the_fall_hex_induction_totally_wired_mark_e_smithThe Fall’s legendary frontman and acerbic wordsmith Mark E Smith has died at the age of 60.

In ill health for several months he battled on to the end. May his guttural cackle liveth for ever more.

Endless albums documented the post punk decades with barbed brilliance and sulphuric wit. Confusion and clarity in a world scrubbed too clean. Danger- uh!

I loved the intoxicating noise.

I loved the bass grind.

I loved the fact that they were never your showbiz chums. Remote and awkward. Nice people make boring music.

Yet they were stubbornly loyal to an idea. The white crap that answered back. Ghosts from a rusting last who always felt like the future.

And always a great pop band. With cockroach songs that will last forever.

Smith didn’t shout. He sang. He had a beautiful voice- uh!

I’ve been bitten by Smith, looked after by a perfect host as a support band, slagged off by him, sometimes complimented in an obtuse way but that shit matters little. I’ve seen the band play way over 100 times even a few months ago and have all the albums. A fan.

A taxi for mr. Nelson!




Previous articleOne Sided Horse (Evil Blizzard side project) debut album and launch gig news
Next articleSextile : Manchester : Live Review ‘This is a tense, tactile, dark post-punk industrial Korg- throb, an art-punk soundtrack to the underbelly of the city that you can dance to’
Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Devastating news. That man has given me such listening pleasure through my teens, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and now in to my 50’s. There was and can only be one Mark E

  2. “And always a great pop band. With cockroach songs that will last forever.” That sums up The Fall for me…great couple of lines that hits the nail on the head. Neat,from the heart,writing John.

  3. Nice words John. A band that couldn’t be categorised. Every album a treat as you didn’t know what to expect. City fan, outspoken, couldn’t give a fuck and went too soon. I’m another who owns every album and always have a Fall binge every few months. A great loss like losing a family member. RIP Mark.

  4. I’m not the biggest Fall fan in the world (although I do like a fair bit of their stuff) but am saddened to see an awkward bastard like him disappear from the scene – most people are just too agreeable in the music scene nowadays. Maverick definitely covers it for me.

    If there is an afterlife, you just know Peel & Walters are booking him in for a session right now.

  5. Short and sweet…… two words which certainly do not sum up The Fall’s career (which of course would use the exact opposite words!!!)

    Another legendary maverick then. Sigh……… Honestly thought that even in spite of his illness, this incorrigible curmudgeon would go on forever.

  6. Never liked the Fall much but MES was a character it was good to have around. I had many laughs hearing and reading his singular world view. May be cringeworthy to say but he was sort of a champion of outsiders and made anti fashion ‘cool’. Then again being an outsider is perhaps not anything to celebrate if we are talking social exclusion rather than just curmudgeonly ex students mocking the mainstream.

  7. every single person you see on your screen, every single person promoted by showbiz, is promoted for a reason. To do and say the “right thing” as prescribed to them via the powers that be. The most rebellious are given that “tag” for a reason.
    Was this the case with Mark E Smith? I could never decide. Towards the end of his life, he began to say “the wrong thing” in the interviews and if that was flagged up, then yes, he was on the list to be “shut up for good”. But was it that or was it true illness or what? Again… I will never be able to decide.
    All I know is that it takes a brave man to accept the Faustian Pact of Showbiz and then to look the devil in the eye in the last days and speak the truth.

  8. I discovered him through « I Want You » from The Inspiral Carpets, then discovered The Fall.
    Even if he consciously smoked and drank his Life away, it’s a pain in the a.. to see someone die so young!
    R.I.P Mark E.

  9. Always on the outside but always on my inside! It will not be a good evening down the long road without The Fall!
    God bless MES – Lucifer over Lancashire! Living too Late – it is a shame that it was not later! RIP VIP!

  10. Over the years I always looked forward to Fall albums because I wanted to what words M.E.S graced us with this time. God bless MES, we were lucky, so lucky to have a writer like this in our lifetime!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here