Rob Jones
The Excavate book edited by Tessa Norton and Bob Stanley is where the immense intelligence of the Michael Goddard and Benjamin Halligan text – Mark E. Smith and The Fall: Art, Music and Politics meets the more laissez faire world of fandom/fanzines. However, there is a call for a thorough dictionary and search engine to be on red alert as Excavate can take the path of intense examination! Even the extremely erudite will have need to dig deep and cross reference the wordy entries, schools of thought, movers/shakers, mighty and lowly plus the historical, political, social, economic and cultural namechecks across a series of essays.

The applications of The Fall are given an in depth analysis from an array of angles – be it amateurism and the outsider, football and its wand over the maestro, literary/musical influences, the Lancastrian locality, plus the world of workingmen’s clubs among other viewpoints. The more and less obvious pointers are explored as the cerebral caustic rash rumblings of M.E.S. are given the makeover he would quite obviously frown upon.

This melting pot of angular angles are wed to memorabilia such as handwritten letters, from the main man plus notes, flyers, a discography taking in the aural and artistic appeal of the albums plus so much more. A range of renowned writers and celebrated supporters put their slant on the Slang King and his unique and sadly no longer approach to individuality and industry.

Presented as a random regalia in Fall fashion where a stream of consciousness meets a river of unconsciousness this book never stays in one place which pays further honour to its subject. Live and learn, crash and burn, twist and turn, grin and gurn, spend and earn, comical and stern – ladies and gents it is The Fall and how we miss their maverick mainstay that is Mark E. Smith.