Dave Haslam on The Smiths playing the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, 13th March, 1984

Dave Haslam Facebook post:

"Had fun recently looking at some old diaries, and I’ve just realised today (13th March) is the anniversary of the Smiths playing the Free Trade Hall, 13th March 1984. My diary goes into great detail. My evening started off in Corbieres, inevitably. I met Liz Taylor in there (Liz worked for Joe Moss at Crazy Face and designed all the original Smiths t-shirts), and Liz’s friend Kim. Liz had a stack of t-shirts for the merchandise stall, so we went down to the Free Trade Hall early.

I tried to sell some copies of my fanzine (Debris) to the queue. I’d sold a record number of Debris’ to people queuing at the Smiths gig in Hanley a fortnight earlier (90 copies), and this time I got rid of loads again, but with a twist; “I ended up giving lots away because I liked everyone so much”, says my diary. Ah, what a charming young man...

Support band were Red Guitars who I have to confess I never much liked. But, oh my, you can tell from my diary I loved the Smiths; “The Smiths were magnificent – especially ‘This Night Has Opened My Eyes’, and ‘Barbarism Begins at Home’.”

And then Sandie Shaw came on stage to sing “I Don’t Owe You Anything”.

After the gig, I went to the Hacienda, after an hour or so there, Martin Mittler persuaded me and Sue Ferguson to jump in his car and go down to the Sandpiper in Fallowfield (Susan was meant to be working at the Hacienda, but got permission to clock off early).

The Sandpiper (on Wilbraham Rd) was where the official afterparty was taking place; in the upstairs club, which was fitted out like an aircraft, with airline seats and seatbelts. It was a relatively trendy place to go, I seem to recall.

(Photo here of the Sandpiper was taken by David Chadwick in 1985. The club was later called Robinski's...)

My diary tells me that Mike Joyce was there, and Christina Riley-Joyce and Sarah Faye Riley, and Andrew Berry and Tracey Donnelly.

The diary says; “Susan and I sat in a corner and ate loads of sandwiches.”

Nice end to what sounds like a great night; sandwiches, with the Smiths, at the Sandpiper."

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What was on the sandwiches though Dave ?


Ben Budd

Well-Known Member
The Sandpiper was Robinskis in the 00s, but now I believe is an Indian restaurant.

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