Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Let’s start a rumour: The Smiths to reform

Look, stranger things have happened, alright? And it is the start of the silly season

Fri, Jul 26, 2013, 10:00


The odds on a Smiths’ reunion may have shortened a little this week. As astute watchers of the pop reunion game know well, the requirement by any band member to deal with financial woes or other bad luck is one sure way to soften everyone’s cough when it comes to getting the band back together again.

Going on his recent run of bad luck, if Morrissey had ducks, they’d drown. The year so far has featured serious illness (double pneumonia, a bleeding ulcer and food poisoning), tour cancellations (dates in the United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Brazil and Argentina have been yanked) and insurance problems.

By contrast, his former Smiths’ foil Johnny Marr has been having a great year. His debut solo album “The Messenger” is one of the year’s best and the live shows have been receiving a lot of rave reviews and purple prose.

Add in the fact that Morrissey hasn’t had a record out since 2009 and you almost begin to feel sorry for the poor lad. “Cancellations and illness have sucked the life out of all of us” Morrissey melodramatically wailed, “and the only sensible solution seems to be the art of doing nothing.”

Or doing something no-one expects. While the hoary notion of a Smiths’ reunion has always been greeted with harumphs and sidesteps (to quote Lauren Murphy from her Ticket interview with Marr earlier in the year), needs must on some occasions.

Despite his considerable ego, even Morrissey would concede that The Smiths would be a far bigger, more lucrative draw right now than anything he himself would be putting just his own name to. Acrimonious fall-outs with past members could always be solved with a large cheque. And Morrissey knows, above all else, that some positive attention might serve to re-energise his own lacklustre solo run.