Thursday, March 04, 2004

hand in glove
Andrew O'Hagan gets beneath the skin of Smiths obsessives.

What happens to pop fans as they grow older? As with other religions, some find it impossible to leave behind: at the Star and Garter pub near the railway station in Manchester, hundreds of Morrissey clones come every month to spend an evening comparing quiffs and dancing to his master's voice.

O'Hagan also makes a good point that I haven't seen elsewhere. Despite their moping in bedists image, Mozza and the boys had a large working class fan base, often seemingly from de-industrialised nowheresvilles outside the big cities. In O'Hagan's case this meant depressed west of Scotland towns. I shared a house in London for a bit with a bunch of quiffed up lads from Cornwall, each with checked shirts and a penchant for waving vegetation about in the presence of miserable Mancunian singers. Apart from the other things they were, the Smiths were the only authentic British country and western band.