Friday, August 24, 2012
THE SMITHS ON BRITISH TELLY (Part 21)
The Tube, a Friday night music show on Channel 4 in the UK, devoted the best part of 15 minutes to The Smiths in mid October 1985. It was interview and performance footage recorded during a tour of Scotland the previous month. The interview was conducted by the actress Margi Clarke (or Margot to give her Sunday name as Morrissey kept saying during said interview) and filmed on location in Edinburgh, while the live footage is from a gig at the Barrowlands in Glasgow.
The tour was as follows:-
Sunday 22 September : Irvine Magnum Leisure Centre
Tuesday 24 September : Edinburgh Playhouse
Wednesday 25 September : Glasgow Barrowlands
Thursday 26 September : Dundee Caird Hall
Saturday 28 September : Clickimin Centre, Lerwick, Shetland
Monday 30 September : Aberdeen Capital Theatre
Tuesday 1 October : Inverness Eden Court Theatre
I had not long started work and wasn't able to do as many devoted fans did which was make the pilgrimage to the Shetlands. I did however have reason to visit the islands a couple of years later and made a particular point of going to the Clickimin and was quite amazed to discover that the band had in fact played a sports hall that was about the size of three badminton courts. I also learned from talking to some locals in a pub that many of the island's residents, young and old, had gone along to see The Smiths as much out of curiosity as anything...but that the gig had been a great and memorable night.
Given that I had seen then just a few days prior in both Edinburgh and Glasgow that was no surprise. I had a seat in the front row of the circle at the Playhouse but I was right down near the for the Glaagow gig the next night. Indeed in the clip shown on The Tube I can make myself out quite clearly around 10 mins and 50 seconds in...
I've still got my tour programme:-
And every time I hear this piece of music I am reminded of those magical nights.
mp3 : Sergei Prokofiev - Dance of the Knights
That was the sound as the lights went down and the band took to the stage.
Incidentally, that feature on The Tube in October 85 would be the last time The Smiths would be on UK telly for seven months which was an eternity given how often they had been seen over the previous couple of years. But it would be an astonishing comeback.....