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The Biggest Library Yet 13

  • 'The band as a fighting unit' - Rob Waite
  • John the Postman, from The Wire
  • Daily Express concert of the week, 11 August 98
  • Fall Shopping Mall - Rick Richardson
  • Results of The Biggest Library Yet survey
  • TBLY post
  • Fantasy Fall - Kevin Palmer (Ark + Fall reviews)
  • R Jones takes a trip - Fall at LA2
  • Sketty - new band
  • 'Pink proles and psychological purple', German article from July 1981
  • Visitation of Narcissist Poet - Ken Sproat
  • Fall Lyrics Parade/ Room to Live / Live CDs - all tackled by Matt Bryden
  • Ol' (Style) Gang - Ian Cusack
  • Arts Diary - Guardian 22 August 98
  • Goat News - issue two
  • Top 5 Hanley basslines
  • 'Eating Apple Crumble Whilst Listening to Rowche Rumble'by the Ambitious Merchants
  • Grant Showbiz's 'Falling through time' history of The Fall radio show
  • Competition
  • 'He got drunk and beat up his band. Now he has a new one' by Sam Taylor in the Observer, 16 August 98
  • Fall Groop influenced by Twilight Zone
  • TBLY / Fall fan club, grand fund raiding draw
  • Damp Records the Past section: 1980 Grotesque review, Sounds
  • Debris #5 - postal interview with MES by Dave Haslam
  • City Fun fanzine #7, 1979 review of Live at the Witch Trials
  • Fall live at the legendary Retford Porterhouse, 1979
  • Gig flyer, Leeds University 1982
  • Fall live in Manchester, 1977

    Published: October 1998, 40pp, A5 SOLD OUT
Cover TBLY13

'The band as a fighting unit' - editorial

There's never any room for complacency when keeping track of all the peaks and swoops taken as par for the course with The Fall, but for the time at least, after a turbulent few months, the band as a fighting unit are FIT AND WORKING AGAIN with many positive pointers for the future coming to the fore. The recent excellent gig at the Astoria 2 in London, prompted a lot of correspondence, some borne out of relief that The Fall are once again 'Mighty', and others celebrating the fact that their faith in MES coming up with the goods all along, was justified by the latest upswing in optimism amongst followers of the band. The recent spoken word CD scored a "Mighty" two out of ten in an NME review, guess they won't be offering Mark any awards this year then! Of course this is the same NME that claim the music business is in crisis, based simply on the fact that its own sales are plummeting, and rather than living up to its 'New Musical' tag, concentrates on the same old tried and tested regurgitated formats i,e. Oasis, Verve, OCS, Manics & so on, (not that I'm saying that any of these bands aren't actually any good at what they choose to do), when there are hundreds of other bands being suffocated under all the coverage these 'retro rock' type acts are getting. Of course, I'm a hypocrite, because I advertise in the NME, but they have a far bigger circulation than us, and selling fanzines goes towards financing the Fall Into-Service, so this is a necessary evil at present. Although I'm reliably informed by a disgruntled former NME employee, that if current trends continue this will not be the case by the year 2000 anyway, when he predicts TBLY will be shifting more units than them! By way of a massive coincidence in relation to the last sentence (maybe!), the NME has even stopped printing one of its final saving graces Great Pop Things... some Fall related examples of this excellent cartoon strip are included elsewhere in this issue. Despite NME claims that the cartoonists were fired, the BLY propaganda dept. has a sworn statement by Colin B. Morton that he actually retired by way of a protest at David Bowie reincarnating his Ziggy Stardust character, now would he lie to us dear friends?!

I feel compelled to put down a few words in defence of Julia Nagle in light of a few letters received at TBLY which weren't entirely complimentary. Her input of late justifies her position in the band, regardless of who she is 'romantically' involved with. What she lacks in not being a totally accomplished musician, she more than makes up for in other ways. Those keyboard/ computer arrangements which enhance 'The Post Nearly Man' being a case in point, and who could dispute her 'Ten Houses' intro, which was commonplace at live gigs not so long ago, is far superior to the version which ended up on the 'Levitate' album. Some of this misdirected anger seems to stem from members of Ark (R.I.P) leaving The Fall, surely she had more reason to want out than any of them. And she certainly didn't replace Steve Hanley, Julia was already in the band, and though she'll have a go at most roles, she's never dabbled with the bass guitar. So to the handful of people who Just aren't happy unless they're singling out somebody for abuse, please look beyond the time-honoured easy option of 'let's blame it all on the woman!'

Welcome aboard Thomas Patrick Murphy, who has replaced Kate on drums since she decided her loyalties were with Polythene (line-up alteration no. 187, and I challenge anyone to disprove this). Thomas is a star in his own right, but won't thank us for telling you all, he also appears as an extra in Coronation Street.

Rob Waite

Don't miss: Concert of the week
Article from The Express, 7 August 1998 (sent to TBLY by Gary Long)

Don't miss: Concert of the week - THE FALL (Manchester University - August 11th 1998) quite simply, the finest band that ever there was. First though, a story. Once upon a time, when the world was a much younger place, I saw The Fall play a gig in central London. Out trooped the motley crew, watched over by Mark E Smith, much in the same way as a mother duck watches her puppies out on the pond. The band picked up their instruments, except for the keyboard player, who didn't because she wasn't there. "The keyboard player won't he with us tonight," said Mark."But he," he said pointing at hapless bassist Marc Riley, "will sing the keyboard parts."

Who can say wether Smith was gagging, but Riley wasn't taking any chances and duly spent the rest of the night plucking his bass and la-la-ing keyboard riffs.

There isn't another band like The Fall. Never has been, and most probably, never will be. Quintessentially English, Mark E Smith is a tradition. A Grade 1 listed building. But no one said that being a one-off would be easy. This year hasn't been easy for Smith. Nicked in New York for assaulting keyboard player/ girlfriend Julia Nagle, on stage fights with the band who ran off complaining that Smith was a crazy megalomaniac (so what did they expect?) and a spell in counselling for alcoholism. But forget all that. This is now and after 20-odd years The Fall are as strong as ever. This gig is the first with the new band and, with new material in the bag, Smith is said to be cooking with high octane gas. True northern soul.

For those who can't wait for a new Fall album (due early next year), Smith's got s spoken word album, Thought Transference Complete [sic], out on August 31st.

Jeremy Novick

"You never see a nipple in the Daily Express" JCC


The replies to the survey which was enclosed with
#12 of TBLY have been analyzed. I would like to start by thanking everyone who took the trouble to complete the survey. Each reply was of value and hopefully the collated results will be of interest to all TBLY readers.

Fan Profile

The typical Fall fan is male, 33 (mean) and works in either publishing, in a clerical/IT environment, in teaching or is unemployed. The age range is from 19 to late 40s with the largest cluster in the 35 to 40 grouping. There is an evens chance that they were in the defunct Cog Sinister run fan club. On average each fan has seen about 20 Fall concerts with 65 percent seeing the Fall at least once within the last year. Ninety percent purchase new Fall releases either always or most times whereas only a quarter get all of the Receiver releases although 60 per cent get some of them. The NME is by far the most widely read music paper with 56 per cent reading it (even if it is just flicking through it at the newsagents). The Wire is the next most popular with 17 per cent. Geographically, Fall fans are spread far and wide (12 per cent of responses were from overseas) but startlingly, only one reply from a Manchester-based fan was received. Surely Fall fans aren't the musical equivalent of Manchester United supporters, but without the glory hunting?

TBLY readers top Fall albums/singles/tracks

Readers were invited to nominate what they considered to be the best Fall material. As several respondents pointed out, this was nearly an impossible task because of the sheer quality of the Fall output and because personal tastes can change on a daily basis. Trends did emerge but to emphasise the mass and the overwhelming quality of Fall songs there were 24 different albums, 35 different singles and 114 different album tracks put forward as 'the best'. This fact more than any other sums up what Mark E Smith and the Fall have achieved. To put it in perspective, every time the Fall record a song there is about a one in two chance that it will be one of somebody's all time favourite Fall tracks. With a larger survey return it would probably be possible that each Fall track ever (over 300 )was someone's fave. I think it would be a safe guess that very few (if any) artists with a career even a half the length of The Fall's can have such a widespread appreciation. Put another way, on average, each survey return nominated two tracks that no other reply contained. The last thing the lists below intend to do is to put a definitive stamp on what is good Fall and what is bad Fall.

Top 20 Fall album tracks

1. The NWRA
2. Lay of the Land
3. The Classical
4. Bill Is Dead
5. Wings
6. Leave the Capitol
7 Winter
8. Smile
9. Bombast
10. Hip Priest
11. New Face In Hell
12. Tempo House
13.4 1/2 Inch
14 He Pep!
15. Bremen Nacht
16. Paintwork
17. Das Vulture Ans Ein Nutter-Wain
18. Spectre vs Rector
20. Eat Y'self Fitter

Readers' least liked Fall albums/tracks

2. Any Receiver compilations
3. Victoria
4. Popcorn Double Feature
5. Crew Filth
6. Seminal Live
7. Bonkers In Phoenix
8. 27 Points
9. Frenz Experiment
10. Secession Man
11. Papal Visit
12. $500 Bottle of Wine
13. The Chisellers
14. Shut Up!
15. Code: Selfish
16. C.R.E.E.P.
17. Hey! Luciani
18. Shiftwork LP

Top 20 Fall albums

1. Grotesque (After the Gramme)
2. Hex Enduction Hour
3. This Nation's Saving Grace
4. Dragnet
5. Perverted By Language
6 Light User Syndrome
7. Extricate
8 Wonderful and Frightening World
9. Levitate
10. Shiftwork
11. The Infotainment Scan
12 Slates
13. Live at the Witch Trials
14. Frenz Experiment
15. Bend Sinister
16. Code: Selfish
17. Totale's Turns
18 Palace of Swords Reversed
19. B-Sides
20 Middle Class Revolt

Top 20 Fall singles

1. Kicker Conspiracy EP
2. Totally Wired
3. Fiery Jack
4. How I Wrote Elastic Man
5. Living Too Late
6. Free Range
7. The Chisellers
8. Hit The North
9. Rowche Rumble
10. The Man Whose Head Expanded
11. Lie Dream of a Casino Soul
12. Dredger EP
13. Bingo Masters Breakout
14. C.R.E.E P.
15. Mr Pharmacist
16 Cruisers Creek
17. Big New Prinz
18. Look, Know
19. Kimble/Words of Expectation
20. Telephone Thing

First Fall record

In total, 23 different records became the first Fall record a respondent had bought. Fifty three per cent kicked off with a single whilst the others started out with an LP. Obviously there is a historical bias to this list. The most common initiations (hooking 65 percent of fans between them) were:

Bingo Master's Breakout
It's the New Thing
Bend Sinister
Live at the Witch Trials
Rowche Rumble
Mr Pharmacist

Other bands/artists

It is a stereotype of a Fall fan that they are not interested in any music other than that crafted by Mark Smith. Hopefully this survey will nail that myth once and for all. The widest possible range of tastes was expressed, both past and present. Notable by their exceptions are Oasis, Verve, Radiohead, and anything else considered by the media and or MTV to be prime examples of the finest contemporary British rock.

Most frequently rated past artists

1. Captain Beefheart
2. Velvet Underground
3. Ramones
4. Slits
5. Birthday Party
6. Can
7. Clash
8. Iggy and the Stooges
9. Joy Division
10. Lee Perry

Others with more than one mention: Beatles, Cramps, Cure, Dead Kennedys, Elvis Presley, Frank Zappa, Johnny Cash, Kinks, Mekons, Pere Ubu, Pixies, Pogues, Seeds, Sex Pistols, Spacemen 3, Undertones, Wedding Present, The Who, Wire.

Most frequently rated current artists

1. Nick Cave
2. Sonic Youth
3. Half Man Half Biscuit
4. PJ Harvey
5. Stereolab

Others with more than one mention: Belle and Sebastian, Bob Dylan, Clinic, Julian Cope, Lee Perry (again), Mekons, Prolapse, St Etienne, Spiritualized, Ten Benson, various drum & bass, various Hip Hop, various Japanese stuff.
Please note: before anyone complains about the last three, the word 'various' was used by the respondents. I am therefore not lumping artists under these styles.

Five words to describe The Fall

One hundred and twelve different words were used to describe The Fall. The next paragraph contains the most common in descending order. The first five should be copyrighted and the proceeds, culled from lazy journalists, used to fund TBLY -

funny unique exciting innovative uncompromising humourous intelligence genius addictive pioneering otherworldly singular angular noise unpredictable loyal awkward interesting driven endless hard bombast bloody-minded

Thanks to Ken Sproat

Ol' (style) Gang

I've been a devotee of The Fall for 20 years now. All the tantrums and changes of direction taken by MES I've accepted without question. Yet, the incidents in America this spring left me a worried man. I really thought it was the end of the band. To be left with two members, one of whom had a court order against the other, seemed an insurmountable obstacle to the band's future development. As for the rest, well Karl Burns's frequent departures are simply par for the course. Personally, I like any Fall line up that features him more than ones that don't. I don't believe either Brix's Second Coming or especially Tommy Crooks could either ever be looked upon as an adequate replacement for Craig Scanlon. He was a genius. The Scotsman was no great loss. However, it was Hanley's departure that really struck home. How the hell he'd put up with everything Smith threw at him for so long amazed me. Yet I was equally amazed by the fact he finally said Fuck It and left.

The existence of Ark was not a surprise. I mean remember Blue Orchids, The Creepers, Kissing The Blade. Fall spin off bands are not a new phenomenon. Ark were due to play Newcastle in August. I was never in a dilemma whether to attend or not. At the time I was in Ballina, County Mayo on holiday. I'm not that surprised at the news that Ark have disintegrated. I mean having played in the Fall for all that time, any other band must be a complete anti-climax. I hope Steve Hanley finds fulfilment in his new job as a school caretaker. I doubt it somehow.

Anyway, as regards The Fall, I wasn't surprised MES decided to carry on, nor was I surprised at the shambolic nature of the first couple of gigs. Things seem now to be resolving themselves. I am delighted at the quality of the performance at LA2 on August 12. It was the day after my birthday and I wasn't there, still being in Ballina, County Mayo. The tape doesn't lie.

Having followed The Fall for 20 years, you start to get fairly traditionalist in your tastes. To me, the golden years have been from Dragnet through to Room to Live and Extricate up to Code: Selfish. For a start there's none of this so called pop sensibility on any of these records as Brix didn't appear on them and, Code: Selfish apart, there's very little in the way of electronics. I'll qualify all this by saying Frenz Experiment is probably my third favourite album, but it doesn't really fit in with the point I'm trying to make. I remember the old Sounds journalist Dave McCullough in 1979, possibly a review of the infamous glass-throwing Lyceum gig with A Certain Ratio, saying he loved (the original) Human League because they used unusual instruments to make perfect pop songs and The Fall because they used normal instruments to make totally original sounds. One August night in 1998, they seemed to have returned to that state of affairs.

I don't agree with The Fall doing this nostalgia tour of the States, though it does give MES a chance to attend the court hearing and if they played the Blackpool punk fiasco, I just wouldn't go, but the stripped down four piece sound is almost atonal enough to be music to my ears. Ol' Gang is no longer a Sister Ray soundalike, but a gentle piano piece. There's the cover of F-olding Money, a rockabilly number that's new to me, which comes over as White Lightning with the bassline to Words Of Expectation grafted on to it. Plug Myself In has falsetto vocals and Bo Diddley guitar riffs. Some bloke comes on stage and shouts 'Mark Will Sink Us' over and over again until the band returns and cover the Saints' This Perfect Day. Wonderful. I'd love The Fall to continue in this vein, but I'm fully aware that a studio full of tricks will no doubt supercede any desire for a stripped down sound when it comes to recording new material. It's just encouraging he's still alive and able to make music after what's gone on of late. Now I'm looking forward to a new English tour, especially as I'm no longer barred from Newcastle Riverside.

Ian Cusack


This summer, as part of John Peel's Meltdown 98, the London Musicians Collective were awarded a month-long license to broadcast
Resonance Radio to central London. This consisted of a host of fascinating programmes, including on consecutive weeks, hour-long shows entitled Falling Through Time, offering a history of the Fall presented by Grant Showbiz, featuring "interviews, unreleased and live tapes and lots of great music". Grant's love of the Fall shone through clearly and his commentary was equally rivetting.

This is a transcript of the first show, broadcast on 14 June 1998.

JOHN PEEL: (over intro to Hit the North) I've been listening to records ever since my Dad gave me his record collection - the Savoy Orphans, Charlie Coombes, that sort of thing - when he came back from the Second World War. Since then I've had many favourites over the years - Frankie Laine, Gene Vincent, Duane Eddy, the Yardbirds, Otis Redding, Captain Beefheart of course, Country Joe and the Fish, Pink Floyd, Little Feat, the Faces, the Undertones, Lee Perry, Ranking Trevor, Diblo Dibala ... but The Fall have given me more pleasure, over a longer period of time, than any other band. And when people ask me why, I always say gnomically "They're always different, always the same". I'm not sure that that means anything but it sounds reasonably good. They're just the Fall - a band by which, in our house, all the others are judged.

GRANT SHOWBIZ: The Fall defy all genres. For a band to keep up over 20 years of art brilliance is unprecedented. From Live at the Witch Trials to Levitate, of the 40-odd albums floating around out there, 90 per cent of them are brilliant. Over the next two programmes I'm going to do a short historical trawl through the Fall's spectral beauty. Part One: 77 to 87.
Back in 78, I was introduced to the Fall by Mark Perry when he played me a test pressing of Bingo Master's Breakout. Throughout 77 Mark E Smith had been rehearsing with the Fall in their first incarnation - Tony Friel on bass, Una Baines on keyboards, Martin Bramah on guitar and Karl Burns on drums. This is a tune they were rehearsing in early 77 called Dresden Dolls.

(Dresden Dolls - same version as on the 7" bootleg)

MARK E SMITH: I wouldn't have formed the group if we related to anybody. I don't wanna be anybody, I don't wanna be David Bowie, I don't wanna be anybody. I wouldn't have formed the group if I wanted to be anybody. It doesn't interest me.

GS: By 78, personnel changes had already started happening in the band. Una Baines and Tony Friel had left and been replaced by Yvonne Pawlett and Marc Riley on bass. The sound was already starting to devolve away from the norm with these non-musicians joining the band Step Forward was still keeping faith with the Fall although they couldn't really understand them Kay Carroll, Mark's girlfriend at the time, had become increasingly influential in the band, taking over managerial roles and increasing the organisation of the group. This is Various Times - it features some beautiful spidery guitar work from Martin Bramah.

(Various Times)

MES: I shout for the Fall, and I'm about to interview myself for my friend Grant in his bid to clean up the market interested in what emperors and latter-day art heroes like myself have to say. Hang on, I'll just get my line, I mean lines. (sniff)

GS: 79's personnel change involved Karl Burns giving up the drum seat and handing it over to Mike Leigh who played on the album Dragnet. His style was far quieter and more in the rockabilly genre than Karl's. The former road crew of Steve Hanley and Craig Scanlon came into the band, Steve Hanley taking over bass duties from Marc Riley who'd moved onto guitar when Martin Bramah had left and Craig Scanlon joining on second guitar. Mark is often portrayed in the press as a dour reactionary whereas there is a wonderfully warm spiritual side to him. I think this comes through on this track, Before the Moon Falls.

(Before the Moon Falls)

MES: ... for various reasons. In fact there's a fanzine interview with him and this is, I quote, they asked him about The Fall's relationship with drugs and he says ... he says (laughing) "let's get this straight. Drugs have killed and maimed thousands of people and it's about time so-called working class heroes stood up and said something about it." Well, Mike was always a good contrast to the band...

GS: By 1980, The Fall had fallen into the clutches of Rough Trade, a far more suitable label than Step Forward. They were continuing their touring around England, playing to 300-400 people in tiny clubs up and down the land. Nobody seems to notice the humour in the Fall - this song is a song about Jesus coming back from the North.

(That Man)

MES: I won't bring up the 18 million teddy boy deaths caused by the landing craft invasion in 1983.

GS: The band are now starting to move way from their Manchester roots and the next album is recorded in London - Slates. This saw the arrival of Paul Hanley on drums, replacing Mike Leigh. We did our first US tour...

MES: We've got a good following in California, believe it or not - massive. Fanatical. It's funny, Americans are ... you're carrying 20 different countries there in one country. For instance we went to Cleveland and they hated our guts ... which I was very proud of.

GS: As with most Fall tracks, Mark would change the Lyrics for each take. We did several takes for this song which included the line "showbiz mimes, minute detail", a kind of line I liked. Sadly, the best lyric had the line "showbiz whines, minute detail".

(Leave the Capitol)

The area where Mark was born and raised, Prestwich in Salford, has been an inspiration for the Fall over the entire 20 years. Its weird architecture and odd people have popped up in songs over the years.

By now the band have gone up to two drums, with Karl Burns returning. This is a song about the people who lived downstairs from Mark and Kay.

(Joker Hysterical Face)

MES: It still stands to this day. I don't have any musos in the group, I never have had. Every musician is self-taught or a non-musician.

GS: I spoke to Rex Sergeant, the Fall's long-standing sound man and producer about his first meetings with the Fall.
What was your first awareness of the Fall?

REX SERGEANT: It's the New Thing - I was still at school and it was one of them records.

GS: Did you go to any of the live gigs early on?

RS: I used to go into Manchester quite a bit and it was funny cos it was one of the only bands I wrote to when I was younger. I wrote to Mark and he sent me a tape back from the Electric Circus in 1977 and it got posted through the door and me old man's dog ate the tape so I got a chewed-up tape!

GS: How did you first work with them and where?

RS: Well I used to work in Suite 16 which used to be Cargo Studios which is where the Fall have always done lots of work. I was engineering there and the geezer who was doing the session suddenly became ill.

GS: When did you move on from Suite 16 studios?

RS: When the smoke started coming out of the speakers and Mark decided he didn't want to work there any more, we moved on.

GS: Could you describe a typical recording day with the Fall?

RS: Er, well they didn't start very early. Everybody'd come in about dinner time, sit there, have their cigarettes, read the paper, then five minutes later they'd all be down the pub. About two hours later they'd finally come in and set up everything properly and start on a piece of music, write a really good tune, then Mark'd come in, get his spanner out, throw it in the works, then a bit of fire in the studio, a bit of hostility, a bit of war, a bit of tension built up and then they'd come out with a killer tune.

GS: The importance of the band is often ignored in the Fall. Who do you rate as Fall musicians?

RS: Steve and Karl and Steve and Simon, both rhythm sections have really stood out from everyone else. The band are great, the band have got a lot more energy than a lot of younger bands.

GS: By 83, the Fall were touring the world, This is a live track recorded in New Zealand from 1983. It features one of the last performances by Marc Riley.


The next big change was the arrival of Brix Smith.

BRIX SMITH: It must've been in 1982, my friend Lisa was from New York and we went to this record store in Chicago called Wax Trax. We were looking through the record bins and she said "Oh my God! That's Slates by the Fall! Have you ever heard of the Fall?" And I said I'd never heard of them and she said: "they're so brilliant, they're like the gods of the East Village" and it was the most fantastic thing I'm ever heard and to this day it's my favourite Fall album.

GS: As a young woman from Chicago I'm surprised you could understand the Fall's Lyrics.

BS: All the sleevenotes, like "get out the Wet Lib File" and 'pink press threat" and "Prole Art Threat" and what was the other one ...

GS: "You skinny rats"...

BS: "You skinny rats" but it was also "This is real Bert Finn stuff' and I'm, like, "Bert Finn?! Bert Finn?! What does all this mean?"

GS: So you went through the same initiation ceremony as Craig, Steve and Marc Riley?

BS: Uh-huh The first tour I went on I think it must have been the spring of 1983 around Europe where I was the roadie and I didn't do anything but change guitar strings.

GS: Once you'd survived all this, what was the first song that you wrote?

BS When I met them in Chicago, Mark Smith had just sacked Marc Riley and anyway, he said: "Can we use one of your songs on our new album?" and I said "Oh my God!" To me, it was like the Beatles asking me to join and I said "sure" and they used this song on Perverted By Language which was called Hotel Bloedel.

(Hotel Bloedel)

MES: I don't relate to other groups, we never have. l'm coming round to this again, maybe I got lost a couple of years ago but .... it sticks out more now than it ever did.

GS: Having drifted through a couple of record labels, by 1985 the Fall had landed at Beggars Banquet. This was the beginning of a five year period in which they would work with the producer John Leckie. This period involved Karl and Paul leaving, to be replaced by a far more funky drummer, in Simon Wolstencroft. Also, Simon Rogers, a classically-trained musician, was taken on, on keyboards and guitar.

(Couldn't Get Ahead)

MES: You'd be surprised with what people were fans of The Fall - painters and all that. The bloke who does our covers, his paintings are in the Louvre in Paris. I'd never heard of him myself. He does the covers for nothing. It's unbelievable.

GS: Beggars Banquet really cherished The Fall. By 1986, Marcia Schofield had also joined the band, making the sound even fuller. They were being courted by radio and television, appearing on The Tube, and everything seemed on the up for the Fall.

(Shoulder Pads)

MES: I mean, that's why The Fall were formed - nothing good around, y'know. I've had classical musicians in the band, I've had accomplished musicians, but they always say to me, like Rogers who used to be in the group - he was from the London Symphony Orchestra - he said the great thing about The Fall was: you have to unlearn everything.

GS: By 87, the Fall had lasted for a decade and had settled on a sort of sweet and sour pop, epitomised by tracks like Shoulder Pads. Mark could still throw a spanner into any works The Fall were prepared to put together. This is the last track of this session it features a crazed tune called Sleep Debt Snatches.

(Sleep Debt Snatches)

With thanks to Grant Showbiz, and to Steve Beeho for transcribing this broadcast for TBLY.

the biggest library yet

debris ans 3

As a prize this issue, we have a copy of the MES spoken word CD to give away. Not the 1998 release, but a lesser known 1994 CD which features a bevy of celebrity speakers inc. Adam Faith, Dirk Bogarde, Ian McShane (KitchenKnifeCon), Eric Morecambe, David Frost and Muhammad Ali among others. With music from around the world provided by such luminaries as: Billy Cotton, the Eagley Prize Band, Chocolate Barry, Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart and the De Scalazi Brothers.
To win this highly sought after release, simply write to TBLY with the answer to the following easy question, and if you're the first out of the hat after the closing date (Oct 31), you can have the bloody thing!
Question: What is the name of the CD? (and for an extra bonus prize, who is on the front cover standing in a field?)

Quiz answer: Bend It! 94 (MES' contribution to Goal TV was used). Cover star - Peter Marinello.

Gig flyer, Leeds University Union
Tuesday 7 December 1982. Admission £3.

"In a chart climate where passions are either eroded to a uniform simplicity or pumped up with empty posturing, The Fall are a rare and special commodity. These days when 'musicians' seem desperate to be fun, superficial and groovy, avoiding wherever possible the concepts of analysis and criticism, dancing with their heads in the sand. Not so The Fall!
Blind to the successes of the smear campaign on Thought in Music, The Fall dare to think! They care! They challenge! They are the measure against which all others are tried and, with few exceptions, found to be wanting, impotent and trivial.
Misconceptions abound about The Fall.
They are not just another grey, faceless band. Far from grey, The Fall are compulsive viewing: they delve deep into musical light and shade, ever-exploring new textures. And as for faceless: to an extent, The Fall is Mark E Smith. God's Mancunian, the first and greatest of the new puritans, he is a cantankerous reminder that all is not sweetness and light in this land of milk, honey and ABC. An anti-hero for the 70s and 80s, he attacks with stinging sarcasm and an uplifting sense of purpose and momentum. Live, as on record, The Fall are important. A sensation of intelligent excitement coupled with a primeval thrill in velocity and aggression.
Tremendous violence is channeled through sparse compact music.
The Fall are the Pop World's truest 'wild boys'. They are not outcasts: they simply don't want to come into the kitchen. They can see so much more out there in the night.
No age, dress or NUS restrictions."


debris ans 8