The Smiths – Live At The Hacienda, Manchester – July 8, 1983 – Flip Martian Collection – Live and Loud!-
Another gem from this extraordinary website (Liveandloudshows.com) and an important show from a pivotal period of time. Historic stuff, all the way around.
The Smiths – in 1983 they were stunning. A friend of mine first heard them around this time and months later handed me a copy of “What Difference Does It Make?” adding they were a band to pay attention to. He was right. The Smiths were unique – unfortunately, it wasn’t until 1985 that they came to the U.S. on tour – by that time they were well into the process. I always wanted to hear what they were up to at the start – what was it about the band that got everyone excited from the get-go. I had heard the Peel sessions – and even though they were ostensively live, there is still the luxury of doing a second take if things go wrong. In a live setting, there isn’t that luxury and it adds a certain edge to any performance – and it certainly does to this one.
According to Live and Loud, this was their second gig at The legendary Hacienda and only their 14th gig as a band. So things are pretty fresh and the safety net is definitely off. But there is a power and rawness that is unmistakeable and its this quality that explains why The Smiths were such a huge influence on bands in the 1980s. It also explains why Manchester was something of an epicenter for many movements during this time – whether real or by osmosis, you can hear The Smiths in Happy Mondays, The Charlatans, Stone Roses and so many other bands that became pivotal and influential in their own right.
Whatever it was, it makes for an exciting period for music – one which still fascinates – and listening to this show confirms all those feelings.
Thanks to Flip Martian for performing some wizardry on well-worn tapes – crank this one up and enjoy.