Archived entries for

Mark E Smith


Music critic and fan of the Fall, Richard Pearmain profiles Mark E Smith. 

The Madness of King Mark

Like everyone who says they remember where they were when they heard about President Kennedy’s assassination, I always remember the first time I ever heard the Fall. It was on the radio, approximately 3.02pm, as a student on vacation, and not just a vacation for me either – Steve Wright, then the mainstay DJ of primetime Radio 1, was off on his jollies, and who was sitting in for him? John Peel. “Hello, everybody out there in radio land,” or words to that effect, “this is the Fall.” And there it was, Lost In Music, the Sister Sledge disco classic remade/remodelled in the most unlikely way. And there was that unmistakable voice, over the driving funk guitar (funk! The Fall!), Mark E Smith grumbling about “the brick refurbishment of pubs”. Not sure what Nile Rodgers would make of that….

Admittedly, I wasn’t immediately launched headlong into the Wonderful and Frightening World of they Fall, they were more of a slow burner. Of course, I knew who the Fall were, but they seemed a murkier proposition than the Smiths or New Order. However, I don’t know how, but they got me in the end. I think it’s fair to say that there is no such thing as a casual Fall fan – you’re either in, or you’re not. Continue reading…

European Football Round Up – 28th Feb 2012

It’s not even March yet and already the coach of The Greatest Team Ever™ has admitted that his side won’t win the title this season. There may be 14 rounds of matches still to be played in La Liga, but Pep Guardiola has said that he can’t see his Barcelona side overhauling Real Madrid’s 10 point lead at the top. Barcelona went to Madrid’s city rivals Atletico and took on a side that have been revitalised under new coach and ex-Atletico player, Diego Simeone. A clever free-kick from Leo Messi sealed the points for Barca and consigned Simeone to his first defeat as coach of his new team. Dani Alves had opened the scoring only for £35m striker Radamel Falcao to equalise for Atletico. Into the 81st minute and it was time for Messi to step up. Atletico keeper, Thibaut Courtouis – on loan from Chelsea – was still lining up his wall when Messi curled the ball over the Belgian’s head for his 28th league goal of the season. Continue reading…

Different Class

Yaya Toure’s return from the African Nations Tournament back into the Manchester City side has coincided with them getting back into the attacking form they showed at the start of the season. Although it is not a coincidence. A leader in the middle of the park, and the ability to play in either an attacking or defensive role, he gives them an extra confidence, and must be a leading contender for Player of the Season.

However, yesterday, it was the Player of the Premier League who may have made the most important contribution in the League this weekend. Ryan Giggs’ late winner at Carrrow Road yesterday kept Manchester United in title contention, with a total of 61 points, two points of the top, and with a seemingly greater total than the sum of their parts. When they have needed to, United have ground out results this season, going into the weekend with the most clean sheets in the division, and as Giggs showed yesterday, they still have class in the final third to win tight games. Continue reading…

Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Daniel Craig’s Mikael is our friend in the North of Europe, a journalist headhunted to investigate a disappearance of a girl nearly 40 years ago. Running parallel to Mikael finding his feet in the case we learn about Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth, a girl with a dragon tattoo who did the background checks on Mikael and is an expert research; early impressions are she appears to have the social skills of a member of a Brit-pop band while living on a horrible diet of sugary drinks, fast food and nicotine, all of which are provided by brands whose product placement no doubt helped to fund this lavish production. Continue reading…

Niall Quinn

As Niall Quinn stepped down from his position at Sunderland this week, North-East based blogger, Tom Bodell, profiles him.

The term ‘legend’ is banded about without true care and thought over its use nowadays – particularly within the world of football. Football figures can often prove quite divisive when they are being categorized by punters, but Niall Quinn is the exception to both those statements.  Even rarer is it that someone earns said status for their contribution in more than one field. Yet again, Quinn smashes that theory out the window. Continue reading…

London Prepares: Track Cycling

Saturday 18 February 2012

The test events ahead of London 2012 are essential, and for the Track Cycling at the new Olympic Velodrome, the maiden event was the fourth leg of this season’s World Cup, which arguably now has a greater depth of quality than the Games itself due to the disappointing change in Olympic rules that will limit individual events to just one rider per country.

That means some of the best cyclists in the World will not be competing in their best events and there was an early reminder of that in a long Saturday daytime session when Victoria Pendleton set the pace early on in the Women’s individual Sprint, which had a mammoth field of 47 competitors in the qualifying heats. The previous night Pendleton and British team mate Jess Varnish won the Gold in the Team Sprint and broke a World Record representing Team GB, indicating the pace of the new track, made from Siberian pine. Of course, in the Olympics, only one of them will now be able to compete in the Individual race.

Continue reading…

Nothing to Lose

In a blow to the press, a 24/7 sports news channel, website aggragators and talk radio, Harry Redknapp said at the weekend he will no longer talk about the England job until there are any further substantial developments. Redknapp is a good speaker, whether telling an anecdote from his rich history in the game or just expressing a range of thoughts out loud. It can be hard at times for supporters of his club, as well as his employers, when he is sometimes too open – unwisely publically critical of his own players, defensive (and sometimes offensive) about his own club’s fans, and just giving out sound bites to hacks at feeding time – but he is usually entertaining to listen to, with constant analysis of a number aspects of football in a conversational and thoughtful style, more captivating than his regular quips. Continue reading…

GB Football Team: Context

Tom Bodell kicks off the first in his series looking at the GB Football Team, 2012.

The Olympics and football don’t exactly go hand in hand; you only need to look at the farcical way in which the Olympic Stadium row has been handled so far or the fact the football is the only discipline not to be sold out. However, there will be a team GB representing us at the Games for the first time since 1972 when the International Olympic Committee relaxed the rules, allowing professionals to compete at the tournament. Continue reading…

Peter James

Writer Paul Moore on the Crime Writer who inspires him.

Due to ill health and boredom I started writing children’s stories about five years ago; my kids loved them, which was great, but I needed a bigger challenge. Then one day in a charity shop I came across an author called Peter James and his book intrigued me; a picture of Brighton Pier and the word ‘murder’ and the book was sold. It was the best fifty pence I’ve ever spent. Continue reading…

Love

As we all know, 14 February is named after St Valentine, the patron saint of greetings card companies, expensive set menus and stalkers. It’s at this time of year that we’re all supposed to abandon good taste, buy horrid shiny underwear and overpriced roses, and pay double the normal rate for a meal because it comes with a glass of Prosecco and a heart-shaped shortbread. Apparently, this has been deemed ‘romance’. Continue reading…



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