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Rowche Rumble

Written by:

  • Mark E Smith, Marc Riley, Craig Scanlon

Initial release:

  • Rowche Rumble, Step Forward SF11 7"

Date:

  • 30 July 1979

Subsequent releases:

  • Early Years, Step Forward, SFLP6 LP;  LP; COPE 2 (?) Cassette; 1981 
  • Indie City, NME NMEPRO8 (promo LP); 1988 (limited edition - 500 copies - compilation album)
  • Terrorist Generation, Castle, 19 October 1993 (compilation album)
  • Kill Your Radio, IRS IRS29696 CD and Cassette; 1995 (compilation album)
  • Agitprop: The Politics Of Punk, Cleopatra; 5 May 1997 (compilation album)
  • Punk Crazy, Universal Music 308; 5 February 1998 (compilation album)
  • The Shit Factory, Dressed To Kill DTKBOX194; August 1999 (compilation album)
  • Early Fall, Cog Sinister/Voiceprint, COGVP123 CD; March 2000 (reissue of Early Years under different name)
  • Psykick Dance Hall, Eagle Records, EEECD010 CD; 7 August 2000 
  • The Entire History of Punk, Dressed To Kill POGOCD2001; 22 May 2001
  • Totally Wired - The Rough Trade Anthology, Rough Trade CMDDD461; 15 July 2002
  • Dragnet +, Cog Sinister/ Voiceprint, COGVP140 CD; 11 November 2002 
  • Early Singles, Cog Sinister/Voiceprint, COGVP136 CD; 2 December 2002 
  • It's The New Thing: The Step Forward Years, Sanctuary/Castle, CMQCD697  CD; 31 March 2003 
  • Dragnet, Sanctuary/Castle, CMRCD848; 26 January 2004 (includes original single as well as three alternate takes of the track: Take 2, Take 3, Take 4, Take 5)
  • 50,000 Fall Fans Can't be Wrong - 39 Golden Greats, Sanctuary SMEDD017; 31 May 2004 
  • Dragnet, Earmark (Italy), EAR40036 LP; 5 July 2004 
  • Punk Power: Anarchy in The U.K:, Castle 252; 31 July, 2006 (compilation album)
  • Never Mind The Sex Pistols Here's The Bollocks, CIA 9416900142; 5 December 2006 (compilation album)
  • The Fall Box Set 1976-2007 - Castle CMXBX1558, September 2007 (contains alternate take: Rowche Rumble Take 4)
  • Manchester North of England; A Story of Independent Music - Greater Manchester 1977 - 1993; Cherry Red CD; 29 July 2017 (compilation box set)
  • The Fall: A Sides 1978 - 2016. Cherry Red CRCDBox 42; 24 November 2017
  • The Fall: Singles 1978 - 2016, Cherry Red CRCDBox 30; 24 November 2017
  • The Fall - 58 Golden Greats, Cherry Red CRCDBox74; 7 December 2018


Officially released live versions:

  • Totale’s Turns (It’s Now or Never), Rough Trade ROUGH10; 5 May 1980 (recorded at Bircoats Leisure Centre, Doncaster, 27 October 1979)
  • Totale’s Turns (It’s Now or Never), Base Records (Italy) ROUGH 10 Y5 LP; 1980 (details as above)
  • Totale’s Turns (It’s Now or Never), Base Records/Go International (Italy) GI LP 10; 1980 (details as above)
  • Totale’s Turns (It’s Now or Never), DOJO Records DOJOCD83; 21 November 1992 (details as above)
  • The Indie Scene 1979; IBM IBMCD79, 1992 (advertised as being live in Norwich, 1984, but actually recorded in Woolwich; 6 February 1986)
  • US promotional CD: The Infotainment Scan, Matador Records/Atlantic PCRD 5094; May 1993 (same live version as on The Indie Scene; details above)
  • Smile...It's The Best Of. Castle CCSCD823, March 1998 (same version as on Totale's Turns; details above)
  • Totale’s Turns (Its Now or Never), Castle/Essential ESMCD638; 27 June 1998 (details as above)
  • Totale’s Turns (It’s Now or Never), Castle CMRCD882; 15 March 2004 (details as above)
  • Totale’s Turns (It’s Now or Never), Earmark (Italy) EAR40037 LP; 13 September 2004 (details as above)
  • Live From the Vaults - Retford 1979, Hip Priest/Voiceprint HIPP007CD ; 15 August 2005 (recorded at the Porterhouse, Retford,16 November 1979)
  • Live From the Vaults - Los Angeles 1979, Hip Priest/Voiceprint HIPP008CD; 15 August 2005 (recorded at the Anticlub, Los Angeles,14 December 1979)
  • Totale's Turns (It's Now or Never), Westworld LETV490 LP; 3 March 2017


Group on initial release:

  • Mark E Smith - vocals, Marc Riley - guitar; Craig Scanlon - guitar; Steve Hanley - bass; Mike Leigh - drums; Yvonne Pawlett - keyboards


First played at:

  • 14 June 1979 Ajanta Cinema, Derby

Last played at:

  • 22 March 1986 Larry's Hideaway, Toronto, Canada

Number of known performances:

  • 35

Commentary:

"This is a groovy number..."begins the Totale's Turns live version of this track (this also includes the line, "The promoter is a jerk"). And groovy it certainly is.

The press release for the single stated: 'This is a great dance number and combines a cheek-in-tongue putdown of a popular sweetie with the Fall's tribute to Racey. Dig it.' The "sweetie" in question is valium, or diazepam, marketed by the Roche pharmaceutical company: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diazepam

Simon Ford from his book Hip Priest (Quartet Books, 2003; page 71):"'Rowche Rumble' refereed back to Smith's shipping clerk days, when he did business with the Roche Chemical Company. [in reality it's a pharmaceutical company.] One day, due to a clerical error, Smith found himself with piles of barbiturates that he attempted to hide in stores across Manchester and in the bottom drawer of his disk at work [Ford cites an inteview in City Life for his information : Dave Haslam: 'Hip, Hip, Hip, Hip Priest'; 18 July 1986: http://www.visi.com/fall/news/pics/86jul18_citylife/86jul18_citylife.html]..."Against a simple drummed intro, Smith chants the song's title before the rest of the group crashes in and drives on at a reckless tempo, till the end when the introduction is repeated."

Ian Birch in Melody Maker (11 August, 1979): "Brimming with well-meaning wryness, it careers along in entirely its own way, independent of all fashions and alert to every possibility. Improves with every play."

From The Big Midweek (Steve Hanley and Olivia Pierkarski, Route, 2014):

"Mark and Kay decide to record Rowche Rumble as a single, a song Marc and Craig have written the music for...It's drum-led, but I've been weaving my own ideas for the bass through it. We spend a day in Rochdale recording and two months later it's in the shops."

The song was voted no. 40 in John Peel's Festive Fifty in 1979 and no. 49 a year later (before the poll was confined to songs from the previous year only).

Gigs played at:

 
  1. 14 June 1979 Ajanta Cinema, Derby
  2. 20 July 1979    The Factory, Manchester 
  3. 29 July 1979    Marquee, London 
  4. 1 September 1979    JB's, Dudley 
  5. 15 September 1979    Prince of Wales Conference Centre,  London
  6. 27 October 1979    Bircoats Leisure Centre, Doncaster
  7. 4 November 1979    Rock Garden, Middlesborough 
  8. 12 November 1979    Preston Polytechnic 
  9. 16 November 1979    Porterhouse,  Retford
  10. 18 November 1979  Marquee, London
  11. 1 December 1979    Palladium Theater, New York 
  12. 3 December 1979    The Club, Cambridge, Massachusetts 
  13. 14 December 1979    Anticlub, Los Angeles, California
  14. 29 February 1980    Palm Cove, Bradford 
  15. 7 March 1980    MPH Building, Kings College, London
  16. 18 March 1980    Birmingham University 
  17. 21 March 1980    Electric Ballroom, London 
  18. 17 April 1980    Electric Ballroom, London 
  19. 11 May 1980    Rainbow Theatre, London
  20. 12 September 1980    Cleopatra's, Huddersfield 
  21. 2 October 1980    Polytechnic, Manchester 
  22. 20 February 1981    Technical College, St. Helens
  23. 6 February 1986    Coronet, Woolwich, London 
  24. 8 February 1986    Royal Court, Liverpool 
  25. 10 February 1986    Laser's, Haringey 
  26. 11 February 1986    Mean Fiddler, Harlsden 
  27. 13 February 1986    Cat Club, Guildhall, Cambridge 
  28. 16 February 1986    Underground, Croydon 
  29. 28 February 1986    Living Room, Providence, Rhode Island 
  30. 1 March 1986    Irving Plaza, New York City, New York 
  31. 6 March 1986    New Century Hall, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
  32. 10 March 1986    Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota 
  33. 14 March 1986    The Stone, San Francisco, California 
  34. 21 March 1986    Lone Star Cafe, New York City 
  35. 22 March 1986    Larry's Hideaway, Toronto, Canada 
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