Industrial Estate


Get up for Ind. Est. (1)
Get up for Ind. Est.

Yeah, Yeah, Industrial Estate
Yeah, Yeah, Industrial Estate
Yeah, Yeah, Industrial Estate

Well you started here to earn your pay
Clean necks and ears on your first day
Well we tap on the bars as you walk in the gate
And we'd build a canteen but we haven't got the space

Oh, Yeah, Yeah, Industrial Estate

And the crap in the air will fuck up your face (2)
Bus company take most of your wage
And if you get a bit of depression
Ask the doctor for some valium

Oh, Yeah, Yeah, Industrial Estate

Yeah, Yeah, Industrial Estate
Yeah, Yeah, Industrial Estate
Industrial Estate, hate!


1. An "industrial estate" is what is known in the US as an industrial park. Here Smith says "Ind. Est.," just as it's written. I think the lyric above is correct, but it is possible that he says "Get off the Ind. Est." or "Get up for Ind. Est." here, as others have suggested; it is hard to hear clearly enough to be absolutely sure.

Via Reformation: From "Renegade" (Penguin/Viking, 2008). MES's ghosted autobiograpy: "Songs like 'Industrial Estate' - that was the second or third song that I wrote the music for, but the lyrics came first - it's a sort of poem; a hard poem. You can tell it was written at work. It's about working on the docks, on a container base. So of course I presented it to the group and they want to know what it's all about. They would prefer me to write about velvet shiny leather,  the moon and all that kind of thing, like Television or The Velvets. As a compromise I wrote the chorus - 'Yeah, yeah, industrial estate' - to make it a bit more American rocky. And I wrote this sub-Stooges music to go with it, Stooges without the third chord. At the time, people thought it was terrible because it wasn't the way it should be, it wasn't in tune. But I never wanted The Fall to be like one of those groups. I didn't care what people thought." 

In an interview with Printed Noises, MES had the following to say about working in an industrial estate:

I lived without tv for a year, it didn't bother me, People need television, people need cars. A lot of the reason people work on an industrial estate is to buy cars and houses and in my estimation they deserve everything they they fucking get. It's self-perpetuating you know, the whole system is self-perpetuating. The more money you get the more money you want.


2.  In a Facebook post to "The Mighty Fall" page on August 13, 2017, Una Baines said "The crap in the air will fuck up your face" was about Barton Dock industrial estate.




Comments (26)

  • 1. dannyno | 27/12/2013
"Well we tap one another as you walk in the gate"

Doesn't sound like that. Blue lyrics book has "[illegible] watch out for the lorries when you walk out of the gate".


"Boss can bloody take most of your wage"

Blue lyrics book has "And the bus company takes most of your wage", which again is what it does actually sound like.
  • 2. bzfgt | 22/01/2014
You haven't been listening to the Peel version, by any chance? There I hear "bus company," but LATWT sounds more like "bus company." I noted this above. Note that this would be one hell of a bus fare.

"Tap on the bars," now. I think that's correct.
Joseph Mullaney
  • 3. Joseph Mullaney | 26/10/2014
It's `get up for Ind. Est.', not `get off'.
Joseph Mullaney
  • 4. Joseph Mullaney | 26/10/2014
Should also be `haven't got the space' instead of `much space'.
  • 5. bzfgt | 27/10/2014
Are you sure about "get up"? It sounds like it could be either to me, and it isn't in the blue book. I hesitate to change it without some kind of certainty, even though I guess it could be wrong either way, the way I have it seems to make a little bit more sense (not exactly a requirement, but helpful if all else is equal).
Joseph Mullaney
  • 6. Joseph Mullaney | 27/10/2014
I took it to mean get up for work. I'm certain he says `for'.
  • 7. bzfgt | 03/11/2014
Ah, I see, it does make sense. I put a mention in the note that it may be as you say, if anyone else wants to weigh in I've got my eye on this now but can't be sure enough to change it yet.
  • 8. NickH | 06/11/2015
To these ears it's always been 'Get off for Ind. Est', in relation to a bus journey and the truncated designation in the destination board above the drivers window.
  • 9. bzfgt | 23/11/2015
Nick, that's totally possible, it's hard to say for sure and the blue lyrics book does not include the introductory line.
  • 10. dannyno | 07/08/2016
"Get off for ind. est." could work. But I'd suggest another reading, though I don't claim it to be more plausible. I've just been on holiday, and while driving noticed quite a few road signs where "ind. est." was used as an abbreviation. I guess I had this song in my mind, because the connection has never occurred to me so forcefully before. So "Get off for ind. est." could refer to road sign abbreviations and motorway exits ["get off the motorway for...], or something like that.
  • 11. bzfgt | 03/09/2016
I am listening now and it definitely sounds like "for" to me, and your explanation makes sense and also makes the best line of the options, so I'm changing it, at least until someone gives me a good reason to change it back, or again.
  • 12. dannyno | 14/08/2017
"And the crap in the air will fuck up your face"

In a Facebook post to "The Mighty Fall" page on Sunday 13 August 2017 at 18:24, Una Baines said:

"The crap in the air will fuck up your face" was about Barton Dock industrial estate.
  • 13. Bazhdaddy | 20/10/2018
re "Well we tap on the bars as you walk in the gate"
On the Peel version I hear "We tap on the barriers when you walk out of the gate" LP harder to make out, sounds like "larriers" a garbled lorries/barriers mash-up. Think its "when you walk out of the gate" on the LP too.

Sounds like "bus company take most of your wage" to me on both versions, and they both end "Industrial estate, hate!"

At the end of the Peel version, Martin Bramah shouts something like "chew on that, people"
  • 14. bzfgt (link) | 21/10/2018
Yeah it sounds like "tap on the larrys"!
  • 15. bzfgt (link) | 21/10/2018
I think it's "company air" not "crap in the air"
  • 16. bzfgt (link) | 21/10/2018
Is it "get up for Ind Est"? Sounds like it
  • 17. bzfgt (link) | 21/10/2018
Joseph Mullaney says so and I now think so
  • 18. bzfgt (link) | 21/10/2018
But "off" makes more sense--bus
  • 19. bzfgt (link) | 21/10/2018
Needs to be resolved by those with better ears than I
  • 20. Bazhdaddy | 28/10/2018
Always heard "get up for..." At a stretch that ringing guitar at the beginning could be an approximation of an analogue alarm clock
  • 21. bzfgt (link) | 21/11/2018
Yeah up/off has become really frustrating at this point. It's such a simple line, it would be nice to be sure of it. Both make sense in their own way. But it seems like everyone thinks it's "up"? Is there anyone who wants to defend "off"?
  • 22. bzfgt (link) | 21/11/2018
For now I'm switching to "up."
  • 23. dannyno | 20/09/2020
I think it's "up" at the moment. "Off" would work in the bus stop sense, but pretty much all versions sound like "up" more than "off".
  • 24. Ivan | 10/09/2021
Malcolm Heyhoe, in the NME's review of a gig in Nottingham in October 1977, had this as 'Dirty Old Estate', which is a candidate for best ever misheard title.
  • 25. Rappinghood | 11/09/2021
For years the first line was "Get up there in your Escort" - a popular Ford motor car ot that time.
  • 26. Rappinghood | 11/09/2021
For years I thought the first line was "Get up there in your Escort" - a popular Ford motor car at that time.

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