13 October 1986|
Sands Centre, Carlisle
The Queen Is DeadThe Smiths returned to the UK to resume the tour promoting their "The Queen Is Dead" album. This would turn out to be the band's last tour and it started on a great note. All of the Smiths were in excellent spirits. Morrissey roared his words, grunted and danced wildly about the stage. The audience was extremely receptive.
Setlist-wise, the highlight was the live introduction of the yet-to-be-released "London" and the instrumental b-side "The Draize Train". The latter replaced other instrumental "Money Changes Everything" as first encore song. "Ask", which had been played a few times in July then dropped, returned to the set now that it was about to be released as a single. Live staple "Hand In Glove" was not played, it would actually be played only once again, on the Smiths last ever show in December.
It took some time for Morrissey to address his audience. At first he would just thank the fans, extending it with "...you're very kind" after "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" or "...you're very generous" after "Frankly Mr. Shankly". After "What She Said" he finally asked, "Any requests? Any requests?" but this was only a tease, whatever was shouted, the band still went into the next planned song, "Ask". The latter song was to be released the following week as a single, so after its performance Morrissey said "That was our new single...". He then had to shush the very vocal audience and Mike started beating his drum loudly as the fans clapped hands to the rhythm.
The yet to be released "Is It Really So Strange?" was not as well received as the previous songs in the set, which prompted Morrissey to say "That song was called 'Is It Really So Strange?'... which you obviously hate..." There must have been action on stage during "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" because the singer was kept away from his microphone for some time. When the band returned to the stage for the second encore, Morrissey shouted loudly something that sounded like "Okay cocksuckers!" before going into "Still Ill". In that song a line was changed to "There are brighter sides to life and I should know because I see them oh but not often".
The concert ended in a massive stage invasion during the final song "Bigmouth Strikes Again". There was a constant flow of fans climbing on stage and being dragged away by security. The situation never degenerated, and Morrissey and Marr even danced with some of the fans. The October 1987 interview of Morrissey on the Rock Of Europe aka Music Box show on Holland's Superchannel includes amateur footage of this moment.
As mentioned above some encore footage is circulated on VHS and DVD bootlegs of the Rock Of Europe/Music Box television special. Professionally filmed footage from the left side of the stage also exists, but this has not yet leaked outside a very small circle of people. This footage comes with various lip-synced versions of "Ask" (presumably for a promo video) and some soundcheck footage.
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