Nothing's ever been Mark E Smith’s fault – not the punch-ups, not the break-ups; least of all his band’s constantly changing line-ups.
At least that’s what the man with the most malevolent snarl in music tells Robert Chalmers On the train from Euston to Manchester, I find my thoughts turning to some of the things Mark E Smith doesn’t care for.
This has never happened in Smith’s case, perhaps because his range of dislikes is so disparate: as the above list would indicate, there is something there for everybody.
A brilliantly original lyricist with an occasional propensity for violence, Smith is a man who believes that the pen is mightier than the sword, but has not always had a pen to hand.
He once famously left his false teeth in somebody’s glove compartment.
His admirers include the comedian Stewart Lee and the broadcaster Danny Baker, who was one of the first to have the wit to appreciate the oddly compelling poetry of titles such as “Hex Enduction Hour”, “Bingo Master’s Breakout” and “How I Wrote ‘Elastic Man’”.
If you’re unfamiliar with The Fall’s recordings, you might recognise their work from films (”Hip Priest” is used in ) or television: Smith’s music has been used to advertise such unlikely products as the Vauxhall Corsa. We’re not all Elton John.”) The band was formed in 1976, since when Smith has lost or dismissed at least 66 members.I’m a bit like Alex Ferguson.” There’s a whole book – , published in 2008 by Dave Simpson – dedicated to the memories of former collaborators.