A tribute to Mark E. Smith

We at Band on the Wall, like so many musicians, music fans and institutions throughout Greater Manchester, were deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Mark E. Smith this week. The Fall frontman was a formidable presence both on and off the stage and leaves in his wake a back catalogue of tremendous breadth, plus a music scene all the richer for his influence upon it. The Fall recorded their first EP, Bingo-Master’s Break-Out! the same week as making their earliest-known Band on the Wall appearance, alongside the York-based avant garde artist Trevor Wishart in November 1977. It was a gig under the Manchester Musician’s Collective banner and a few months after it took place, they made an appearance on Tony Wilson’s What’s On for Granada TV, performing tracks from the debut EP and forthcoming LP Live at the Witch Trials. Discussing The Fall’s methods and perspective with Wilson, Smith said ‘A lot of people appreciate the stance y’know…appreciate the communication’: how true that proves to be, almost forty years on. Watch the historically significant clip below.

Upon delving in to the Band on the Wall archive, we unearthed a live audio recording of a performance from the band in 1978. The exact date of the performance is unclear, but The Fall played at the venue numerous times in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Listen to the full live recording below and join us in bidding a fond farewell to the great artist that was.

R.I.P. Mark E. Smith