Thursday, 5 March 2009

The Fall-en

Finished Xmas pressie book by Guardian journo on tracking down ex-members of the Fall.

Review below:

I enjoyed some of this book - it is a good idea, gives some cracking anecdotes and quotes about MES through the years and is a good accompaniment to appreciating the different eras of the Fall. The way Smith alternately bullies and nurtures different mostly young talent is quite intriguing.
Yet it is flawed - it is a bit circular in its analysis and offers no real conclusions to MES' modus operandi. It also seems very unwilling to concede on whether he is an alcoholic or not. That wouldnt be so bad in and of itself - the bigger problem is the invasive voice of the writer.
At time he looks like he wants to be writing one of those Andrew Collins/Stewart Maconie type books about his upbringing in the North. This feels bolted on and distracts from the main theme.
The worst bit though is towards the end where he outlines the breakup with his long-term partner. This is self-indulgent tosh - I would love to know what his ex feels about him using a book about the Fall to have a go at her and her new partner! The writer also has throw away line about how he was thrown out of school for bullying as if this were the norm. So good content but pretty unlikeable writer by the end - which ironically could confirm MES' attitudes to artists/musicians.

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