Smiths, The 1986-10-21 Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, UK [DVD0049]

The Smiths
Royal Concert Hall,
Nottingham, UK
21 October 1986

The Queen Is Dead
I Want The One I Can't Have
Vicar In A Tutu
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame/Rusholme Ruffians
Frankly, Mr. Shankly
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
What She Said (with Rubber Ring intro and outro)
Is It Really So Strange?
Never Had No One Ever
Cemetry Gates
Meat Is Murder
I Know It's Over
/The Draize Train
/How Soon Is Now?
//Still Ill
//Bigmouth Strikes Again

My Parents were in the process of moving to Lincoln in 86, and they were renting a flat while they looked for a house. It just so happened that they were away that week, and as Lincoln is not far from Nottingham, we decided to borrow their flat for the night. We drove up from London in our trusty VW Camper van in the afternoon. Picking up a pizza as we drove through Lincoln, we found the flat and had some tea (that's an evening meal for all you non Brits ... although we may have had a cup of tea with it).

Nottingham is about 40 miles from Lincoln. We didn't leave the flat until early evening, so time was quite tight as we entered the city. It has a ring road round the city centre, which wasn't easy to navigate. We could see the Royal Centre from the ring road, but it wasn't easy to work out how to actually get to it. Which all meant we got to the doors with about 10 minutes to spare.

I'd brought my camcorder along. In them old days, camcorders were quite bulky, so I'd put it in a bag wrapped in a T-shirt. There was no security getting into the building ... but the venue was all seated, which is always a problem for those on the guest list. So we'd have to see someone about where we should go. We had a quick drink at the bar while I worried about being asked to open my bag. But when we asked about guest list seating we were directed to an old guy who obviously worked for the Royal Centre and wasn't going to be bothered with 'security' issues. He directed us to the side of the stage and up some stairs to a gallery slightly behind the front of the stage and a little above it. There was just a single row of about 6 seats in front of a metal bar barrier, looking out over the stage into the audience. We were almost sitting amongst the equipment. What a unique angle for filming.

I was a bit worried about being easy to spot when I started filming ... but the way I do things is once I start filming, to forget everything else and just try and get the best shots. So as the band came on I took the camera out of the bag and switched it on. I found I could hold it between my legs with the viewfinder angled up, and get great shots without looking too obvious. It was great being this close and filming from this unusual angle, although the sound mix was a bit odd. It appears that Morrissey has his vocals mixing quite low on the monitor mix.

Some other people had been seated up there with us ... and as the show started, the guy next to me got out an audio recorder and started to record the show. He seemed to make no attempt at being subtle, and within half a song someone had come up to have a word with him. I was cursing under my breath, as I was sure they would also see what I was up to, but I kept filming anyway. They took his recorder away ... but miraculously failed to spot me.

The show was another great show, and I managed to get a great film of it. I've never been able to find a separate audio recording of this show, so no audio upgrade on this DVD. I also noticed that during the Queen Is Dead there was some slight tape damage for 10-15 seconds. So I downloaded the low gen version from this site to see if I could use that to fill in the damaged portion. However, I found the same drop outs in the picture in that version as well ... so it's obviously been there since the 80s. Anyway I've done my best to mask the damage ... but it's still there.

This was filmed on a Canovision 8VM-E1.