A sadly neglected Smiths classic featuring all the hallmarks that made the band genre-defining, vapid mainstream-shaming gods of the middle 1980s – a sinuous, Wildean-witted Morrissey lyric (‘And if you ever need self-validation/just meet me in the alley behind the railway station’), Marr’s flourishing guitar, and quota-fulfilling amounts of working-class social realism. As well as evidence of Moz’s growing fixation with rufty-tufty estate boys.
This here’s an abysmally lit but compellingly furious rendition from the band’s 1984 jaunt across Europe.
After its year-long Bowie period, the Bemolution found a new musical obsession in the form of Mancunian indie sensations The Smiths. Then, after quickly burning through their back-catalogue, we moved on to solo work of the band’s perennially glum Thwomp-faced ex-frontman, Steven Patrick Morrissey.
Before long, though, we went through the same disillusioning rite of passage as a certain percentage of Smiths devotees. The band itself was magnificent, no question. But, we realised, Morrissey himself wasn’t some kind of musical messiah. In fact, he was just a vindictive narcissist who yes, was the finest, wittiest lyricist of his generation, but had also been churning out the same dreary album for two decades’-worth of solo career. Continue reading
Sacrilegiously, the Bemolution’s favourite rendition of landmark Morrissey/Marr track ‘The Headmaster Ritual’ isn’t even by The Smiths. Like a lot of the band’s early to mid-period output (although they were around for such a short time that beginning middle and end sort of blur into one) some fairly anaemic live performances let down magnificent material. By 1986, the original four-piece would be bolstered by Craig Gannon at live gigs, an acknowledged pain in the arse but a competent rhythm guitarist and, as such, a source of much-needed extra heft on stage. Continue reading