C4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy and The Fall’s Mark E. Smith
Last night before I turned the computer off, I saw on Twitter that The Fall’s Mark E. Smith would be appearing on Channel 4 News. I made a note to myself to google this when I woke up as surely someone would have posted it by the time I rose. I was not disappointed.
An appearance by Smith on the nightly news or a sports show can often be pretty insane as everyone knows. And while the rocker is being condemned on social media this morning for some somewhat insensitive remarks he made about how all the Syrian refugees seem to be young males, it’s not that aspect of Smith’s appearance that I want to call your attention to, but rather to point out how utterly indecipherable what he’s saying—or trying to say—truly is. I normally have no trouble understanding even a thick Mancunian accent, but when Smith is speaking, it’s the matter of not merely a particularly heavy Manc accent but lots and lots (and lots) of lager. Is he slurring his words? Hell, I’m not really sure that he’s even speaking actual words. Or trying to.
And neither are the close captions that Channel 4 kindly provided convinced of this. I highly recommend turning them on. The funny thing is even when the translation is WIDELY OFF TARGET—as it is throughout the entire thing when Smith is talking—the words still come through as vintage Mark E. Smith-style angsty Cubist poetry.
For instance, “so the Fall were formed” reads “farmer farmer” on screen. “I wanted some discordant stuff—and repetition” is translated as “proud to discard and stuff and a replica weapons system.” A deaf viewer would be perplexed, but then again so would anyone else be perplexed. That dada quality is what makes it so much fun to watch MES in action. It’s just a pity this wasn’t a live interview.
But, wow, I mean, holy shit is this dude disheveled. Talk about the mileage on that body! He’s only 58, but looks like he’s 94.
The whole way he presents himself is very much like a drunk, semi-brain damaged Stephen Hawking, isn’t it?
Er… enjoy. Remember: DO turn on the captions. The new Fall EP Wise Ol’ Man will be released on February 19th by Cherry Red Records.