Review: The Smiths Indeed, Liverpool 02 Academy

Posted on 16 March 2010
By Kate Hanratty
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Take one talented tribute band, add a singer with the right moves and sounds. Introduce to a packed room of enthusiastic Morrissey fans and vast catalogue of hits. The Smiths Indeed, the UK’s most popular tribute act are on fire.

Celebrating 25 years since the release of Meat is Murder, The Smiths Indeed simulate what it might have been like to see one of the most influential British bands of all time, an opportunity only available to a lucky few during the late 1980s.

A group of boys in the crowd look like they’ve just come from Salford Lads Club circa 1980. Tonight’s uniform is a Morrissey quiff, sported proudly by the young and the old, teamed with a Fred Perry polo shirts and Doc-Marten boots.

Belgium born Jürgen Wendelen’s vocals and moves are on the money. The band open with Meat is Murder, The Smiths’ only UK number 1 album, in its entirety.

He hoots, flails and swings his microphone wildly. At one point he swings his arms so much he nearly takes off his own glasses.

Beer is sloshed and bodies are squashed as the band play That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore, How Soon is Now? and Meat is Murder. And the crowd sing along in sync with the next best Morrissey.

I overhear a man: “But mate, it’s weird, if you look at him full-on. He REALLY does look like the real Morrissey.”

Panic starts the second half and Jürgen comes onstage swinging a noose like a lasso. The Gladioli are out for This Charming Man and petals fly as the crowd make out every last word.

They play Handsome Devil, Sheila Take a Bow and Hand in Glove. And after a while the lines between fiction and reality blur. Everyone is too busy enjoying themselves to make too much of a distinction anyway.

The group leaves the stage and bounce back to rapturous applause to play There is a Light and It Never Goes Out and close with Bigmouth Strikes Again.

Sure they’re not the real Smiths but they are probably the next best thing that you will get to see in your lifetime. They bring the sound, atmosphere and moves of Manchester’s finest. I for one can’t think of anything better for a tenner on a Friday night.