O.F.Y.C. Showcase



The little Baco mongers (2)

There goes old Ginio
There goes Archibald
There goes old Yates, there
There goes that yankee who gets ex-pats to go on Quality Street (3)
In fact, the Earl of Holmes would run to the holy duke (4)
And A Denning in the 30's (5)

Your future, our clutter
Your future, our clutter
Our future, your clutter
Toxic, I'll blend
Talk! Complete  (6)
Make your land
A showcase of Fall talent
Of water

Your future, our clutter
Your future, our clutter

There goes Austin down
Completes, what's going down?
Back and around, ink you lot

Our future, your clutter
I am your future
Sit up
A showcase of talent
Of water, of waterfall


Our future, your clutter
Our future, your clutter

Centre for plain folk
Must be born


1. O.F.Y.C. stands for "Our Future Your Clutter" which was, according to some accounts, the original name of the album (which became Your Future Our Clutter). Smith talks about this song, and the meaning of the phrase, in an interview with The Arts Desk:

The title of the LP came, then that tune came, then I thought I might as well do the title of the LP over this tune. It was good because I couldn’t really articulate what the title of the LP meant but it’s like, you know – it does fit in with the rest of the songs. What sparked me off was I distinctly remember playing Belfast and coming out and remember saying to the bass player, there were all these posters – it was well before we started recording the LP – all these really massive posters in Belfast and it had like, "Our Equity is Your Future". I remember saying to Dave, "That is really fucking Irish." Our equity is your future. That is like – you can’t say fairer than that, can you? [Laughter]

Sounds like a curse.

That’s right, yeah. [More laughter]

And it is now…

It’s something like a Satanist would say. "Our riches are your soul." It’s hard to explain. That’s what kicked it off a bit.


2. "Baco" means Bacchus in Spanish. In "Mexico Wax Solvent," we learn that the "ex-pats" in question are in Mexico. Thus, if this phrase has any meaning at all, it's possible that it implies the British expatriates are boozing it up in Mexico. On the other hand, "Baco-" is a brand of aluminum foil in Britain.

Tacos are Mexican cuisine; there is also a taco with a bacon shell called a "Baco," but this apparently wasn't invented until 2013 (in Michigan rather than Mexico), so, unless you're a pre-cog fan, it doesn't get you anywhere. And "Bacos" are a bacon-flavored salad topping made by Betty Crocker (thanks, Zack). Other than that, I can find no clue as to what a "Baco monger" is.


3. Quality Street is the name of candies produced by Nestlé in Britain, as well as the name of a 1937 movie starring Katherine Hepburn and Franchot Tone, a remake of a 1927 silent movie that was itself an adaptation of a play of the same name; a Spanish (not Mexican, unfortunately) version appeared on TV in 1980. None of these seem to have much to do with the song. There was also a gang in 1960s-70s Manchester called "The Quality Street Gang," which was apparently either a criminal gang or else merely a social club most of whose members had criminal records (the gang was never actually connected to any definite criminal activity).  Several streets in Britain bear the name, although none appear in MES's bailiwick--but there is one in Edinburgh, where he lived for a time. See also "Mexico Wax Solvent."


4. Earl Holmes is a former linebacker who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions; he's currently the head coach at Florida A&M. Yep, you're thinking what I'm thinking: the wrong kind of football. Thus, despite the reference to a "yankee" in the previous line, this seems an unlikely connection. And, while the Lyrics Parade indeed has "Earl Holmes," it sounds more like I've rendered it above, "the Earl of Holmes." The 'm' is unmistakeable, so it can't be an obscure pun about "The Earl of Holes/the Holy Duke." That pretty much exhausts all of my firepower; in any case, it's possible that this is another made-up (or at least non-famous) name like "Archibald Yates."


5. Alfred Denning (1899-1999) was a famous barrister who became King's Counsel in 1938, whatever the hell that is. He went on to become a judge (becoming known as "The People's Judge") and is sometimes said to have been one of the most influential jurists of the 20th century. He traveled quite a bit andis known to have visited Mexico in 1965, although that would be a pretty wide shot, and he never became an expatriate.


6. Michael Nath think he says "kentledge" here, which is ballast on a ship. It sounds like it could be this, but it's hard to tell for sure.


Comments (24)

  • 1. Zack | 24/08/2013
Bacos (sometimes spelled Bac~Os) are also a bacon-flavored salad topping made by Betty Crocker, widely available in US.
  • 2. dannyno | 22/04/2014
Given what MES is quoted as saying about the song, I wonder whether it ought to be Belfast references we're looking for, rather than Mexican.

Anyway, I'm hearing "bago-mongers", not "baco". This doesn't help.
  • 3. bzfgt | 23/04/2014
It seems to me pretty even between "baco" and "bago," with maybe a slight lean toward "baco."
  • 4. bzfgt | 23/04/2014
I can't believe I wrote "'Baco' means Bacchus in Spanish....it's likely that it implies the British expatriates are boozing it up in Mexico." "Likely?" I must have been mad...
  • 5. dannyno | 22/04/2015
On the FOF, PottShrigley just posted this link to Google maps showing the advert on the side of a bus in the centre of Manchester. It's for gumtree.com and the text of the advert reads :"We'll get you from clutter to cash."

Maps link:http://goo.gl/maps/kLprI

Forum post: http://z1.invisionfree.com/thefall/index.php?showtopic=15374&view=findpost&p=22463448
  • 6. dannyno | 24/06/2015
"In fact, the Earl of Holmes would run to the holy duke
And A Denning in the 30's"

I think we can squeeze a bit more out of this. Lord Denning we know about, but the Earls of Home are worth noting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_of_Home, not least because we had one as Prime Minister for a year.

There's a Lord Holmes in the film 'Patriot Games'. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_Games_(film)

As for "holy duke", there's a list of people who have been called that, including Francis Borgia.

I can't really tie any of this together.
  • 7. bzfgt | 26/06/2015
Any idea if gumtree is pre- or post- ?
  • 8. Zack | 05/03/2017
"There goes Archibald" - there's another word in there; sounds to me like "There goes Meyer Archibald."

There is another "A Denning" with a Fall connection, believe it or not. Adrian Denning has run a music review website www.adriandenning.co.uk[/url/] since 2003. Here are his Fall reviews: [url]http://www.adriandenning.co.uk/thefall.html. Not sure what that has to do with the Thirties, or anything else for that matter.
  • 9. bzfgt (link) | 19/03/2017
The drum sound on this album is beyond perfection.
  • 10. bzfgt (link) | 19/03/2017
It sounds kind of like "Baron Archibald" or something. It does not sound like Ginio, neither. This is a mess, we need some kind of computer sound analyzer (which wouldn't entirely clear things up as people, especially MES, do not accurately pronounce words, but it would help.

Yeah, I've seen that review site. Wilson and Allroy, Mark Prindle, George Starostin, and that dude. And Scaruffi.
Michael Nath
  • 11. Michael Nath (link) | 19/01/2018
I think he says 'kentledge' at 1 min 53 -- not 'complete'. It's a word for ship's ballast.
  • 12. bzfgt (link) | 10/02/2018
OK, Michael. I'm listening...crap. It sounds equally like either to me. "Kentledge" may work as it gets a little nautical just then...anyone else willing to check this and help decide?
Michael Nath
  • 13. Michael Nath (link) | 13/02/2018
Cheers, bzfgt. Often, the single word may have sovereignty over context -- that's the poet in Smith; though 'Baco-' is a tradename for aluminium foil in the UK, and 'kentledge' is pig-iron (ballast).
  • 14. bzfgt (link) | 13/02/2018
Ah, good with the foil, I didn't know that. Still an inscrutable phrase...
  • 15. Barnet | 21/04/2019
In advertising a plain folks argument is one in which the speaker presents him or herself as an average Joe — a common person who can understand and empathize with a listener's concerns.


But does he actually say 'centre for playing folk must be boring?'
  • 16. Arnaud | 21/04/2019
Assorted live versions:

'A bungled challenge from the ex-cadets

A template
A real showcase of raw talent.

The fallen
The man on the mound has fallen

The canyons of your mind are raging.'
  • 17. bzfgt (link) | 28/06/2019
Urg, I don't know what he says...
Joseph Mullaney
  • 18. Joseph Mullaney | 10/01/2020
I was reading a book on cricket the other day and came across the name Errol Holmes. He played 5 Test matches for England in the 1930s.
Graham Duff
  • 19. Graham Duff (link) | 05/07/2021
The line ‘There goes Austin down, completes what’s going down, back and around ink you lot’ almost certainly refers to the writer Austin Collings who had recently co-written Mark’s autobiography Renegade:The Lives and Tales of Mark E. Smith.
  • 20. Nate | 12/06/2022
What if it’s also ‘bacco mongers? Short for tobacco mongers.
  • 21. Kiespijn | 21/07/2022
"The little Baco mongers", an affectionate term for tin foil junkies?
  • 22. dannyno | 10/03/2023
Note 3, Quality Street and the Quality Street Gang.

The back cover of the album


includes the words "KINGS OF FASHION + STYLE".

There is a book titled "Still Breathing: The True Adventures of the Donnelly Brothers - From Organised Crime to Kings of Fashion. The Donnelly Brothers were alleged to be part of the Quality Street gang.

However, the book was not published until 2013.
Mark Oliver
  • 23. Mark Oliver | 29/09/2023
There's a building block toy called 'Bayko', manufactured from the 1930s up to 1967. A 'monger' is a suffix meaning 'vendor', as in fishmonger or ironmonger.
Enno de Witt
  • 24. Enno de Witt | 09/03/2024
Baco = Bacardi and coke

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