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These dates form the last bunch before the Smiths went on their first real tour in support of their debut album early in 1984. "This Charming Man" was in the charts, Smithsmania was the buzzword, the concerts were becoming wilder as they were attended by eager fans as well as curious non-devotees who wanted to find out who were these supposed saviours of rock'n'roll.
"Back To The Old House" was likely introduced to the fans in Derby, or at the latest at the same time as "Barbarism Begins At Home", at the Electric Ballroom in London on 19 December. The former was just a few weeks away from being made available to the buying public as a b-side on the "What Difference Does It Make?" single, but the latter would not be released for another 14 months.
Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency. This is based on 6 concerts for which the setlist is known.
This Charming Man - 11
See here for more tour statistics.
In "Accept Yourself", Morrissey still occasionally yelped twice after the line "Time is against me now" although it now happened rarely. He also sometimes added a laughing "ah ah ah ah ah ah" line between "tell me when will you" and "when will you accept your life". In "You've Got Everything Now" Morrissey often changed a line to "No I've never had a job because I'm... too handsome" and another one to "A friendship sadly lost, it could be true, it could be false". He also made a few other minor changes. In "Hand In Glove", instead of singing "but we have something they'll never have", Morrissey usually sang "we have something they never had". On at least two performances of the altter, he flattered his appreciating audience by singing "This one is different because it's you".
The original Old Grey Whistle Test broadcast of the Derby concert and various later reruns on other programmes have made it onto bootleg videos and DVDs. A 2003 digital broadcast from Brazil was an improvement over all earlier ones, but it also came with Portuguese subtitles. A 2007 broadcast on VH1 Classic is now the best version of that show out there: digital and without subtitles. The show was also released on (unofficial) DVD in Brazil and this might appeal to certain fans. The footage doesn't have the VH1 logo in the corner, but unfortunately it fades in at the beginning and out at the end, so it lacks a bit of (secondary) content. Video digital files ripped from different bootleg DVDs can be found on the internet.
The Hacienda show from 24 November was professionally filmed and the footage from one of the cameras has made it into circulation after many years of being in the hands of only a few privileged collectors. The footage is from a camera set on the stage, on the band's left side, and features nice close ups of Morrissey and Marr. It is however too dark and therefore very unlikely to ever be officially released, unlike the Derby recording mentioned above which would make a great live release.
The audio from the Derby television broadcast mentioned in the video bootlegs section is obviously the best choice soundwise. The Hacienda concert has to be one of the best shows of this era, performance-wise. Recordings of it are not as commonly found as the other two dates mentioned above because unlike them, it is not available on manufactured bootlegs. It is however possible to get it from bootleg traders on physical or digital formats, occasionally under the title "To The Old House".