Monday, October 22, 2007

The Fall

The Fall are an English Post-punk band, formed in Prestwich, in the Metropolitan Borough of Bury, Greater Manchester in 1976. Since their inception, The Fall have been through fifty-eight line-up changes, with leader Mark E. Smith being the only constant member. Smith's enigmatic lyrics and drawling delivery, coupled with the idiosyncratic and innovative music of the band, has resulted in a subtle influence on several generations of musicians. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fall_%28band%29)

Scheduled
Saturday, 22 September 1984, "Dance Hall", 03:15 - 04:00

Line up
Mark E. Smith - vocals; Brix Smith - guitar, vocals, keyboards (?); Craig Scanlon - guitar; Steve Hanley - bass; Paul Hanley – drums, keyboards; Karl Burns – drums


Set list
01 Smile (6:22)
02 Lay of the land
(4:48)
03 Craigness (3:10)
04 2 x 4 (3:42)
05 Draygo's guilt (5:03)
06 No bulbs (6:12)
07 Kicker conspiracy (4:55)
08 Stephen song (4:09)
09 Copped it (7:46)
10 Pat trip dispenser (4:23)
11 Middle mass (6:13)

Recording
A complete audience recording exists, 56'45"; tracks 02, 05, 07 – 10 were broadcast on radio (28'41"). The audience recording is longer than the time allocated for the Fall at Pandora's.
Beggars Banquet is currently preparing an official release of the show through their Archive, but their track list omits the first song for unknown reason (http://archive.beggars.com/category/the-fall/): "possibly the gigography is wrong."

Other info
According to the program (many thanks to John), The Fall went on at 3:15 a.m. -- their earliest/ latest start time ever? Incomplete version broadcast on the radio (Lay of the Land / Draygo's Guilt / Kicker Conspiracy / Stephen Song / Copped It / Pat Trip Dispenser). This show also circulates under the name "Hilversum, December 6 1983," so watch out.
- "Could we stop the lights flashing, please? We're all epileptics in this band." (before Kicker Conspiracy)
- "Yes, boy, it's an Ipswich conspiracy" (alternative lyric in Kicker Conspiracy)

Quality
Audience tape. Tracks marked with an (*) are also available in FM Broadcast version. Audience tape is generally OK although Craigs guitar occasionally tends to dominate in places and Smith is a touch indistinct at times. FM is a tad bass heavy in places and with a little hiss but generally very good.

Commentary
It starts with an intense reading of Smile with Mark screaming the title and expressing the words with more than usual verve. Lay of the Land is dominated by some incredibly adept bass playing from Hanley - this is best heard on the FM version - a good tight reading of the song. Again Smith’s intonation is more assertive. The false end catches the audience out about half way through as the band mines another two minutes out of the tune… and then again towards the end as Smith chuckles as they start clapping. Nice to hear Craigness in a live setting and this version is competent, perhaps feeling a little listless after the maddening rush of the first two numbers. Smith mangles the phrasing and his delivery means the lyrics are lost in the overall band sound. 2x4 ups the tempo again and is taken at a fair pace. The vocal performance is almost "scat" like with Smith dancing around the melody - interesting North Manc twang predominates and there is a touch of insouciance. Draygo's seems to be plagued by slightly out of tune guitars on the audience tape but they sound fine on FM. The drums dominate as Smith yelps his way through. There is some serious fret scratching from Brix. An inaudible mumble leads into a raucous No Bulbs - again there seems to a slight guitar tuning problem and Smith varies the lyrical content quite considerably. Kicker starts off sort of low keyish after a request to stop the lights from flashing as the band are "all epileptics"- the guitars don’t lock in - and the bass and drums drive it - the words are mangled considerably- an Ipswich conspiracy is mentioned - for some reason, to my tired old ears at least, the song sounds more like Eat Y’rself Fitter than Kicker. Stephen Song is excellent - full of brooding menace. Copped It fades in on the audience tape but is complete on FM- its a good performance with a slight subliminal swagger to it. I assume keyboards are provided by Paul Hanley. Mark appears to turn into a tellytubby about half way in. Trip Dispenser suffers from Craigs guitar being too loud on the audience tape but is fine on the FM version. The performance feels a little sloppy in places. The gig concludes with a languid Middlemass complete with cackhanded keyboard playing from someone... I assume it’s Brix (?) or Paul but there appear to be two drummers and one guitar so I assume its the former - but I could be completely wrong. There are some awful bits of out of tune instruments as the guitars and the keyboards clash on the melodic bit towards the end but its does not detract from the overall strength of the delivery. Great gig - band on good form - some oddities and some great lyric variation from Mark. (
http://falllivehistory.blogspot.com/2006_09_01_archive.html)


Article from festival booklet


The Fall on stage at Pandora's 84 (Sounds magazine, October 1984)

1 comment:

Tara said...
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