23 June 1984|
CND Festival, Glastonbury
Nowhere FastThe Glastonbury experience was a good one from the fans point of view, because of the band's performance, but also because it was unusually dry (Glastonbury is notoriously a muddy affair). However the crowd also included people who had come to see other bands and didn't appreciate the Smiths at all, so that meant there was a good deal of heckling. As for many regular Smiths concerts, the set ended because of a stage invasion and the band couldn't return to perform an encore.
Because of time constraints the Smiths could only play ten songs and many in the audience were left disappointed. If the band had been booked as headliners they would have been allotted more time. In the time that elapsed between them accepting to do Glastonbury and the event taking place, their debut album had gone to #2, they had become the new media darlings and their popularity had risen beyond belief.
As the band walked on stage Morrissey greeted the audience with "Hello, you wild rock'n'rollers!... how very nice to be here..." before launching into "Nowhere Fast". After "This Charming Man" he announced "Thank you this is our next single, it's called 'William, It Was Really Nothing'." After "Jeane" he introduced the following planned song "Thank you this song is called "Barbarism Begins At Home". The latter was a hit with the audience.
Johnny Marr, interviewed by The Guardian in 2010: "When the Smiths played Glastonbury in 1984, we were slightly out of our element. Previously, we'd always played to manic, devoted audiences who were more like supporters at a cup final, but at Glastonbury we were playing to people who largely hadn't seen us before. It wasn't like when Jay-Z played, but we were very 'urban' compared to the other acts. Our songs were so fast that we got through our first four in about the time it took for the other bands to finish their intro. Eventually, I did manage to instigate a stage invasion, which raised a few eyebrows. One fan was trying to climb on stage, I helped pull him up, and then a few more people followed, and all of a sudden we'd managed to turn it into a Smiths gig. Worst Glastonbury moment: The first 10 minutes of the Smiths' performance in 84, because the sound got screwed up on stage. My guitar was coming out of the bass amp, and the vocals were, too. They pulled things together... by the time of the last song."
A good number of photos of the Smiths on stage and backstage at Glastonbury 1984 can be viewed here.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.
Johnny Marr, to Spin Magazine June 2011: "That was a weird day, as we hadn't done any festivals before and didn't quite know what to expect. We did as we always did, I guess. It was at this show, in front of a different type of audience, that I realized just how unusual some of our songs were, and I really liked that."