24 September 1984
Leisure Centre, Gloucester
William, It Was Really Nothing
Handsome Devil
Nowhere Fast
How Soon Is Now?
Barbarism Begins At Home
Rusholme Ruffians
This Charming Man
Reel Around The Fountain
Jeane
You've Got Everything Now
Girl Afraid
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
Still Ill
These Things Take Time
/Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
/Hand In Glove
//Miserable Lie
This turned out to be an excellent concert. The audience was very cheerful and sang along to many songs. The Smiths entered stage after the new intro track the "March Of The Capulets" from Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet. This more dramatic piece replaced Cilla Black's "Love Of The Loved" in that position and would remain the standard pre-entrance track for the remainder of the Smiths' live career.

Two new compositions were played here for the first time ever: "Rusholme Ruffians", which would not be released for another five months, and "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" and "How Soon Is Now?", the b-sides to the Smiths' newest single.

As the Smiths entered stage Morrissey greeted the audience by saying "You little scallywags..." then asked "guess what?" Set opener "William, It Was Really Nothing" was in the charts at the time and already the fans were familiar with the words and sang along. After the song Morrissey said "Aahh... see it's just like I always said it would be... IN FACT! So is this..." This served as an introduction to "Handsome Devil". "Nowhere Fast" was the first of a few songs the audience wasn't familiar with. The song had matured sensibly since its June performances. It sounded already much like the version that would be released on "Meat Is Murder", a version that would be recorded just a few weeks after this show.

Current b-side and future classic "How Soon Is Now?" was then introduced with the line "This is a question that's on the lips of every spotty sixth former..." Next on the setlist was "Barbarism Begins At Home" and it was introduced with the line "This song is called 'Fascism Begins At Home'... which is true... sometimes... once!" Next up was "Rusholme Ruffians" and it was preceded with the announcement: "This song has nothing to do with Russia... it's called 'Rusholme Ruffians'." At the end of the song Mike kept on playing the drum track for a few bars, then Andy kicked in with the bass line from "This Charming Man". For a few bars the rhythm track they were playing together sounded like the intro to the New York mix of "This Charming Man". Fans who still hadn't recognised the song finally did when Johnny added the guitar line and Morrissey started singing "Punctured bicycle, on a hillside desolate..."

"You've Got Everything Now", which had served as an encore for a long time, was slotted unusually early in the set. "These Things Take Time" was the final song of the main set and it was extended with a guitar wall of sound while Morrissey wailed in a high pitched voice. This was the first ever airing of "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" and already the song was extended with a repeat of its second verse. It is unclear whether it was intentional or a mistake, but Johnny stopped playing between the first and second verse and left Andy to pick at his bass by himself. For a second it sounded like the song was ended after only one verse. Following "Hand In Glove" Morrissey shouted "Goodbye, we love you!" and everyone left stage. The Smiths were soon cheered back for a second encore which featured a passionate performance of "Miserable Lie". According to fan Bob Moore, Morrissey returned to the set for one of the encores behind a 5-foot fir tree.

Tickets were 4. An early instrumental version of "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" was soundchecked before this concert and the next few ones, although that song hadn't yet been added to the sets. It was actually not to be played in front of an audience until the very beginning of the Meat Is Murder tour in early 1985.

 


A reasonably good audience recording of the complete set is available on bootleg cd-rs. This is also available in digital format on the internet, via at least three different transfers. The two most common transfers are also the least interesting because they are muffled and were probably produced from high generation tape. The best of the three transfers was produced from a first generation tape.

Collectors of digital bootlegs should be aware that a recording widely circulated on the internet under this date is actually miscredited because it is in fact from 12 November 1984 in Dublin.

A soundcheck from this date is also out there (recorder: Soundsville International's Paul). The quality is not very good because it was taped from the street through closed doors, so the sound is a bit muffled and cars are heard passing by. As mentioned above, these soundchecks include an instrumental of "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" which hadn't been played live yet at this point in time. This is also found in digital format on the internet, but collectors should make sure they get the whole 70-minute recording (usually split into 25 tracks), and not the 7 tracks/15 minutes excerpt.

 

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