RETURN OF THE MARK

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We thought MARK E SMITH was going to be the second Manc to be banged up this year, but he's back...

THE FALL are back with a new line-up, single, album and live dates after one of the most turbulent years in their 20-year history.

MARK E SMITH told NMEthat The Fall‘s new line-up featured both himself and Julia Nagle, with Tom Head on drums and Karen Latham on bass. Former drummer Karl Burns, guitarist Tommy Crooks and bassist Steve Hanley left during the US tour in April.

Smith appeared at Manhattan Criminal Court on November 4 on assault charges, but the hearing was adjourned until January 6. It was the second time the case was adjourned.

He was arrested in April after allegedly kicking, punching and choking Julia Nagle, his girlfriend and The Fall’s keyboardist, at a New York hotel during a US mini-tour. He was released on $1,000 bail and ordered to undergo counselling on his return to the UK.

Smith said: “They (court officials) just said, ‘Why do you keep dragging this man from Britain?’ Then they all started talking to themselves and asked me to go again. I’m not running away. I’ll just keep going and bore ’em to death and they’ll drop the charges. It’s lucky, I could’ve got 15 days.”

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The new line-up will all appear onstage at the band’s forthcoming dates at the Bristol Fleece & Firkin (December 14) and at London WC2 Astoria (December 16).

A new single will be released in January on Artful/BMG – either ‘Touch Sensitive‘ or ‘Fold In Money’. Smith said he was thinking of calling the forthcoming Fall album ‘The New‘ to reflect the band’s fresh start.

“It’s all a bit clearer, you can hear my lyrics, stuff like that. Very smooth. I’m really pleased – after what’s gone on this year, it’s like coming out of a tunnel.”

Eleven tracks have been written so far, of which five have been recorded. It should be released in February.

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