Mark E. Smith, singer, muso, lyrical genius, often grumpy bugger and legendary constant of The Fall has died at the young age of 60.

Having suffered more recently from numerous illnesses, Smith’s last performance in November 2017 was from a wheelchair. The devastating news of his passing was announced by The Fall’s manager, via Twitter.

Lancashire-born Smith was a post-punk icon, another of a small club who genuinely were at that Free Trades Hall gig by the Sex Pistols and were so inspired that they formed their own band.

The Fall were renowned for Smith being the only constant in a revolving door line-up that saw more than 60 members come and go over the years since their inception in 1976. Through 32 studio albums their sound often changed – attributed to the various new members who came and went – but Smith’s lyrics and unique way with a vocal always remained. As the man once said, “If it’s me and yer granny on bongos, it’s The Fall.”

Despite bulldozing their own inimitable path through the musical landscape, they could also turn on the pop tap when they wanted, as this exceptional Kinks cover demonstrates.

Mark E. Smith had a genuinely inspirational effect on the music of the 1980s and beyond, with bands ranging from Happy Mondays and Arctic Monkeys to Suede and Franz Ferdinand through to Pavement and LCD Soundsystem all citing him as an influence. Who knows what we’d be listening to without him?

Music has lost yet another unique and brilliant talent. Vale Mark E. Smith.

‘Totally Wired’, my first incredible taste of The Fall – Amy, STACK.