Falling Mirror

Allan and Nielen, 1981

"Everything we do is psychotic..." - Nielen Mirror, 1985

Great alternative rock band before the term"alternative" was even invented!

Formed in Cape Town in 1978 by 2 cousins, Allan Faull and Nielen Marais (Faull and Marais... Falling Mirror... geddit?).


The Hawns & Dendles is a spooky, double-story mansion in Ravensburg Road, Newlands. It is 1970. Down the passage lives mad old Uncle Edward Faull and his mother Anne. Granny Anne Faull has been charged with the almost hopeless task of policing two of her most troublesome grandchildren, Allan and Nielen, the black sheep of the Faull and Marais families. Allan's father Louis and Nielen's mother Meg are siblings and their mother Anne is the families' last resort for keeping these two first cousins in line.
Read more »»» (a lot more ...)



  • I Am The Actor / Makin' Out With Granny (1979) Warner Brothers, WBS 722
  • Highway Blues (1979)
  • If I Was James Dean (1980) also released by WEA Europe
  • Neutron Bop (1980)
  • Johnny Calls The Chemist (1986)
    number 1 hit on Radio 5
  • Let's Paint The House Pink/
    Cosmic Night (aka Louise The Astronaut) (1986) Warner Brothers, WBS 775
  • As Sly As The Fox/
    Encounter In A Takeaway Shop (1987) WEA France (12" 45rpm single, 258426-0)


  • Zen Boulders (1979) WEA Records, WBC 9011
  • The Storming Of The Loft (1980) WEA Records, WBC 9013
  • Fantasy Kid (1981) WEA Records, WBC 9021
  • Johnny Calls The Chemist (1986) WEA Records, WBC 9029
  • Shattered (compilation LP) (1989) Tusk, TUSB 3008
  • Shattered (CD re-issue with 3 bonus tracks) (1992) Tusk, TUCD 3008
  • Hammerhead Hotel (limited edition, download-only, November 2006, recorded 1996) Spaced Out Sounds
  • Johnny Calls The Chemist (CD re-issue with bonus tracks) (May 2001) RetroFresh, freshcd 112
  • Zen Boulders / The Storming Of The Loft (2 for 1 CD re-issue) (August 2002) RetroFresh, freshcd124
  • Singles and Rarities (Virtual Collection, compiled by Brian Currin) (September 2008) Spaced Out Sounds
  • Special Agent Duck (December 2010) Spaced Out Sounds

    Various Artist Compilations

  • Sharp Cuts Volume 1 [1992] Tusk, WOND 103
    Johnny Calls The Chemist
  • Sharp Cuts Volume 2 [1994] Tusk, WOND 121
    Makin' Out With Granny
  • 40 Single Hits 40 Hit Singles Volume 2 [1997] Sony Music, CDSM 010 Z
    Johnny Calls The Chemist, the only SA song on this 2 CD set
  • SA Top 40 Hits Of All Time Volume 6 [2002] Sting Music, STIDFCD 037
    Johnny Calls The Chemist
  • SA Rock Gold (3CD set) [2010] Universal Music, TUMGCD 100
    Johnny Calls The Chemist
  • Guest appearances (Allan Faull):

  • McCully Workshop Inc [1970], Trutone
  • Buccaneer - McCully Workshop [1998] MicMac, MS001

The roots and branches of Falling Mirror

See the Falling Mirror Family Tree
(part of the McCully Workshop family tree)

Benjy Mudie's thoughts on the Mirror

It's hard after all these years to be totally objective about thiswonderfully eclectic band, I was, and still am, very passionate about theMirror. I first heard them as a young twenty-something in early 1979, theywere my third signing as an A&R man (after Baxtop and Lesley Rae Dowling)and I was completely blown away by the sheer vision lyrically and musicallyof Allan and Nielen.

I was often criticised both internally by WEA and bycertain media for continuing to release album after album with very littlecommercial success, but I believed in my heart that this band was specialand one day people will recognise that. To me the Mirror were, like the AsylumKids, pioneers... trailblazers in a country at war with itself, they were, Isuppose, our Pink Floyd complete with a Syd Barrett genius type and aguitarist that, in any other country would have been up there withKnopfler, Clapton (who he idolises by the way), [Jeff] Beck, etc.
-- Benjy Mudie, September 1999

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South African Rock Encyclopedia.

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