21 April 1984|
Vinyl Party, De Meervaart, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hand In GloveThis concert, put together to celebrate Dutch music magazine Vinyl's fifth anniversary, was the Smiths' first show in a country where the main language wasn't English. Everything went well but Morrissey sounded rather reserved at first. He was probably intimidated by the language barrier, but by the end of the show he appeared to be more comfortable. He did say a few words in between songs but didn't really alter lyrics the way he sometimes did in England where the audience was more familiar with the Smiths' material.
"Miserable Lie", "I Don't Owe You Anything" and "These Things Take Time" returned to the setlist. They were rarely performed at this point in time. The latter two titles were almost at the end of their live career.
During the recent tour of the UK "Hand In Glove" had been the standard set opener and its intro extended by a few bars. For some reason, even if the song was still opener in Amsterdam, the normal intro was brought back. After the latter number Morrissey introduced the next planned one by saying: "Thank you, this song is called 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now'." The song had just been recorded and it was planned to be released as a single one month later, so this live performance was much closer to the studio version we are familiar with. Only minor differences remained.
"Girl Afraid", which was next on the setlist and planned to be released as the latter single's b-side, had also just been recorded in the 4-week break between the end of the recent UK tour and this concert. So not only was "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" closer to its definitive version, but so was "Girl Afraid". In the instrumental bridge in the middle of the song, Morrissey hummed "Mmmmm that mistake again", as he does on the studio version. He had never done this before. "This Charming Man" was introduced as being "...a song about a bicycle." Before going into "Barbarism Begins At Home" Morrissey told the audience "Coincidentally, it's a great privilege to be here... so..."
Before introducing "Miserable Lie" Morrissey enquired "Can anybody here speak English?... So?" The following planned number was "Still Ill" and it was simply introduced with a shout of its title. Then the next one was introduced with the line "This song is called 'I Don't Owe You Anything'..." When the band returned to the stage for the first encore Morrissey shouted "Handsome Devil"! before the band launched into the song. When the band returned to the stage for the second encore, Morrissey's final words to the audience were "Thank you, we didn't expect this, thank you..."
The complete concert was recorded and various subsets were broadcast on KRO radio at different times. One reported broadcast from 1987 or 1988 (apparently the second broadcast) featured the following set: "Girl Afraid", "This Charming Man", "Barbarism Begins At Home", "This Night Has Opened My Eyes", "Still Ill", "What Difference Does It Make?", "Handsome Devil" and "These Things Take Time". Another one from a few years later (apparently the third broadcast) featured "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now", "Barbarism Begins At Home", "Miserable Lie", "I Don't Owe You Anything", "What Difference Does It Make?", "Handsome Devil" and "You've Got Everything Now". In February 2009 the complete set was finally broadcast in order on Dutch radio station Radio 2. This was also webcast at the same time from the station's webpage.
Thanks to Gerrit Sassen for supplying some of this information.
Various combinations of the early broadcasts have appeared on manufactured bootlegs. Until the 2009 rebroadcast "The Butterfly Collector" was the most interesting of the lot. The sound quality is quite good and the complete concert is featured bar "You've Got Everything Now" (which can be found on "Wonderful Woman", see further down). Unfortunately, the tracks were resequenced, some of them are a bit slow, and some of Morrrissey's between song banter was edited out. The bootleg also features the Smiths' third gig which took place in Manchester on 4 February 1983. This is commonly found on the internet.
"Miserable Lies" is also very good soundwise, but it lacks the first two tracks as well as "You've Got Everything Now". Some non completist collectors might also be turned off by the fact that it was released on LP format only.
"Handsome Devils" and its reissue in a better sleeve "Live In Derby Dec 7th 1983" both sound very good, but they only feature the seven tracks from one of the radio broadcasts mentioned above: "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now", "Barbarism Begins At Home", "Miserable Lie", "I Don't Owe You Anything", "What Difference Does It Make?", "Handsome Devil" and "You've Got Everything Now". These two bootlegs are more interesting for the other concert they feature, the Derby one from 6 December 1983. This title is commonly found in digital format on the internet.
"Live At Amsterdam Meervaart 1984", the 3" cd which came with the Italian lyrics book "The Smiths 1982-1987" released by Stampa Alternativa, will only appeal to completists as it features only four songs from this show: "This Charming Man", "Miserable Lie", "Still Ill" and "What Difference Does It Make?".
"Wonderful Woman" features only one song from this date, "You've Got Everything Now". That song is the only one missing on the "Butterfly Collector" bootleg mentioned above. Besides being a good complement to the latter, "Wonderful Woman" is also an essential acquisition because it also features 4 radio sessions, 3 Troy Tate outtakes, "What's The World" from 25 September 1985 and a great early concert from 7 July 1983. This is commonly found in digital format. "You've Got Everything Now" from the latter bootleg also found itself on the manufactured LP bootleg "The Undisputed Truth".
The manufactured bootleg cd "Shoplifters From Manchester" features "Miserable Lie" and "Handsome Devil" along with Troy Tate outtakes, radio sessions as well as live material from 4 February 1983, 6 December 1983, 12 March 1984, 4 May 1984 and 26 August 1986.
"Boyfriend In A Coma", a LP reissue of "Shoplifters From Manchester" with fewer tracks, features "Miserable Lie" and "Handsome Devil" along with Troy Tate outtakes, radio sessions as well as live material from 4 February 1983, 6 December 1983, 12 March 1984, 4 May 1984 and 26 August 1986.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.