Seventeen-year-old Steven Patrick Morrissey is a shy dreamer amid the tough, macho world of 1970s Manchester; a world away from the life he’ll one day lead as the frontman for seminal 80’s band The Smiths. He spends most of his time writing savage music letters to the NME to avoid his parents’ deteriorating relationship until he reluctantly takes an office job he hates to support the family. His dream of being the lead singer of a band is put on hold and England, it seems, belongs to someone else.
A chance meeting with artist Linder Sterling evolves into a lasting friendship between kindred spirits. Encouraged by Linder, Steven forms ‘The Nosebleeds.’ Their first gig receives such a rapturous response that Steven starts skiving off work in favor of working toward a management deal. But things quickly fall apart for Steven: he’s fired from his job, Linden moves to London, and the management deal for ‘The Nosebleeds’ goes forward -- without him. Suddenly Steven has no money, no band, and no friends.