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The Smiths were booked to bring the tour in support of their debut album to Europe. Scheduled concerts in and around Germany (Vienna, Munich, Frankfurt, Koln and Bremen) in late April were cancelled at the last minute. The band then went on to do a few dates in Ireland and Belfast before flying back to Finland for a last European date. This was the longest time the band had spent outside England since their beginnings.
"Girl Afraid" was dropped from the bill for the final few dates while "Back To The Old House" was never performed at all, although it was a regular during the recent UK tour. Of course these were just b-sides and less known to fans, but then so were "These Things Take Time" and "Jeane" which were reinstated on this leg of the tour. It is interesting to note that "Jeane", which was at the time the Smiths' most obscure track, had only been performed a very small number of times before this leg, very early in the Smiths live career. The band probably decided to perform it again as it had recently appeared on their collaboration single with Sandie Shaw. Fan favourite "Reel Around The Fountain" was surprisingly only played on the three Irish dates, it more or less replaced "Girl Afraid". "I Don't Owe You Anything" and "Pretty Girls Make Graves", which were also from the album that was being promoted, were as well more or less neglected.
The highlight of this period was the live introduction in Finland of two future classics, "Nowhere Fast" and "William, It Was Really Nothing". The latter was scheduled to be released as a single a few months down the road while the former would not be released for another eight months.
Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency.
Hand In Glove - 16
See here for more tour statistics.
"Hand In Glove" was again the standard opener on this leg of the tour (except for a few later dates when it was replaced in that spot by "Still Ill") but it was now performed with its normal intro instead of the extended one from the previous UK dates. In it, instead of singing "but we have something they'll never have", Morrissey usually sang "we have something they never had". The song was also often repeated during the encore, something the Smiths had done for some time in 1983 but had stopped doing on the recent UK tour. "Barbarism Begins At Home" was also often repeated during the encore. The Smiths experimented a bit less with the latter work-in-progress than they had been known to do earlier.
"Pretty Girls Make Graves" was always played with a reggae bridge as Morrissey sang "I could have been wild and I could have been free". On the second Dublin date, Johnny added a unique intro to "What Difference Does It Make?" and a unique outro to the encore repeat of "Hand In Glove".
The early versions of new live additions "Nowhere Fast" and "William, It Was Really Nothing" were mature lyrically, but musically they would evolve significantly between this first performance and the songs' releases. The early version of "Nowhere Fast" was actually pretty interesting. It was arranged more or less the way it would shortly be recorded to be played on John Peel's radio programme in the UK.
Live performances of upcoming single "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" and its intended b-side "Girl Afraid" had grown significantly since the recent UK dates. In the former, instead of singing "What she said to me at the end of the day" as he had done so far, Morrissey now sang "What she asked of me at the end of the day". The song also now had the familiar studio stop-start moment in its bridge. Similarly, in the instrumental bridge of "Girl Afraid", Morrissey hummed "Mmmmm that mistake again", as he does on the studio version. He had never done this before in live performances of that song.
The 2009 radio re-broadcast of the Amsterdam concert is also very interesting soundwise, but the set on that night was slightly shorter than the Hamburg one. Another alternate option to the above would be the audio of an unreleased professional video recording of the Paris concert.