The Smiths at the Palace in 1985

20 Oct

The Smiths at the Palace Theatre in 1985. Courtesy L. Gregory.

This is a ticket for 4 seats for The Smiths concert at the Grade II listed Palace Theatre which took place on the Sunday 31st March 1985, 5 years after the theatre was saved by Raymond Slater from closure along with the Manchester Opera House, when he purchased both buildings from Edinburgh founded theatre company, Moss Empires.

The Palace Theatre, Manchester in 2010. © Copyright David Dixon.

The 4 seats were in the stalls, 10 rows from the stage, which would have afforded a fantastic view of the 4-piece band, which comprised lead vocalist Davyhulme born Morrissey , Ardwick born guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke also from Davyhulme and Fallowfield born drummer Mike Joyce.

The proceedings started at 7.30pm.

Palace Theatre seating plan. Courtesy Theatres Online.

£5 a ticket including booked fee, which roughly is about £12.65 in todays (2012) money, doesn’t seem too expensive for a band that in the same year had a UK number 1 gold album with Meat is Murder, following on from the previous years success when they released their self-titled debut album which went to number 2 in the charts.

The tickets shows the Palace Theatre  with the old area code telephone number 061, which was changed in 1990 to 0161, which coincided with national area code changes.

The tickets were purchased from Barry Ancill Agency.

Barry Ancill had a record store at 9 Blackfriars Street, Manchester 3, just off Deansgate called Barry’s Record Renezvous which he had opened around the early 1960s; specialising in Rhythm and Blues. Barry later went onto open a store in St James’ Square and a then new business called Piccadilly Box Office, where Barry started to sell tickets for many of the major concerts around the country.

Piccadilly Plaza as it originally looked in 1960. Courtesy J. Shaw.

The ticket is addressed Piccadilly Plaza, so it is possible Piccadilly Box Office was based here at the time of the concert.

Barry’s store sold both domestic and imported vinyl and occasionally attracted visiting blues artist who would drop into to sign autographs and chat to fans.

Does anyone remember the concert? Were you there? Does anyone remember Barry’s Record Renezvous or Patsy from store? Or any other memories. We would love to hear from you. Please see comments below.

The Smiths posing outside Salford Lads Club in 1985. Courtesy Stephen Wright.

The Smiths set list for the concert was as follows:

William, It Was Really Nothing
Nowhere Fast
I Want The One I Can’t Have
What She Said
Hand In Glove
How Soon Is Now?
Stretch Out And Wait
That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore
Shakespeare’s Sister
Rusholme Ruffians
The Headmaster Ritual
Still Ill
Meat Is Murder

Encore 1:

Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now
Handsome Devil

Encore 2:

Barbarism Begins At Home
Miserable Lie

Encore 3:

You’ve Got Everything Now


Freund, R.S. (2007). How Britain Got the Blues: The Transmission and Reception of American Blues . London: Ashgate. p94-95.

Wikipedia. (2012). The Smiths. Available: Last accessed 20th Oct 2012.

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One Response to “The Smiths at the Palace in 1985”


  1. The Taj of Tea Shops in Piccadilly « historyme - October 21, 2012

    […] The Smiths at the Palace in 1985 ( […]


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