Sunday, 10 July 2011

Smiths: Fighting Cocks 06 03 1983

Morrissey is a bit like Marmite. (American readers may skip this bit...Antipodean readers may substitute the word ‘Vegemite’ for Marmite), It's a Love/Hate thing. And he is pretty easy to hate, so I'm sympathetic to the haters (check me out - I'm SO down with da kidz). I am, however, a fan. A fan who, up until last Tuesday, had never seen the great man live. I'd tried on a number of occasions, but always been a bit too slow off the mark, so I missed out on seeing The Smiths in venues only slightly larger than my front room. Bum. I finally got to see the solo Moz at The Victoria Hall in Stoke - a lovely, non Rock and Roll venue. Exactly the kind of place you'd expect him to play. He did not disappoint. Solo gems were neatly interspersed with Smiths' classics and a good time was had by all. I really want to say he's a national treasure, but the cliche-ometer would explode if I did...

To honour my audience with His Holiness, The Moz, here's a gem from the best part of thirty (thirty! bloody hell!) years ago. It's the amazing Smiths playing one of their first 'out of Manchester' gigs at The Fighting Cocks in Moseley, Birmingham. Yes, gentle reader, the venue is as small as it sounds...It’s not incredibly HiFi I’m afraid - Johnny Marr is a bit quiet, but it's a lovely soundboard recording from a band on the cusp of going supernova. And it's recorded in Birmingham too, which I like a lot. Look at that tracklisting - pre-first-album-tastic!

This often crops up on the net as part of a boot called 'Reel Around The Fountain', sometimes bundled with some other rarities...this is just the Fighting Cocks stuff.

Sometimes I think it would be great to see Morrissey and Marr back together...sometimes I think they've probably said all they're ever going to say and it's good that they've drawn a line under their collaborations. While you're pondering that, grab some gladioli and mom’s best blouse, shape what’s left of your hair into a quiff, nip down to the charity shop and buy those old 501s back and dance like a loon to the sound of The Smiths.



Smiths: Fighting Cocks 06 03 1983

01. You've Got Everything Now
02. Handsome Devil
03. Accept Yourself
04. What Difference Does It Make
05. Reel Around The Fountain
06. Wonderful Woman
07. These Things Take Time
08. I Don't Owe You Anything
09. Hand In Glove


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