Not everyone 'gets' The Fall and those that do probably wonder why they 'get' them at all. Mark E.Smith is the remaining founder-member of a band that has gone through more members than the National Trust and seemingly made more albums than James Last (probably not, but I bet their album-to-year ratio isn't far apart from each other). Smith has a reputation for being a formidable wordsmith and a tricky interviewee. And when he's not being an arch curmudgeon, his band can be just as bewildering. On one occasion at a Manchester gig, they were cantankerous enough to perplex our very own Stewart, who was already attempting to get to grips with the evening's set-list - they performed a 4th encore with the lights up, the doors open and half a hall in front of them.
But they wouldn't be The Fall if they weren't, y'know, The Fall. After 35 years of tongue-twistingly, brain-fizzingly, gloriously verbose vernacular, the Mancunian machine, with 'hip-priest' Smith still at the helm, rumbles on with their 29th album due for release on 14th November, via Cherry Red. "Ersatz GB" will include upcoming single, "Laptop Dog", and will be accompanied by a UK tour.
Before that though, The Fall will be headlining the SWN Festival in Cardiff on Saturday, with other Peel legends The Nightingales and Ted Chippington. Tickets are still available for that event at the city's university, priced at £15 (a serious bargain). The Ersatz tour will begin in Leeds on 2nd November, followed by shows in Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester (just added) and more until the final pairing in London at the IndigO2 and Poole's Mr Kyps on 24th November. We have tickets for all of them - prices vary from £17 to £22, depending on location.
As per usual, don't expect a predictable set-list - there is a mountain of classics in their canon, as it is. Just immerse yourself in the 'wonderful and frightening world of The Fall' - and don't rush for the door when the lights go up!