Across the country in the last few weeks, in the back rooms of pubs and in small independent venues, people have been finding their own ways to commemorate the life and genius of Mark E Smith, play his music and share stories. Defiantly single-minded and fiercely independent to the end, this is how he deserves to be remembered, with DIY celebrations organised by those who loved his music.
And in a packed Glossop Labour Club, that’s exactly what we did, with the help of Gavin, Darren and Steve and several piles of records. With personal recollections and readings from a few choice books about Smith and The Fall, between them they managed to navigate 40 years of music – from the first EP to the last LP – each track and every tale reminding us why (despite or because of?) they were such a unique band. We were also lucky enough to welcome two ex-members – Simon Wolstencroft (drums 1986-1997) and Ben Pritchard (guitar 2001-2006) – who really brought to life what it was like to be in The Fall and work with Mark E Smith.
It’s a night we won’t forget.
Thanks to Gavin, Darren and Steve for putting this session together and also to Funky Si and Ben for being so generous with their time and stories.
Listen to some of the music played here or on the player at the end of this post.
GAVIN’S SELECTION (1978-1982)
Repetition (Bingo-Master’s Break-Out! EP, Step-Forward Records, 1978)
No Xmas For J. Quay (live) (Totale’s Turns (It’s Now Or Never), Rough Trade, 1980)
Printhead (Dragnet, Step-Forward Records, 1979)
Jawbone and the Air-Rifle (Hex Enduction Hour, Kamera Records, 1982)
Fit and Working Again (In: Palace Of Swords Reversed, Rough Trade, 1981)
DARREN’S SELECTION (1984-1988)
No Bulbs (458489 A Sides, Beggars Banquet, 1984)
My New House (This Nation’s Saving Grace, Beggars Banquet, 1985)
Living Too Late (Living Too Late, Beggars Banquet, 1986)
Hey! Luciani (John Leckie version) (Sounds Showcase 1 EP, Sounds, 1987)
Athlete Cured (The Frenz Experiment, Beggars Banquet, 1988)
Big New Prinz (Jerusalem/Big New Prinz, Beggars Banquet, 1988)
STEVE’S SELECTION (1999-2015)
Touch Sensitive (The Marshall Suite, Artful Records, 1999)
Dr Buck’s Letter (The Unutterable, Eagle Records, 2000)
Contraflow (The Real New Fall LP (formerly Country On The Click), Action Records, 2003)
Blindness (Fall Heads Roll, Slogan Records, 2005)
Dedication Not Medication (Sub-Lingual Tablet, Cherry Red, 2015)
Extricate (Cog Sinister, 1990)
First Half – Subjective, As Usual
Sing! Harpy / I’m Frank / Bill Is Dead / Black Monk Theme Part 1 / Popcorn Double Feature
Second Half – Objective, Unusual
Telephone Thing / Hilary / Chicago, Now! / The Littlest Rebel / And Therein…
Fol De Rol (New Facts Emerge, Cherry Red ,2017)
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