Falling for the Fall

27 01 2018

I started this blog back in September 2004 and named it after my favourite Fall Song.

I first fell for the Fall thanks to my very good friend Robbie Foy who played them continuously on a car journey from Edinburgh to Truro – Palace of Swords Reversed and Bend Sinister three times each I think. A very compelling and persuasive induction and after that I was hooked.

There have been plenty of obituaries of the late, great Mark E Smith but this one in the New Statesman is one of the better ones (still waiting for the Economist one) and there was a nice piece from Dave Simpson too (see also below).

Anyway, in recent years, there have been a number of books about the Fall, some of which I’ve covered here:

This entertaining autobiography from Brix Smith Start covers her time in the Fall and marriage to MES.

Dave Simpson’s book on tracing every former member of the Fall is a key record of the band’s development.

Steve Hanley, one of the longer lasting Fall members, does a great job in The Big Midweek of making the insanity of life in the Fall sound almost like a normal job.

And then there is Smith’s own autobiography. Not a great read to be honest but entertaining in places, including his views on other artists – primarily negative of course.

So, no doubt there will be more reflections in future but in the meantime there is one heck of a back catalogue to revisit.

And then there is this old BBC Documentary, The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E Smith,  which has recently been revived and is well worth a look


Gig nostalgia

7 02 2015

Everything But The Girl – January 1985

This academic year Edinburgh University Library has been publishing, each week, the edition of Student from 30 years ago. 1984-85 was my second year as a student at Edinburgh and every one of these brings back some great (mainly) memories. One of my favourites from the 31 January 1985 paper though is this review of the first Everything But The Girl gig I attended:




It’s a rubbish headline obviously and not quite how I remember the gig which to my mind was uniformly wonderful.

That’s nostalgia for you though.

Books of the year 2009

30 12 2009

Favourite books of the year

Of course they’re not of the year, rather just the best I happen to have read in the past 12 months. And, strictly speaking, this one was at the end of 2008:

Vertigo by W G Sebald

This one was extremely good:

Restoration by Rose Tremain

And can’t believe it took me so long to get round to this – just absolutely outstanding:

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

And the worst…these two were just awful:

And then we came to the end


Remember those Shop Assistants?

24 02 2008

They say they don’t want to be friends with you

Never mind.

Dead not dreaming

11 11 2007

An American Dream by Norman Mailer

An American Dream

With the Mailer obituaries still fresh and still coming up with an, at best, mixed analysis of his life’s achievements and his writings, revisiting this one reminds you of the extraordinary power of some of his work. It’s years since I read this now but I’m still reminded from time to time of the brilliance and sheer energy of the novel. It struck me then as setting a standard to which only a few others have come close since.

So, if tempted to the Mailer back catalogue, go for this one.

5 star

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