29 January 2014

THE FALL : I Am, Romeo Romantic (The Steal Record Co., 1981) (Cassette recording)

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Continuing The Fall theme, here's a Grotesque-era curiosity of dubious provenance, generously donated by the tirelessly prolific - & heroically unrepentant! - Johnny Zhivago of Die Or DIY infamy. Merci, monsieur...

I Am, Romeo Romantic purports to be a semi-legit promotional release, but it's scrappy ad-hoc construction suggests otherwise. Reputedly "produced" by longtime Fall consort Grant Showbiz, it's actually a (rather good) soundboard recording, slightly resequenced & with riotous looped applause of no-fixed-origin posthumously beamed in by the mysterious "Nick S." - very odd! Recourse to The Fall's on-line gigography suggests that most of the typewritten info is equally misleading: the performance actually dates from 11th May 1980 & took place at London's Rainbow Theatre. Finally, disregard the puzzling track titles, the set-list is as follows: New Face in Hell, English Scheme, Rebellious Jukebox, A Figure Walks, City Hobgoblins, Rowche Rumble, New Puritan, & Fiery Jack.

"Lost in our vaults until now", claim The Steal Record Co.'s disingenuous sleeve-notes. The plot thickens-uh.


  1. Cheers for the big up me duck.
    I have thoroughly enjoyed this tape,and has lead to me playing me Fall collection all day. Hey they're rather good ain't they? I've got other live boots from '79 somewhere,if you're interested?

  2. Which shows do you have? I'll scan The Fall gigography & see if any of them of of "particular interest" - i.e. rare performances of neglected faves, etc? Did they ever play "Fit & Working Again" do you know, I don't think I've ever heard a live version of that?

  3. Dunno if the ever played FAWA live? But...
    Got one for 1st sept 1979,live at JB's in Dudley>tis rather good.

  4. Would defo like to hear it, so link me up when you have a sec please. :)

    Do you have any early '79 recordings? Apparently they used to kick off their sets back then with Marc Riley's "Jumper Clown" (later a Creepers 45) but I've never heard it?

  5. http://www.mediafire.com/download/tt9p6p3v2xa8z21/September%201st%201979.zip

    Here you go, will look for early 79 gigs.

  6. The "problem" with Fall bootlegs is that they're ALL worth listening to, without exception, even the cruddy ones (which this↑ one definitely isn't btw).

    For instance, there's a version of "Flat of Angles" on this September '79 tape - I don't think I've ever heard them play that song live before - & MES is in full-on orator mode too, which always makes for an amusing listen... Splendid work JZ! :)

  7. That applause is REALLY annoying, but great post anyway -thanks! More '79 stuff please if you've got it, Jonny Z!

  8. Only two posts this far into 2014? what are you playing at? ; )

  9. I've taken up gardening, as befits my age.

    My herbacious borders are a nightmare!

  10. Sandra for you

  11. Hi I'm Nick and I produced this tape, there was NO overdubbing - I remember the gig well, it was packed with people cheering over the songs and running around the venue, very drunk. It is the real audience.

    This tape was never meant to be commercially available, 'Romeo Romantic' was an in-joke (Smith's fake name when he was staying in London hotels and ordering call girls behind Kay's back). I have no idea how you procured a copy of this.

    Hope this clears things up, Nick.

  12. Haha, brilliant! Thanks loads for the info, it's a very strange tape & I know that I'm not the only curious Fall fan who was wondering how it saw the light of day... When you say it was "never meant to be commercially available", what WAS it intended for - those dodgy old cassette stalls at Camden Market or something more salubrious? :)