(3 / 5)
I saw and photographed The Fall at a festival in May. Apparently, Mark E. Smith’s rider on the contract was 60 fags and a bottle of spirits. He appeared to be well oiled by the time he took to the stage, but the packed arena lapped up the very loud and typical The Fall set. Mark spending a lot of the time with his back to the crowd, deliberately making his microphone feedback into an amp’.
The band’s sound and his vocal style really are an acquired taste. Loyal fans love him. Those who have never heard him sing may well liken it to the sound of a burning pet shop. But love him or loath him, Mark E. Smith is absolutely a one-off. A larger than life character. One of John Peel’s favourite bands and artists. Boy, would I love to see him signed up for “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here”. Now that would be unmissable TV.
Mark was recording at a friend of mine’s studio a few years ago, and they took a break at the local village pub for a meal. Mark asks the barman for some raw eggs. That order refused on health and safety grounds. Mr Smith gets the hump and after a bit of a scene, the owner gets him to sign a disclaimer to state that should be become ill from consuming said raw eggs, it’s down to him and not the pub.
This is the band’s first release since “Sub Lingual Tablet” in 2015. “New Facts Emerge”, delivers 11 new tracks recorded at various studios in the UK. The Fall’s 32nd new studio album, released on CD and limited edition vinyl, produced by the band’s drummer Kieron Melling and Mark E. Smith. In addition to the studio albums they have released more than triple that number, counting live albums and compilations.
Founded by its only constant member, Mark E. Smith, The Fall formed in Manchester in 1976 and has existed ever since. Musically, there may have been several stylistic changes over the years, but it is often characterised by an abrasive guitar-driven sound and frequent use of repetition. Underpinned by Smith’s distinctive vocals and often cryptic lyrics.
The current line-up is Mark E. Smith (lead vocals); Peter Greenway (guitar, synth, backing vocals); Dave Spurr (bass, Mellotron, backing vocals) and Kieron Melling (drums).
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’