One of the advantages of being 37 over, say, 24 is that I am the right age to have see The Smiths live. When I tell a fellow smiths fan that i saw them six times it is normally met with a deep heartfelt sigh. I dont like engendering regret in others, not after i have devoted all that time reading self help books on how to banish it from my own life (time i sometimes think could have been better spent.....)
Now i have an answer: If you loved the smiths and never saw them live, then go and see the Smyths. They do the songs justice. What more can we ask?
It is like when you support a big football team that all of a sudden goes bust.
A new team starts up, adapting the name slightly, in a much lower league. The devotees turn up, the spirit is the same, you can get much closer to the pitch and you can speak to the players after the game.
They played at the The Grey horse in kingston which is just down the road from us. Some fans of theirs had come from Edgware, another from Epping (I didnt envy their journeys back across town).
I was paranoid that we would be locked out from the surge of smiths fans descending to see them (as far as i know mozzer and the boys never came this way). So we got there at half eight. Tania and lynn got fed up standing around waiting and watching the new order tribute (who weren't bad) so they went off to see Tom do his stuff at the Willoughby, where they could sit down in comfort. I'd waited ninteteen years, ten months and twenty seven days to hear these songs performed live, another hour wasn't going to make any difference.
While i was waiting for them to come on i met natalie and lee who said the first song they danced to at their wedding was a smiths song (There is a light). Apparently the other guests had stood around a bit bemused. They run the Old Kings Head in hampton wick. They have tribute bands on at their pub too, they will have a tribute band to the Clash on soon (the Trash)
The Smyths came on and they started off with a barrage of songs from Hatful of Hollow which is the heart and soul of the The Smiths canon. Hand in glove, What difference does it make?. Singer says ''i think some of you might know this song': This charming man: everyone goes bolly.(What is bolly short for? I hope its nothing offensive).
They had flowers at the front, Natalie sniffed at them 'there not gladioli, I made my mum get gladioli for our wedding'. Oh what the hell. They were on the front of the stage, we passed them to each other, waved them around, danced with them, threw them over our shoulders. All of us at the front danced to every song, sang ever word, ended up arm in arm swaying to There is a light and then going bolly again to Big mouth strikes again. A great night.