Written by former bassist of seminal post-punk group The Fall, Steve Hanley (& his partner Olivia Piekarski) and published in 2014 to widespread critical acclaim for its intelligent, engaging, conversational style, revealing insights, and dry, stoical humour, The Big Midweek is not only the best and most entertaining books ever written about The Fall, but one of the best music books I’ve ever read. An absorbing, disturbing, eye-popping, at times hilarious story of living inside The Mighty Fall.
Something of a tell-all memoir of life inside a group he was with for 18 years – from 1979 (Dragnet) until the infamous onstage fight in New York with Mark E Smith in 1997 (Levitate) – it is an understatement to say that Hanley helped define the singular sound The Fall are known for, and quite ironic that the most silent, stoic and the dependable beating heart of the group was the first member to open up about being in one of the most influential and best bands ever to come out of England.
“The book’s a story really, a story about a band – an idiosyncratic band,” said Hanley. “I’m telling the story of a lad growing up in the music business, living the dream and becoming disillusioned with it”.