The Smiths




live review


London Lyceum

A PECULIAR mixture of factory and Motown ripped through the disco speaker grilles (Lyceum-goers 'in' joke) prior to the Smiths' appearance, An odd amalgam of, shall we say, ancient and modern? I'm a shade too jaded to finely pursue the full implications of that, but it was a suitably apt scene setter.

The Smiths, three of them, make an entrance to generous applause which is rapidly curtailed as the punting populace grasp that He isn’t there. Morrissey springs forth a few seconds later. Gets his own gaggle of whistles and screams. Definitely very front person. In appreciative response, he tosses some dead flowers at the crowd.

This was my first full facial with the Smiths. An event made necessary by the compelling intrigue of their latest record and the sheer boredom of reading about them (the fact of the act, not the content). I had to discover, to my own satisfaction, whether they were a) downtrodden chart fodder with a streak of hypeish pseudo sensitivity or b) something else. Perhaps not as good.

Even allowing for my... opia, the Smiths on the Lyceum stage looked smaller and less in focus than they should have. In an early song, Morrissey sang “I’m not the man you think I am” and it was clear even that soon that the Smiths were not the group I thought they might be.

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 


mick sinclair

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