You Can Drum But You Cant Hide Relaunch Party

The relaunch party for You Can Drum But You Can’t Hide. Simon Wolstencroft talks about his time in The Fall, his drug addiction, Freak Party and why he didn’t join The Smiths. Followed by a live performance from The G-O-D.

Recorded at Tap & Barrel, Pontefract

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Brix and The Extricated

Erstwhile members of The Fall reunite after reading Steve Hanley’s memoir

The publication of bassist Steve Hanley’s book – The Big Midweek: Life Inside The Fall – has been the unexpected catalyst to bring former band mates back to play together again. Tracing his time in seminal British band The Fall, Hanley’s book, praised for its novel-like narrative that puts readers in touching distance of the action, has vividly brought the band back to life for fans and former members alike, including Brix Smith-Start, the iconic Fall guitarist throughout the 1980s.

‘A lot of ex-band mates came to the book launch, some I hadn’t seen for over 20 years’ says Steve Hanley, ‘and there was talk afterwards of maybe doing something together again.’

A few meetings later and soon they were rehearsing old songs and new. Demand for a Christmas gig to celebrate the success of The Big Midweek provided the perfect opportunity to play live.

‘When we read Steve’s book, it reminded us how well it could work and how great those songs were,’ says Brix, these days famous for her role as a television fashion expert. ‘It feels so good to be playing again. I love playing with these guys and I’ve missed it. It’s exciting to see where we will go with this.’

The Fall has a reputation as a band with hundreds of ex-members, due to a revolving-door recruitment policy and cantankerous front man Mark E Smith hiring and firing on a whim. This is a stigma Hanley refutes. ‘If you count only the people who made a proper commitment to the band, rather than just playing the odd gig, there was less than a dozen significant members in my time.’

Hanley’s driving bass is synonymous with the band’s unique sound, Mark E Smith describing it as ‘the sound of The Fall’. He is the longest serving member of The Fall apart from Mark E Smith himself. Recruited at the age of 19, he was nearly 40 by the time he left in 1998 following an on-stage fight at a concert in New York. Many fans believe that the spirit of The Fall was lost that night.

‘Many of the ex-band members left The Fall in acrimonious circumstances, and that negative experience has tended to cloud their memories in a negative way,’ says Olivia Piekarski, co-author of the book. ‘This was certainly the case with Steve, but the more we dug away at the past, the more the good times started to resurface and he began to realise he’d had a much better time of it than he thought. The other band members report a similar feeling when they read the book. It shows how powerful the written word can be.’

‘I was twenty years in The Fall but it took writing a book to get interviewed for Bass Guitar Magazine, proof the pen is mightier than the string,’ says Hanley, reflecting on reaction to The Big Midweek. ‘The book is a gift that just keeps on giving, it’s like the Coronation Street version of Searching For Sugar Man.’

The Fall – still going with the only constant Mark E Smith at the helm – is notorious for seldom playing songs from their back catalogue, meaning some classic songs will get their first airing for over 20 years when Brix and The Extricated make their debut at The Ruby Lounge, Manchester, on 13 December. With Brix Smith-Start on guitar and vocals, Steve Hanley on bass and brother Paul Hanley on drums (‘The greatest rhythm section in rock n roll’ – Luke Haines), Steve Trafford on guitar and vocals and Jason Brown on guitar, this is a dream line up for lovers of The Fall sound. The set celebrates music from The Big Midweek, including Fall classics, plus new material.

Gig Reviews:
>>Louder Than War
>>Silent Radio

Click here for more on The Big Midweek

setlist-bateruby-lounge

Set list: Brix and The Extricated, The Ruby Lounge, Manchester, 13 December 2014

Read It First: Advance Copies

Read it First. Advance copies of two new titles available now.
British Story: A Romance
Michael Nath
Michael Nath’s first novel, La Rochelle, was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. British Story is his second novel, but the core idea he’s been chasing for a lifetime. It’s a novel bursting with wit and vitality, laughter and raucousness, and at its centre it dances with the elementary notions of fiction, stories, character, play, imagination and wonder. It’s an ode to books and what draws us to reading, and it’s a novel for those who don’t subscribe to the idea that the novel is dead.
Anyone who has visited our trading stall will no doubt have heard our barrow-boy call of La Rochelle being shortlisted for the oldest literary prize in the English language, and how it’s a book that sits on the top table of modern literature; little Route amongst the colossal houses of Penguin, Harper Collins et al. A fine first novel it is and all this is true. But if La Rochelle is the appetiser, then British Story is the main course. Highly recommend.
Click here to order an advance copy.
Click here Michael Nath’s website.
The Big Midweek: Life Inside The Fall
Steve Hanley and Olivia Piekarski
From our vantage point, there isn’t a band in the world with a story and output to match The Fall, and there isn’t a man in the world who could tell that story as well as Steve Hanley, the heartbeat of the band. Together with Olivia Piekarski, he has created a book which reads more like a novel than a memoir; putting you right in the thick of the shifting dynamics of this incredible cultural unit. It’s a book about the people who made the music, and you’re unlikely to find a richer set of characters than the blessed talents that make up The Fall.
This is not a typical musician’s memoir. Just like the band, this book breaks the mould. As Marc Riley writes in his foreword: ‘You don’t have to like The Fall to enjoy this book. You don’t have to like Mark E Smith to enjoy this book… Hell, you don’t even really need to like MUSIC to enjoy this book! It’s a gripping tale of forged and broken relationships, friendship, and betrayal.’
Click here to order an advance copy.
Click here for The Big Midweek website.
Launch Parties
There will be a launch party for British Story in an upstairs room of a Central London pub that is a key setting in the novel. Monday 23 June, 6pm. It will be an epic literary evening. If you are in the vicinity and would like to join us, we’d love to see. Email us for further details.
The Big Midweek launch party takes place at venue in Manchester on Saturday 12 July, 7:30pm. Steve Hanley has pulled together a very special band for the evening. We have a allocation of guest tickets. Email us if you’d like to join us.

Read it First. Advance copies of two new titles available now.
Plus news of two launch parties.

BRITISH-STORY-mni   The-Big-Midweek-minicover

British Story: A Romance
Michael Nath

Michael Nath’s first novel, La Rochelle, was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. British Story is his second novel, but the core idea he’s been chasing for a lifetime. It’s a novel bursting with wit and vitality, laughter and raucousness, and at its centre it dances with the elementary notions of fiction, stories, character, play, imagination and wonder. It’s an ode to books and what draws us to reading, and it’s a novel for those who don’t subscribe to the idea that the novel is dead.

Anyone who has visited our trading stall will no doubt have heard our barrow-boy call of La Rochelle being shortlisted for the oldest literary prize in the English language, and how it’s a book that sits on the top table of modern literature; little Route amongst the colossal houses of Penguin, Harper Collins et al. A fine first novel it is and all this is true. But if La Rochelle is the appetiser, then British Story is the main course. Highly recommend.

Click here to order an advance copy.
Click here for Michael Nath’s website.

The Big Midweek: Life Inside The Fall
Steve Hanley and Olivia Piekarski

From our vantage point, there isn’t a band in the world with a story and output to match The Fall, and there isn’t a man in the world who could tell that story as well as Steve Hanley, the heartbeat of the band. Together with Olivia Piekarski, he has created a book which reads more like a novel than a memoir; putting you right in the thick of the shifting dynamics of this incredible cultural unit. It’s a book about the people who made the music, and you’re unlikely to find a richer set of characters than the blessed talents that make up The Fall.

The Big Midweek is not a typical musician’s memoir. Just like the band, this book breaks the mould. As Marc Riley writes in his foreword: ‘You don’t have to like The Fall to enjoy this book. You don’t have to like Mark E Smith to enjoy this book… Hell, you don’t even really need to like MUSIC to enjoy this book! It’s a gripping tale of forged and broken relationships, friendship, and betrayal.’

Click here to order an advance copy.
Click here for The Big Midweek website.

Launch Parties

There will be a launch party for British Story in an upstairs room of a Central London pub that is a key setting in the novel. Monday 23 June, 6pm. It will be an epic literary evening. If you are in the vicinity and would like to join us for a drink, we’d love to see you. Email us for further details.

The Big Midweek launch party takes place at venue in Manchester on Saturday 12 July, 7:30pm. Steve Hanley has pulled together a very special band for the evening.

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