1986-10-15 Wolverhampton Civic Hall

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steve ®

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Post 22-Dec-2006 18:58

[Quote]

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Civic Hall, Wolverhampton - 15 October 1986
The Queen Is Dead
Panic
I Want The One I Can't Have
Vicar In A Tutu
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
Ask
(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame/Rusholme Ruffians
Frankly, Mr. Shankly
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
What She Said (with Rubber Ring intro and outro)
Is It Really So Strange?
Never Had No One Ever
Cemetry Gates
London
Meat Is Murder
I Know It's Over
/The Draize Train
/How Soon Is Now?
//Still Ill
//Bigmouth Strikes Again
In 1985 we acquired our first video recording equipment ... a camera and a separate 'portable' (not by today's standards) recorder. We tried it out at the Glastonbury and WOMAD festivals, and also recorded 30m of one Smiths show (Irvine). But, frankly, it just wasn't up to the job. While the picture quality was good, the audio was terrible. The tapes and the battery only lasted 30 minutes at a time, and the size the recorder + camera meant that there was no way you could film surreptitiously.
But in 1986 the first camcorders became available. Still quite big by today's standards, but much lighter and more compact that what we had. Paul bought a Sony Video8, and we took it down to Glastonbury to try it out. We had acquired an advance cassette of The Queen Is Dead, which wasn't out yet, and played it constantly through the festival (we had a stall). The Video8 tapes would record for 90 minutes, and the batteries would also last at least that long. We recorded quite a few bands, and found the camera easy to use and that it gave good results, both with video and audio. In July Paul tried sneaking it in to a concert hall ... the Salford show. He said he stuffed the camera down the front of his trousers, but unless he was wearing extremely baggy ones, I find that hard to believe. He filmed from the balcony, and the results were inspiring.
Inspiring enough for me to get my own camera. I bought a Canon. Don't remember why I didn't get the Sony too, but in retrospect I do prefer the picture of the Canon. The sony tends to give the picture a bluish tinge, whereas I think the Canon gives a more realistic colour balance. I tried it out at various shows in London, some small pub type shows - 1000 violins (what a great band!), Primitives, Shop assistants - some larger shows like New Order. All with great results. So When the Queen is Dead Tour Started I was ready.
The camera was too big to hide underneath clothing, so I carried it in inside a bag, and just hoped I wouldn't be searched. Security wasn't as tight as it is today, and you quickly worked out which venues were no problem. But we'd never been to Wolverhampton before, so all bets were off. Luckily we'd picked up a couple of Access All Areas passes from the Meat Is Murder tour. While they were not strictly valid, the house security wouldn't know. We arrived at the Civic Hall just after the doors opened, and watched people going in. Security were checking bags, but they were obviously House security, and they weren't checking everyone. So off we went, in through the doors together striding purposefully past the security ... who saw my bag, and motioned towards it. I flashed my pass long enough for him to see the Access All Areas, smiled and kept on walking. As I entered the hall I looked round and he was busy with new people coming in. This was the first time we'd tried to use the passes ... I was glad they worked.
The Civic Hall was typical of that type of building. The Hall was medium sized, with a balcony running right round the outside. Downstairs was all standing, and the balcony was all seated ... although there were no reserved seats. You just had a ticket to enter, and you could go upstairs or stay downstairs. I went upstairs. For previous recordings I'd always arrived as early as possible to ensure I could grab the ideal position to film from. Tonight we had waited a while to suss out getting in, so there were already quite a few people seated in the balcony. There was still room at the front however, and I grabbed a pretty good position about half way down the left side balcony. Paul and the rest of our entourage were downstairs getting a good standing positions, so I was stuck upstairs saving my seat waiting for the support to start ... the lonely bootlegger. Eventually they came and went, and soon the Romeo & Juliet intro tape started up.
It was a great show to film. The lighting was great (the old camcorders are not great in low light), and I had a pretty good shot of the whole stage. I couldn’t quite see Andy most of the time ... but that was better than missing Johnny from the other side. In fact the natural shot from my position captured both Morrissey and Johnny together most of the time, which was ideal. The crowd were really up for it, and the Smiths rose to the occasion magnificently ... probably the best show of the tour in retrospect. Perhaps that's why Morrissey chose this venue for his first solo show? Mostly I had no problems filming ... although there were occasions when people would clamber next to me and lean out over the balcony to wave their arms about and partly block my shot. Still, overall I was pretty pleased with my efforts.
I transferred the video8 tape to computer using a Digital8 camera, which will play Video8 tapes and uses fire wire. So digitally transferred to computer and captured using Vegas as avi. I don't know of any audio recording of this show. Not quite sure why Paul didn't record it ... but he didn't. So I've done what I can with the video's audio using Wavelab ... but there's still very little bass. I experimented with video correction, but although I thought some of the chroma correction might improve things, I wasn't sure, so I've left it as is. I've done subtle reframing of some shots too. Rendered to mpeg by Vegas, and the DVD authored using DVD architect.
Not sure how much of an improvement this is over the best video copies. It looks a bit ropey to me after crisp DV bootlegs ... but I guess that is inevitable. I haven't made video copies of this since the late 80s ... perhaps a very few in the early 90s. Those would have been done from the Video8 camera, through the RF out to a VHS recorder, which I think was a pretty basic Panasonic, which was mono. So hopefully this will be an improvement.
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cadm

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Post 22-Dec-2006 19:03 (after 5 minutes)

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Fantastic story and fantastic gig again on video !!!
Thanks steve for this effort, your Christmas present is wonderful !


Last edited by cadm on 2006-12-22 19:05; edited 1 time in total
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bclark93

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Post 22-Dec-2006 19:04 (after 53 seconds)

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what a story behind the music!
once again you've made my life much more exciting!
Thank You Steve!!
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cut_here

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Location: seattle

Post 22-Dec-2006 19:11 (after 6 minutes)

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Wow, thanks a lot!!
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fki

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Post 22-Dec-2006 19:17 (after 6 minutes)

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Oh! :shock:
This one is really amazing, thank you very much, Steve!
I hope you never lose your sharing mood, and please ignore those morons who try to stop you.
Merry Christmas to you, Steve (and all members)!
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matti

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Post 22-Dec-2006 20:27 (after 1 hour 10 minutes)

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Many thanks again!
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cramulho

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Post 22-Dec-2006 23:10 (after 2 hours 42 minutes)

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steve
Great! I´ll jump on this later.
But Steve, I have an excellent dvd of The Telescopes at ULU, filmed by Steve, is that you?
Many thanks
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arkil

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Post 23-Dec-2006 00:44 (after 1 hour 34 minutes)

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what to say ?!? 8)
thanks so much ! :)
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anovella

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Location: Barcelona

Post 23-Dec-2006 04:20 (after 3 hours)

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What a great history , thank you very much for this DVD
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steve ®

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Post 23-Dec-2006 08:29 (after 4 hours)

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ramulho
yes that's one of mine. I filmed quite a lot of stuff at ULU from 86-90. It was easy to get the camera in, and has a nice balcony to film from


Last edited by steve on 2006-12-23 10:40; edited 1 time in total
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lazarus

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Post 23-Dec-2006 09:05 (after 36 minutes)

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Amazing Xmas present.
Thanks a lot. :-)
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Angelic

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Post 23-Dec-2006 20:18 (after 11 hours)

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Thanks a million steve! Absolutely fantastic upload! Happy Holidays!
Here's some screencaps...I meant to take them earlier but I forgot. Keep in mind it looks much better in motion (not nearly as blurry as these might make it seem)
It's great quality video, sound is good.
(all are thumbnails, click to see full size)


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mozzy

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Post 23-Dec-2006 22:37 (after 2 hours 19 minutes)

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GREAT!!!!!
I am now downloading - I hope there are still enough seeders around.... :)
When finished I'll seed it for quite some time to helip speed things up for others.
Merry Christmas to you all and please keep up the good work.
Phil
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WaxlyMolding

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Post 24-Dec-2006 15:22 (after 16 hours)

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Wow, thanks! Hope this is still seeded when I get back from vacation after the New Year.....
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strangeways

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Location: Under The Iron Bridge

Post 25-Dec-2006 14:56 (after 23 hours)

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thank you very much steve, what a great present for christmas!
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