14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Fallen: Life In and Out of Britain's Most Insane Group (Paperback)
Mark E Smith has been fairly derogatory about this book - his boast of having burnt it appears proudly on the front cover. And yet it's an intriguing idea: With the largely unmusical Smith consistently producing authentically Fall-sounding albums regardless of line-up (he famously said "if it's me and your granny on bongos, it's still The Fall") what exactly does he do to his musicians to help them hit what many regard as their creative peaks and what insights can they offer into the fascinating mind of this bizarre and somewhat other-worldly character?
Simpson tries to combine this worthy musical odyssey with that most recent phenomenon, the jaunty but pointless quest. It's not quite Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, but his structuring of the book as a journey towards a largely unlegendary drummer is rather contrived. The text is further 'enhanced' by an unwelcome commentary on the disintegration of his love life. These laboured narrative devices are there to serve a purpose, which is to distract the reader from the pond-skimming depth and repetition of each interview. Simpson seems so overwhelmed at having tracked down somebody who played the kazoo for one night in 1983 that he has forgotten to prepare any questions and by comparison, he makes Jools Holland look like Jeremy Paxman.
All this is a great shame, because his research is excellent and his dedication unswerving. He formulates some interesting theories along the way as to what drives Mark E Smith, but whilst many of his interviewees are legendary to Fall fans, we quickly realise that talking to the monkeys rather than the organ grinder can only yield so much. Sad to say, but if it's funny, legend enhancing MES anecdotes you're after, I'd check out Stuart Maconie's Cider with Roadies instead.
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Jan 2011 17:09:03 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Jan 2011 17:09:45 GMT
I read this review AFTER getting 40 pages into the book itself. It pretty much bears out my first impressions. It would be a good idea for Dave Simpson to use a dictionary to check out the meaning of some of the longer words he uses. Still, as a former Fall obsessive; I will endure...
‹ Previous 1 Next ›