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The "The Queen Is Dead" tour was kicked off with these 4 Northern England/Scotland warm-up dates. The Smiths were then scheduled go to America before returning for a more exhaustive tour of their homeland.
Craig Gannon was introduced as a second guitarist. He would follow the Smiths on the upcoming American and British legs of the tour until the end of October.
The Salford gig was listed by Q Magazine among their 100 best ever.
For the Festival Of The 10th Summer at the G-Mex, merchandise included a badge displaying the '10' logo and 'FAC 151' logo on it, T-shirts (one black or charcoal grey with festival logo in pale grey), a boiler suit, a set of 10 posters, a set of 10 postcards, a set of Kevin Cummins postcards, a booklet with pieces by Cath Carroll, Linder, Richard Boone, Tony Wilson, Paul Morley, and others, and numerous other posters. The programme for that event (view) actually unfolded into a poster. Images needed for any of those items.
The recently released "The Queen Is Dead" also provided "Bigmouth Strikes Again", "Vicar In A Tutu", "Frankly Mr Shankly", "Cemetry Gates", "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" and "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out". All of these had already been introduced live in late 1985 or February 1986. So a total of nine tracks from the latter album made up the backbone of the setlist. The only missing title was "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others", it would only be played once, on the band's very final live date at the end of the year.
The previous album "Meat Is Murder" was represented by "I Want The One I Can't Have", "What She Said", "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" and "Rusholme Ruffians". "What She Said" was actually reintroduced in Salford in a medley with the intro and outro to "Rubber Ring". It would be performed this way for the rest of its live career while Morrissey would do "Rubber Ring" in full for the first time only on his 2004 tour. "Rusholme Ruffians" was still preceded by a verse of Elvis Presley's "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame".
"Shakespeare's Sister" was the only other regular song in the set. "Stretch Out And Wait" and "Hand In Glove" were played on most dates, and "William, It Was Really Nothing" once only. It is interesting to note that "Still Ill", which like "Hand In Glove" was played throughout the Smiths' whole live career, was given a break during these warm-up dates for the "The Queen Is Dead" tour.
Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency.
(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame/Rusholme Ruffians - 4
See here for more tour statistics.
In "Hand In Glove" the second occurrence of "the sun shines out of our behinds" was always replaced with a repeat of "the Good People laugh". In "Vicar In A Tutu" Morrissey always sang "A scanty bit of a thing with a decorative ring that wouldn't cover the head of a child" as is printed in the lyric sheet of "The Queen Is Dead". In the studio version on the album he sang "... wouldn't cover the head of a goose".
"Panic" was played with an extended drum intro not in the studio version. In Salford when the song was moved to the opening spot, the intro was extended even more. "Bigmouth Strikes Again" also had a slightly longer intro than the album version. The first performance of the "What She Said" / "Rubber Ring" medley mentioned above was also done with a longer intro than later performances to come. In "The Queen Is Dead", as he sang the title line, Morrissey pulled out a board saying THE QUEEN IS DEAD in white over black and waved it around until the end of the song. At that point, instead of singing "and it's so lonely on a limb" Morrissey sang "you can trust me boys". In "Shakespeare's Sister" he repeated "Throw your skinny body down!" where he usually sang "Throw your white body down!".
So this makes Glasgow the second best option. The band's performance was also very energetic on that date and the Glaswegian audience's reception was incredible, as always. The sound quality of one of the three available audience recordings for this date is about the same as that of the Salford one mentioned above. But on the down side some performances were musically a bit subpar on that night, perhaps because it was the first date of the tour.
The 19 July 1986 appearance at the Festival of the 10th Summer at the G-Mex was broadcast on the radio. The whole gig minus three songs ("The Boy With The Thorn In His Side", "Is It Really So Strange?" and "Rusholme Ruffians") was featured. FM recordings usually make great bootlegs but it wasn't the case here because all circulated recordings of the broadcast are average at best. Therefore better options for this date are the better sounding audience recordings that have the bonus advantage of featuring the complete set. Collectors interested in the G-Mex concert should be aware of the existence of inferior sounding bootlegs traded under the titles "Heavy Horses", "G-mex" or "Royal Command Performance". These were all produced from inferior sounding versions of the radio and audience recordings mentioned above, and don't feature the full sets as broadcast/recorded. See concert comments for more details.
This leaves the Newcastle show of which there is a non-essential good-ish audience recording of the full set. The concert was marred by troublemakers which had a negative effect on the band's performance. So soundwise and performance-wise, that makes it the least interesting concert of this first leg of the Queen Is Dead tour.