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 Band On The Wall summer 1978

Post #1 - 25 Dec 2018, 00:07

I've been listening to this recording.

Just to recap: the Band on the Wall archive site ( lists four gigs in 1978 by The Fall: 30 April, 11 June, 25 June, 30 October.

Only one recording is known - often dated just "August 1978". The Fall Online gigography dates it to 23 August. Reformation! dates it to 1st August, citing Stephen Doyle of Salford City Radio.

However, nobody seems to have done any detective work based on listening for clues in the actual recording. So it's down to me, as in the case of the Talkabout recording.

Just before the group play "Like to Blow", MES says:
This next number is, er, for Willie Johnston. I were right up there with him...
Willie Johnston, of course, was the Scottish footballer ( who was sent home from the 1978 World Cup in Argentina for failing a drug test (positive for Reactivan, apparently) following Scotland's match against Peru.

The match was a first round match, and took place on Saturday 3 June 1978. Scotland lost 3-1.

Johnston's test failure was front page news - see eg Daily Mail, Monday 5 June 1978.


band on the wall 1978 willie johnston.jpg

The news that Johnston was being sent home was in the English newspapers days later (eg Guardian, Tuesday 6 June).

Presumably it was widely covered by TV news as well.

My money is on this gig being the one on 11th June. 30th April is too early. By 25 June the Johnston story would have been getting old, but maybe MES used the line a few times. I think 30 October is too late. A date in August seems too late as well.

And Marc Riley said he thought this recording was of his first gig with the group, which was 11th June.

So for those reasons, if there was a Band on the Wall gig in August (according to the Fall online Gigography, Yvonne Pawlett apparently remembers one on 21 November - which is similarly undocumented, and the Gigography lists a gig at the Apollo instead on that date), this recording is not it.

Also worth noting, I hate Christmas cake because it tastes funny. Everyone here in Sheffield thinks likewise because they are all the same as me I assume.

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Post #2 - 25 Dec 2018, 08:38

Willy Johnston was good Catholic boy who was framed by the Argies. And don't you call me that dannynospunk. :grrr:
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Post #3 - 25 Dec 2018, 09:36

I :heart: Christmas cake.
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