1 October 1985|
Eden Court, Inverness
Meat Is MurderThe memorable event on this final date of the Smiths' short Scottish tour was the only ever live performance of "Asleep". The band had found a piano on the side of the stage and decided that this was the ideal opportunity. They couldn't move the piano so Johnny retreated out of the audience's view to play it while Morrissey sang and Andy and Mike tried to fill in their roles. The song more or less took the position held by "Meat Is Murder" in the setlist, so the latter number was moved all the way up to the position of set opener. "Still Ill" was dropped and the recently reintroduced "Jeane" was not played either. "Unloveable" was planned to follow "Asleep", but was not done.
As the band walked on stage Morrissey greeted the audience with the words "Hello, we're the Smiths..." He greeted the audience again after the extended intro for "What's The World", before launching into the song's vocals. When the band started "Nowhere Fast", for some reason Morrissey was held back from singing. After half a minute the band stopped and waited for Morrissey to be ready. Meanwhile, Johnny picked the notes from "Back To The Old House" on his guitar. The song was then started again and this time done in full. The most recent single "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" was introduced with the line "This is our new complaint... 'The Boy With The Thorn In His Side'."
Soon after, "Stretch Out And Wait" was introduced with a dedication: "This song is... especially... for all our dear friends who followed us around... on our wonderful Scottish jaunt... thank you..." For some reason, Morrissey reverted to that song's original first verse, as heard on the "Shakespeare's Sister" single. He had changed that first verse to the alternate one (as heard on the "The World Won't Listen" compilation) on the previous few dates. However, he still sang "Ignore all the silly codes of the day". "Frankly Mr Shankly" was introduced with "This is a new song called 'Frankly Mr Shankly'." Morrissey changed one line in the latter number to "I want to do something that I might be ashamed of".
When the Smiths returned for the first encore, as everyone on stage was getting prepared for a barely rehearsed performance of "Asleep", the crowd, not knowing what they were going to be treated to, kept shouting requests. Morrissey started to explain "This is err..." but this had absolutely no effect on the crowd so, losing his patience, he shouted "shut up!". The song was extended with a long instrumental outro while Morrissey fell to the floor and curled up in a fetal position. Unfortunately most of the crowd seemed to be unaware that this was anything special as they talked and whistled throughout the whole song. Morrissey changed a line in "This Charming Man", to "I wonder will nature make a man of me yet?". The singer was kept away from his microphone again for the second half of that song. As the band took the stage again for the final encore, Johnny told the crowd "This is our last show in Scotland, it's been really, really good..." At the end of the show Morrissey's shirt ended up in the audience to be ripped to pieces by fans.
Because performing "Asleep" was a last minute decision, the song had to be rehearsed and soundchecked on the venue's piano. The band also soundchecked some songs in the above setlist as well as "The Queen Is Dead", "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" and "Unloveable" which were still unreleased at that point in time. These songs had obviously never been played live before. "Unloveable" would actually never be done in front of an audience.
Completists interested in the two missing songs will want the other circulated audio recording (recorder: P.Ross). It features the full set, but because it is a dictaphone recording, the sound is not as good as that of the Soundsville bootleg mentioned above. Also, "Rusholme Ruffians" lacks about 10-15 seconds in the middle as the recorder had to switch the tape over to side B.
The complete 80 minute soundcheck session is also available on bootlegs (recorder: Steve from Soundsville International). Some of these soundchecks have made it onto the "Asleep" bootleg (with 3 radio sessions, an alternate outtake of "How Soon Is Now?", "Girl Afraid" from 2 March 1984 and 9 soundchecks from 26 September 1985) as well as the "Unloveable" bootleg (with many unique radio and television sessions). There are many mistakes in these bootlegs' credits, but "Asleep" features a vocal soundcheck of "Asleep" as well as instrumentals of "The Queen Is Dead", "How Soon Is Now?", "Nowhere Fast" and "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out". "Unloveable" predictably features two vocal versions of "Unloveable", as well as vocal versions of "Hand In Glove" and "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out". It also includes the drum rehearsal of "What She Said" with a guitar jam of various bits of non-Smiths songs, including "Rock And Roll Part II". A selection of the titles mentioned above is also available on the "Soundcheck" bootleg.
"Before Love", a bootleg cd produced around a 18 March 1985 concert, includes soundchecks of "Asleep" and "Unloveable" also from Inverness, but different to the ones mentioned in the previous paragraph. These are also found on the mixed content bootleg "A Nice Bit Of Meat", available on CD and LP. The latter cd and "A Nice Bit Of Meat 2" on LP also include the soundcheck of "What She Said" with "Rock'n'Roll pt 2" mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.