Smiths tour around the great city of Manchester
There are a few bands that make up Rock and Roll history in England, The Beatles Sex Pistols, Joy Division, The Rolling Stones, to name a couple but a big name of many in Manchester England is The Smiths. This past weekend I have to pleasure of taking a Smiths tour around the great city of Manchester led by Mr. Craig Gill, the drummer from The Inspiral Carpets. Let me tell you, that city is pure Rock and Roll. From the beginning of the tour you can tell that the city has little hidden gems of Smiths history literally embedded in it from street plaques, murals, to just mindless graffiti of lyrics, the city is inundated.
The first stop on the tour was Strangeways Prison, which to any Smiths fan is recognizable from their album ‘Strangeways Here We Come.’ Next, probably the highlight of the day, was a tour of The Salford Lads Club where the famous cover of the LP ‘The Queen is Dead’ of The Smiths was taken on Coronation Street. Inside we saw The Smiths room, which is now decorated with memorabilia and post it letters of fans from all over the world! After a short drive we headed to Morrissey’s old house on Kings Rd. People currently live there and are now just used to fans skulking outside their house in admiration. Going a litter further up the street led us to The Iron Bridge where Morrissey walked to school every day is the site of the lyrics ‘Under the iron bridge we kissed, even though we ended up with sore lips’ from the song “Still Ill.” On the bridge there are Smiths or Morrissey lyrics plastered everywhere in honor of the single. Later we stopped outside of the Southern Cemetery where he met his friend Linda Sterling frequently growing up. Next stop was the Free Trade Hall, which is where the inspiration to form The Smiths came from in 1976 after a Sex Pistols gig in Lesser Hall. Gill explained later that only about 40 people attended but all of them came to be large players in the Manchester Rock and Roll scene in later years. The last stop was the Ritz which is where the first Smiths concert was held in October 1982.
All together this tour was phenomenal even for those who do not know much about The Smiths. During the tour you could feel the inspiration the city brought to these artists and you felt the spirit of music all over the town. If anyone is a smiths fan I encourage you to take a trip up to the city of Manchester and just enjoy the youth and grit of this musical city.
This week on my mostly American flat we will be celebrating Thanksgiving, two days early, but I’m still excited!! I will post about that next week as well as my wonderful Saturday trip to Bath! I’m excited to see some Christmas markets. Maybe I’ll even do a little shopping…hmm we’ll see. Until next time, Cheers!!