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Tense highly charged creative atmosphere within The Fall and their relentless work ethic which has won them a dedicated cult following high art respectability and a uniue place in popular music history. Fantastic read Steve Hanley s tale of life inside the The Fall manages to make Spinal Tap look like normal behaviourAnyone who has ever liked a Fall record needs to read thisOne of the best books on music I ve read in a long time How those fantastic records ever got made is beyond me

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The Big Midweek Life Inside The Fall

The first insider’s account of life inside The Fall Steve Hanley’s story unfolds like a novel; from 1979 when he joined his schoolmates Marc Riley and Craig Scanlon in The Fall he puts us right in. As befits the unsmiling uiet balding guy in all those classic Fall photos and gig vids Steve Hanley is uite the hilarious writer and raconteur Even when he freuently returns to discuss the goings on with his brother Paul at home or his father s pie shop where he also worked during his Fall days things can take a droll turn Wait till I tell Paul he s going to have to spend the next four hours in our parents garden shed learning Flat of Angles before he can get on with his maths etcA couple interesting revelations It seems the abusive drill sergeant style for which Mark Smith is renowned was actually originated by manager Kay Carroll not by him Though Hanley doesn t connect the dots explicitly it s clear that MES learned how to control and drive the band by observing his girlfriend Carroll s systematic abuse in action then copycatting it himself after she d left Hanley mocks guitarist Craig Scanlon much thoroughly and often as a comical snob and elitist with the implication that the snobbery was both unwarranted but also essential to the band s sound

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The heart of the action on stage on the tour bus in the recording studio and up close and personal with an eccentric cast of band mates These vividly drawn scenes give unprecedented insight into the in. Other than frontman Mark E Smith Steve Hanley spent time in the legendary and still going post punk band The Fall than anyone else His narrative of his time in the band hits a lot of touchstones for any such tale But of course The Fall navigated a different path at a specific time in music history that makes this story interesting than usual Moreover everyone wants a behind the scenes story of what Smith is really like To Hanley s credit this isn t some gossipy rant but instead a suare account of what went down with The Fall As a result Smith s personality and his decline are revealed as part of the story not at the forefront Which to me makes for an interesting book Considering how much Hanley was living a rock n roll lifestyle at least when it comes to libations he seems to have remembered a lot and he certainly was a steady presence in an unsteady band He has lots of good stories and paints a picture that is easy to capture in the imagination cramped uarters odd gigs triumphs and disasters with of those coming towards the end of his tenure with the bandIt s good that his book came out before Smith s own tome as now we can have a point counterpoint Any fan of The Fall would be well advised to buy this


10 thoughts on “The Big Midweek Life Inside The Fall

  1. says:

    A competently written settling of accounts although Steve Hanley seems like too nice a man to bear many grudges and he's largely sympathetic in his renderings of other band members some of whom he is now working with perhaps that explains it There are very few spectacularly exciting anecdotes lots of tours that tend to blur into eac

  2. says:

    As befits the unsmiling uiet balding guy in all those classic Fall photos and gig vids Steve Hanley is uite the hilarious wr

  3. says:

    This deserves to be at least as successful as the Morrissey autobiography The author was born the same month went through the same formative gig going experiences in early 70s Manchester Mott The Hoople then moving on from glam in t

  4. says:

    Other than frontman Mark E Smith Steve Hanley spent time in the legendary and still going post punk band The Fall than anyone else His narrative of his time in the band hits a lot of touchstones for any such tale But of course The Fall navigated a different path at a specific time in music history that makes this story i

  5. says:

    This is an amazing book that just builds and builds like a Bildungsroman to its shattering but inevitable conclu

  6. says:

    I have to admit I've not read many musical biographies but this is easily among the best I have read The Fall was full of dysfunction since many of its initiators broke from its experimental heading and many were driven away by Mar

  7. says:

    Fantastic read Steve Hanley's tale of life inside the The Fall manages to make Spinal Tap look like normal behaviourAnyone who has ever liked a Fall record needs to read thisOne of the best books on music I've r

  8. says:

    One of the greatest rock books ever written and am I the only one who thinks this is the punk rock version of Hell's Kitchen? Mark E Smith's perpetual browbeating of his bandmates would make Gordon Ramsey broccoli green with envy Of eual mirth are Smith's Captain ueeg style rants about The Smiths They're taking the piss out of me by naming themselves after me Hanley's assessment of Frank Zappa's music sounding like two different

  9. says:

    Humorous and engaging Pick it u

  10. says:

    When i used to work in a library i used to look at the biographiesautobiographies and wonder who wanted to read some of the life stories shelved This book might for many people fit that uestion he is the bass player for The Fall or rather wa