21 October 1983
North East London Polytechnic, London
Still Ill
These Things Take Time
This Charming Man
What Difference Does It Make?
This Night Has Opened My Eyes
Pretty Girls Make Graves
Miserable Lie
Reel Around The Fountain
Hand In Glove
Handsome Devil
/You've Got Everything Now
/Hand In Glove
Support act on this date might have been the Telephone Boxes, or perhaps either Games To Avoid or Stitched-Back Foor Airman, or the High Five(s).

This concert marked a significant step ahead for the Smiths. There was a real buzz as the gig had clearly been booked before the upsurge in interest in the band. They had just been around touring the country where they were less known and were now returning to London where Smithsmania was raging. This concert was very wild, the audience had to be scolded more than once for their over enthusiastic and almost violent behaviour.

Somehow this didn't seem to bother Morrissey, he actually seemed to feed off the energy of his audience. He growled in between songs, gave titles in a high pitched voice and yelped here and there in between lyrics or instead of them. He sang with much more energy than he had been known to do this far. Most remarkably at this point began a long tradition of changing some lyrics, not because the songs were new and still in development, but this time just for the fun of it.

The Smiths started by performing "Still Ill". The song had been gradually changing since its live inception one month earlier. By the time this concert took place, it had finally reached its final form, the one that was recorded for the debut album. In "These Things Take Time" Morrissey changed one line to "You said I was ill and you were wrong". Following it the recently released "This Charming Man" was introduced with "This is our new record."

As the concert progressed the crowd was becoming more and more hectic, people were being crushed and hurt, so after "What Difference Does It Make?" someone from the venue took the microphone and asked "Could everybody move about 5 places back from the stage... everybody! Thank you..." At the very end of "This Night Has Opened My Eyes" Morrissey shouted "So there!" in a high pitched voice. In "Miserable Lie", instead of singing "it means: I'd like to see your underwear", he sang "I'd really like to see your underwear". Shortly after, in "Reel Around The Fountain", he changed another line and was more straightforward in his proposition: "...shag me on the patio".

In "Hand In Glove" Morrissey sang the words "I really don't know, and I really don't care!" in a completely different melody. He did this again when the song was repeated during the encore. After "Handsome Devil" he simply shouted "Goodbye! Stay handsome!" and the band left the stage. When they returned, Morrissey scolded the rowdy audience "Violent people... how can you be so violent? How can you treat these bands so nastily?". The Smiths then launched into "You've Got Everything Now!" in which Morrissey and the musicians took many liberties. Morrissey changed some words to "No I've never had a job, because I'm too handsome" while Mike slightly changed the drum pattern in the outro, even stopping for a few bars. After the second helping of "Hand In Glove", Morrissey just shouted "Goodnight!" and that was it.


An audience recording of the complete concert is traded between collectors on bootleg CD-Rs. Transfers from various different generation tapes are circulated on the internet in digital format. The best transfer out there is from a 1st generation tape, but it has the venue's management intervention edited out. The other transfers still sound reasonably good, but are more muffled. This is sometimes seen with artwork under the title "Charming Men".


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