I was contacted by Stewart K recently. Stewart had noticed the extraordinary price (£260) the recent Steve McQueen Tour T-Shirt had sold for recently. He was gobsmacked (I think we all were) because he has an unworn one of those, but rather more interestingly from my point of view also has one from the 1986 Hammersmith Odeon one-off gig that followed the Italian excursion. And he was kind enough to send photos of it – I think it’s a lot nicer then the previous tour shirt personally. See below for the photos, but here’s his account of the show:
“Not too much to tell about the Hammy Odeon show. I’d wanted to see the Sprouts after hearing Couldn’t Bear To Be Special and Here On The Eerie on Radio 1 (thank you Janice Long and David ‘Kid’ Jenson, I am eternally grateful). Anyway I’d somehow completely missed the 1985 tour, but must have seen the March 1986 date in the NME and persuaded my then girlfriend, now wife, and a friend to come along.
“As a poor student at that time I think I only had a cassette of Swoon (which I still have) and played it to them to their bemusement. But, they still agreed to come.
“Hurrah! were the support, and I remember them being noisy and a bit distorted. It was only later I found a vinyl copy of Boxed (which unfortunately I no longer have) and discovered how good their songs were.
“The Sprouts were great, a good selection of early songs. Years later I got hold of the live show on mp3 and it was every bit as good as I remember.
“I came out buzzing. I’ve seen the Sprouts a few times since then but it’s never felt as enthusiastic or spontaneous as that show, which I guess was one of the bigger shows they’d played at that time. From that point I’ve collected lots of Sprout and other Kitchenware material (Hurrah!, Martin Stephenson and the Kane Gang).
“I’ve also seen Martin a few times since and what a great guy he is. My favourite Martin story is when he played the Fulford Arms in York (for hours) and got a musician who happened to be in the audience to fetch his violin from home and join in for a few songs. Anyway I digress…
“Back To 1986. My girlfriend humoured me (she still does) and my friend described the whole evening as ‘random’ and has never elaborated… nor shown any interest in hearing any more Sprouts. Hey ho!”