Kings Arms, Acton
added: 9 May 2005
// gig date: 7 May 2005
reviewer: Music-News.com Newsdesk
Let's get straight to the point ' if you're a Smiths or Morrissey fan then go see The Smyths, it's as simple as that. Front man, Graham, has got the Mozza mannerisms and vocals so closely observed and expertly delivered, while the rest of the band (Tom, drums; Simon, bass; Andy, guitar; and Chris added guitar) are no look-alikes but certainly sound-a-likes. All the favourites including The Queen is Dead, Irish Blood, William, The Boy with the Thorn, Girlfriend in a Coma, Shoplifters, and This Charming Man were played with increasing confidence and authenticity. They overcame an early technical bass problem with ease, allowing (Graham) Morrissey to host some cheeky audience participation, then launching all into total singalong mode with William (It was Really Nothing). This was the first indication that the gig wasn't so much about the band (who can musically take care of themselves), but the audience. As the small, select crowd loosened up, arms, legs and hips wiggled about, choruses were sung full heartedly, and a lone neanderthal chav broke away from his side of the pub looking pissed and confused. 'Shoplifters of the world' we all sang. The local 'geezer' staggered towards the stage and leant, face down, on its protective wooden banister. One leg shook with unpredictability, as if his brain couldn't reconcile whether to attempt a little shimmy in honour of our heroes, or kick the living crap out of the singer. My sensitive nose for violence was twitching. I took out my notebook and pen as This Charming Man chirped to life. As if taking his cue, the Charmless Bloke disappeared back to his cave. He'll never know quite how poignant his departure was.
The second set kicked off with What Difference Does It Make, Ask, and How Soon Is Now, before welcoming a different kind of local drunk. This one was more your demented, excitable puppy, desperate to slobber all over the singer, and fall into anyone who got in the way. It was difficult to tell if he was a genuine Smiths fan or overcome by an inebriation of music therapy ' either way, he was having a great time. Hats off to Mozza and the band for their ultimate professionalism in the face of some rather hollow local characters. Sheila Take a Bow, Sweet and Tender, Suedehead, the highlight of the night for me - I haven't heard that for years (cue a hysterical outbreak of air-drums), Panic, Hand In Glove, and many more, closing with There Is A Light.
I'll turn this review full circle and repeat, '.if you're a Smiths or Morrissey fan then go see The Smyths, it's as simple as that.' Make the most of this accomplished tribute act while you can. You'll never see the Smiths again, but The Smyths are the next best thing.
For more details go to www.thesmyths.net
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