9 May 1984|
L'Eldorado, Paris, France
Hand In GloveThis was the Smiths' first concert in France. The tickets and posters had a printed request to bring flowers! And people did, flowers were all over the place.
As the Smiths took the stage Morrissey greeted the audience by saying "We're the Smiths", then blew a raspberry. After opener "Hand In Glove" he announced "This is our new single, it's called 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now'." Further into the set he introduced "Barbarism Begins At Home" with the words "This song is called 'Barbarism Begins At Home'... which is true..." At the end of the latter number, after his guitar part was done, Johnny joined Morrissey and together they danced around while Mike and Andy finished the song.
"This Night Has Opened My Eyes" was introduced with the words "Okay this is really serious..." During "Still Ill" Morrissey lied on the floor twice and writhed like a dying animal. After the song he grunted "Yeah!!" and the band launched into "You've Got Everything Now". In the latter number Morrissey grunted, squawked and squealed as he had so often done in live performances of that song in late 1983. Some lines were finished in a high pitched yelp, like "No I don't want a lover I just want to be seen... no, no, no, no... wouah!" and others were slightly changed, such as "Well this is true and it's false... ahhh!".
Perhaps because he was surprised by the lack of reaction to "Handsome Devil", Morrissey asked the audience, "So?". As in late 1983 "Miserable Lie" was the main set closer and right after the song Morrissey shouted "Goodbye! Thank you!" and the band left stage. They were cheered back for three encores. Before the first one Morrissey shouted "Boo!" Right before the second one he asked the audience, "Johnny wants to do 'Barbarism...'. Do you mind? Do you mind? Yes? No? Yes, you do mind? You don't mind? Do you mind?". The majority of the crowd clearly called out "No!" so they launched into the song for the second time that night. Following that Morrissey said "We love you, goodbye!" and the band left the stage again. They were called back for a third encore and treated the Parisians to a second dose of "Hand In Glove".
The gig was recorded by a French television programme called Les Enfants Du Rock. The entire concert was never broadcast, only "Girl Afraid", "Still Ill" and "Barbarism Begins At Home", nine days later.
Two different audio-only recordings of this concert are circulated on bootlegs. The most common one is available on the 'manufactured' bootleg cd "Eldorado". The concert is featured in its entirety bar the second encore of "Hand In Glove". The quality is quite good, it is speculated from a spectral analysis that this is the audio from the footage shot for television programme Les Enfants Du Rock because the source seems to be VHS.
The other audio recording is scarcer and features the full set minus the intro to set opener "Hand In Glove", which fades in. Its sound quality is excellent, but this wasn't taken from the video footage mentioned above because it's not the same audio and because there's no VHS in the lineage. It can't be from the soundboard either because people in the audience were captured by the recording. So the only option left is to conclude that this is an exceptionally good audience recording.
Both audio recordings are also available in digital format on the internet.
The manufactured bootleg cd in digipack "Wilde About The Smiths" and the bootleg LP "Blessings Of The Highest Order" both feature "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" from this concert (probably from the same source as for "Eldorado") alongside other live tracks, rarities and radio sessions.
Thanks to Vince Dome for his detective work on the sources for the audio.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.