Queens Hall Leeds Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th of September 1983
It was the last of the big five Futuramas and John Keenan returned to the Queens Hall in Leeds for the final time. The big story of this Futurama was that the Smiths had really started to take off in 1983.’Hand in Glove’ had come out in May and ‘This Charming Man’ was to be the next single in October. Excitement was building nicely, the Smiths were not yet a massive band but everybody knew they were going to be the next big thing but trouble was coming. Moz and his band were not happy!
The Smiths were fourth on the bill on the Saturday but closer to the event they refused point blank to go on before the Bay City Rollers and wanted the headline spot. John refused and they pulled out at the last minute. With hindsight the Smiths should have headlined as the Bay City Rollers didn’t have the pull or the cult following of Gary Glitter. The Bay City Rollers were washed up, there was only a couple of original members left and they now had girl backing singers which was a bit odd and went down like kilted flares in a room of ripped jeans! Looking back, it is a pity because the Smiths would have fitted in with the pantheon of wonderful bands that have graced the Futuramas but it was not to be!
The festival was still completely enjoyable. Killing Joke were out of this world as were the newly formed Death Cult, Comsat Angels, Mekons, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, The Chameleons, Three Johns, Play Dead and New Model Army. Jayne County was completely outrageous while ex-Cramps bassist Bryan Gregory had his own band. Armoury Show were good but never really had the songs of that the Skids had or indeed Big Country at that time. After the festival, the Yorkshire Evening Post reviewed the Futurama as ‘Two days in Gothic City”. The name stuck and Leeds became the capital of goth and all things gothic forever! It certainly helped that Dracula had a holiday home there on the coast at Whitby! Sadly, this was to be the last Futurama for a few years. It returned in 1989 to Bradford, not by choice but by necessity and in a different format. It wasn’t that successful or memorable but that’s another story for another day!
Saturday 17/09/1983: Headliners Bay City Rollers with Howard Devoto / Comsat Angels / The Smiths ( Didn’t play ) / Chameleons / Popular History of Signs / Billy Bragg / Mekons / Danielle Dax / Gina X / Edwards Voice / Masque of Bizarro / John Cooper Clarke / Silent Running / Colonso Parade / Red Guitars / Red Lorry Yellow Lorry / Sex Beat / Curia Veritas / Real Foo Foo / Lost Boys
Sunday 18/09/1983: Headliners Killing Joke with Death Cult / Armoury Show / Bryan Gregory (Ex-Cramps) / New Model Army /Action Pact / Play Dead / Bone Orchard / Poison Girls / Flesh 4 Lulu / The Box / Holy Toy (Norway) / Mekons / Jayne County / The Three Johns / Under Two Flags / Lavolta Lakota / Ligotage / Mark Miwurdz and Joolz