The Smiths Indeed
JENNA CORDEROY:”The band truly captured the sounds of The Smiths, transporting the audience back to the ’80s.”
The Junction. 9th December. £15.
It’s fair to say that I was more than a little apprehensive about seeing The Smiths Indeed, a tribute band dedicated to The Smiths. For me, tribute bands always bring back unhappy memories of cheap entertainment at all-inclusive 3* hotels in Tenerife, being surrounded by reps showcasing their best, cheesy, pop star impersonations. Thankfully, the night was nothing like what I imagined, and I was pleasantly surprised with how the band truly captured the sounds of The Smiths and transported the audience back to the ’80s.
The first half of the gig was devoted to The Smiths second album, Meat is Murder, and celebrated its 25th anniversary. Enter frontman Wendelen sporting a quiff and moodily swinging a bunch of flowers. Kicking off with The Headmaster Ritual, the band was technically tight and impressive, as the singer awkwardly jerked and swayed to his lament in That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore. A memorable moment had to be Meat is Murder, where the frontman perfectly captured Morrissey’s overly dramatic mannerisms to the sound clips of cows at the slaughterhouse.
It was a shame that the venue only reached half of its capacity and, understandably, you got the feeling that the small audience was a little self-conscious; hence the frosty reception at the start. But, after a quick trip to the bar during the interval for a little bit of Dutch courage, the crowd was more embracing towards the tribute band and ready to have fun. The second half included The Smiths’ greatest hits and nostalgic sing-alongs, including William, It Was Really Nothing and the fist-clenching anthem Shoplifters of the World Unite. A cheer at Wendelen taking out a noose signaled it was time for Hang the DJ, and ending on the rockier number Bigmouth Strikes Again, the atmosphere was electrifying. One couldn’t help but feeling blown away by their raw, energetic sounds.
A short encore saw the tribute band belt out three more classics; the audience roaring in delight at the introductory riff of This Charming Man. It was a fantastic performance, and the poignant There Is A Light That Never Goes Out was perhaps the perfect end to the night. All in all, a well-executed set. I highly recommend seeing The Smiths Indeed if you were born several years too late to have seen The Smiths live.