What about Scottish groups? Come on. Make me laugh." Mark E Smith gives a gleeful cackle down the line. Leader of The Fall, wordsmith, serial dissenter, one-time husband of former Gok Wan's Fashion Fix regular Brix Smith, dog hater, serial band-firer, Salfordian, City fan, beloved of the late John Peel, Stewart Lee and sundry others ("Pretty damn relentless that fella, in' he?" a certain John Lydon once said. "It's almost perpetual motion with the same song, but I don't mind that at all"), a man capable of starting a fight in an empty warehouse, and possibly the most distinctive voice in the British post-punk canon. Soon he will be in Glasgow with The Fall, but now, right now, he's laughing and cursing and not understanding my accent and talking about Scottish groups and Scottish places and Scottish football. All things Scottish in fact.
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