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In February 1986 while the Smiths were waiting for a legal dispute with their label to be settled, they went on a 3-date mini-tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland, preceded by an appearance on Billy Bragg's Red Wedge tour in Newcastle and a benefit concert in Liverpool titled "From Manchester With Love".

The Dublin concert was originally scheduled for 3 February and the Belfast concert was originally scheduled for 29 January. The other concerts from this batch may or may not have also been postponed to the dates listed above.

 


The first concert above was part of the Red Wedge tour with Billy Bragg.
The Liverpool date was a benefit with New Order and the Fall.
Support act for the Irish dates was June Brides who Morrissey named as his favourite band in 1985.

 


Special t-shirts were produced for the "From Manchester With Love" benefit concert in Liverpool, some with and others without the band's name on it. A programme was also sold for 1 (image needed).
Information is needed for the Ireland and Northern Ireland dates.

 


The overture to Prokofiev's "Romeo And Juliet" was the last song on the intro tape before the Smiths entered stage.

 


The complete setlist for these few concerts included 17 songs, but they were all performed on only two of these dates.

Three new tracks were introduced in Liverpool: "Vicar In A Tutu", "Cemetry Gates" and "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out". These would all be included on the upcoming "The Queen Is Dead" album. The latter masterpiece-to-be was recorded but would only be released four months later because the Smiths were having legal problems with Rough Trade, their label. Two more songs from the upcoming album, "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" and "Bigmouth Strikes Again", had been debuted on the Scottish leg of the Meat Is Murder Tour and were still in the setlist. Strangely, "Frankly Mr Shankly" which had also been introduced in Scotland in the autumn was played only on one date of this mini-tour.

Most of the other songs were taken from the previous album, "Meat Is Murder": "I Want The One I Can't Have", "Rusholme Ruffian" (in a medley with the Elvis cover "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame"), "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore", "Nowhere Fast", "What She Said" and "Meat Is Murder". "The Headmaster Ritual" which had been neglected on the last tour was dropped completely. The 1985 single "Shakespeare's Sister" and its b-side "Stretch Out And Wait" were also setlist regulars. The rest of the setlist was rounded up with the 1984 singles "William, It Was Really Nothing" and "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" as well as live staples "Still Ill" and "Hand In Glove". "Miserable Lie" was played once.

Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency.

Bigmouth Strikes Again - 5
I Want The One I Can't Have - 5
Shakespeare's Sister - 5
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side - 5
(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame/Rusholme Ruffians - 4
Cemetry Gates - 4
Meat Is Murder - 4
Nowhere Fast - 4
Stretch Out And Wait - 4
Vicar In A Tutu - 4
What She Said - 4
William, It Was Really Nothing - 4
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now - 3
Still Ill - 3
That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore - 3
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - 3
Hand In Glove - 2
Frankly, Mr Shankly - 1
Miserable Lie - 1

See here for more tour statistics.

 


In "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", Morrissey didn't sing the repeated title chorus at the end as he does on the "The Queen Is Dead" album. He sang the alternate first verse of "Stretch Out And Wait" as it is heard on the "The World Won't Listen" compilation: "All the lies that you make up, what's at the back of your mind? Your face I can see and it's desperately kind, but what's at the back of your mind". During the recent Scottish tour Morrissey had been gradually modifying these lines from the initial version as released on the "Shakespeare's Sister" single, to something approaching the alternate version mentioned above. He also sang the slightly different "Ignore all the silly codes of the day".

In "Hand In Glove" the second occurrence of "the sun shines out of our behinds" was always replaced with a repeat of "the Good People laugh". In "Vicar In A Tutu" Morrissey always sang "A scanty bit of a thing with a decorative ring that wouldn't cover the head of a child" as is printed in the lyric sheet of "The Queen Is Dead". In the studio version on the album he sang "... wouldn't cover the head of a goose".

Typically, Morrissey announced "Bigmouth Strikes Again" on the first few dates as "... our new single" even though the song would not be released for another 4 months. Strangely a few days later in Dublin Morrissey announced "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" as the new single. So meanwhile plans had changed, but they were to change again, because "Bigmough Strikes Again" turned out to be the next song released as a single and not "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out".

 


Nothing from these dates has been given an official release.

 


There is no visual souvenir of any of these concerts at this point in time.

 


There are circulated recordings of each of the five shows of this mini-tour. Soundwise the best option is one of the three different audience recordings of the Liverpool concert, the one credited to recorder DJ, because it is as good as, and suspected of being a soundboard recording. People who are more interested in content will prefer the longer 17-track set performed in Belfast. Although it must be said that the later show didn't feature "Frankly Mr Shankly" which was played in Liverpool.

The Dublin, Dundalk and Newcastle recordings sound fair to poor so non-completists might be disappointed with them.