The Sisters of Mercy Tours FAQ

Before we begin, the official TSOM site feature two FAQs of their own, both written by Andrew: one for questions of the boring kind, the other for questions of the slightly less boring kind.

What songs were never played live?

First and Last and Always era (and earlier):

Home of the Hitmen
Poison Door
Afterhours (instrumental of this was used as pre-show music in 1990s)
Bury Me Deep
Black Planet

Floodland era

1959 (introduction was played in 1992/06/27 Birmingham show)
Driven Like the Snow (snippets were sung in 1992/06/27 Birmingham show)

Vision Thing era

You Could be the One

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What unreleased songs are being played live?

In chronological order:

Come Together - since Overbombing tour (1993)
War on Drugs (Eldritch) - since Distance Over Time tour (1997)
Summer (Pearson/Varjak) - since Distance Over Time tour (1997)
We are the Same, Suzanne (Varjak/Eldritch) - since Event Horizon tour (1998)
Romeo Down (Pearson/Eldritch) - since Event Horizon tour (1998)
Will I Dream? (Pearson/Varjak/Eldritch) - since Event Horizon tour (1998)
Crash and Burn - since Trip the Light Fantastic tour (2000)
Top Nite Out (aka Snub Nose) (instrumental) - since Trip the Light Fantastic tour (2000)
Slept -- since Smoke and Mirrors tour (2003)

Lyrics to several of these are here.

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What covers did The Sisters of Mercy play?

In chronological order:

Teachers (Leonard Cohen) -- 1981 (some of these in medley with Adrenochrome); 1993-2003 (in medley with On the Wire)
Sister Ray (Velvet Underground) -- 1981-1985 (medleyed with Louie Louie and/or Ghostrider starting with 1983, in 1984-1985 occasionally introed with Stairway to Heaven), 1992, 1997-1999 (these are discussed in Medleys section)
1969 (The Stooges) -- 1981-1983, 1990-1992
Jolene (Dolly Parton) -- 1983, 1990-1991, 1996-1998
Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones) -- 1983-1992
Emma (Hot Chocolate) -- 1983-1990
Louie Louie (Richard Berry) -- 1983-1985 (as part of Sister Ray medleys)
Ghostrider (Suicide) -- 1983-1985 (as part of Sister Ray medleys)
Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight) (ABBA) -- 1984
Knocking on Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan) -- 1984-1985 (was medleyed with Hey Joe/Purple Haze at least once)
Hey Joe (Jimi Hendrix) -- 1984 (in medley with Knocking on Heaven's Door and Purple Haze)
Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix) -- 1984 (in medley with Knocking on Heaven's Door and Hey Joe)
Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin) -- 1984-1985 (introduction to Sister Ray medleys)
Stop Dragging My Heart Around (Stevie Nicks) 1991-1992 (discussed in detail here)
He's Got the Whole World in His Hands (traditional) -- 1991 (finished with excerpt of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life)
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Monty Python) -- 1991 (shouted a-capella for some 20 seconds at the end of He's Got the Whole World in His Hands)
Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd) -- 1992-1993, 1997-2001
Giving Ground (The Sisterhood) -- 1993-2003
Silver Machine (Hawkwind) -- 1993
Confide in Me (Kylie Minough) -- 1997
Bei Mir Bist Du Schön (Andrews Sisters) -- 1999-2000
Capricorn (Motorhead) -- 2001
I Didn't Know I Loved You ('Till I Saw You Rock'n'Roll) (Garry Glitter) -- 2001
Sugar Baby Love (Motown classic) - 2001
I Wanna be Sedated (Ramones) - 2001

The half-baked covers, snippets of which were included in the Sister Ray medleys, are docummented here.

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What are the live cover bands of The Sisters of Mercy?

As of present time, there are two I'm aware of: The Sisters of Murphy (aka the Smurphs) from UK and The Mistress of Jersey from Belgium. See their own sites for more information.

The Sisters of Murphy's live gigs are already famous by their recreation of 1980s atmosphere and wide selection of classics, some of them never played by the original band. Their biggest joke yet was supporting Switchblade Symphony, one of the cancelled support acts of 1997/06/28 Philadelphia gig of The Sisters of Mercy, in original hometown of The Sisters of Mercy and in the venue where The Sisters of Mercy used to start the 1997 tour.

In contrast to the Smurphs, Mistress are not lookalikes of TSOM -- the band play their own version of Sisters music. Many those who witnessed the act were thrilled nonetheless. Mistress' website includes several MP3 with their versions of Sisters songs.

There was also site called The Sisters of Meowy, a weird sounds of cats meowing over midi versions of TSOM songs, but, sadly, it went bottoms up few years ago.

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Who videotapes Sisters gigs? What about DVD?

All The Sisters of Mercy shows from 1996 upwards were filmed by their own cameraman. This guy is called Dean, he is Von's pal from Leeds and is usually very keen to take a free holiday and travel with Sisters. Later (around 2000-ish) she was replaced by a woman - apparently, the Eldritch's girlfriend.

Stills from several of his work are seen at the the official TSOM site's showcase. (In 1998 Dean was heard promissing that the site will include still movies from nearly all periods of The Sisters of Mercy).

The three concerts in 2002 were all filmed professionally for planned DVD release; this now seems to be put off indefinitelly. A "rough cut" video of the band performing Suzanne was made available on the official website for short period of time; the edit was  (apparently) made from material filmed in 2001.

Gigs are also filmed by bootleggers. Some of their work are seen on this site in the still movies section.

Thanks to the guy, Wim Vandeputte ( and Chris Sampson (

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