10 June 1984|
GLC "Jobs For A Change" Festival, Jubilee Gardens, London
Nowhere FastThis concert was free, it was funded by the GLC (Greater London Council). The majority of the big name acts (headliners Mary Wilson ∧ the Wilsations, the Smiths, Billy Bragg, Misty in Roots) actually played in the County Hall car park, surrounded by the tall buildings of County Hall itself. This is evidenced by the audience commotion prior to and during "I Don't Owe You Anything" when at least one person was standing/dancing on a high ledge (certain death had he fallen, along with that of anyone in the melée below). Minor bands played on the smaller Jubilee Gardens stage. During the Redskins' performance, a fight involving right-wing skinheads broke out in the audience and ended up on stage. This was later repeated during Hank Wangford's set. Despite this being a multi-act event, the majority of attendees were there for the Smiths.
The Smiths set in itself went extremely well and the sound was excellent. The stage was littered with flowers brought along by fans. After entering stage Morrissey greeted the audience "Hello we're the Smiths!" and the band launched into "Nowhere Fast" which was getting its UK debut. It would become The Smiths' opening number of choice in subsequent shows. This early version had a rockabilly feel to it and featured instrumental pauses that were later dropped for the album version. After playing the song Morrissey acknowledged the crowd's unfamiliarity with it by introducing the next song with, "Okay, you know this one, I think, possibly..."
The next song in question was "Girl Afraid" and it was returning to the set after having been left out for over a month. It had meanwhile been beefed up by Johnny and sounded better than ever. Actually the live sound of the Smiths was getting more and more refined at this point in time. Some numbers were given a rockabilly-ish sound while "Pretty Girls Make Graves" was now played with a reggae-ish bridge. On this date the latter song was actually performed when the Smiths returned to the stage for their second encore, just after Morrissey led the crowd into a chant of "Smiths! Smiths! Smiths!" Meanwhile the only other banter from Morrissey had been thank you's and the introduction of a few songs, such as "I Don't Owe You Anything" with the very basic "This song is called 'I Don't Owe You Anything'."
Some of this information was provided by Mark Kencroft and David Baldacci.
Fans might want to make sure they get the other audience recording, this one of excellent quality. It is Soundsville International's Steve recording and is often incorrectly assumed to be a radio broadcast.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.