New Music
15.03.2010, Words by Ruth Saxelby

A Love Letter to The Fall

There are some occasions in my life where I have felt the urge to bellow at people, hit snares, rides, crashes, grind out raucous synth sounds for hours, start a musical brawl fuelled entirely by the knowledge that my ferocious torrents will not perhaps be understood, well recieved or even enjoyed. The good news for me has always been that during these moments of hardship I can listen to The Fall.

The Fall have existed for time, currently gearing up to the release of their 2010 album ‘Your Future Our Clutter’, having begun way back in 1976 in Manchester. This is my love letter to The Fall.

For much of my earlier life I was a traveller. My parents were both teachers/explorers and, thus, the whole family flew out to Dubai for five years when I was very young. Subsequent stints in Switzerland, Turkey and Vienna ensured that my musical appreciation was crushingly jet-lagged by European pop music interests. When we finally migrated back across the English Channel, I found myself living on an estate in Ford, West Sussex, scarred with a slight American accent. From this moment, music started to become a big part of my life. I was drawn, gratefully, into the world of ‘Indie’. I was a big fan of bands such as Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol and TV On The Radio. I started to rollerblade in skateparks, picking up exciting bands from skate video soundtracks.

A few summers on and I was finally getting drenched in new music at festivals. One summer, something happened to me. I found myself at Bestival on the Isle of Wight, unsure of the year, and I had just witnessed a band called The Longcut. Their music worked differently, it was louder, driving, relentless and gritty. Vocals were shouted, not sung. I recall wandering out of the small tent after the set and finding my friends. “Come on, Dom! The Fall are on!” We ran over to the main stage and five minutes later, I was sold. I was under The Fall spell, the Fall Sound.

Seeing the man on stage is different from listening to albums at home, to watching others wooing the audience with ambient satisfaction and good lighting. There is an energy in the air when The Fall are on that no other band has, will have, ever. There is something deeply sinister about them. The hypnotism that grabs me – just watching this man barking near incomprehensible sounds from the stage.

I’m not a technically-minded person; when I see bands or DJs live I’m not standing there thinking, ‘Wow! How did they make that sound?’ or ‘Oooh! Isn’t this interesting’. I suppose that the seeming recklessness of the way The Fall perform, how their records sound, simply adds to their attraction, because I just don’t think about anything aside from the fact that this sound is making me feel good, strong and careless.

The Fall are what you make of them – very much a Marmite band. But to me, crucially, they couldn’t care less.

Dominic Maker is one half of MOUNT KIMBIE who release ‘Remix EP’ on Hotflush in April. Their debut album will follow in early summer.

Read Charlie’s catch up with Mount Kimbie here.

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