The Smiths

The Smiths

A soundscape and photographic exhibition will pay homage to the Smiths in Salford later this year, marking 30 years since the release of The Queen Is Dead.

The cover of the Smiths’ third studio album was famously shot outside Salford Lads Club, less than a mile away from the Lowry, which hosts the new show.

That photograph is one of 20 seldom-seen images in the exhibition by photographer Stephen Wright. Morrissey liked the shot so much he sent Wright a postcard to say thank you, expressing that his only “fatal” regret was that he hadn’t worn his mud-coloured cardigan on the day.

Wright went on to have a successful career photographing live concerts and weddings but says he is happy to be “haunted” by the Lads Club shoot.
“It’s funny that one posed shot on an incredibly dark day in Salford has continued to pleasantly haunt me,” he said ahead of the exhibition, which opens on 9 April.

Also showing at the Lowry in Salford Quays is 30 Days of the Smiths, a sound installation by the artist Oberman Knocks featuring interviews with Salfordians with the surname Smith by the poet and chancellor of the University of Salford, Jackie Kay.

Morrissey and Johnny Marr have given their approval to the project, which will see “real” Smiths reflect on life in Salford, soundtracked by the band’s music.

Knocks’s audio soundscape – to Panic, This Charming Man and What Difference Does It Make – premieres on Thursday 5 May.