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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.


This mini-tour of Europe included a few festival appearances so there weren't any support band per se. See individual dates for details. The Frank Chickens opened in Ireland and Northern Ireland.






The setlists varied quite a lot over the length of this tour, they seemed to be constantly adapted to the different publics. "Still Ill", "Hand In Glove", "This Charming Man", "This Night Has Opened My Eyes", "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now", "Barbarism Begins At Home", "What Difference Does It Make?", "These Things Take Time", "You've Got Everything Now" and "Handsome Devil" were regulars throughout. "Miserable Lie" which had been rarely performed at this point in 1984 was reinstated on most nights.

"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
Barbarism Begins At Home - 12
This Charming Man - 11
What Difference Does It Make? - 11
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now - 10
Still Ill - 10
These Things Take Time - 10
This Night Has Opened My Eyes - 10
You've Got Everything Now - 10
Handsome Devil - 9
Miserable Lie - 9
Girl Afraid - 6
I Don't Owe You Anything - 6
Pretty Girls Make Graves - 6
Jeane - 3
Reel Around The Fountain - 3
Nowhere Fast - 1
William, It Was Really Nothing - 1

See here for more tour statistics.


Morrissey wasn't too keen on taking liberties with his lyrics in Europe as he had been in the UK before this, probably because of the language barrier or because the public wasn't familiar enough with the words to appreciate the effect. He still made some changes and had a lot of fun in standard encore "You've Got Everything Now" however, yodeling and shouting in a high pitched voice. As on previous UK dates, the latter was always followed in quick succession by "Handsome Devil", without leaving enough time for fans to show their appreciation.

"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.


Nothing from these dates has been given an official release.


A visual souvenir of this period in the Smiths history is available on videos and DVDs of the Hamburg concert which was broadcast on German television programme Rockpalast. At this point in time, this is the only concert in circulation in video for this part of the 1984 tour. Varying versions of this concert are circulated, from different broadcasts. See date above for more details.


One of the best and most commonly found audio bootleg for this period in time is the audio of the television broadcast (mentioned in the 'bootleg videos' section above) of the Hamburg concert, available on a manufactured cd titled "Girl Afraid". Because it was lifted from a television show, the sound quality is excellent. The complete concert is featured.

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.

Collectors interested in more will want to look out for good to fair complete audience recordings of the following dates: Finland, Dublin, Zurich and Bree Brecon Festival.