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NEWS A Date In Camden | The Fall At The Witch Trial

A Date In Camden | The Fall At The Witch Trial

15th of December 2018, 10:21

This day forty-years ago was The Fall entered the Sound Suite In Camden, Greater London and recorded their first long-player:
“Live At The Witch Trials”.
Although recorded in one day on the fifteenth of December and mixed the following day, the album would not hit the shops until mid March 1979.
This however was the very moment the alternative, indie and punk scene exploded under a collision curated by the late Mark E. Smith, the Mancunian rebellious wordsmith, one part Johnny Rotten and one part Ian Dury.

The man who steered this ship of alternative post-punk was as scathing as he was intelligent, not yet the commander and chief but his dominance was already in its infancy and rearing its head.
The fearless nature of the collective unit was the original mark of brilliance which made this a standout release in the late-seventies punk movement, its acts as a time capsule of both the social and economic state of Britain forty-years ago, a narrative of council estates, unemployment;”Rebellious Jukebox”,”No Xmas for John Quays”, “Industrial Estate” and of course the opener, the claustrophobic masterpiece “Frightened”.

Martin Bramah, the original guitarist is solid, melodic and at times the centerpiece, he effortlessly provides a backdrop of intensity, as for Marc Riley and his solid bass which holds the band’s direction together but it is the drumming of Karl Burn which was as wild and ramshackle as they come when it came to providing that extra menacing aspect to the music, this was the classic Fall lineup.
The extra ambiance of keyboards by that unsung hero Yvonne Pawlett was the perfect balance to Smith who, is at the very front on the mix, every word and syllable is clear, unlike later recordings, but here they are friends and comrades which adds to the easy flow of “Live At The Witch Trials”, it was never again this relaxed, this brilliant.


Frightened (Smith/Friel)
Someone's always on my tracks
And in a dark room you'd see more than you think
I'm out of my place, got to get back
I sweated a lot, you could feel the violence
I've got shears pointed straight at my chest
And time moves slow when you count it
I'm better than them, and I think I'm the best
But I'll appear at midnight when the films close
'Cause I'm in a trance
Oh, and I sweat
I don't want to dance
I want to go home
I couldn't live in those people places
Oh, they might get to know my actions
I'd run away from toilets and feces
I'd run away to a non-date on the street
'Cause I'm in a trance
Oh, and I sweat
I don't want to dance
I want to go home
I feel trapped by mutual affection
And I don't know how to use freedom
I spend hours looking sideways
To the time when I was sixteen
'Cause I'm in a trance
Oh, and I sweat
I don't wanna dance
I wanna go home
I'm frightened
Amphetamine frightened
I go to the top of the street
I go to the bottom of the street
I look to the sky, my lips are dry
I'm frightened, frightened, frightened.

Original 1979 Track List;
Frightened
Crap Rap 2 / Like To Blow
Rebellious Jukebox
No Xmas For John Quays
Mother-Sister!
Industrial Estate
Underground Medecin
Two Steps Back
Live At The Witch Trials
Futures And Pasts
Music Scene

Kevin Burke Dec 2018



NEWS A Date In Camden | The Fall At The Witch Trial

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