Few musicians have been as enigmatic and irascible as the late Mark E Smith. As leader of post-punk renegades ‘The Fall’, for 40 years, Smith took a new approach to being a frontman. He showed that there was no need for singing, when you could just mumble passages of prose and not lyrics. Just like a dictator with a vice grip, Smith was not to be crossed; sacking over forty members over the course of those 40 years (including 3 partners). One of his most memorable quotes: “If it’s me and yer granny on bongos, it’s The Fall” proved his extent to his humorous outlook on having so many members as some footballers have career goals.
Despite the controversy Smith gained in public life, his creative output was huge. Albums such as, ‘This Nation’s Saving Grace’, ‘Extricate’, and ‘I am Kurious Oranj’ are up there with some of the most influential albums to come from Manchester and the post-punk movement. While Smith irked many of the critics and entourage around him, his attitude established him as a poet, providing a voice that gave a post-modern take on ordinary life. Smith was someone to be taken with a pinch of salt.