Mark E Smith and hired hands survive jail, binges and domestic violence to make that difficult 238th (or whatever) album...

THE FALL have survived one of the most troubled years in their chequered history to release a new album, ‘The Marshall Suite’, out on May 14 through Artful Records.

Last April, The Fall‘s founder Mark E Smith lost two of his longest-serving band members in Karl Burns and Steve Hanley, plus relative newcomer guitarist Tommy Crooks. He also faced charges in New York for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend and keyboard player Julia Nagle.

It looked like the band were due to split, but Smith is back with a new 18-track album, the follow-up to 1997’s ‘Levitate’, and has announced a new line-up of The Fall – the 22nd, approximately – since the band’s 1976 inception.


‘The Marshall Suite’ is preceded by a new single, ‘Touch Sensitive’, on March 8. The new line-up features Smith, Nagle on keyboards, Tom Head on drums and new members guitarist Neville Wilding and bassist Adam Halal, who replaces stand-in bassist Karen Latham. Both new members joined after working as session musicians on ‘The Marshall Suite’.

The singer has now “sorted out” his problems with the US courts following his April arrest and does not have to return to the country to face charges, a band spokesman said.

Meanwhile, The Fall play London Kentish Town Forum on May 14, preceded by a three-night residency at Manchester Witchwood on February 28, March 1 and 2. Tickets for the shows are available from NME‘s 24-hour ticketline on 0870 1212 500 or click here to go to our online gig guide and ticket service.

Click here to read Ted Kessler’s review of The Fall Peel Sessions.

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