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After a month's break, the Smiths returned to England for a proper tour, it would turn out to be the band's final one. A one-off Anti-Apartheid concert on 12 December at the Brixton Academy was the only live date the band played together after this leg. It was originally due to be held at the Royal Albert Hall on 14 November 1986 but it had to be rescheduled following Johnny's car accident.

The concerts were generally very well received by the press, but critics were at the same time wondering if the Smiths, with their greater confidence and ease on stage and harder sound were not turning into rock monsters, like many of their contemporaries. There definitely was a significant difference with the original 4 guys against the world led by a more fragile Morrissey of 1983 or 1984.

Craig Gannon was Smith #5, he backed Johnny as a second guitarist.


For most of these dates, support artist was Raymonde, a band featuring James Maker who had danced on stage with the Smiths for their first two gigs. In Kilburn only, the opening band was Soil. The Railway Children opened the following evening at London's Brixton Academy.


-2 different t-shirts, one of them showing a kid sucking on an ice lolly (image needed).
-2 different posters, one of them approximately 18"x22", showing a kid sucking on a lolly on the front and October tour dates on the back (image needed).
-2 badges, one of which with "The Queen Is Dead" in pink (view; other badge info/image needed).


George Formby's "Why Don't Women Like Me?"
Klaus Nomi's "Wayward Sisters"
Klaus Nomi's "Death"
Last track before the Smiths entered stage was Prokofiev's "March Of The Capulets" from "Romeo and Juliet".


A backdrop of the cover of the "The Queen Is Dead" album showing French actor Alain Delon was shown during the song "The Queen Is Dead", and perhaps a few more. A photo of cemetary gates was shown during the performance of the song "Cemetry Gates" (view in situ).


The set didn't vary much throughout this leg of the tour. Most cities were treated to 20 tracks. Lucky fans who attended the first date in Carlisle were given 21 songs. The content was very similar to that of the recent North American leg. Two songs were played live for the first time, the yet unreleased "London", and the instrumental "The Draize Train". The latter replaced the other instrumental "Money Changes Everything" as the first encore song in order to give vocalist Morrissey a few extra minutes to catch his breath.

All of latest album "The Queen Is Dead" was played every night except for "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others", which would only be played once on the final date in December, and "Never Had No One Ever" which was skipped on a few occasions. Other newer tracks included recent single "Panic" and the yet to be released "Is It Really So Strange". "Ask" was released as a single during this period. It was reintroduced in the set for these dates after having been dropped on the earlier North American tour in favour of more familiar songs released over that territory.

The "Meat Is Murder" album was represented only by "I Want The One I Can't Have", the "Rusholme Ruffians" medley with Elvis' "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame", the "What She Said" medley with "Rubber Ring" and the title track. "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" was only played twice, on the first and final dates. The only other songs in the set were "How Soon Is Now" and "Still Ill" played regularly and "Shakespeare's Sister" played twice. "Stretch Out And Wait", "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" and "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" were dropped altogether. It is interesting to note that this is the only time during which "Hand In Glove" was not a fixture in the Smiths' sets.

Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency.

The Queen Is Dead - 12
Ask - 11
Frankly, Mr. Shankly - 11
Panic - 11
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side - 11
The Draize Train - 11
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - 11
Vicar In A Tutu - 11
(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame/Rusholme Ruffians - 11 *
Bigmouth Strikes Again - 10
Cemetry Gates - 10
How Soon Is Now? - 10
I Know It's Over - 10
Is It Really So Strange? - 10
I Want The One I Can't Have - 10
London - 10
Meat Is Murder - 10
Still Ill - 10
What She Said (with Rubber Ring intro and outro) - 10
Never Had No One Ever - 7
Shakespeare's Sister - 2
That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore - 2

* "Rusholme Ruffians" was done once without the intro of "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame".

See here for more tour statistics.


In fan-favourite "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", Morrissey didn't sing the repeated title chorus at the end as he does on the "The Queen Is Dead" album. This was actually the standard way the song was performed at the time or when Morrissey pulled the song out again on his 2002 and 2004 solo tours. On many dates, the fans would be the ones taking over this vocal part. Only halfway into the 2004 tour did Morrissey start singing those lines.

In "The Queen Is Dead", Morrissey sometimes sang "stuck like a boar between arches" instead of "hemmed in like a boar between arches". As he sang the title line in the latter song, Morrissey pulled out a board saying THE QUEEN IS DEAD which he waved about for the rest of the song. In "Panic" another prop was used, this time a noose which Morrissey swung around to highlight the "Hang the DJ!" lyric. Despite not being slotted as set opener anymore, that song was still usually performed with an extended drum intro. "Bigmouth Strikes Again" was played with a slightly longer intro as well, and the song's ending was extended by repeating the final line. Actually because it usually ended the set, the band would often end it in an extended noisy jam.

Near the end of "London", Morrissey often sang "my God he goes!" instead of "he really goes!". In "Still Ill", as on many occasions in the past, he emphasized a line by extended it to "If I were you, I really wouldn't bother". At the end of "Meat Is Murder" he sang the slightly alternate line "and who cares if animals die". In "Is It Really So Strange?" he sang "Oh yes you can kick me" where in the studio version he sang "Oh yes you can punch me", and vice versa.

Near the end of performances of "I Know It's Over", Morrissey often curled into fetal position on the floor with his shirt pulled over his head. Johnny often started "Meat Is Murder" with a slowed-down version of the verse of "The Headmaster Ritual". Mike occasionally also teased the audience, usually with the opening notes of "Reel Around The Fountain", but once also with the opening drum beat of "Panic".


A BBC recording of the Kilburn gig was edited down to 14 tracks and released in 1988 as the "Rank" album. Click here for full details.


Thanks to a pair of fans going under the name Soundsville International collectors of bootleg videos and DVDs have a good choice of visual souvenirs for this final leg of the "The Queen Is Dead" tour. Five concerts of this section were recorded by them: 15 October in Wolverhampton, 21 October in Nottingham, 23 October in Kilburn, 24 October at Brixton Academy in London and 26 October at the London Palladium. All of these are audience recordings of most if not all the concert. The latter three recordings are each circulated in two versions: with the original audio or dubbed with a better audio recording. See individual dates for more details.

Some bootleg VHS and DVD compilations of television material feature the Morrissey interview broadcast on the Rock Of Europe aka Music Box show on Holland's Superchannel. The programme also includes footage of the Smiths's encore "Bigmouth Strikes Again" from Carlisle.


"Rank", the Smiths' only officially released gig at this point in time, was produced from the 23 October BBC recorded concert in Kilburn. Non-completists who own "Rank" might not be interested in any other concert from this period as the setlists were not changed much for most of the leg. However "Rank" only features 2/3 of the gig, dropping fan favourites "How Soon Is Now?" and "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" amongst others. The "Higher Rank" and "Unruly Girl" bootleg cds, produced from a radio broadcast cd, have the same sound quality as the official live album, but feature three extra tracks, including the two mentioned above. Collectors in search of the full concert will want to get their hands on a good quality audience recording and make sure that it is not the more common but inferior sounding audio from the video recording mentioned above.

Of the other bootlegs offered for this period, none really stand out from the others. Their quality vary from average to quite good, and most feature complete shows. The 24 October gig at Brixton Academy is very easy to find, particularly on the 'official' "Genius Steals" bootleg, but that date wasn't the highlight of the tour. It does include "Shakespeare's Sister" however, a song that was played only that night and the next. Similarly, fans might want to look out for bootlegs of the 30 October gig in Manchester for a rare performance of "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore".

The other gigs from this period available on bootlegs at this point in time (without including the audio lifted from video bootlegs) are the following: 14 October in Middlesbrough, 15 October in Wolverhampton, 17 October in Cornwall, 18 October in Gloucester, 19 October in Newport, 21 October in Nottingham, 26 October at London Palladium and 27 October in Preston.

All the bootlegs mentioned in this section can be found in digital format on the internet, some more easily than others.