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Fall Monday Playlist #13 - Eleni

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When MES died, many of his obituaries made extensive reference to Brix and her influence on the group. Which was entirely reasonable, as I talked about in the previous post. However, very few made more than a passing reference to Eleni Poulou (her first name seems to get a range of spellings, but Eleni is what was on most Fall sleeve credits and it's also what she uses on her Instagram), who was not only Smith's third wife but the third-longest serving member of the group other than MES himself, her fourteen years' service only being topped by Steve Hanley (19) and Craig Scanlon (16). 
Eleni's vocals and her effective if not always virtuosic keyboard work were a key component of late period Fall, so here are ten of her most notable moments.
Spotify playlist
YouTube Playlist
[N.B. There are differences between the two - see below.] I've Been Duped Sounds like Nico covering The Rezillos. Live versions tend to outstrip the IWS take, this being a prime example:

[There aren…

Fall Monday Playlist #12 - Brix

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The Fall played Chicago’s Cabaret Metro on 23 April 1983. In the audience was Laura Elisse Salenger, also known as Brix, a name she took from The Clash's 'Guns Of Brixton'. On meeting MES after the gig, she detected ‘something a little scary about him… he seemed angry, as if a simmering rage lay just below the surface’. A post-gig drink led to a whirlwind romance, with Brix and MES spending much of the rest of the tour in each other’s company. She came to England in May, and they were married on 19 July.Brix had an undeniably significant impact on the Fall story, and it's certainly true that most of the group's most commercially viable moments occurred during her first stint in The Fall. That said, some commentators rather oversell the notion that she transformed them into some sort of pop act. The Wonderful And Frightening World was undoubtedly their most accessible album so far, but it still contained relatively 'difficult' material such as 'Lay Of Th…

"That's Not The Fall" part 1

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This rather random musical excursion was unwittingly inspired by my good friend 'Fulham Bob'. Like me, Bob has been a member of Scopitones, The Wedding Present fan forum, for many years. One little diversion a few of us occasionally partake in is a Spotify playlist exchange. We choose a theme around which we all compile a 12-song playlist, and then review each other's suggestions. All good, clean and harmless fun (except that I am regularly castigated for having the temerity to choose prog and psych tracks, but that's another story...)
Anyway, the most recent theme was 'family' and one of Bob's selections was 'Mothers' by The John-Paul Sartre Experience. JPSE were a New Zealand band active in the late 80s / early 90s on the Flying Nun label, on which In A Holewas first released. (They changed their name to 'JPS Experience' after a lawsuit by the estate of Jean-Paul Sartre.) 'Mothers' is a fine tune, one that Bob was likely exposed to …

Fall Monday Playlist #11 - 'We Are The Fall'

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"Good evening, we are The Fall; from the long, long days..." 
In playlist #8, I selected ten songs that mentioned MES himself. There's an equally rich seam of Fall tracks that refer to the group as a whole. Smith's customary introduction to Fall performances (having given the musicians a few minutes to churn away at a riff before making his grand entrance) was 'Good evening, we are The Fall'. More often than not, it followed a few random snippets of the lyrics to the song the group were playing - frequently this was a relatively new and not yet fully developed tune. On several occasions, it was accompanied by one of his favourite phrases, 'from the long, long days' (or variations thereof).
Here are a few examples:
'Kwik Save started there. The Fall started there. Good evening, we are The Fall. [to audience member] You've got nice hair.' (Tilburg, The Netherlands, 13 May 1981)'Good evening, we are The Fall. Touchstone, as all is stone. As …

"I Prefer The Session Version..." (Part 4)

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The 'Session vs Official' LeagueAnd so, we reach the final chapter...
By the end of the last instalment, the Peel versions had opened up a two-point lead. Here's a summary of the results so far:
Of the 72 tracks recorded for the first 18 sessions, six did not receive a 'proper' recording elsewhere:  Mess Of My Words Of Expectation Kimble StrychnineJingle Bell RockHark The Herald Angels Sing Much to the derision of a vocal minority (you know who you are) 'C' n' C-S.Mithering' / 'C'N'C - Hassle Schmuck' was declared a draw. The following 'official' versions were winners: Mother-Sister! Rebellious Jukebox Put Away Like To Blow Jawbone And The Air Rifle Middle Mass Lie Dream Of A Casino Soul Hip Priest Look, Know Winter Smile Pat-Trip Dispenser 2 X 4 Cruisers Creek Spoilt Victorian Child Gut Of The Quantifier The Man Whose Head Expanded What You Need Faust Banana Gross Chapel - GB Grenadiers U.S. 80's-90's Guest Informant Squi…

Fall Monday Playlist #10 - Horror Stories

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Hey you horror face! 

M R James, Arthur Machen, H P Lovecraft
Slight change of plan: as last week's list was focused on the music, I thought we'd do a more lyrics-related selection this time. Smith's literary influences are as well-known as his musical ones; the the work of the three gentlemen above, for example, informed his work equally as much as the sound of Can, Captain Beefheart and the Velvet Underground. Here are ten of the best Fall horror stories.
The Spotify playlist is here; the YouTube version is here.
Lay of the Land TWAFWO's opener has a distinct folk horror flavour, reminiscent of stone circles and pagan rituals. Whilst there is a Lovecraft reference (‘eldritch house’), the inspiration comes mostly from Quatermass, The ‘lay, lay’ chant was taken from the 1979 ITV series starring John Mills as Professor Bernard Quatermass, a character who first appeared in 1953’s The Quatermass Experiment.


Jawbone and the Air-Rifle More folk horror. Smith's tale of the rabb…