in Boston when I walked away from the band in 83, had tickets lined up for us, and I was going to fly out,but it got cancelled due to his poor health.

You were a complex character my friend. Unwavering, a brilliant writer of prose and poetry. A visionary. You perceived things that not many people could see, let alone wanted to see.You were at times so funny and loving, and yet could be so infuriating, hard arsed, and yes cruel, but you also knew how to turn on the charm and reset the bar, and it changed people, and for me, it was for the better. There was nobody quite like you MES. A true Northern soul, and I felt this world change when you left on the 24th. The old paradigm just shattered into a thousand pieces. Poof! Gone! So now it’s time to create a new one, and I know you would want that, in whatever form it came in. In fact you would insist upon it. So my old friend, farewell. You gave it everything you had babe, and more. And for myself I thank you for all those wake up calls, and to also listening to mine too.
With love and kick ass always your friend K xxx"

Fizzles, Saturday, 20 June 2020 13:18 (nine months ago) link


below the mendoza (rip van wanko), Saturday, 20 June 2020 13:31 (nine months ago) link

I read it at the time but not since and it was great to read it again, thanks ;_;

gnarled and turbid sinuses (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 20 June 2020 13:57 (nine months ago) link

seven months pass...


Three years today already.

John Wesley Glasscock (Hadrian VIII), Sunday, 24 January 2021 17:13 (two months ago) link

the pace had slowed enough twd the end that's it's really only this past year I'm feeling the absence of a new record

John Wesley Glasscock (Hadrian VIII), Sunday, 24 January 2021 17:14 (two months ago) link

Oh shit, that write-up is from John Dwyer from Osees. That is, indeed, righteous.

righteousmaelstrom, Sunday, 24 January 2021 19:33 (two months ago) link

yeah that sound is great comnpared to recent spate of "official" live stuff

John Wesley Glasscock (Hadrian VIII), Sunday, 24 January 2021 19:56 (two months ago) link

lol already sold out in preorder, guess I'll wait for the CD

thanks for the heads up!

Überschadenfreude (sleeve), Sunday, 24 January 2021 20:05 (two months ago) link

Damn, I didn't catch that, I was debating ordering it tonight.

Joe Biden Stan Account (milo z), Sunday, 24 January 2021 22:26 (two months ago) link

Midheaven has it.

by the light of the burning Citroën, Sunday, 24 January 2021 22:40 (two months ago) link

There will be a CD? There usually aren’t with these kind of things. Or even a paid download.

covidsbundlertanze op. 6 (Jon not Jon), Sunday, 24 January 2021 22:50 (two months ago) link

Yeah, I wouldn’t count on a CD release, though I will happily take one! Stuff like this from Castle Face has lately been fairly exclusive to small vinyl runs. Here’s hoping we get another shot though!

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Sunday, 24 January 2021 22:54 (two months ago) link

This is great fun, would love a pint with Grant Showbiz:


Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 28 January 2021 03:21 (two months ago) link

Thanks for posting that — fun to see a couple of old Fall Forum characters in it, and yes, Showbiz's enthusiasm and bafflement are infectious.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Friday, 29 January 2021 17:22 (two months ago) link

Are those guys from the Fall forum? There was a sense of... disdain from one of them.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 29 January 2021 18:02 (two months ago) link

Here's the whole St Helens show


Gotta say, sounds like they didn't take enough speed, they're a little slow. Quality is great but I think I prefer Fall in a Hole and Part of American Therein. Still cool I guess but not worth 30 bucks for me

a (waterface), Friday, 29 January 2021 18:48 (two months ago) link

watching that documentary now. Grant Showbiz did just make a factual error though, he said the Fall played on the main stage at Reading festival after sacking their drummer after a fight with MES. They weren't on the main stage, they were in the tent. (I was there but I didn't trust my recollection so I checked)

CP Radio Gorgeous (Colonel Poo), Friday, 29 January 2021 19:33 (two months ago) link

he did say that though didn't he?...he says second stage.

John Wesley Glasscock (Hadrian VIII), Saturday, 30 January 2021 00:54 (two months ago) link

the setlist from what appears to be this show in that documentary is great

Two Librans / Cyber Insekt / And Therein / Bourgeois Town / Ben's > F-'Oldin' Money > Kick the Can / Mr. Pharmacist / Way Round / I Am Damo Suzuki / Enigrammatic Dream / The Joke / Ketamine Sun / Antidotes / Dr. Buck's Letter / I Wake up in the City (instr.)

John Wesley Glasscock (Hadrian VIII), Saturday, 30 January 2021 01:01 (two months ago) link

two months pass...

Hanley brothers podcast coming soon!!!

cwkiii, Saturday, 3 April 2021 19:53 (one week ago) link

Very cool... Paul's book on Hex was excellent.

visiting, Saturday, 3 April 2021 20:11 (one week ago) link

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