1 July 1983
Midnight Express Club, Bournemouth
You've Got Everything Now
Handsome Devil
Reel Around The Fountain
What Difference Does It Make?
Wonderful Woman
These Things Take Time
Hand In Glove
I Don't Owe You Anything
Miserable Lie
/Accept Yourself
This is remembered as a very successful concert, particularly so when considering that the fans of the Smiths were mostly found in Manchester and London at that point in time. The Midnight Express was a kind of back-stairs route for Manchester bands visiting the seaside. Its stage was only slightly raised from the floor.

As the band entered stage Morrissey greeted the audience with the question "Good evening (gentlemen?), we're the Smiths, who are you?... Hello!" and threw a bunch of flowers in the air. They landed inertly in front of the stage and no-one picked them up, at least not immediately. The recent b-side "Handsome Devil" was simply introduced with a shout of its title, while the live favourite "Reel Around The Fountain" was introduced with the line "'Reel Around The Fountain' for rough girls." Further down the set "Wonderful Woman" was also introduced with only a drop of its title. The song was gradually growing into its definitive version, the one that would eventually get recorded and released. There was a false start of the drum roll intro that kickstarted "These Things Take Time" at that early stage of the Smiths' history. The band's only single "Hand In Glove" was introduced with the line "This is our record which you can buy... 'Hand In Glove'."

"I Don't Owe You Anything" and "Miserable Lie" were both preceded by shouts of their titles, then the Smiths left the stage. A host/DJ said a few words about the band, asked the audience if they enjoyed the show, then asked the band if they would do another number. He tried to stir the audience into cheering. After returning to the stage, Morrissey continued his encouragement by saying "You don't have to be so shy... We're not shy, so why should you be?... So, accept yourself! It's the least you can do..." This of course served as an introduction to encore "Accept Yourself". For the first time since the band started doing this song Morrissey didn't yelp following the line "Time is against me now". He would still do it on a few occasions after this date, but would eventually stop by the time the song was recorded and released.

After the band left stage for good, the host/DJ thanked the band and reminded the audience that they could get the Smiths' single "Hand In Glove" on Rough Trade. He also announced that the band would have an album out in August/September, but as we know now, that time would see the release of the band's second single (the yet-to-be-written "This Charming Man") and the band's debut album would only see the light of day early in the following year.


A reasonably good audience recording of this concert can be traded from collectors. Two different transfers are found on the internet. The best one is from a 1st generation tape copy. It is the scarcest of the two and is usually traded in lossless format. The other one was transfered from a higher generation tape and sounds more muffled, particularly for the first half of the first song.


Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.