The fall – as in on to barbed wire

February 1, 2009

Falling in love with the Fall was a slower process than it had been with Joy Division. I was intrigued by a reviewer who said they made him want to go out and kick a cat, and by a guy I’d seen with “Rowch Rumble” painted on the back of his leather jacket. I went out and bought “How I Wrote Elastic Man”. 


The first play left me confused. I didn’t really have a musical language for this, Discord hadn’t featured highly in my listening at 15. I persevered and after a few listens realised this was really exciting. I turned it over and played City Hobgoblins. I needed more. I managed to get hold of a copy of Grotesque. Container Drivers had me bouncing around my bedroom. It took me a bit longer to appreciate New Face in Hell.

A few months later Sheffield City Council put on a series of gigs for the unemployed. I was still at school but borrowed my uncle’s UB40.  The line-up was- Scanlon, Hanley, Riley and Smith. I went expecting to hear my favourite songs (by now I’d bought up everything I could find – Rowch Rumble, Fiery Jack,Slates) but discovered that Fall gigs could be frustrating affairs. We were treated to tracks from the forthcoming album, Hex Enduction Hour. Hip Priest seemed to go on for hours. The audience were restless. “Speed it up Mark” someone shouted. They didn’t.


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