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 40 Years of The Fall ; A year by year best of thing

Post #281 - 29 Jun 2019, 21:08

routemaster » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:25 pm wrote:2014

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"Fuck it, let the beard grow."


On Saturday 30th August 2014, I finally got to see my first (and final as it happened) Fall gig in York. Before the show as I had to nip back to the car for something and approaching me on the road were a group of about six people. I noticed the chap at the front of the group was the spitting image of Pete Greenway, then realised it was him and the rest of The Fall as well. I spotted MES, our eyes met, we nodded politely.... and I bottled saying hello. :mellow: As they took to the stage later, we were miffed to see Eleni was not present, though I had seen her outside earlier. The suspicion was she is allergic to paint fumes and the venue had just been painted. It was a loud performance, curious in that the first four songs were unknown new ones. It was a great night, MES only leaving stage for the last three songs. :grin:

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The above shows that this was another transitional year, and so once again only a couple of studio tracks emerged, from the mostly live collection 'Live Uurop VIII-XII Places In Sun & Winter, Son'. :wtf: Line up wise, Daren was now a fully integrated member much to everyone's pleasure, otherwise no change again. The first studio track was entitled 'Auto (2014) Chip Replace'. It opens with Mark ranting over an ever-building repetitive groove, once at full speed it's away. There are two Marks here each growling and grumbling at each other as the gruppe do their thing until 3m 30s when it grinds to a halt. Following a long drone, Eleni's keys produce a loud splurge and we're off again with one of those mental finales akin to the one on 'Mister Rode'. On first listen I was left thinking this is the way forward. :) The other track is an alternative 'Amorator!' from last years EP. It's a good alternative, Eleni injects some early vocals and following a brief bit of Pete's guitar riff, the backing is turned down in favour of an almost ambient sound with each member adding random snatches of sounds to the mix. Mark himself sounds a bit angrier than the original. Annoyingly though, it fades out at just over three minutes and you're left wondering what you've missed. :shrug:

Both these songs were clearly demos of some sort, one issued here post release, the other....well we just don't know. 'Auto (2014) Chip Replace' is the one I'm choosing, it has to be the new song I think, plus it's bloody great. :walkman:

phpBB [video]


As many live shows progressed this year, we were treated to several new songs and fantastic performances that became almost over-familiar before release, a strange marketing ploy I had not witnessed before? I recall most fans were begging for a new LP by the end of the year. :)


Edit: Fuck it, that image mid-post has been trouble all night. :bang:




I thought you were the expert on posting links and things on here so that they are properly visible? :wanker:


on edit - I actually felt a bit mean to Routemaster, for once, as the beard picture at the start of his post, which was visible, looked really good. The text that followed isn't bad either, so, perhaps in a moment of concession towards him, I've edited his post back in.
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Post #282 - 29 Jun 2019, 21:44

Sonofsmegma » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:08 pm wrote:
routemaster » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:25 pm wrote:2014

Edit: Fuck it, that image mid-post has been trouble all night. :bang:


I thought you were the expert on posting links and things on here so that they are properly visible? :wanker:

I actually feel a bit mean to Routemaster, for once, as the beard picture at the start of his post, which was visible, looked really good.

It must be an old link that's refusing to load. :mellow:

Thank you for dumping my review onto the previous page. :(
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Post #283 - 30 Jun 2019, 00:57

:grin:

With the Fall, you don't always get what you want, you get what you need. :devil:



Except, behind my evil cat snarl, I can be human. so I've edited the post now.
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Post #284 - 30 Jun 2019, 05:52

Image

It's not rocket science you know. :wanker:
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Post #285 - 30 Jun 2019, 05:54

Oh thank you Greasy Roads, I can understand the whole article so much better now. :)
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Post #286 - 30 Jun 2019, 07:09

Thank you Greasy Roads, Sonofsmegma, Amber.

:duh:
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Post #287 - 30 Jun 2019, 07:20

Test post:

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Post #288 - 04 Jul 2019, 22:24

2015

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Glastonbury 2015, happier times. :wub:


A busy year, especially live where we were treated to not just one but two shows aired on TV, or at least i-Player - the BBC6 Music performance at The Sage in Gateshead and the Glastonbury gig. Both were stunning events, and Daren's inclusion was all the more evident here. Not only was his drumming adding much to the rhythm section, he made a fantastic MES impersonator as he added backing vox. Listen to his voice at the Glasto show without looking at the screen and you'd swear it was MES himself spookily duetting with himself. In October The Fall set off to Australia and NZ to play yet more top rated gigs, but sadly Daren didn't join that trip, in fact he was gone for good. :mellow:

One album this year, 'Sub-Lingual Tablet'. It had seemed like ages since the last album and many of the new tracks here had been heavily gigged to the point of over familiarity, however things didn't turn out quite as expected. In good and bad ways. Opener 'Venice With The Girls' was well known, and is a good solid track. Uptempo, Dave's bass seems to lead the way with Pete a bit quieter than usual. Most odd is Eleni's keyboard riff so prominent live is nowhere to be heard. All the same, it's a great start. Sadly track two isn't good in any way, to my cloth ears. Less than two minutes of phoned in filler, all instruments played by The Dudes - remember them? It's tuneless, nothing gels, and Mark employs a weird ghostly vocal that just adds to the mess. Real Fall fans lapped it up. :shrug: Next is 'Dedication Not Medication'. Live it was a monster, Pete's eerie and shimmering guitar became a sound of future Fall legend, but the studio version was completely different. Heavily keyboard lead, and a throbbing Dave Spurr bassline to die for along with those fantastic double drums, Pete was nowhere to be heard! Until the last minute or so where that shimmering guitar faded in to a glorious climax, it actually worked really well. An annoyance though, and one that would occur several times across SLT - the vinyl mix was different. Here the drumming was more upfront, double drumming obvs, and heavy as fuck. Then Mark and Ding arrive in conversation having a pop at certain Fall website hierarchy who are deemed anti-Fall, before Mark launches into "Connie, Cookie, how dare you subscribe...", it is hilarious. :grin: Next up some lighter relief, 'First One Today' is jaunty and upbeat, all instruments allowed free to do their own thing. One could argue it's a bit throwaway, but this is The Fall having fun while still maintaining musical standards. Pete and Dave sound like they enjoyed this one. 'Junger Cloth' is back to twin drumming awesomeness, it's slower and very much along the lines of 'Hittite Man' - indeed the two songs were often merged live. Eleni has more input here though, and it's more interesting musically than HM. Mark meanwhile is attempting to decipher some coded message through a list of numbers and letters. We are none the wiser by the end, but that's another top song. :) 'Stout Man' is a cover of Iggy Pop's 'Cock In My Pocket', I don't really care for it but Mark himself said the lads learnt it too well, and it's true the musicianship is first class, just not a very good song. Now we have 'Auto Chip 2014-2016', the end result of last year's pick of the pops. It is of course a classic Fall repetition type of song, the weird ending heard on the earlier version now removed in favour of a ten minute jam with guitar and bass subtly shifting and changing while all the time sticking with the basic riff. Mark spends most of it bemoaning how bad English musicians are while his gruppe prove how fucking good they are around him. The vinyl version is identical but fades in and out, losing about two minutes along with the construction of the song, and so vinyl buyers could be disappointed. Luckily I'm a CD buyer. :walkman:
'Pledge!' is track eight, and again a far cry from the live favourite. Much slower for a start, but more worryingly the terribly loud keyboards on the CD mix and Mark's most growly vocal to date which frankly isn't nice. The vinyl fans fare slightly better as the keys are turned down and guitars play more freely, but they somehow turned a decent live song into a sub-industrial dirge. Track nine, 'Snazzy', is another of those inauspicious filler tracks that don't offend but don't go anywhere, the last minute where it shows some balls being the most interesting. Again proper Fall fans get terribly upset if you slag it off. :rolleyes: On to 'Fibre Book Troll' (or Facebook Troll as it should really be called but can't be for legal reasons, probably). Originally a track in collaboration with techno outfit Modeselektor, in that form it was very synth based with the lads rumbling around in the background. On official release it's still synth based, but guitar and bass are allowed in too. Mark meanwhile adopts a most disturbing vocal line as he absolutely screams out "I wanna fucking Facebook troll", sometimes confused with "I wanna fuck a Facebook troll" but I think the first idea is correct. It's a good song for the CD buyer, sadly the vinyl people are subjected to eleven minutes of lo-fi recorded in a cupboard type nonsense with the worst of the screaming left in. And so to the closing track, an inauspicious finale entitled 'Quit iPhone' in which Mark rants about one of his pet hates. To my ears it sounds for all the world like a rehash of 'Stout Man', and is a peculiar offering to end an album. :mellow:

All in all then, what promised to be an all time classic following the earlier live performances didn't quite hit the mark. The highs were very high, the lows were all too low, and that was a shame. Top track is 'Auto Chip' of course, but we had that last year, so with equal predictability, my choice is 'Dedication Not Medication'. It offers as close to a Fall classic as is available here, sadly the Connie Cookie slating vinyl mix is not available on Youtube, but tbh the CD mix will work well enough on the final compilation list. :grin:

phpBB [video]


I think, despite some reservations over SLT, 2015 could be considered a classic Fall year. The group now seemed at their zenith, and apart from Daren's sudden disappearance, the future looked good. Where will 2016 take us? :)
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Post #289 - 05 Jul 2019, 08:33

This is your best yet routemaster. :clap:
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Post #290 - 05 Jul 2019, 08:34

Amber » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:33 am wrote:This is your best yet routemaster. :clap:

He at least appears to have read it before posting it this time.

Dan
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Post #291 - 05 Jul 2019, 20:06

dannynomates » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:34 am wrote:
Amber » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:33 am wrote:This is your best yet routemaster. :clap:

He at least appears to have read it before posting it this time.

Dan

Thank you Amber, only two more to go now. :)

Fuck you dannynomates. :angry:
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Post #292 - 06 Jul 2019, 20:55

routemaster » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:24 pm wrote: Mark launches into "Connie, Cookie, how dare you subscribe...", it is hilarious. :grin:


It is not hilarious, it is pathetic and immature. It's also "Con and Cookie how could you subscribe..."
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Post #293 - 06 Jul 2019, 21:16

Connor » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:55 pm wrote:
routemaster » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:24 pm wrote: Mark launches into "Connie, Cookie, how dare you subscribe...", it is hilarious. :grin:


It is not hilarious, it is pathetic and immature. It's also "Con and Cookie how could you subscribe..."


It's definitely "Connie, Cookie..." but who gives a fuck? :angry:
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Post #294 - 12 Jul 2019, 21:20

2016

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:duh:


I think it's fair to say 2016 was not a particularly great year for The Fall, especially following the heady heights of 2015, things were about to take quite a downer. First of all though, in Febraury, a new EP was released entitled 'Wise Ol' Man', it contained two new songs and a selection of remixes and oddities. All tracks irrespective of former issues of the rehashed material were credited to Smith, Poulou and Spurr, which seemed odd to say the least. This was nothing though. Two months later, following a number of non-appearances at gigs, Eleni played her last show at Islington on 28th of April. By late May rumours were abounding of her separation from Mark altogether, both professionally and personally. I do not propose to go into this further, it would be nothing more than suspicion and supposition, but many Fall fans I guess will have their own thoughts. And so with Daren gone late 2015 and now Eleni 6 months later, the gruppe was reduced from what had become a towering force back to a straight four-piece. Of course they were still a fucking good four piece. :yes:

So, on to the one EP issued this year. Opening with the title track, 'Wise Ol' Man' kicks in immediately with a loud barrage of pounding drum (Keiron back to his usual subtlety), rumbling bass and chiming guitar. Mark does a verse or two before Eleni adds some of her own, indeed it does sound Eleni penned following her other attempts at lyric writing. She fair spits out "Wise old man did not exist" as if directed at Mark, a comment on their current troubles? Others have suggested it's a song about Alan Wise who had died recently, the "Dead DJ...dead DJ" part being considered. As ever, who really knows? The song ends with an inane cackle from both Mark and Eleni. :shrug: Track two is a monster. 'All Leave Cancelled' is harrowingly dark, a crazed mash up of all instruments with no particular tune and Mark utilising his old Dalek-on-Special-Brew voice with a steely "Why don't you tell me...next time you ring?" refrain. Every so often though, the horror is relieved by a much more subtle Dave Spurr bassline and Eleni synth that seems to hover around in a strange organic style, it's all very peculiar. Towards the end, Mark's voice drops to a much younger sounding MES, almost as he sang say in the 80's, but despite this the closing lines of "One day you're gonna be lonely, but I don't know when just now" could be considered a dig at a partner soon not to be? I don't think I've done the song justice here, but it's so dense as to be impossible to describe. Again, only The Fall could do this. :D On to track three, 'Dedication Not Medication (Remix). It sounds intro wise akin to the SLT vinyl mix, the double drumming being that bit more prominent, but it doesn't go to the Mark/Ding Connie/Cookie chat. Instead it skips along almost dancefloor friendly (albeit with a slightly dubious Glitteresque "I'm back I'm back..." vocal line) until someone decides the last 2 or 3 minutes could do with reducing down to a beatless noise. I'm left disappointed that yet again Pete's shimmering guitar is not bought more forward into the mix, they should have issued a live version here instead. Tis still good though. 'Wise Ol' Man (Instrumental) is next but it isn't instrumental at all, it just contains less fewer lyrics, nothing much more can be said about it. :rolleyes: Now it's 'Venice With Girls', an alternative mix featuring the missing keyboards that failed to appear on the SLT version. That version was odd because we missed those keyboards we'd grown to know on the old live recordings, yet now I find the track worked better as it was on SLT. Nice to have the choice of course. Track six is yet another version of 'Fibre Book Troll', but this time in a big fuck off to the PC brigade, it's titled 'Facebook Troll' as it should be. It's another routine run through of predominant synth and wild manic vocal before it stops dead: now it's a live 'No Xmas For John Quay' (sic) performed I think at Clitheroe in 2014 - god alone knows what possessed Mark (for it must be his idea!) to do this, it's a waste of two songs. I would have liked the original Modeselektor version here, twas not to be. :mellow: Finally, we're left with 'All Leave Cancelled (X)', a 2 1/2 minute excerpt of the epic featuring the haunting bit created by Dave's bass and Eleni's moody and swirling synth. Oh and Keiron provides a delicate drum line to complete the fade out, I was a bit harsh on him earlier. :)

There was only ever going to be one winner here, it's big, it's crazy and it's disturbing, and you cannot ask for more really. As I type, a flash of lighting illuminates the conservatory, I shit you not. :D

phpBB [video]


The rest of the year was spent touring as usual, highlighting several new songs. Maybe 2017 would therefore see a return to some much needed normality. The boat had been rocked this last 18 months, time to settle things down again. :mellow:
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Post #295 - 13 Jul 2019, 05:01

I'm loving these routemaster. Such a shame they have to end. :(
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Post #296 - 13 Jul 2019, 07:50

Amber » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:01 am wrote:I'm loving these routemaster. Such a shame they have to end. :(

Thank you Amber, sadly next week's will be the last, but there may be other projects to consider. :)
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Post #297 - 13 Jul 2019, 08:08

routemaster » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:50 am wrote:
Amber » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:01 am wrote:I'm loving these routemaster. Such a shame they have to end. :(

Thank you Amber, sadly next week's will be the last, but there may be other projects to consider. :)

Oh good, what have you got in mind? :wtf:
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Post #298 - 13 Jul 2019, 08:29

Amber » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:08 am wrote:
routemaster » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:50 am wrote:
Amber » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:01 am wrote:I'm loving these routemaster. Such a shame they have to end. :(

Thank you Amber, sadly next week's will be the last, but there may be other projects to consider. :)

Oh good, what have you got in mind? :wtf:

Like Greasy Roads' trip, it's a mystery at this point. :grin:
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Post #299 - 19 Jul 2019, 23:04

2017

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If 2016 threw up some drama, 2017 would make that pale into insignificance. Some early gigs took place again promoting new material, but by late February, shows were cancelled due to Mark contracting a serious dose of influenza. By late March, a chest infection added to his ailments. He got better of course, and by May a new member Mike Chapman arrived to replace Eleni on keyboards. Mike arrived too late to appear on the new LP 'New Facts Emerge' that was issued on July 28th, but by then Mark back on stage looking terribly ill, despite still performing some cracking shows. And to add to the worry, Mark's new girlfriend and apparently Fall manager Pamela Vander would appear onstage when Mark had to go off, and make a right exhibition of herself - The Fall do not need an over made up woman in a bright pink jacket geeing up / winding up the audience and generally making a gig some sort of cabaret act. Pamela was seemingly loved and loathed by fans - I'm in the latter catagory - but for better or worse, it seems Mark adored her so it's really not my place to say any more. In September it was announced that the U.S. tour had been scrapped due to Mark's ongoing illness, and by October he was performing in a wheelchair, still brilliantly and with a passion I must add. Sadly the gig on November 4th in Glasgow proved to be the last. The Bristol gig later that month was scrapped onstage as the gruppe announced in sombre mood that Mark was physically unable to get out of the hotel, despite his wish and attempt at playing another show. For want of a better word, certain cunts in the audience suggested the group play anyway, this was rightly dismissed. Let's take a look at the album. :mellow:


Produced by Mark and Keiron, and engineered by Ding, NFE was always going to be a different beast to the ones of the last 15 years or so, primarily down to a missing Eleni. The album however wasn't devoid of electronica as Dave Spurr took control of the mellotron. Some sort of keyboard I believe. :shrug: So we begin by ignoring 'Segue' featuring a very drunk Mark bashing some bottles and ranting "Fol de rol de rol" for 30 seconds. 'Fol De Rol' kicks things off properly as a lumpy heavy rock (though not metal - this is not 'Greenway' thank fuck) song. The production here is slick, and it does "rock" The Fall way as it contains weirdly treated and textured vocals rather than the genre's usual posturing. We should hate this, but somehow it's played out so well that you tend to ignore the bruising onslaught of noise, especially when it dips down to a psychedelic meandering with Mark's voice doing that ghostly feel again. It should fade out there, but the hard rock returns and so it becomes a six minute monster. 'Brillo De Facto' is much lighter, some sublime bass and playful guitar lines that this line up are by now famous for. By the end though, it kicks into another section, Mark describing "the asphyxiation of the troll..." over some more rock tones before that descends into the abyss with ever darkening mood. Next is 'Victoria Station Massacre', named and recorded before the Ariana Grande terror attack at Manchester Arena. "I crave drama" Mark screams before the second half of the track plays backwards. And into the title track, 'New Facts Emerge'. It's the same tune as VSM, hard and heavy again but with vocals and production that makes it hard to ignore. New FACTS .... unseen FACTS.... both phrases used at times of illness. It's another banging headfuck, lyrically amusing with the "You gotta stop shaking off those frogs..." line. Again, given Mark's troubles, it's an amazing delivery. B-) Where to start with 'Couples Vs Jobless Mid 30's'? :D Like 'All Leave Cancelled', it's another Fall soundscape collage, little tune is involved. Following a sort of psychedelic start, it soon drops into a darker place full of abstract noise, weird synth and the occasional 'Monocard' guitar line beating off the wails and cackles that reverberate from the bowels of the studio basement. It is very scary, but light relief from the final few minutes where a more regular drumbeat returns and the guitars are back in another rock wigout. Tis amazing. :) Onto the b-side which is less rock orientated. 'Second House Now' possibly about Mark moving into Pam's place(?) begins as a doo wop choon which I hated on first hearing, but is OK now. It soon moves into a routine garage rock number, with more MES treated vox to add something different. Add to that some very wayward extra guitar over tones towards the end, just in case you thought it was becoming a bit mainstream. 'O Zztrrk Man' is most definitely not mainstream - a lofi and impenetrable vocal line over another brisk garage rock number, this should have been absolute rubbish but it's The Fall and so they carry it off wonderfully. The instrumentation does build as the song goes on, Mark's "O zztrrk man" contributions do not and remain fuzzy. It's brilliant. :grin: 'Gibbous Gibson next, a routine strum-along with pleasant guitar and bass. The mellotron returns midway through making it the most poppy song since 'C.R.E.E.P.', but this mood is soon quite rightly lost as the mellotron and guitar go all weird and out of tune towards the end and all hell is let loose again. :lol: 'Groundsboy' brings things down to earth again, a decent rockabilly tune that's hugely infectious, and I for one have been humming the bugger all week. I'm sure it's Pam on backing vox and drumsticks. And finally 'Nine Out Of Ten'. I'm pretty sure Mark knew this was the last album. It's a song regaling a life gone by, and a la Bowie with his Black Star album, recorded as a final two fingers up. Mark and Pete perform a duet of vox and guitar, allegedly and I think rightly under the influence of much ale. It's harrowing yet funny in it's wayward delivery, The final five minutes of Pete strumming alone make me think of a Fall without Mark - it clearly doesn't work which is I suspect the point being made.

Pick one from that! I'd go for 'Couples vs Jobless' but we had the weird ambient collage last time. 'Fol De Rol' and 'NFE' are both brilliantly executed if not necessarily to my taste, you can't take the quality of the work away though. And so I am going to finish this possibly in a flippant way, but a way which fits in nicely to the final list. A song that shouldn't work but only The Fall could conjour up and get away with. 'O! Zztrrk Man'. :clap:


phpBB [video]



Mark E Smith passed away on January 24th 2018. :(
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Post #300 - 20 Jul 2019, 02:59

This is a great end to a great series routemaster. :wub:
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