There is a Light That Never Goes out

I grew up with The Smiths – No, literally
Morrissey used to call round to our house and I Lived with his dad in Whalley Range for a bit (what do we get for all our trouble and pain) so he’d pop round and if I wasn’t in, He’d write things on my bedroom wall. I visited him in London when he lived down there and we shared thoughts, shoes, poems, lyrics and musical ideas.
I worked with Johnny at Stolen from Ivors boutique in Manchester and i knew Mike Joyce (my favourite smith) well because he worked with our chris as a pot collector at St Kentigerns social Club in Fallowfield.Also, i knew his first band, the Hoax and bought their single and i still seem him regularly. For legal reasons, i won’t tell you how i knew Andy.

They have been important since i was a teenager and as they grew as a band i watched them very closely seeing them hundreds of times in lots of different venues – I remember photocopying tickets for their gig at the Free Trade Hall and getting away with it and travelling to GIGS with peter, morrisseys dad, we were mates. They were probably the most important band of my life and the impact of watching them grow so closely has had a fundamental affect on my life – when i was 17 a light was lit and that is a light that will never go out


BBC Radio 4 is the best radio channel in the world. It has the most interesting programmes best researchers and the best journalists by a country mile.
They have a regular award winning programme called “Soul Music” where they talk about a modern classic and explore its music, it’s lyrics and overall impact on people.
This week it was “there is a light that never goes out” by The Smith.
The Smiths meant the world to me as they did to so many other people but this song more than any other has grown to be very important in my life and here’s why

Have a listen here


2 thoughts on “There is a Light That Never Goes out

  1. I don’t know what I’m more jealous of, the fact that you got on Radio 4 or that Moz wrote on your wall! Either way, I’m green.
    I remember the first time I heard The Smiths. I’d moved in with my dad after my folks split up (in the mid 90s) and we moved across town. Not far, just on the other side of Middleton, but might as well have been a hundred miles away. I was at that stage of teenage where you think the world isn’t yours. The world won’t listen. And I remember being in this new terraced house, looking down at an alien street. It was just starting to rain and I remember looking at the wet tiles of the grey rooftops opposite. It was like a scene from Corrie circa 1960. Perfect.
    Before that I’d been fed on a diet of electronica, my older brother’s vinyl, all 808 state and Future Sound if London – Manchester stuff but somehow I didn’t feel the connection at the time between the city and the sound, between the city and me.
    I’d started finding guitar music. Radiohead, scraps of American stuff, the Pumpkins, Nirvana. I liked it. Or thought I did.
    A mate had leant me A Hatful of Hollow, I was at the window when Back To The Old House came on. Christ, that guitar. And then the voice, that voice that stretches out. /Stretch out and wait/ And it was like he was in the room. I didn’t even know what Morrissey looked like but it was as if he was there. /In the corner of your room, can you hear me/ Actually there. That moment changed my life completely. At last there was someone that understood. Like I was meant to hear that song at that time. As if it had been waiting. And the grey sky became a caul, protecting. The rain christened the tiles. It suddenly felt that Manchester was mine. /it owed me a living/.
    Before that point, Manchester for me was somewhere to run through. Somewhere to get records from and scurry back from. A piss stained Arndale and Chorlton street bus station. But now it was that voice, that place carved out by that voice. That sounds bollocks but it’s true /at last I was born.
    And that was it. I devoured Smithdom. I took down my Cobain poster and my Jim Morrison poster. Even Lennon took a back seat. I stopped watching Hollywood blockbusters and tracked down Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. I fell in love with Rita Tushingham. I put down Stephen King and started reading Wilde. The books I was reading at Uni suddenly made sense. Blake was Manchester. Dickens was Manchester.
    I’m still in that place Moz carved out for me. That you’re carving and Cooper Clarke and all the other Manc artists.
    I’m a teacher now. That weird English teacher who gets excited by caesuras and Wilfred Owen. All tweed and bad shoes but /there is a light/ still get that stab, that goosebump lift when that track starts, when the needle scratches into Back To the Old House and I’m back at that window, in that moment. Homework: Find The Smiths, kids (but don’t forget the songs that saved your life).

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