6 December 1983|
Assembly Rooms, Derby
Handsome DevilThis concert is usually misdated as having taken place on the 7th of December. "Back To The Old House" was also on the setlist (before "These Things Take Time") but it seems like it may not have been played. Tickets were free, John Peel announced the ticket giveaway on his show. It was a very wild gig, the crowd was very energetic and constantly shouting requests. The main set ended in chaos (read further).
After shushing the audience, "Pretty Girls Make Graves" was introduced by Morrissey with the words "A little quirk... a little quirk friends... pretty girls make!" During "Reel Around The Fountain" he handed one of the bead necklaces he was wearing to someone in the crowd. He changed a line in "What Difference Does It Make?" to "I think i can rely on me."
At some point during "Miserable Lie" Morrissey was hit in the eye by a flower, dropped his microphone to the floor and left the stage. The band finished the song mostly as an instrumental. Morrissey returned to the stage on time for the ending of "I need advice, I need advice", adding at the end "and so do you!" for the rowdy audience. He remained playful following this, but Johnny Marr later said in an interview that this was his most embarrassing moment. Actually in the 1985 programme for the Meat Is Murder tour, he said this concert was his 'greatest embarrassment'.
Following the latter number, song requests were shouted by fans and Morrissey shushed them again and shouted "No! This!" He changed a few lines in "This Night Has Opened My Eyes" to "this night has opened my eyes and I will never see again", "The dream has gone, the crying is real" and "And I'm never happy and I'm never sad". "Hand In Glove" was introduced by Morrissey with a high pitched shout of "Hand In Glove!!!" During that song someone made it on stage and hugged Morrissey, making him miss a few lines.
It wasn't long into "You've Got Everything Now" before the stage became crowded with fans. Band members disappeared from view and Morrissey could barely sing his lines. He tried as best he could but made strangling noises as he was pulled left and right and tried not to get drowned in a sea of dancing people. The stage got filled with as many fans as was physically possible. It was one of the Smiths' first major stage invasions (including a small child!). The band left stage after the latter number, and after the stage was cleared, they returned for an encore. After "These Things Take Time", Morrissey just shouted "Goodbye! Stay handsome... goodbye..." and that was the end.
This concert was recorded for The Old Grey Whistle Test and first broadcast the following Friday and Saturday. The chaotic performance of "You've Got Everything Now" was moved after "These Things Take Time", making it look like the show ended with the melée. Some later rebroadcasts were shortened to seven songs, leaving out amongst others the near-instrumental "Miserable Lie".
The audio portion of the Old Grey Whistle Test recording can be found on a few manufactured bootlegs. "Handsome Devils" and its reissue in a better sleeve "Live In Derby Dec 7th 1983" are the most common. They are on compact disc but the sound quality isn't as good as on the LP bootlegs mentioned further down. The complete show is coupled on these cds with seven tracks from 21 April 1984 in Amsterdam.
"Sorrow's Son", "Devil's Charm" and "Derby Assembly Room" are on LP but the sound quality is better than on the cds mentioned above. The latter two LPs are nearly impossible to find but "Sorrow's Son" was transfered on homemade CD-Rs and is reasonably easy to find as such if one knows where to look. Other very good recordings of the broadcast can be found under the titles "The Old Grey Whistle Test" and "Life Is A Miserable Lie". The recording available on "Devil's Charm" is paired with a concert from 19 December 1983.
"Wilde About The Smiths", a factory pressed cd in digipack, and its vinyl reissue "Hang The DJ (Thrice!)" both feature "This Charming Man" from this concert alongside other live tracks, rarities and radio/tv sessions.
The manufactured bootleg cd "Shoplifters From Manchester" features "These Things Take Time" along with Troy Tate outtakes, radio sessions as well as live material from 4 February 1983, 12 March 1984, 21 April 1984, 4 May 1984 and 26 August 1986.
"Boyfriend In A Coma" is a LP reissue of "Shoplifters From Manchester" with fewer tracks. It features "These Things Take Time" along with Troy Tate outtakes, radio sessions as well as live material from 4 February 1983, 12 March 1984, 21 April 1984, 4 May 1984 and 26 August 1986.
Digital transfers produced from the "Sorrow's Son" bootleg are the best ones in circulation on the internet. They are less common than digital files from "Handsome Devils", but still not impossible to find.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.