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Let’s Make This Precious

Disko Never Dies – Remembering The Fall

WORDS BY FERGAL KINNEY      POSTER BY ERIN CAINE

When Mark E Smith died in January 2018, nights playing only The Fall seemed to spring up everywhere – well, London and Hebden Bridge – but surprisingly, not Manchester. Deciding this was not on, myself and Daniel Cooke, of Let’s Make This Precious, got in touch with the Star & Garter with a view of putting on a one-off Fall club night; strictly all The Fall, all night. Onlookers praised the talents of Smith and saluted his memory, late into the night.

The evening went off without a hitch so, it felt only right to do it once more, this time on Saturday 23rd March 2019 – one year on from the previous display of memorial affection for the Fall singer. Entry is £5 per person, with the night running from 11 pm ’til 3 am. Want to know more? You can RSVP to the event right HERE.

There’s room for this to become an annual celebration. Taking a look back at his career here are some tracks that we’ll be playing on the night that speak to a unique artist that remains peerless from his generation.

Rock n Roll isn’t even music really. It’s a mistreating of instruments to get feelings over

The Fall would have happened regardless of punk – the young Mark E Smith was already chaining Captain Beefheart, The Velvet Underground, CAN etc – but the ’76 moment provided an open door for Smith to sneak through and an infrastructure on which to launch. 

Industrial Estate is probably the only point in the Fall’s history where they sound aligned with what’s going on around them. This track was recently used at the end of Ben Wheatley’s film of the Ballard book High Rise, and was perhaps the only good thing about that film. There’s a bit of a parallel with Smith and Ballard; both lived in suburbia, writing about the weird from a non-metropolitan vantage point, and were sneered at for this.

The fact that weird fiction/horror writers like HPLovecraft, Arthur Machen and MR James are widely read now is thanks in no small part to Smith championing their work at a time when those names (especially Machen) had fallen well out of favour. Pulp horror would be a huge influence on Smith’s writing (Mark Fisher wrote brilliantly on this in his essay Memorex for the Krakens), and The Fall track, Wings, is the most successful, most thrilling embodiment of that. The song’s protagonist appears to be shot during the US Civil War, which is the trigger for him hitting a cosmic timelock darts him back to 1825 and then forward to the present, via gremlins and flabby time-traveling wings. Billy Bragg this ain’t.

The fact that The Fall burned through some sixty-six members is well-documented but is also a bit of a red herring if you’re looking for clues about the man. He was a great artist, he just looked nothing at all like our expectations of great artists. 6ft with a stoop and wearing your grandad’s slacks, he dressed like a man twenty years older than his age and cultivated an image more akin to a world-weary mafia boss than an avant-garde musician. But he was an avant-garde musician, which does mean that a lot of The Fall isn’t really aimed at the dancefloor. When it is, however, the results are thrilling. Hear the birth of LCD Soundsystem on Telephone ThingJames Murphy would even directly lift the track’s “I’m tapped” hook for the 2005 single Movement.

As Let’s Make This Precious‘ co-DJ Daniel Cooke likes to remind me, The Fall were nothing if not a great cover’s band. Victoria, There’s a Ghost in My House, White Lightening – some of the group’s definitive cuts were covers. Lost In Music is my personal favourite. Released in 1992, you can hear the influence of this track’s louche WMC disco all over Pulp’s His’n’Hers, which would come out two years later. Sensibly, Mark E Smith sat out the Britpop thing. Insensibly, he used it as an opportunity to go bankrupt.

There was a view peddled in obituaries last year that Mark E Smith declined as an artist, that the booze got to him; this is a wrong view. Imperial Wax Solvent, The Unutterable, Your Future Our Clutter – just three utterly indispensable post-millennium Fall albums, and there’s plenty more where that came from. Just listen to Dedication Not Medication, the electroclash banger from The Fall’s penultimate LP. You know that awkward moment when you go to the doctors over your chronic bedwetting, but the GP is Piers Brosnan and he’s prescribing you Curly Wurly bars? More than anything, Mark E Smith was overlooked as a surrealistic, a Manchester Magritte. And, just so you know, that bassline is about to demolish your flat.

Like this? Read up on all of our blog posts HERE 👀

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UPCOMING: Dexys Midnight Runners’ Kevin Rowland
@ Night & Day

WORDS BY HANNAH TINKER

Fast becoming legendary on the Mancunian nightclub scene, Let’s Make This Precious has seen a roster of talent provide DJ support for the night. Including the likes of Cabbage, The Orielles and the man himself Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners – the original team behind illustrious track ‘Come On Eileen’. Never one to shy from a stage, Rowland is making another appearance for LMTP on Friday 7th September at Northern Quarter’s Night & Day Cafe.

Besides the obvious headline character, this isn’t just any standard DJ set. Kevin steps out of the box from your regular, modern Spotify-playlist DJs and sings the vocals of the tracks that he plays. If his last set at the club night is anything to go by, the man of the hour will likely be front and centre on the stage of Night & Day, eager to please his audience.

After their glory days, Dexys made a return in 2016 with hit album ‘Let the Record Show’. Let The Record Show: Dexys Do Irish and Country Soul is a project that Rowland says he wanted to do in 1984, but the band unfortunately split before he got the chance. It’s a collection of Irish songs that have been reimagined alongside other ‘selected compositions’ that the band have chosen. The group, which now comprises of Kevin Rowland, Lucy Morgan and Sean Read, have gone to great lengths to explain that the album is not a stop gap. It is to be considered alongside the rest of the band’s material; as a new chapter added to their cannon.

Expect a fanfare, disco ball and soul-filled evening, taking Night & Day into the forefront of your Friday evening plans. Dexys days are never over and disco never sleeps.

Ready to boogie? Find out more on the event page 🕺

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