It was in March 1984 that The Smiths first visited Aberdeen with a gig at the Fusion Nightclub, now Atik, and they returned just twice more during their five years together.
So it is a testament to the enduring popularity of the four-piece that 35 years after Morrissey, Marr, Rourke and Joyce first came to the Granite City – and more than three decades after they split up – a tribute band celebrating their hits attracted a large and lively crowd to the Lemon Tree at the weekend.
The Smiths Ltd travelled to the north-east from Manchester on Saturday for the show, following a successful performance at the same venue two years ago.
The concert began with 1987 single Sheila Take a Bow and fans – some of whom were sporting quiffs and flowery shirts for the occasion – responded as if the real musicians were in their midst.
The suspension of disbelief was aided by charismatic lead singer Johnny Turner, who consummately mimicked Smiths front man Morrissey with every syllable expertly crafted, and every mid-song yelp and “yeeow” timed to perfection.
His tendency to quizzically raise his eyebrows, swing his hips in abandon and grimace his way through darkly comic lyrics meant that he garnered most of the attention, but the other members also deserve praise.
Alex Gaskell, as Johnny Marr, particularly shone during Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others.
Aberdeen City Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden recently listed The Smiths among the dream acts he would like to see perform at the new AECC when it opens this year.
Given the frosty relations between the former bandmates, local fans won’t be getting their hopes up.
But in the absence of any shock reunion they can continue to enjoy the group’s music through acts like The Smiths Ltd and, after the rapturous reception they received on Saturday, I’m sure it won’t be long before they are back.