THE FALL‘s MARK E SMITH is to release a spoken-word album and one track details the events in New York in April which led to the walkout of three members of the band. Smith has since replaced them and will debut a new Fall line-up at London WC2 LA2 on August 12. Smith has described the album, which has the working title ‘The Post Nearly Man’, as “shouty, violent, and nothing like a Radio 4 play”.
The album was put together at a number of friends’ houses and Pete Waterman’s Manchester studio in May and June. Many of the pieces are taken from poems and stories Smith says he’s had “stacked up in boxes while I’ve been stuck doing my day job”. The album is released by Artful in August. “They contacted me. They’d done one by Gordon Banks (ex-England goalkeeper) on fishing and it was really good,” Smith said. “Most of my album is just prose really. It’s very much Edgar Allan Poe, very low-key with no sound effects.”
In April this year bass player Steve Hanley, drummer Karl Burns and guitarist Tommy Crooks left The Fall after a riotous US tour, claiming Smith was “impossible to work with”. The walkout followed a number of inter-band fights and the arrest of Smith on a charge of assaulting his girlfriend, Fall keyboardist Julia Nagle.
“There’s a song that’s about that, but it doesn’t go into the gossipy side of it,” Smith said. “It’s more the aftermath. It’s a pretty good sort of sketch about what I went through there. It’s not like, ‘Oh aye they’ve bloody left me ‘ere!’ or anything like that. It’s about being in New York with nothing, no money or anything.” Smith said that he’d played the album for Artful but their response wasn’t quite what he was expecting. “They said it sounded prehistoric! It’s pretty violent considering there’s only bits and pieces of music on it. But that’s what I was going for.”
Meanwhile, Smith and Julia Nagle have been joined in The Fall by new bass player Karen Leatham. Former Polythene drummer Kate Methen, who appeared with the band at London Camden Dingwalls in May, has also joined the band full-time. Smith is currently looking for a full-time guitarist but says he’s toying with the idea of using ten guitarists when The Fall play live again! “It’s sounding good. I haven’t heard from the old band, they’ve changed their phone numbers, not that I’ve tried to call them you understand.”