THIS NATION’S SAVING GRACE

markesmith460

Today’s blast from the past is from away back in December 2006.  It was just 10 weeks or so after I’d started the blog. I’ve included it as a way of showing just quickly things can change….see sentence now marked with **

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Last week it was Morrissey who made a long-overdue debut on the blog. This week it is the band dominated by the mercurial, (isn’t that always the adjective that you have to apply?), talents of Mark E. Smith.

I’m referring of course to The Fall.

I’ll be honest – I wasn’t someone who loved this band from the outset. I did hear them on John Peel time after time, but I didn’t quite ‘get it.’ And things weren’t helped by my first live experience of the band back in late 1982 (it might have been early 83) at Night Moves in Glasgow.

I’d gone along to see the Cocteau Twins but stayed on to watch the main act, which turned out to be The Fall. It was a pretty poor gig – the sound was all over the place and the band were not even talking to one another far less having any communication with the audience. Thankfully, it turned out to be a short event (maybe 30 mins at the most), and then there was an hour or so of ‘indie-disco’ to send everyone home in a good mood.

So I more or less ignored them for a while. But a couple of years later, a move to a new record label – and a crucial change in personnel – led to the release of a run of records that were easier to listen to, and to the horror of the hip-priests, The Fall got radio-friendly with a broader appeal. I started paying attention again.

With a recording history going back almost 30 years, featuring dozens of singles, EPs and albums, there’s plenty to choose from. But I’m sticking with a song that has turned into something quite personal in recent years.

** I’ve been lucky in that almost all of my close friends are still alive. But there is one who passed away a couple of years ago after a long illness, and I do think of him every now and again. Especially at this time of year.

This is for AGF. And while he would have abhorred The Fall – he was a classical music buff – he would have been very amused that there is a song out there that makes me think of him every time I hear it.

mp3 : The Fall – Edinburgh Man

It’s a 1991 release, originally on the LP Shift-Work. It’s also available on a multitude of compilations, but surprisingly not on 50,000 Fall Fans Can’t Be Wrong – 39 Golden Greats which is pretty much indispensable.

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2014 Update.

I’ve since lost a number of close friends and a brother, all in tragic circumstances and all of whom were taken too early. I’ve also got to know someone who lost a child at a horribly young age after the bravest of battles against a horrible form of cancer and right now I’ve got another mate who is terminally ill but is making sure his final days are memorable in so many ways for so many people.

I’ve also heard and lots of other sad and distressing tales since that original posting above which have made me realise just how lucky I was in the first 43 years of my life to have been more or less untouched by tragedy.

As I say, much has happened this past eight years or so and I’ve no doubt that much more pain and heartache is still to come  – some might think that’s a bit doom-laden but it’s actually laced with realism as both my elderly parents are still alive and as I type keeping excellent health all things considered.  What I can say is that when things have been difficult, then I’ve taken great strength from the help and support offered so willingly by my friends electric.  Thank you one and all.

I can’t possibly finish on that downbeat note…here’s another great MES track…a cover of a Kinks classic and it’s especially for my great mate ctel!!

mp3 : The Fall – Victoria

Enjoy.

 

 

 

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