Mark E. Smith wasn’t singing about Washington, D.C. when he bleated “Leave the Capitol! Leave this Roman shell!”, but the song — titled “Leave the Capitol” — is an apt rallying cry for the week the U.S. has had.
A live recording of that track, off of the acerbic British band’s 1981 Slates EP, drops Friday — along with news of a live album, The Fall – Live at St. Helens Technical College, ’81, out February 19th.
Former Fall member Marc Riley discovered the bootleg recording on Twitter, then approached John Dwyer of the Osees’ label, Castle Face Records, to discuss officially releasing it. “[Dwyer] got back and said it was one of the best live Fall sets he’d ever heard,” Riley tells Rolling Stone. “I believe (from a mate who is armed with a functioning memory and was there on the night) the gig was poorly attended. So much so that the promoter attempted to pull our fee…which resulted in him being pushed to the floor by our manager Kay Carrol. Sounds about right.” Half of the profits will go to Manchester, England, homeless outreach program Centrepoint.
“I’ve had the pleasure of being a Fall fan since I was a teen,” Dwyer said in a statement. “I can honestly say that I am so thankful for any nugget of Fall that lands at my feet and in my brain. Live Fall performances are always a pleasure because they seem to take what already made the Fall great and push it even a bit more into the rough and bloody uncharted wasteland that is drug scorched proto-punk and heady political poetry.”
Dwyer goes on to say that the label reached out to surviving members of the band, the soundboard operator, and bootlegger for permission to release the live show. The only consistent member of the band, Smith, died in 2018 at age 60 from the effects of lung and kidney cancer.
The live album includes a mix of tracks from Slates, 1980’s Grotesque (After the Gramme), and 1979’s Dragnet.
The Fall – Live at St. Helens Technical College, ’81 Tracklist
Prole Art Threat
Jawbone and the Air Rifle
An Older Lover
Leave the Capitol
Fit and Working Again
Slates, Slags, Etc