The Smiths at Night Moves, Glasgow - my part in their success

steve humbert

New Member
You know how you get struck by a wayward question that a few years ago would have been impossible to act on but now there is Google to answer it for you? Tonight the question was" what was the exact date that The Smiths played Night Moves?"
So I checked Wikipedia and the venue was missing. Further searches led me here, and I was surprised to see that there was/is an element of controversy about this gig;- some saying the date had been canceled. Then there's Johnny Marr being quoted as saying they did play there, to about 11 people. The date of 10th July 1983 is quoted.
I'm here to tell you that none of these things are true. The Smiths did in fact play at Night Moves. They were a very late replacement for the act that had been booked for the evening; A Certain Ratio. Hundreds of people attended but largely treated the band with typical Glaswegian froideur, it being Friday night. Which means it couldn't have been the 10th of July. I don't know the exact date, hence my Google search, but it was definitely a Friday.
And how do I know all this for absolute certain? Because I was 50% of the support act- "The Hip Operation". (25% if you count the lovely backing vocalists.)
We were east-coasters and it was our second Glasgow gig. The first had been the previous Wednesday at a new bands' night (hosted by one Bing Hitler- later to achieve huge success as a US talk show host under his real name - Craig Fergusson) and the Night Moves manager called the next day and asked if we'd like to support A Certain Ratio the following Friday. Would we? Course we would...
The next week he called saying that A Certain Ratio had had to cancel, would we mind supporting The Smiths instead? Well, what would you say?
Night Moves was a strange venue on Sauchiehall Street-about five stories up on top of the tenements there was a Victorian music hall theatre, which had been repurposed as a rock venue. You got to it by lift, and it was at the doors to the lift the I first met a Smith--Andy Rourke asked me if I "knew where to score in Glasgow?" I said I didn't even know where to get chips in Glasgow....
Events proceeded to get more surreal as the evening wore on, and given the name of this site you'd probably be interested in When The Hip Operation Met Morrissey, and why he gave us all of the Smiths lager but I'll save that for another post. But they did indeed play Night Moves....
night moves,remember it well in my youth.great venue.
bing hitler,remember him as well,craig you wouldn't get away with that now.
Andy Rourke,where can I score in Glasgow,there is only one place to score in Glasgow and that's on the pitch of a certain football club who are known and loved worldwide as the famous Glasgow celtic.hail hail.
glasgow morrissey night moves the smiths tour dates
Top Bottom