Arcade Fire Cover the Smiths' "London" in London

Echo and the Bunnymen's Ian McCulloch joins the band on "The Cutter"

Arcade Fire
Burak Cingi/Redferns
June 8, 2014 10:01 AM ET

Arcade Fire have continued their streak of canny cover songs as they've taken the Reflektor tour overseas. On Saturday night, for the encore of their second show at the Earl's Court Exhibition Centre in London, the band covered the Smiths' "London." The show was broadcast on XFM, as Stereogum notes, and you can listen to a radio rip of their cover below.

 The Unforgettable Fire: Can Arcade Fire Be the World's Biggest Band?

The hard-driving song (the B-side single to 1987's "Shoplifters of the World Unite," compiled on Louder Than Bombs) featured Will Butler on vocals. For the opening act, the band was supported by noted Arcade Fire fan Lorde, who recently told Rolling Stone, "They've been my favorite band since a guy who was kind of mean and kind of my friend put The Suburbs on my computer one day after school. It was a superhot day; my hair was wet from the pool. I was 13. I still remember that day." 

For their first show at Earl's Court the previous night, Arcade Fire was joined onstage by Echo and the Bunnymen's Ian McCulloch, who teamed up with them for a cover of the Liverpool band's 1983 single "The Cutter."

Arcade Fire's next stop is in Landgraaf, Netherlands on Monday. They'll continue touring in Europe through the rest of the month and will make one stop in Japan before bringing the Reflektor tour back to North America at the end of July.


Arcade Fire, "London" (Smiths Cover)

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »