Hand In Glove #1, 2013

Her answers checked out, but she twitched and fiddled. She seemed fragile and restless, rocking to and fro on the edge of the armchair. Some did – nervous witnesses often assumed the manner of the guilty. Something in the corner of the room she didn’t want him to see. Drugs? She never let her gaze go that way. The way she moved her head gave it away. Quinnell looked where she wouldn’t. A small portable TV next to an occasional table on which stood the kind of table lamp you would pick up in a discount store, and an unused glass ashtray; nothing unusual.

DI Quinnell thanked her for her time. “You’re not planning on leaving town are you? Only we may need to talk to you again if there are any details we need to clarify.”

She assured him she was staying put until the holidays in August. “So why did you run off?” he said. Without missing a beat, she said, “I was scared.” He told her that her friend, one of the other member of waiting staff, had stayed put until the police arrived. She glanced around the room, avoiding the one spot, then shook her head and said, “I ain’t him.”

“No,” he said and consulted his watch. There were other visits to be made, including one to Tanya’s flat. The framed erotic print on the wall reminded him to get going.

As he got into the Rover, he saw the girl framed by the sitting room window, elaborately placing a hat on her head, as if she was playing a dressing up game. A confection that involved a black lace veil. The other young woman who’d done a runner was a mystery. Savage was seen with her on his arm. Then nothing.

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Hand In Glove was the first single to be released by The Smiths (May 1983). It did not chart (unless you include the Indie Chart) and I would have missed it had it not been for a friend in my English class who lent it me along with This Charming Man.  He told me they were the best band he’d ever heard (he still maintains this is the case). And I was totally blown away.

If you’re new to The Smiths skip the debut album and go straight to Hatful of Hollow – both of the singles are on it along with superior versions of most of the debut along with BBC session tracks. You can listen to Hand In Glove here.

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