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Last year, five musicians who played as part of The Fall throughout the band’s various line-up changes assembled to create a new group called House Of All. The members of the new band include drummers Simon Wolstencroft and Paul Hanley, who joined The Fall between 1980 to 1997, as well as former bassist Steve Hanley and guitarists Pete Greenway and Martin Bramah.
The quintet describes House Of All as “A Fall Family Continuum project”. Earlier this week, the band announced their first-ever tour throughout England, with an eponymous debut album due for release in April. Now, the family of Smith – who was The Fall’s only constant member until its disbandment after his death in 2018 – has rejected House Of All, describing the project as “extremely offensive”.
The statement was uploaded to The Fall’s official website on Monday (January 30). “We wish to clarify to several ex-members of ‘The Fall’ and/or any potential labels or associates”, it begins. “That whilst we wish you well in your future career and projects, we would like to make it quite clear and simple that the Family and Estate of Mark E. Smith in no way endorse nor wish to be associated with ‘House of All’.”
The family goes on to write that they “do not like or permit” the use of Smith’s name, image or band name “in any kind of exploiting way.” The post concludes: “Not only do we find this extremely offensive and very misleading to the wider audience and fans of Mark E. Smith & The Fall, but it also causes us much sorrow, distress and discomfort.”
House Of All’s label, Tiny Global Productions, has since responded to the Smith family’s statement, yesterday (February 1) telling Slicing Up Eyeballs that the band’s “work… stands on its own.” The representative said that House Of All will inevitably “be queried about their involvement in The Fall in interviews and by fans”, and that the band has never sought “to deny or disguise its roots.”
“The band referred to their forthcoming album as ‘A Fall Family Continuum Project’ on the artwork and in promotional materials, since each musician in House Of All has a valid claim to being an architect of The Fall’s sound,” the statement added. “Yet this phrase bothered owners of ‘The Fall’ brand. Thusly and as gentlemen, House Of All has agreed to discontinue its future use.”
Since forming last year, House Of All have released one single, ‘Harlequin Duke’. It is lifted from their self-titled album, due for release on April 23, ahead of the band’s string of headline shows in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh in May.
Following his death at age 60 after a battle with cancer, two tributes were erected in Smith’s honour in England: a mural on the wall of a chip shop Prestwich, and a mosaic feature along Short Street in Manchester.