“SONG FOR EWE”
with MIKE LEIGH of THE FALL

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“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.

Today it’s a man who went from louche cabaret to Rowche Rumble, the drummer brought into replace the unpredictable talisman Karl Burns and steady The Fall. In our de facto April Fall month on Velvet Sheep fanzine, I was chuffed to find the man behind the traps with Manchester’s finest from 1979-1980.

He played at a key time in their history, early doors but on some real hits, including “Fiery Jack”, the aforementioned “Rowche Rumble”, plus one of my all-time fav albums by The Fall or otherwise “Dragnet”. In a fecund time for the band, he also played on the live album “Totale’s Turns (It’s Now Or Never)”. However, and as became a common trope his time in the band was short-lived, his one credited track on “Grotesque” in 1980 was “Rector Vs Spectre 2”. Replaced by Steve Hanley’s brother Paul, he swapped spit & sawdust for the more familiar cabaret circuit again, and white collar professions too. He is still making music with bite though, and I was happy to find Mr. Mike Leigh!

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Mike sent me this brilliant promo photo from the time, he’s standing second from right, with the rather Teddy-ish garb, next to a youthful Mark E Smith.

Here’s a Fall classic which Mike graced…

I asked Mike what he was up to now…

“Musically, I’m in a band called Kill Pretty and loving it.

Here’s a link to one of our songs at the recent AWOD Festival

and another from the same gig…

Professionally, I was promoted to Sales Director for Decra Roof Systems, just before Christmas. I didn’t expect it, having reached the age of 60 last August, but I’m really enjoying the challenge.”

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Mike has been part of the biggest, longest running gang meets dysfunctional family in British music, and his candour is refreshing, as is this candid nugget about his initiation into the kind of drumming MES was after…

“Hi Nick. When I first met Mark in late 1978, he gave me The Fall’s recordings (Bingo Masters, Electric Circus, Witch Trials and It’s the New Thing) and some more records that he really liked.

One of these albums was Cannibalism by Can and this is the track that opened my eyes, captured my heart and influences my drumming to this very day. “Yoo Do Right”!!”

THANKYOU MIKE, THE BOY DRUM GOOD.