Thursday, 31 March 2011

Day 17: The realm of the essence of Tong.

Here's a fantastic one, not only for the tribal drum effect of the percussion and Nagle's keyboard work but for the lyrics and in particular the end. Smith cracks up while reading out a magazine article on the dance DJ Pete Tong, entitled 'The Essence Of Tong'. Brilliant.

Song: Dr Buck's Letter
Album: The Unutterable

Year: 2000

This will be my last one off The Unutterable for a while, just wanted to delve into its majesty for a few days, think we'll be going with some early Fall tomorrow.

Anyway, back to the task in hand, not only is this song hilarious (towards the end) but also has some crazy lyrics about a letter, who Dr Buck is I have no idea, but it seems Mark and him were friends (if he is indeed real) and have since fallen out, hence the depressing lyrics that make up the majority of the song, delivered in a drunken drawl and with a low tone from Mark. As I said before, it has a tribal rhythm to it, which means it has a strange atmosphere to it, a walking, yet chirpy bass line is at odds with the rest of the track. Mark sounds dejected and almost Johnny Cash-esque at times, astounding how many guises MES takes on, he can be playful, rude, desperate, cool, a geek, anything, one thing that always keeps the band interesting.

The end of the song is fantastic, simply MES reading out a checklist from a magazine of items the DJ Pete Tong cannot leave the house without (for the record they are: sunglasses, palm pilot, music/cds/cassettes, mobile phone and an Amex card) he cracks up while reading out the ridiculous minutiae of the DJ's life and it reminds me of tracks like 'Crew Filth' and '$500 Bottle Of Wine' just plain daft, but an essential all the same.

Above: Pete Tong in his sunglasses.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Day 16: This is not an Autobahn, it's an evil roundabout.

I'm investigating The Unutterable for a few days, its actually amazing, never thought to look into it before as I'd kind of written off the 90s stuff as a bit of a duff period, this comes in 2000 and is just brilliant. Here's a real dance music/electronica-inspired one off that album.

Song: Way Round
Album: The Unutterable
Year: 2000

This song reminds me totally of 'Couldn't Get Ahead' he sounds a bit drunk on this one, and the repetition of the line "I just can't find my way" adds to this comparison. Apparently the song is about his aversion to roundabouts, the chorus simply being "I hate roundabouts". This reminds me of the track on Middle Class Revolt ' called 'M5' which has the line I've named this post after, roundabout hate seems to be a common theme with Mr Mark Smith. Perhaps they make him feel queasy, those few seconds of inertia you experience if the driver takes it too fast?

He also mentions Vikings, glass-walled discos and the 1970s, giving a feeling of confusion and drunken wanderings channelling through this whirl of a song.

Who knows, but this track has a very Warp Records Feel, dark, vague and a little mysterious, proving that once again, MES has his finger on the pulse of new waves of music, he always absorbs the culture around him, but as Jon Peel once said: "The Fall are always different, always the same" they always retain that which makes them unique, but also change like a chameleon. This is a great example. MES doesn't even sound out of place with his vocal meanderings, and for a man of 42/43 at the time, doesn't sound like a sad old statesman of rock having a go at a hip musical style, impressive.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Day 15: Hot June, Sunny Afternoons?

Here's a weird one off The Unutterable, a short blast with some lovely production and some flighty keyboard work from the Nagle lineup.

Song: Hot Runes
Album: The Unutterable

Year: 2000

So it's a nice laid back one this, MES sounds relaxed and cool, just like the lyrics (Hot June, sunny afternoons) there's some nice punnage going on in this (hyper-bowl/hyperbole and hot june/hot rune) but mostly its just a scratchy, singalong tune. I've not really listened to this album much, but I think I'll be delving into its depths this week.

Most notable thing about the album is it features a pretty stable lineup for that period of The Fall, the same lineup that recorded The Marshall Suite in 1999 recorded this, so they had a year to get polished, something which shows, the songwriting on here is nice and focused.

Adieu, its too late to write that much, going to start writing in the day instead of last thing at night!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Day 14: Heart attack.

So here's an early one, but one that sticks in the mind. One of the more humorous examples from the often angry early Fall.

Song: Your Heart Out
Album: Dragnet

Year: 1979

Think I must mention the line "Don't cry for me Mexico" just MES at his most playful, silly and makes me laugh every time. This is one of the more underrated Fall albums, people tend to forget it in favour of Witch Trials or Hex, but its full of some belters.

This particular song takes lyrics from reviews they received (I presume from gigs?) with the obvious reference being the line "I don't sing i just shout/All on one note!" which suggests they don't care about these reviewers opinions, and to be honest, if you are focusing on Mark's delivery, then you're missing the point. Yes he may shout, but as countless ex-Fall members have said, he orchestrates wonderful music out of others who can play, and his sense of rhythm is fantastic. Who cares if he sounds like the village soak braying away? If you listen to what he's got to say, there's a lot to hear. Oddly on this track, he actually sounds tuneful and so do the backing vocals, so there.

This track fair reminds me of Half Man Half Biscuit, the repetitive guitar lines are nothing new for The Fall, but the guitar tone, along with Mark's conversational delivery here mark this out as one that maybe influenced HMHB, they certainly carry that tongue-in-cheek element as well as The Fall do.

I've had a Fall overload today, span Middle Class Revolt in the sunshine in South Yorkshire, 15 Ways sounds great in the car.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Day Thirteen: Stuck?

The best description of being a bit stuck and a bit pissed I've ever heard, but the most poetic as well, Oscar Wilde has nothing on MES.

Song: Couldn't Get Ahead
Album: This Nation's Saving Grace

Year: 1985

A punk-infused number that I would dearly love to hear live, this is MES focused and direct, the music is energetic and manic, particular mention should go to the wailing harmonica, which does a good job of emulating the rush of blood that comes with messy drunkenness, of which I feel MES is ploughing through on this song.

The lyrics mention 'flopping on the doorstep' and 'my eyelids were sick of it' suggesting exhaustion as well as being merry. The best lines come with the description of drunk panic: 'Light flashes: return to seat/I feared withdrawal/ And I feared beer was making sludge of my head' but not before he describes being on an 'Asiatic plain'.

The line: 'Where I'm at is a cabbage patch/ No longer strewn with weeds' is what I presume to be the confidence that hits you like a train when you realise you are sober, or you have somehow gotten over a hangover fast, but still rings with the notion of the title, you've still been drunk, you are still where you were before, you haven't moved forward.

Interesting point to make about the album, it has been covered in its entirety by three separate groups, once by members of the then-official Fall online forum website, then by a band made up of members of Fudge Tunnel and Faith No More called Triple Gang and an electronica artist called Globo has covered the original vinyl version as 'an experiment'. This is an album that endures, obviously.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Day Twelve: Eat each other!

I've already failed if anyone's taking any notice, a song a day, I missed yesterday, it just slipped my mind, but I'll carry on as if nothing has happened.

Today's song is possibly my favourite Fall track ever, as legend has it, John Peel apparently 'fainted' when he first heard this one, and I can see why. Utterly unique and my idea of art, just totally abstract, both in terms of lyrics, but also the unhinged music behind it. I think it almost reaches levels The Cardiacs hit, not as frenetic of course, but the nightmarish quality of the incessant bass line and crazy backing vocals contribute to this idea.

Song: Eat Y'self Fitter
Album: Perverted By Language

Year: 1983

So the lyrics, blimey, where to start? Well there's the pre-Atkins diet refrain of the title, an idea as absurd as it is in practice (eating meat, meat and meat, with a side order of meat to lose weight) but then there's the whole computer/furniture trade/club admission parts to contend with. This song is still a mystery after protracted listens, I'll try and cover as much as I can but gawd it's a work of genius.

The opening lyrics are just amazing: "I'm in the furniture trade/Got a new job today/Stick the cretin on the number three lathe" what? Okay, how many people would think to open a song with something like that? Bold, inventive and highly visual, and considering MES only ever had one job (in an office, very briefly) in his entire life bar The Fall, quite insightful.

The bits that stand out for me are lines like: "Analytics have got/My type worked out /Analytics on me/The poison render" this is brilliant, almost film noir-esque paranoia, you can imagine MES walking down corridors and back allies just looking over his shoulder in black and white, this is the poetry of collected culture, MES is simply the mouthpiece here.

Home computing gets a dressing-down here, which for the time, was pretty new (1983!), MES claiming he has seen the Holy Ghost on the screen, in a similar way, he rants about video recorders and rentals of said tapes, asking how do you choose what to record from everything you miss, you must be missing something good, he muses.

Some fantastic descriptive instances I must mention here, talk of 'wretched timesheeters' and 'secret straight-back ogres' is coupled with the final refrains of 'the centimetre square/Said it purged fear' which are also delivered with some interesting sounds from what I presume is Brix and Mark's rolling Rs.

This attempt at describing the song is about as scattershot as the piece itself, so I'd recommend listening back and piecing together your own ideas, this song has given me about a million over the years and I'm sure will continue to do so.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Day Eleven: You're gona to get it through the head.

Possibly the only song to address the hate for students that was a bit more rife than it is now, back in 1994 I think I'm right in thinking students still got grants (as in they didn't have to take loans and swanned through) there was a lot of talk of 'tax dodger' and I think I remember the advent of 'student accounts' being marketed in kooky ways in magazines and on telly. I remember one in particular that had a guy with green hair that matched his lizard which was crawling up his arm. the tagline read along the lines of 'I'm unconventional, so why shouldn't my bank account be?'

Kind of glad that kind of marketing has disappeared, the brazenly 'Hey, we're cool too" that banks used to try, but I'm sure some people think they are the same as they've always been.

Actually, they've gotten worse haven't they? Condescending prattle about budgets and making overdrafts seem ok in the grand scheme of things. Don't get me started on those Halifax twunts pretending to be DJs (good fucking GOD).

Anyway, back to this song:

Song: Hey Student!
Album: Middle Class Revolt
Year: 1994

This song made it to number 2 in John Peel's festive fifty that year, which says it all. This is a great punk number, paced, direct and maybe with a little bit of tongue in cheek. The singalong chorus means its a live favourite for Fall fans.

Think my favourite lyrics are:

When walking down the street,
It's always you I seem to meet,
Long hair down and sneakers on your feet.
As you listen to Pearl Jam in your room.
I'm thinking like that when I sing this song

This is obviously a dig at the stoner students listening to grunge at that time, the stereotypical waster student which was lambasted in the press and hated by anyone with an honest job. I suppose the hate was justified in a way, lots of people losing their jobs from the knock-on effects of the 1980s while these kids got a free ticket to uni, doesn't seem fair, but I'm sure MES had other things on his mind.

Particularly love the reference to Shaun Ryder's face, certainly not a poster boy, so why MES thinks people had him on their walls I've no idea.

The chorus is hilarious: Hey student, you're gona get it through the head.

It's almost as if when walking down the street, MES is doing what I call the psychic one-inch punch in his head to every single one of these chumps he meets, knocking each one sprawling with mind bullets.

I'll forever sing this when I walk past a student now, the jaded 26-year-old I am...

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Day ten: Leave your man.

The opening song to what seems to me like a summery album, just as the sun has popped out, so has this into my world again. What a song, I insist you have a listen and dare you not to feel a bit better about life.

Song: 15 Ways
Album: Middle Class Revolt
Year: 1994

This sounds perfectly of its time, laid back and jangly, like a lot of the alternative rock of the time, but still with that crack and clatter of drums leading the track while Mark sings some whimsical lyrics about people leading their lives based on advice from lifestyle magazines.

Don't be downhearted! There must be 15 ways to leave your man!

Great stuff, if anyone has or indeed, still does live their life based on the pages of a magazine, then you're a fool, having worked with feature writers, they simply funnel as many non-committals as they can into editorial space with no quality control, so I fully agree with MES here, nonsense!

This video is genuinely brilliant as well, Mark at an office desk one minute, dragging an amp through backstreet puddles the next, not seen this video before, can't wait to see some more. I like the sparse sets of Fall videos, seemingly all filmed on borrowed equipment with hardly any planning, most of them feature Mark sitting in pubs, so this proves he can wander around in the fresh air now and again, even if he is singing about flats and post office boxes.

One other thing to mention, this song features whistling, something missing from modern music no? Its not quite 'Wind Of Change' though is it?

There's a live version of this from Phoenix Festival in the year this came out, they play an amazing set, but the crowd look pretty bored, I am aghast. Also this reminds me this album has two drummers, Simon Wolstencroft and Karl Burns, they play the same thing but are perhaps one iota out, meaning it clatters along satisfyingly.

If you are feeling a little more merry after this song, check out some of the other tracks off this album, Behind The Counter and Hey Student! being particularly upbeat. I spy what's coming tomorrow...

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Day nine: A piece of cake.

So this is off their album from last year, which I have to say, has fast become one of my favourites, really well produced, insane lyrics and a swagger that suggests they had fun making it, a rarity surely for Fall albums?

Despite problems with Domino (parts were re-recorded as far as I can tell) this is just frenetic Fall, This particular song is a bluesy number, with some pretty alluring backing vocals from Elena, (aah aah aah ooh?).

Song: Hot Cake
Album: Your Future Our Clutter
Year: 2010

Okay, so the version I have found is not the album version but is pretty damn close, this should really be known as Slippy Floor part 1, as it mirrors the song later on called that. Mark lets out some animalistic noises on this, which is a stream of conciousness affair, taking in Mr Spock, not being able to answer the door and stating The Bill is on telly (its not any more, The Fall have outlived it!).

I feel this is simply a drunk song, the slippy floor could be motor skills impaired, the line 'my dialogue is declining' adds to this, on some level it could be Alzheimers, but I seriously doubt they'd stray into anything so dour on a generally fun song. Could be a nod back to the line about beer in 'Couldn't Get Ahead', (I fear beer is making a sludge of my head) who knows?

What I'd like to harp on about here though, is the production, from the drums to the bass, this is reminiscent of Fall Heads Roll, but has a more trashy feel, indeed the whole album feels chopped up and splayed for all to see, but still retains a quality that is missing on other Fall recordings.

If I start talking about the album I'll be here all night, so I'll end here, I'm sure I'll do gargantuan posts for the songs 'Mexican Wax Solvent' and 'Bury'.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Day Eight: The Green-Eyed Monster...

This is a bit of an odd one for me, love the track, always have since I got it on a bootleg some guy sent me which was a CDR in a card slipcase, simply called 'Not Appreciated'. It was a live version that is possibly better than this album version, reason being that this whole album was skewed when released, having been messed with quite considerably, the track here in question has elements where you can hear there are gaps where backing vocals used to be, the keyboards are apparently quieter in this mix (but not so much, they still cut through like hell) and it generally sounds rushed. However, it is still a catchy and hypnotic one and for years I was convinced this was a cover, not so, Mark E Smith you wonderful creature.

Song: Green-Eyed Loco Man
Album: The Real New Fall (fka Country On The Click)
Year: 2003

Mark sounds very relaxed here, slurring his vocals but sounding oddly in-tune when he sings the chorus, the lyrics are again scattershot but reveal some sort of malice on closer inspection:

Where you're standing, I don't see you

Your reflected green eyes take two foot off you

I'm moving fast but you are tight

Your fractured eyes force me through the night

It's hard to work out which one is the green-eyed one here, Mark or the person in question, it sounds like a real call-out to an anonymous target.

Other tracks on the album sound this edgy and dangerous as well, this is an antagonistic vision of The Fall, the mixing issues seem to make them even more threatening. I've heard a more relaxed version of 'Green Eyed Loco Man' where Mark sounds more laid back and the mix is a lot cleaner and it takes on a stoned air, relaxing and pleasing, just going to show that The Fall write deceptively complex arrangements under what seems like repetition.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Day seven: Kicking up a fuss at the industrial estate.

A classic, simplistic and snotty are the only two words you can sum up this cracker from one of the most raging Fall albums out there.

Song: Industrial Estate
Album: Live At The Witch Trials
Year: 1979

Even with it being so simple, the lyrics still have that other-worldly attention to detail that Mark has become known for, pull away the punk elements (of which this is undeniably influenced) and you have a genuinely British-sounding diatribe:

Get off the ind. est.
Get off the ind. est.

Yeah, yeah, industrial estate
Yeah, yeah, industrial estate
Yeah, yeah, industrial estate

Well you started here to earn your pay
Clean neck and ears on your first day
Well we tap one another as you walk in the gate
And wed build a canteen but we havent got much space

Yeah, yeah, industrial estate
And the crap in the air will fuck up your face
Yeah, yeah, industrial estate
Boss can bloody take most of your wage
And if you get a bit of depression
Ask the doctor for some valium

Yeah, yeah, industrial estate
Yeah, yeah, industrial estate
Yeah, yeah, industrial estate

Incredible, just a rallying cry against petty mindsets and the way things are done, but also an affectionate look at workers' spirit, quite angry and a good five years before mining strikes in 84, for which this could easily be an anthem, gritty and with two fingers up. Its also fitting that this still sounds fresh after 32 years!

I'd be tempted to go through the rest of LATWT as one, long, gushing post but that'd be daft, keep on keeping on, this is getting interesting now.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Day six: Angry Mark.

Song: He Pep!
Album: The Light User Syndrome
Year: 1996

This is the last album to feature Brix, and apparently was recorded in a rush, with Mark recording his vocals all in one day. This song is a chaotic cut from this, with the amateurish Julia Nagle playing keyboards all over it, to varying degrees of genius and discord. It's again a pacey, loud, brash attack to all the senses.

No idea what the hell 'He Pep!' could mean, but the track features a cacophony of keyboard, drums, guitars, some Brix backing vocals and Mark does sound a bit wild here, shouting again rather than singing or his simple oration, some garbled lyrics about parker pens, scruffy hair, David Bowie and what he terms 'traitorism'.

The keyboards sound like a futuristic Mega Drive game, possibly featuring robots, quite club-like as well. What do people make of this one? I'm in two minds.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Day five: The Fall can give you Wings.

Today's song is 'Wings' from 'Perverted By Language' which is the start of the Brix-influenced era, more pop-like but still retaining that resolute Fall sound, repetitive and bitter as ever. This one appeared as a bonus track with the CD reissue of PBL, but is one of those hidden gems.

Track: Wings
Album: Perverted By Language
Year: 1983

It basically sounds alot like the rest of the material on PBL, one guitar riff (most likely Brix) playing incessantly while Mark delivers what sounds like poetry to me, a take on airlines, academia and the passing of time, particuarly like this bit: "Purchased a pair of flabby wings/I took to do some hovering/Here is a list of incorrect things".

Smith can take the mundane and make it sound magical and profound, often without you noticing on first listen, the closing lines are really rather sad: "A small alteration of the past/Can turn time into space/Small touches can alter more than a mere decade".

Ending there, listen to the track, shows more than I can say about it. Probably best to ignore Brix talking at the end of the video I've used.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Day four: A stroll round a deer park?

Today's song is one of my personal faves, no idea what the hell the lyrics are about but they are incredible. Often find myself singing "CH10 Ch11". The line "I took a walk down West 11, I had to wade through 500 european punks" is absolutely batty and makes me laugh on the nth listen.

Song: Fortress/Deer Park
Album: Hex Enduction Hour
Year: 1982

So the lyrics continue to pour out, "Have you ever been to the English Deer Park? It's a large type minstrel ranch" incredible.

This bit fascinates me: "Hey Manchester group what wasn't what you thought
Hey Scottish group that wasn't quite like what you thought
Hey Manchester group that wasn't what you thought
Hey Scottish group that wasn't quite like what you thought
Quite like what you thought
Hey Midlands, scooped yer, how d'you ever get the job?"

I presume this is a reaction to crowd reaction or what people expect of The Fall, suppose they get lumped in with punk/new wave and pop, so someone not used to them would get a shock seeing them for the first time.

This is an era of the Fall I miss, chaotic keyboards cutting through an incredible bass sound with Mark still sharp and focused, don't get me wrong, I love his slurrings nowadays, but this is the sound of the typical 'angry young man' that really hits the spot.

I'd say Hex Enduction Hour is one of my favourite albums, anyone new to The Fall should probably start with that, it has every element that makes them great, the punk spirit, the repetition and the lyrics are as baffling and acerbic as they have ever been, a real standout album among many.

Sorry it's a quick one today, but the song speaks for itself surely!?

Oh and fact fans, existential writer Colin Wilson is repeatedly mentioned on this track, which has prompted me to check some of his stuff out.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Day three, I need a Pharmacist.

Today's slice of Fall action is their brilliant cover of The Other Half's 'Mr Pharmacist' both upbeat and still a live favourite after 24 years. It's a short, but sweet single that gave them their first top 75 entry in the charts, I can imagine this sounds fantastic on a scratchy 7", it's punk without sounding rough, pop without sounding twee, great stuff.

Song: Mr Pharmacist
Album: Bend Sinister
Year: 1986

At just two and a half minutes, this is a swaying, upbeat number, with Mark evidently taking pleasure in singing (as close as he gets to the art) this pop gem. The guitars jangle along nicely and it's a nice, catchy homage to what I'd guess are The Fall's roots, 60s pop. The video I've used is a weird promo, featuring a man dressed up to look presumably ill with comedy red spots covering him all over. The shots of the band range from bizzare (playing outside a concrete office building) to the hilarious (Mark grinding up against the guitarist in the shadow of what looks like a casino at night?).

There are also strange messages permeating the short, but packed video, "Creative theft is vacuous" being my favourite, a comment on the fact it's a cover? Who knows?

Particularly love the sped-up section towards the end, lovely stuff.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Day two, CAN I keep it up?

As I have a lot of free time at the moment, this is proving to be the highlight of my day. Today's is a great song, one which I've neglected to listen to in much detail before, but as ever, The Fall provides.

Song: I Am Damo Suzuki

Album: This Nation's Saving Grace
Year: 1985

Really quite a lilting number from The Fall here, I was actually only a year old when this came out, showing how long the legacy of this band stretches, and Damo Suzuki is still performing his improvisation-heavy art today.

Wikipedia (the fountain of all unedited knowledge) offers this useful slice of information: 'I Am Damo Suzuki' is a tribute to Can, Damo Suzuki having been their vocalist. The riff descending in semitones is based on 'Don't Turn The Light On, Leave Me Alone' from Soundtracks, while the drum rhythm comes from 'Oh Yeah' from Tago Mago. The lyrics make reference to other Can songs, such as Vitamin C.

This is fascinating, in that they've spliced several Can songs into one, improvised-sounding track, I always envisage the Fall song writing process as a strict military-style affair, Smith making people repeat the same note forever until they fall over, the best parts being lifted for entire songs, the amount of riffs per Fall song must be around 2 or 3 at the most, so it is nice to hear them break free now and again. This is a sprawling epic in Fall terms, sounding dreamy and laid back, almost shoegaze-like a good 15 years before the likes of My Bloody Valentine and the like took it to its logical conclusion.

The lyrics are incredible, the standout would be "What have you got in that paper bag? Is it a dose of Vitamin C?" which is as stated above, is another reference to Suzuki's legendary band Can. The drums sound like whipcracks on this track, and the delay-drenched guitars provide a brooding, opressive atmosphere for Mark to spit out the ranting lyrics, seemingly a frustrated attack on kraut-rock or maybe denial of post-punk labels the Fall may have been getting at the time, see the lines: Who is Mr Karlheinz Stockhausen?/ Introduce me, I'm Damo Suzuki/Soundtracks, soundtracks melched together/ the lights, the lights/ Above you listener was in cahoots with Fritz Lieber".

Utterly strange again, this will become a common theme.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

First post, year zero?

I'm going to start this blog in earnest, basically, I'm going to listen to a song by incredible British band The Fall, every day until my heart bursts. Somewhat of a selfish folly, but also to look back at a band (or should that be 'group'?) who have relentlessly released album after album, with to my mind, hardly any strays in quality. I may end up hating them thoroughly very soon, but I see this as worthwhile. Let's see what I can conjure up from the depths. For now, I'm going to use youtube videos so you can listen to the song as well as read about it, seems sensible.

Seeing as I've named the blog after the song, I'll start with the titular 'British People In Hot Weather'.

Song: British People In Hot Weather
Album: Extricate
Year: 1990

Quite frankly, one of the best songs on this particular album, Mark sounds bored as well as amused, a sound hard to replicate. In my mind, this is a skewed soundtrack to lads' 18-30 holidays, the keyboard stabs bring to mind terrible bars in Benidorm, Faliraki and the like, Pina Coladas by the swimming pool and so forth. The word 'cheeky' comes to mind, it's a rare glimpse of the Fall in a playful mood, a good song to start with.

Like in so many songs by The Fall, there seems to be so much more going on in the lyrics than you first notice, on first listen, it could be just an amusing look at lobster-red comical Brits at the beach, the line "His armpit hairs are sprouting/serpentine" and Mark's pronounced rolling of the tongue still makes me laugh on multiple listens. However there are lines creeping in there that are just baffling (but then this is Mark E Smith) "I'm heading straight for the car/if that's how you feel, let's go". I can just imagine someone uttering this line to a partner, sweating and panting after a day roasting in the sun, getting irritable to the point of explosion.

I think there's a cheeky reference to Stoke-On-Trent in there somewhere, something I've always loved about Smith's lyrics, adding obscure place names to songs, it's almost like he has a map peppered with pins on his wall somewhere, one day, there'll be no map left, just a mass of multi-coloured plastic pin heads, fantastic.