24 February 1984
Anson Rooms, University Of Bristol, Bristol
Hand In Glove
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
Girl Afraid
This Charming Man
Pretty Girls Make Graves
Still Ill
This Night Has Opened My Eyes
Barbarism Begins At Home
Back To The Old House
/What Difference Does It Make?
//Reel Around The Fountain
//You've Got Everything Now
This concert was sold-out and tickets were scalped at five times their value. Inside the ambience was electric and the band gave their fans what they wanted. The Telephone Boxes were the support band. Tickets were 3.00.

After "Hand In Glove" Morrissey greeted the audience "Thank you... hello... we're the Smiths!". Shortly after "This Charming Man" was introduced with "This is a song about a flat tyre". Then later again, "Still Ill" was introduced with "This is a wonderful song with a wonderful theme... 'Still Ill'." One line was changed in that song to "if you must go to work tomorrow / well if I was him I wouldn't bother".

Before "This Night Has Opened My Eyes", Morrissey shouted "Yeah! 68 Guns! Yeah!" to a fan of The Alarm who kept shouting at the band. "Barbarism Begins At Home" was presented with the line "Alright, this is something every right thinking student should know... barbarism begins at home." At this point in time, and until it would be released in early 1985, the Smiths experimented with the song almost every time they performed it. In Bristol the version was faster and still included bits that sounded like improvisation. After the song, which was very well received despite being unreleased, Morrissey said "Thank you very much..." and then the Smiths launched into the mellower "Back To The Old House".

After that number Morrissey thanked his audience "You're really lovely, thank you!" and the band left the stage. They quickly returned amid the crowd's cheers and introduced the first encore, "What Difference Does It Make?" with "This is our popular record". In that song, their current single, Morrissey changed a few words to "but now you make feel so ashamed because I only got two heads". Then quickly, as the song finished, he just said "Goodbye! Thank you!" and the band exited the stage again.

The Smiths were called back once more by the cheering fans. Morrissey asked "So what should we do then? One at a time, what should we do? SSshhh! This man wants to speak..." To someone who shouted "'Miserable Lie'!", Morrissey answered "No..." then hushed the crowd again before launching into "Reel Around The Fountain". In the latter, Morrissey sang "people said / that you were easily led / and they were right" (instead of 'half-right'). In the final song, "You've Got Everything Now", as had become tradition, Morrissey amused himself and his fans by yodeling, yelping and changing words here and there: "A friendship sadly lost, is it true? Is it false?"

According to website visitor Steve Skinner, this concert took place at the Anson Rooms and not at the Trinity Hall as is often credited. Is it not impossible the gig had originally been planned at the Trinity Hall but later moved at the bigger Anson Rooms because of demand.

 


This concert isn't available on any 'official' bootleg, but fan-made cd-rs are traded between collectors. A poor audience recording is circulated under the title "Boy Afraid". However collectors might prefer an untitled soundboard recording which is not as widespread, but can still be found if one knows where to look. It must be noted however than in the latter case, most of "Back To The Old House" is missing and there are tape flutters in "What Difference Does It Make?". Both recordings are available in digital format on the internet.

"This Charming Man", "Pretty Girls Make Graves" and "Reel Around The Fountain" from the soundboard recording were tagged at the end of the 2009 manufactured cd "I Stole And Then I Lied" for which the main feature is an FM broadcast of the 21 April 1984 concert.

 

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