Panic on the Streets of Dublin – a Tribute to the Smiths
The Smiths…if you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember them with a quasi-religious reverence, a band of ironic miserabilists from Manchester that matched your (probably) embarrassingly awkward teenage years. But even if you’re a Nineties Child, if you’re in any way a connoisseur of witty lyrics, great guitar licks and all round literary popular music, you will have enjoyed ‘Not Like Any Other Love‘ (BBC2), a nostalgic look back at one of the most important bands to come out of England in the last thirty years. Ably presented by Tim Samuels, a fan with a typewriter if ever there was one, the programme looked back at the musical influence of Morrissey and Marr, of how they spoke for Manchester and a North decimated by the recently demised Margaret Thatcher, of whom Stephen Morrissey would later sing of wanting on a guillotine.
Some of the archive footage reminded this viewer of just how long ago this band shone brightly for – a mere four years between 1983 and 1987 – but the music is as vital as then and packing as emotional a punch as it did back in the day. Smiths fans have distinct obsessive tendencies and this Culture Show Special played up to those obsessions recalling the Morrissey quiff, the Salford references, 1960s northern playwrights and explosive remarks to the Press. Contributors such as Noel Gallagher paid tribute to the best band never to top the Singles Charts (and frankly, Mr Shankly, who cares?). A lot was packed into this thirty minute tribute, for the legacy of the Smiths is a thriving and melodic one that ‘The Culture Show’ did justice to.