Academics from around the world are uniting to debate The Smiths' influence on British musical culture.

The WHY PAMPER LIFE'S COMPLEXITIES? two-day event takes place at Manchester Metropolitan University, northern England, and aims to focus on the 1980s icons in a comprehensive study of fan culture and musical innovation.

Scholars from America, Portugal, Japan, Ireland, Norway, Turkey and Australia will be teaming up this week (ends01APR05) to scrutinise the impact The Smiths had on musical society.

JUSTIN O'CONNOR, director of the university's Institute of Popular Culture, says the HOW SOON IS NOW? stars had "huge cultural significance and personal resonance" that calls on educational establishments to take notice on an academic level.

He adds, "They looked like nobody else and sounded like nobody else and their music had an emotional depth that moved people in a way that no band has managed before or since."

29/03/2005 14:05