A few words from Brian Edge
So, Fiery Jack copped it.
Given that he, Mark E Smith, once declared, “If it’s me and your granny on bongos, it’s The Fall,” then The Fall is probably dead too.
For those who grew up with The Fall, with Mark E Smith, we’re now left with a hefty bruise.
Fans have seen him perform this last year from a wheelchair and grimaced, winced. We kind of knew this was coming.
Over forty years ago, Mark E for Edward Smith, stepped away from his desk at Salford docks and onto grubby stages around Manchester, pouring out words. Ceaseless words.
To call him a singer, even a lyricist, is to miss the point entirely. Mark E Smith was a recorder, a painter of life at its perverse margins. His images were so rich, his language so dense that his followers never went hungry.
There is no greater gift than the nourishment of the mind.
What of the man? Contrary, thrice married, prolific, an intense brain within a Rizla paper of being called genius; a drinker and a smoker. A man who sacked musicians at a rate that made Alan Sugar look a complete amateur. If you’ve never come across him, if you’ve no desire to hear the decades of overwhelming verse, then Mark E Smith as Jesus on BBC3’s Ideal is a pretty good snapshot. For the converts, we’ve got about forty kilos of back catalogue to keep us warm.
The Independent‘s Chris Maume described him as, “a strange kind of antimatter national treasure.”
I think that says it all. I think in essence that’s what Mark E Smith was.
If you missed the boat, I’m afraid you’re going to have a very long wait for the next one.
For more on Mark E Smith and The Fall go to https://thefall.xyz/