I guess, this is 2010’s first ‘Past The Bridge’ posting, and today’s band is ‘The Fall’.There are two things I can tell you about The Fall. First, nobody knows them and second, the band’s music is extremely hard to categorize (Wikipedia). There’s no doubt in my mind that Mark E. Smith (the band’s leader and sole inspirational force) is still around and that he picked up new band members all along. After all, The Fall, that’s the band that has more ex-members than any band in popmusic’s history (50 or something?). The last thing I heard from the band was that during the 2006 US tour, 3 band members either got fired or left the stage in an incident that included a banana peeling thrown in Smith’s face. And if that’s not enough for you, Mark E. Smith’s antics are detailed and set to film in the movie ‘The Wonderful and Frightening world of Mark E. Smith’, which you can see in full glory on YouTube. Call him brilliant or mad; at least Smith has been consistent in his music, and that all along since the 70s.
Picking out the right song was quite a task too but here goes: the
traditional 30+ second sample of ‘Edinburgh Man’, a smooth nostalgic eulogy of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. For a second, I was considering ‘Hostile’ from the ‘Light User Syndrome’ album, but, I couldn’t get it over me to put this right on this blog. ‘Edinburgh’, comes from the album ‘Shift-Work’.
I discovered ‘The Fall’ during my Roskilde 96 visit (previously) and I do remember that the show was delayed for the longest time (Roskilde organizers came up on stage to apologize multiple times). I can’t remember the particular reason, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there was some kind of argument between the members and Mark Smith. But the moment the show started, I was sold (and so were other festival-minders). Eccentric but excellent live performance. I do believe I shot pictures of the band, including a pretty close-up of Brix Smith.
So, generally, if you’re into post-punk music and don’t mind a ranting Mark E. Smith, The Fall’s music is excellent. Smith has a knack for writing biting rants and mumbling lyrics (I mean, he doesn’t sing) about current political and personal affairs , plus he always seems to find excellent session musicians. That is, until, he gets bored with them and shoves them aside. After all, ‘The Fall’, that is the wonderful and frightening world of Mark E. Smith. Since 1976.