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Mark E Smith form the Fall and his 'pre-cog'. In the spirit of th
22-08-2020, 06:10 PM
Post: #1
Mark E Smith form the Fall and his 'pre-cog'. In the spirit of th
The next #FallMondayPlaylist will be about MES and his 'pre-cog'.
In the spirit of the topic, I invite you to suggest which 10 tracks will be on the playlist...

Chris Kavanagh
I lived across the road from him, he was in my garden one night peering through my window, i asked him what he was doing.. he said he was looking for his cat! that night three little pin lights came floating through the wall he was visualising a spell.. little did he know that i was a bit of a powerful occultist myself. i sent it back.
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24-08-2020, 08:19 PM
Post: #2
RE: Mark E Smith form the Fall and his 'pre-cog'. In the spirit of th
heres the playlist

‘Mark is psychic and he knows it. He’s a precognitive psychic, able to pick up snatches of future incidents before they happen,’

Brix Smith Start: The Rise, the Fall, and the Rise

‘You write things down and you don’t know what they mean but you know they’re true and they come true later. It’s not prophecy as such… I see things happening and I think, “Oh, that reminds me of something.” Turns out it’s something I wrote five years ago.’

Interview with Michael Bracewell and Jon Wilde, frieze, 4 September 1992

Although Mark E Smith had a generally cynical outlook on life, he was certainly not averse to believing in the supernatural side of things. This went far beyond his love of The Twilight Zone. Smith claimed, for example, to have been an accomplished tarot reader in his early years: ‘when people did a tarot with me they’d walk away with their life changed… I got quite a reputation for it’.

The Fall’s back catalogue is peppered with songs that a variety of people (fans, journalists and group members) have suggested provide evidence of Smith’s pre-cognitive abilities. Whether or not the man himself truly believed in his predictive powers is anyone’s guess, but here are ten Fall songs that some believe demonstrate Smith’s ability to predict the future.


[Normally, there’d be an embedded playlist here, but WordPress and/or Spotify are for some reason being uncooperative; hopefully you’ll find it here.]

Psykick Dancehall
According to Kay Carroll, Dragnet‘s opener was inspired by a psychic centre in Prestwich that her mother (a practising medium) had opened in a building that had previously been a dance studio. This was contradicted by Martin Bramah, who claimed that the song was about a disco above a spiritualist church in Prestwich called Questers Psychic Disco (referenced directly in the lyric) that he had attended: ‘I didn’t know Mark at that point, and Mark never went, but later I told him about this place.’ Smith himself provided yet another explanation, saying that the song ‘was based on this Christian Psychic club that I used to go to for a laugh. These psychic women would stop me coming out of the dole and go, “You’ve got it, come to our meeting”. Fascinating stuff. It was like Alcoholics Anonymous for psychics.’ The phrase ‘you’ve got it’ presumably points to Smith’s alleged ‘pre-cog’/psychic talents.

The version below is the Dragnet original. If you haven’t already heard it, you might also want to check out ‘Psykick Dancehall #2’, an alternative version that was a b-side to the ‘Fiery Jack’ single and contains a brief monologue about Scottish psychic Helen Duncan, the last person to be imprisoned under the 1735 Witchcraft Act.

Free Range
In which Smith seems to anticipate the conflict that would break up Yugoslavia. As Dave Thompson put it:

‘One of The Fall’s most ferocious …releases, war torn guitars and keyboards cut through with muttered samples, as Smith’s chilling vision of a pan-European society regulated according to the Nazi/Nietzsche-ian ideal was borne out by the near-simultaneous eruption of the war in the Balkans.’

Whilst the album track is pretty peerless, for a bit of variety I’ve included the Nottingham 92 version here. A cracking take, it’s heavy on the Bush electronica and is introduced by MES as being ‘a bit like James’.

Terry Waite Sez
Brix saw the lyric as clear evidence of Smith’s abilities. ‘We record the song. He ends up getting kidnapped. The song is released. Then his family call Beggars Banquet record company. They believe there might be clues in the lyrics as to where he’s being held.’

According to Smith, the song was about a bloke he met down the pub.

Arid Al’s Dream
A sadly overlooked little gem from an obscure 1992 compilation called Various ‎– Volume Four. It eventually appeared on a reissue of Shift-Work as well as several Fall compilations. The Annotated Fall describes it as ‘a sci-fi tale, seemingly about a dream encounter with an alien intelligence.’ It doesn’t contain any spooky predictions, but there are frequent references to ‘psy-cog dreams’.

Powder Keg
The Light User Syndrome was released on 10 June 1996. It included this track, which referenced Enniskillen and described Manchester as a ‘powder keg’. Five days later the IRA detonated a bomb in Manchester city centre that injured over 200 people. In a 1996 interview (it’s at 25:55) Smith said that the song was inspired by his sister getting caught up in the 1992 Manchester bombing.

Disney’s Dream Debased
Smith and Brix visited Disneyland in January 1984. Brix’s account says that MES was scared and shaken after riding on the ‘Matterhorn’ rollercoaster, repeatedly telling her that the ride was ‘evil’. Shortly afterwards, a woman was decapitated when she was thrown from her car and struck by the next one. Coincidence? Well, yes – but it’s an intriguing tale and a great tune.

Spencer Must Die
Simon Spencer of D.O.S.E. co-wrote this song from Levitate. He died a few years later. Not exactly the strongest evidence for Smith’s supernatural abilities, but still a great track. The version here is a live version (or, to be more accurate, two live versions welded together) from the 2018 triple-LP/double-CD reissue on Cherry Red.

From the 1990 EP, The Dredger. Another example of MES predicting the conflict in the Balkans, not that he was alone in doing so. He referred to the song in a 1992 interview:

‘I wrote a song called Zagreb Daylight two years ago. We were playing in Zagreb and l could feel this horrible, murderous shit in the air.’

A snippet of ‘The Funeral Mix’, another track from the EP, is inexplicably tacked onto the end.

Victoria Train Station Massacre / New Facts Emerge
When New Facts Emerge was released in 2017, there was a little controversy regarding the title of Victoria Train Station Massacre. A couple of months earlier, a suicide bomber had killed 23 people and injured 139 at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena. A Cherry Red representative stated that this was an ‘unfortunate coincidence… The track was recorded and the artwork sent off for manufacture long before the terrible events in Manchester.’

The song wasn’t really a pre-cognition of the tragic events at the Arena, of course; in fact it was Smith having a moan about architectural changes to Victoria Station:

‘I’m actually very fond of the architecture of Victoria Station, but it’s all been trashed to fuck, and that’s what the song’s about. You know all that beautiful Victorian latticework, like they have at Paddington? They ripped it all off.’

New Facts Emerge contains no alleged pre-cog, being more concerned with shaking down frogs. However, I hate to separate these two tracks as they are two halves of one beautiful whole.

can listen here on you tube

Many thanks, as ever, for reading. In the run-up to You Must Get Them All being published, all likes, comments, retweets, shares, etc. are greatly appreciated.
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