24 November 1983|
Handsome DevilThis is one of the best concerts of this period. The new Manchester heroes returned home to play before a crowd of 1500 fans who packed the Hacienda to full capacity. Many had brought flowers, the place was drowning in them and there was a heavy perfume in the air. The Smiths had just returned from their first appearance on Top Of The Pops so it was quite late when they came on, but they were still received as heroes. Frank Worrall, from the Melody Maker: "Even before they took the stage, girls were being pulled aside for treatment after fainting and too much screaming." The setlist featured all the songs performed by the Smiths at the time except for "Wonderful Woman".
As he took the stage Morrissey greeted the audience by shouting "Hello you ugly devils!". Later, "Pretty Girls Make Graves" was introduced with the words "Thank you... a little quirk... pretty girls make graves, you know..." After "Reel Around The Fountain" Morrissey had to shush some hecklers in the audience. Following "This Night Has Opened My Eyes" he asked "Does anybody have anything to say? Speak now... (song titles and stupid remarks are shouted)... So nobody has anything to say..." He had to shush the crowd again before going into the next number. He changed a few lines in "You've Got Everything Now" to "a friendship sadly lost... it could be true and it could be false" and "I've never had a job because I'm too handsome". After the latter song he exclaimed "Goodbye! Stay handsome, thank you... bye!" and the band left the stage.
The Smiths soon returned for the first of two encores. Morrissey started by saying "Thank you friends... this is supposed to be charming... are you ready? No..." He changed a few words in "These Things Take Time" to "You said I was ill and you were wrong". During the second helping of "This Charming Man" he shook hands with many fans in the audience and was almost pulled in. After the song he shouted "Goodbye!" and the band left the stage again. They were loudly called back for a second encore. Morrissey had to shush the rowdy audience once more before going into "Accept Yourself": "Sshhh... take this... now!". In the latter number, besides yelping twice after the line "time is against me now!" as he still sometimes did live, he added a musical "ah ah ah ah ah ah" line between "tell me when will you" and "when will you accept your life". In the second performance of "Hand In Glove" of the evening he sang "This one is different because it's you". He had trouble remaining on stage again as hands in the front rows kept pulling him into the crowd. At the end of the show he removed all the necklaces he was wearing and sent them flying into the audience.
Opening band was James who would later support The Smiths on the British leg of their Meat Is Murder tour.
This concert was professionally filmed and in 2009 the footage from one of the cameras finally made it into circulation. The camera was set on the stage, on the band's left side, and the footage features many great close ups of Morrissey, Johnny and Andy. It is however too dark to expect a mainstream official release.
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