Mark E. Smith's Audio Guide To Ripon Cathedral

Let the lead singer of The Fall take you on a tour of his favourite House of Worship
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Let the lead singer of The Fall take you on a tour of his favourite House of Worship

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*Please press button one.

Enter by the eastern narthex. Beware the frantic verger. Look at the transepts! Look at the transepts! Much bigger than a Lambretta. Bitter in their stony standing.

Glass stained with middle-class pebble dash. As Mr. Fryer takes a pew. Mr. Fryer? Mr. Fryer? Him with the bent up wife? “Have you seen his leather sofa?” Yes! He looks upon the clerestory with glowing greed. He takes in the rotunda like white sliced. Pass by him, stay straight on this path and hope.

*Please press button two.

Don’t look at the lectern! Don’t look at the lectern! The Choirmaster only has one eye. And the other is milky like ponds. The crypt is closed for cleaning. E.G. Bypass and try the colonnade. It was built by a man in a century. I am a gothic magistrate. You are the Pope of brass. It is too late to get your money back.

Don’t look at the lectern! Don’t look at the lectern! The Choirmaster only has one eye. And the other is milky like ponds

Dead souls under your loafers. Look at their dark names on the stones. Don’t mither them, they have no eyes. The font was built by blasted hands. Jimmy wet the baby’s head in there and notably at the Cathedral of the Dormition at Smolensk. How can you stand here now when Blockbusters is on? Shuffle up to the pulpit. Look! A tapestry!

*Please press button three.

In Ripon. In Ely. In Bury. In Londis. In Hitler’s bunker with his limp. All will be built out of blocks. How dare you say this is revivalist. Can’t you hear the organ’s monkey? His fat fingers hit the pipes like flared corn. He has seen the misericord. Have you seen the misericord? Enter the apse! Enter the apse! Dusty in here and there are no toilets. E.S.P. You can see how I feel about the bema. There are four corners on this tour. You will see none of them.

Here comes the irate Precentor. He has a corrected posture. Utterly Buttery! Utterly Buttery! There is a chalice in a glass case. The sign reads, don’t touch the glass case. Elastic bands hold the anger in place. Head forward!

A velvet rope prevents your access. You cannot go behind the scenes. Scenes are stains on unfashionable jeans. Did I mention the stained glass windows? Ah yes, I see that I did earlier. Turn left and pace to the void.

*Please press button four.

Press button four now! Press button four now! You are in the outside, outside! Belligerent gargoyles cling to the guttering. Garry Bushells in grey stone. Their parkas are all ill-fitting. There once was a vane up there. It was secreted by a sad slim Santa.

There is no God. Exit via the draughty atrium

Turn west now and walk abruptly. Time for tea with all that cadence. Dapper Dan the dandy lout. He is Provost of the snack bar. Twix and Fanta for two pound twenty. Crumbed sugar blights Formica. Sit by a small school party. They’re excited by the key rings.

There is nothing left. There is nothing left. Just glance at the sickly postcards. Gathered on their rack like crucified spines. An old man weeps on his bony seat as you throw a penny in the charity circus. Press button four now! There is no God. Exit via the draughty atrium. Outside! It will probably be mistling. Time to pull your hoodie’s cord. The sky dripping wet like pies.

*Thank you for visiting Ripon Cathedral. Please return this audio guide to the booth.

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