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Friday 26 January 2018

Head Down

I was thinking while driving home last night about The Fall and how they've been part of my musical life for over thirty years. When I first started properly getting into music- buying the records, going to the gigs, reading the music press, looking for the clothes, all that kind of stuff- The Fall were there (along with The Smiths, New Order, Talking Heads, and various other indie/alternative bands). And while I've never been a buy-all-the-records Fall fan, their music is undoubtedly part of musical DNA. In the 8 years I've been doing this blog I've posted about them 17 times. The songs- Theme From Sparta FC, Bill Is Dead (thrice), Popcorn Double Feature, Funnel Of Love, How I Wrote ''Elastic Man'', Bingo Master's Breakout, Two Librans, White Lighting, There's A Ghost In My House, Rowche Rumble, Big New Prinz, Wrong Place Right Time and Squid Lord (plus I Want You by Mark E Smith and Inspiral Carpets, Mark with Edwyn Collins on Seventies Night and Rhinohead by MES with Von Sudenfed). That looks like a pretty decent compilation album right there.

On top of those I could easily have posted these without much effort- Free Range, Hey! Luciani, Repetition, Industrial Estate, Edinburgh Man, Mr Pharmacist, Hit The North, Eat Y'self Fitter, Touch Sensitive, Victoria, Cruiser's Creek, Totally Wired, Who Makes the Nazis?, Telephone Thing, High Tension Line, Twister, Blood Outta Stone, Kimble, Trust In Me, Spoilt Victorian Child, Bremen Nacht, Dead Beat Descendent, Jerusalem and Get A Hotel. That's just the obvious ones off the top of my head. And this one, off 1988's The Frenz Experiment (a somewhat unloved album I think among the devotees but I treasure it. I think Brix really brought something to the gruppe).

The Steak Place

For a long time I thought there must be a subtext to The Steak Place but couldn't put my finger on it, something in the lyrics I couldn't work out. But on reflection I think it is just a song about a steak house.

'Cheap carpet lines the way 
Aluminium tack door handles 
Candelabra lions head 
Via butchers display too

The steak place
Via a carcass row
Things are brought forward and eaten,
I see the corners filled with hitmen,
Two young lawyers they are whispering, in
The steak place

I want to stay here,
I don't want to go anywhere,
I could remain here'


Anonymous said...

Early Fall (up to Hex/Room to Live) takes some beating. my interest waned a little in the rockist 80's but that period was also, of course, lavishly sprinkled with brilliance and i continued returning to the fountainhead of splenetic discourse. He was so brilliantly descriptive about british life. The Fall described what it was like to be alive in this country, the underbelly, the gist of it all. You were so right playing 'Steak Place', we know these places, their dark corners. Could have been 'Industrial Estate', how many times have we been to them? or all the characters, the Casino Souls, The City Hobgoblins, The British Grenadiers, The Carry Bag Men and of course Fiery Jack, 'the liver burned in the small of his back'. Your list and my list is almost endless and Mark E Smith described so much of it with phrases and observations that both chilled and caused hilarity. He has left some weird psychological imprint on all of us who listened and learned. Ironically then I played his song, not about Britain , but 'Iceland' last night and had a quiet moment. w.b

Anonymous said...

As Drew said on the Twitter, pity we are not going to get a Weatherall mix now.

But I don't know. He still could.

JC said...

What’s this ‘on the Twitter’ referred to above?

PS. : No Bulbs. A right tour-de-force is another that you could have posted without any qualms.

Anonymous said...

Don't go on the Twitter, JC, it's a hive of scum and villainy.

Jake Sniper said...

All The Fall tracks you've listed would make a great compilation (takes note of tracks for his own compilation)Yes Mr Weatherall could still apply his sensitive touch to a Fall track or two (see what i did there) but it wouldn't be the collaboration we really want. Yeah not sure you should go on Twitter, you get all-sorts on there.

Echorich said...

Now I can't say this for sure, but there was a very NYC, old timer's steakhouse on the East Side of Manhattan in Gramercy Park called Farnies. It was an easy walk from The Gramercy Park Hotel, a place I know The Fall stayed at more than once in the mid 80s. Farnies had massive baked potatoes, "bottomless" salad and ridiculously cheap and very good steaks. The restaurant has seen better days, with a dated 50's dark red carpet, candelabras and dusty old chandeliers. The Gramery Park Hotel used to recommend Farnies to patrons, so I have to think it's just might be possible this is the Steak Place.

Anonymous said...

how about this ? make your own Fall Weatherall mix. play Telephone Dub at 33rpm.

Swiss Adam said...

That's got to be worth a go anonymous.

Echorich I hope so too. It always made me think of those Aberdeen steak house places in London.