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These dates form the last bunch before the Smiths went on their first real tour in support of their debut album early in 1984. "This Charming Man" was in the charts, Smithsmania was the buzzword, the concerts were becoming wilder as they were attended by eager fans as well as curious non-devotees who wanted to find out who were these supposed saviours of rock'n'roll.


As these dates didn't form a tour, the support band changed from gig to gig. See individual links above for more information.


In Derby and possibly other dates from this section, the merchandise consisted of this shirt plus perhaps also this one, although the latter one may have only been sold in early 1984. Price was approximately 4.




The setlist was increased in length to 12, sometimes 14 songs. "Hand In Glove" was often performed a second time during the encore. This also occasionally happened with "This Charming Man". Other regulars in the set included "You've Got Everything Now", "Handsome Devil", "Reel Around The Fountain", "What Difference Does It Make?", "Miserable Lie", "Still Ill", "Pretty Girls Make Graves" and "This Night Has Opened My Eyes". B-sides "Accept Yourself" and "Wonderful Woman" and b-side to be "These Things Take Time", though performed less and less often, were occasionally added to complete the set.

"Back To The Old House" was likely introduced to the fans in Derby, or at the latest at the same time as "Barbarism Begins At Home", at the Electric Ballroom in London on 19 December. The former was just a few weeks away from being made available to the buying public as a b-side on the "What Difference Does It Make?" single, but the latter would not be released for another 14 months.

Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency. This is based on 6 concerts for which the setlist is known.

This Charming Man - 11
Hand In Glove - 8
Handsome Devil - 6
Miserable Lie - 6
Pretty Girls Make Graves - 6
Reel Around The Fountain - 6
Still Ill - 6
This Night Has Opened My Eyes - 6
What Difference Does It Make? - 6
You've Got Everything Now - 6
Accept Yourself - 4
These Things Take Time - 3
Back To The Old House - 1
Barbarism Begins At Home - 1
Wonderful Woman - 1

See here for more tour statistics.


In the middle of 1983 the Smiths had often given their fans a second helping of their debut single "Hand In Glove" as an encore. During the period covered in this section, now that "This Charming Man" (their second single) was released they did the same with it.

In "Accept Yourself", Morrissey still occasionally yelped twice after the line "Time is against me now" although it now happened rarely. He also sometimes added a laughing "ah ah ah ah ah ah" line between "tell me when will you" and "when will you accept your life". In "You've Got Everything Now" Morrissey often changed a line to "No I've never had a job because I'm... too handsome" and another one to "A friendship sadly lost, it could be true, it could be false". He also made a few other minor changes. In "Hand In Glove", instead of singing "but we have something they'll never have", Morrissey usually sang "we have something they never had". On at least two performances of the altter, he flattered his appreciating audience by singing "This one is different because it's you".

The debuting "Barbarism Begins At Home" was very different to the version that would be released on the "Meat Is Murder" album. See full details on the song's lyrics page.


Nothing from these dates was given an official release.


Collectors of video bootlegs have a choice of two excellent concerts from this period in time. Not only are the recordings professional ones, but the performances are also very memorable.

The original Old Grey Whistle Test broadcast of the Derby concert and various later reruns on other programmes have made it onto bootleg videos and DVDs. A 2003 digital broadcast from Brazil was an improvement over all earlier ones, but it also came with Portuguese subtitles. A 2007 broadcast on VH1 Classic is now the best version of that show out there: digital and without subtitles. The show was also released on (unofficial) DVD in Brazil and this might appeal to certain fans. The footage doesn't have the VH1 logo in the corner, but unfortunately it fades in at the beginning and out at the end, so it lacks a bit of (secondary) content. Video digital files ripped from different bootleg DVDs can be found on the internet.

The Hacienda show from 24 November was professionally filmed and the footage from one of the cameras has made it into circulation after many years of being in the hands of only a few privileged collectors. The footage is from a camera set on the stage, on the band's left side, and features nice close ups of Morrissey and Marr. It is however too dark and therefore very unlikely to ever be officially released, unlike the Derby recording mentioned above which would make a great live release.


As for audio, the most interesting gig to collectors would have to be the 19 December one at the Electric Ballroom for the early versions of "Back To The Old House" and "Barbarism Begins At Home". The latter title would not be released in studio form for another 14 months, and before this happened the song would evolve musically and lyrically, so the early recordings found on bootlegs of this show are very appealing to fans. Collectors should be aware that the recordings of this show can vary significantly in quality. Click on date link above for complete information.

The audio from the Derby television broadcast mentioned in the video bootlegs section is obviously the best choice soundwise. The Hacienda concert has to be one of the best shows of this era, performance-wise. Recordings of it are not as commonly found as the other two dates mentioned above because unlike them, it is not available on manufactured bootlegs. It is however possible to get it from bootleg traders on physical or digital formats, occasionally under the title "To The Old House".

The London Westfield College concert was also a great performance. Completists should then be able to track down the less interesting Leicester and Liverpool recordings.