18 February 1984
Dance Hall, University Of Essex, Colchester
Hand In Glove
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
Girl Afraid
This Charming Man
Pretty Girls Make Graves
Still Ill
This Night Has Opened My Eyes
Barbarism Begins At Home
Back To The Old House
What Difference Does It Make?
/You've Got Everything Now
/Reel Around The Fountain
//Hand In Glove
This was not the highlight of the tour. The band wasn't so well received, and quite a few negative elements in the audience took pleasure in spitting towards the stage. The Smiths still played the whole show including a 3-song encore (including "Reel Around The Fountain" and a repeat of "Hand In Glove"), something which not every city visited on this tour was treated to.

As was tradition at the time the intro to set opener "Hand In Glove" was extended by a few bars. After the song Morrissey greeted the audience. Future single "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" was still performed in its early arrangement and Morrissey sang the alternate line "What she said to me at the end of the day". After "This Charming Man" he shouted "What's next?" He was just being a tease as many people in the audience were already shouting requests. "Still Ill" was introduced with the words "This song is about being ill..." In that song Morrissey made the very slight changes to "Look! we cannot cling to the old dreams anymore" and "I should know because I see them but not very often".

Before going into "This Night Has Opened My Eyes" Morrissey asked the crowd for "a little decorum..." The epic "Barbarism Begins At Home" was introduced with the quick "Everybody knows that barbarism begins at home..." Next up was "Back To The Old House" and it was introduced by Morrissey with the line "This is for the truly sensitive among you... How many, I wonder?" There was an interruption after the latter number, perhaps because of the spitting. The crowd clapped and cheered the band to go on. Morrissey then shouted "You didn't stop!" and after a pause shouted "Well!?" as the band launched into "What Difference Does It Make?". A line was changed in the latter title to "I think I can rely on me".

When the band returned to the stage for the first encore Morrissey said "you nearly stopped", probably referring to the spitting, then added "My my, very persistent. Don't spit at me please, I don't deserve that. Or do I, do I? No." As usual he made minor changes in "You've Got Everything Now", such as "Oh what a mess I've made of this life" and "I never had a job because I'm too ugly". When returning to the stage before going into the second encore he asked the audience "Do you think you could... shsh shsh... do you think you could stomach another Hand In Glove? (pause) No? Too bad!"


A reasonable sounding audience recording of the complete set is available on bootleg compact discs and in digital format on the internet. However, collectors of digital bootlegs must be aware that the 11-song set circulated on MP3 format under this date is actually a recording of Reading, 4 days later. The Colchester concert recording is usually split into 14 files.


Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.