Do you remember The Smiths playing in Norwich 30 years ago?

Morrissey Morrissey

Thursday, February 13, 2014
10:34 AM

Tomorrow might be a special date for admirers of romance, but for Norwich fans of The Smiths it marks three decades since the hugely influential group played a memorable gig in the city ahead of their debut album release.

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The group, fronted by Morrissey and featuring guitarist Johnny Marr, had taken Top of the Pops by storm with an iconic performance of This Charming Man on November 24.

Beginning the new year as the hottest new band in an age they embarked on a tour to promote their self-titled first album.

Just a few days before the release, The Smiths played at the University of East Anglia on February 14.

The LCR venue was being refurbished, so the gig was actually held in the foyer of Union House and tickets were £3.

UEA pro-vice-chancellor Professor Neil Ward remembers roadies throwing several armfuls of gladioli into the crowd at the start of the performance.

He was a King’s Lynn A-level student at the time and had no inkling that 30 years after his first visit to the campus he would be working at the university.

He said: “Morrissey kicked off the encore of You’ve Got Everything Now by saying, ‘Thank you Norwich, you’re very convivial people’ and more flowers were strewn around with joyful abandon.

“I was wide-eyed at the front, and when Morrissey left the stage casting off his necklaces into the crowd I managed to grasp a fistful of his beads, which I still have to this day.

“The crowd slowly shuffled off, gradually revealing a mass of mulched foliage all over the floor. Inspired, I set about growing a quiff straight away, which I carefully maintained for the rest of the decade.”

He added: “They were an immensely important cultural force in pop music. I remember being really thrilled to see this mesmerising new band so close up in an intimate venue.”

Did you go to the gig? What are your memories of the night? Post them below or email them, and any pics etc, to kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk

We’ll be featuring your memories and Prof Ward’s in print tomorrow.

5 comments

  • I was playing pool in the first floor pool room above the foyer that night and we watched some of the gig from the balcony for free. Didn't think a lot of The Smiths at the time. Nostalgia makes me like them more nowadays.

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    Lgriffiths

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

  • Was this gig only thirty seven minutes long??

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    Ar ya reet boi?

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

  • I didn't go, because I thought they were pants.

    Report this comment

    GoodRockinDaddy

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

  • I didn't go, because I thought they were pants.

    Report this comment

    GoodRockinDaddy

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

  • According to the bootleg I have, yes it was only around 37 minutes long. They did manage to cram eleven songs into that time though.

    Report this comment

    Halloway

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

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