Archive for the ‘Morrissey’ Category

Morrissey Newcastle Arena 23 February 2018

morrissey tixSo Morrissey returned to Newcastle, after quite a long hiatus since he last played in the city. Now Laura is a big Smiths and Morrissey fan; and I always liked the Smiths “back in the day” so we try and catch the great man each time he visits the region. In fact we have seen Morrisey quite a few times over the years including previous concerts in Newcastle, a couple of visits to Manchester (one for his 50th birthday concert which was simply tremendous), and concerts in Middlesbrough, Leeds and Sunderland. So this was a special night for us. And we were not alone; a packed arena was clamouring to see the return of the enigma that is Morrissey.

morrissey 2For me, the preshow videos which Morrissey projects onto the stage screen before the concert, are always very interesting and they give an insight into Morrissey’s beliefs, interests and values. This night we were treated to some great film clips including “Loudmouth” by the Ramones; a wonderful nostalgia trip (at least for me) of “Something Here in My Heart” by the Paper Dolls; a somewhat bizarre version of “How Soon Is Now” by t.a.T.u on Top of the Pops; “I’m Black and I’m Proud” by James Brown; the great rock ‘n’ roll singer Robert Gordon; Dionne Warwick; a blast of “God Save the Queen” by Sex Pistols; black evangelist James Baldwin from 1969 in London; a short extract of a talk by Germaine Greer; the excellent Four Tops on top form (pun intended) singing “It’s the Same Old Song”; “Jet Boy” by Morrissey’s favourites the New York Dolls and finally a drag queen called Lipsynka. Wow. A 30 minute blast of Morrissey’s thoughts, feelings and influences. Just sets the scene, and puts the audience in the right mindset, for for the spectacle which follows.

And a spectacle indeed it is. Morrissey is surrounded and supported by a great band and stands straight in front of a big screen which flashes black-and-white images to illustrate the themes and concepts behind his songs. Tonight we are treated to a mix of songs from the new album, a few Smiths’ classics, a (somewhat random?) cover of The Pretenders “Back on the Chain Gang” and a selection of songs from throughout Morrissey’s career. Early on in the set we are treated to “Suedehead”, from Morrissey’s first solo album. Morrissey is, of course, a great storyteller;  “Munich air disaster of 1958” is a tribute to the tragic plane crash: “On the plane was the Manchester United football team, nicknamed the “Busby Babes”, along with supporters and journalists. Twenty of the 44 on the aircraft died at the scene.” (Wikipedia) “The Bullfighter Dies” is sung in front of a somewhat horrific film of a bullfight, emphasising vegan Morrissey’s strong views on animal cruelty (see below for quote from the local paper). “Jack the Ripper” is another story, followed by a wonderful version of the Smith’s “How Soon Is Now”. The encore is “Irish Blood, English Heart” which is, itself, becoming a classic and a favourite of both mine and Laura’s. morrissey 1

““We released our latest CD, long player, cassette in Spain and it didn’t do very well. So this is what we tell them,” he announces – before performing a rabble-rousing version of The Bullfighter Dies, replete with horrific images from real-life bullfights on the big screen. Then there’s four minutes of footage of police brutality during ‘Who Will Protect Us From the Police?’”(Chronicle live)

An excellent performance, and a great return to Newcastle.

Setlist: I Wish You Lonely; Suedehead; I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish (The Smiths); Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up on the Stage; Home Is a Question Mark; Munich Air Disaster 1958; My Love, I’d Do Anything for You; When You Open Your Legs; Who Will Protect Us From the Police?; World Peace Is None of Your Business; If You Don’t Like Me, Don’t Look at Me; Back on the Chain Gang; I Bury the Living; The Bullfighter Dies; Jack the Ripper; How Soon Is Now? (The Smiths);  Spent the Day in Bed; Hold On to Your Friends; Everyday Is Like Sunday; I’m Not Sorry. Encore: Irish Blood, English Heart

Thanks to my carer Lisa for the photographs.

Morrissey First Direct Arena Leeds 20th March 2015

Morrissey First Direct Arena Leeds 20th March 2015
morrissey2015Support: Buffy Sainte-Marie
Laura is a big Mozza fan so we couldn’t pass up on an opportunity to see him playing “up North”. No Manchester date on this tour; Leeds had the honour of hosting the only northern date. Tickets were a bit pricey with best seats £75 (whats that about Morrissey?) so we plumped for a couple of cheap seats at £45 each. Shortly after buying the tickets Laura realised that she was going away that weekend with a group of friends, but not to worry, after a bit of thought we arranged to meet Dale in Leeds; he bought a ticket outside and drove Laura down to Derbyshire after the show.
Buffy Sainte-Marie was onstage playing “Love takes us up where we belong” as we entered the Arena at 7.30. We saw her play “Universal Soldier” and a couple of more songs; she was finished by 8pm. Morrissey is a fan and had invited her to join him on tour. Good taste and a great choice. Sadly I suspect most of the crowd didn’t know who she was, and that they were witnessing a performance by a legend. There was the usual video sequence during the interval which started with The Ramones and included Jefferson Airplane performing White Rabbit and Penetration playing Don’t Dictate. More good taste and more great choices.
Morrissey took the stage at 8.30 in front of an image of his heroine (not) the Queen; and went straight into “The Queen is Dead”. For this tour he is playing quite a lot of new material with few Smiths tracks so there were a lot of songs that I didn’t know. Having said that I really enjoyed the concert. The sound was loud and crisp; much better than you would normally expect in an arena. And his band were excellent. Morrissey looked quite dapper in a dark shirt with a white V neck and new looking jeans; and he seemed to be a in a good mood. He told us that he had driven through Harrogate on the afternoon and commented on seeing lots of children all dressed the same with fur (from cats he told us, but I really doubt that Morrissey) around their hoods (it was quite an odd comment) and then into “Crashing Bores”; he also had some pretty caustic comments about the coming election and how we couldn’t possible get excited about it (“It’s just Impossible!”). The audience reaction was good, with swaying crushes on the floor, although a little subdued in the seats. There were quite a few empty seats in the upper tier, but the crowd was a respectable size (the arena holds I think 13,500 or so). He finished with Meat is Murder (“Lamb, Spam, Murder”) with the usual shocking video sequence of pigs and cows being slaughtered. “First in the Gang” was the encore. He finished around 10pm. I dashed during the encore to get to the carpark and get out before the queues started (when we drove into the carpark we were told that it can take up to 1.5 hours to get out at the end). Managed to achieve a quick getaway and was back home before midnight.
Setlist: The Queen Is Dead; Suedehead; Staircase At The University; World Peace Is None Of Your Business; Kiss Me A Lot; Istanbul; Neal Cassady Drops Dead; I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris; Irish Blood, English Heart; What She Said; Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before; Scandinavia; The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores; One Of Our Own; Trouble Loves Me; Everyday Is Like Sunday; Kick The Bride Down The Aisle; The Bullfighter Dies; Meat is Murder. Encore: First Of The Gang To Die

Morrissey Newcastle 2004 & 2006, & Sunderland 2008

Morrissey Newcastle 2004 & 2006, & Sunderland 2008
Morrissey-AutobiographyAlthough I saw The Smiths a few times in concert, I’ve only started going to see Morrissey solo since 2004, when he released the excellent “You Are the Quarry”, which is generally recognised as a return to form, and was his best selling solo album. Laura also started to take an interest in Morrissey and his music at that time. So we planned to go at see him at Newcastle City Hall on 7th September 2004. On the night Laura wasn’t too well, so David came along to the concert. This was my first time seeing Morrissey since I last saw The Smiths in the mid 80s, and to be honest I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The show was excellent, with Morrissey in a good mood, and the capacity crowd giving him a great reception. He played a selection of solo and Smiths songs, including several from “You Are the Quarry”. “First of the Gang to Die” is a favourite of mine. morrissey2004David, Laura and I then saw him again at Newcastle Arena on 4th December 2006. Morrissey and his band played well that night, but the cavernous Arena was far from full, and the atmosphere and sound quality were, as a result, not on par with the City Hall gig. We then saw him at a packed Sunderland Empire on 1st February 2008. We had seats in the upper circle and although we were looking directly down on the stage (almost on the top of Morrissey’s head !) we really enjoyed the concert. Since then Laura and I have seen him at his 50th birthday show at Manchester Apollo (which was simply amazing and one of the best gigs I have ever been to :)), at Middlesbrough Town Hall, at Manchester Arena and Glastonbury. I blogged about those gigs at the time, and will write about The Smiths when I (finally) reach the letter “S”. I’ve bought his autobiography for Laura for Christmas, and must get another copy so I can read it myself. morrissey2006
Setlist Newcastle City Hall 2004: How Soon Is Now?; First Of The Gang To Die; Don’t Make Fun Of Daddy’s Voice; Shakespeare’s Sister; November Spawned A Monster; Munich Air Disaster 1958; Let Me Kiss You; Subway Train; Everyday Is Like Sunday; I Like You; Now My Heart Is Full; You Know I Couldn’t Last; How Can Anyone Possibly Know How I Feel?; Rubber Ring; I Have Forgiven Jesus; I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday; Irish Blood, English Heart. Encore: There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.
Setlist Newcastle Arena 2006: Panic; First Of The Gang To Die; The Youngest Was The Most Loved; You Have Killed Me; Disappointed; Ganglord; William, It Was Really Nothing; Everyday Is Like Sunday; Dear God, Please Help Me; Let Me Kiss You; I’ve Changed My Plea To Guilty; In The Future When All’s Well; I Will See You In Far-off Places; Girlfriend In A Coma; Irish Blood, English Heart; Life Is A Pigsty; How Soon Is Now?; I Just Want To See The Boy Happy; The National Front Disco. Encore: Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want.
morrissey 2008Setlist Sunderland Empire 2008: Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before; First of the gang to die; I just want to see the boy happy; Thats how people grow up; Mama lay softly on the riverbed; Death of a disco dancer; Sister I’m a poet; All you need is me; I’m throwing my arms around Paris; The Loop; The world is full of Crashing Bores; How Soon is now?; Life is a Pigsty; Why don’t you find out for yourself?; Stretch out and wait; Tomorrow; Something is squeezing my skull; Irish Blood, English heart; Please, please, please let me get what I want. Encore: Last of the famous international playboys.

Morrissey Manchester Arena 28 July 2012

Morrissey Manchester Arena 28 July 2012
Welcome home Morrissey! Laura and I went to see the great man perform at the vast Manchester Arena last night. We arrived early, had a look at the merchandise, but decided to pass as Laura was looking for any Morrissey vinyl. We also noticed that all the fast food stalls were selling veggie. Morrissey had obviously insisted that no burgers were to be sold. Support came from Kristeen Young, who has opened for Mozza for some time now. Her weird screechy music bemused the audience as it usually does. During the interval the customary video show displayed some choice obscure cuts, several of which we had seen before, and a couple that were new to us. I recognised Shocking Blue, Vince Taylor (who Morrissey must have modelled himself on to some extent), New York Dolls, Bridget Bardot, and a great video of Francoise Hardy travelling through the night lights of a city (London and Soho?) in an open top car singing “All Over the World”; just perfect. And then a taped rant of some of the world’s ills is played across the PA (Adolf Hitler, torture, Nelson Mandella’s imprisonment, cancer, etc, you get the idea) which must have gone on 5 minutes or more, and Morrissey’s onstage early at 8.35pm. The early entrance took the crowd by surprise, and many people were still entering the arena at that point. The screen shows a cheesy picture of Adam West and Burt Ward (60s Batman and Robin). Morrissey was on good form, and in a really good mood: “Wherever you may roam, there’s no place like… Hulme”. He told us that he “hadn’t been invited to the Olympic opening ceremony because my smile is too sincere”. The Diamond Jubilee also got a mention: “How much longer do we have to put up with that moronic family?” The band were all wearing “We Hate William and Kate t-shirts”. The set bore some similarities to last time Laura and I saw him at Middlesbrough, but there have been quite a few changes, including a couple of new songs that Laura and I didn’t know. The Arena was pretty packed with only a few empty seats right up back at the very top. Guitarist Boz was in drag and introduced by Morrissey as Gaynor Tension (whats all that about?). An image of Oscar Wilde with the speech bubble: “Who is Morrissey?” kept popping up. The sound was clear and loud, from where we sat in the arena, although I know others felt that the sound was poor. Great lights, and the band seemed to me to have a much heavier, darker sound this time round. Towards the end Morrissey gave the mike to the crowd, and let a few fans make comment. One guy thanked Morrissey for meeting him in Belgium (I think) and mentioned that he had given Morrissey a T Rex book. Morrissey got one guy up on stage, who hugged him; this prompted lots of people trying to get on stage and some crowdsurfing at the front of the mosh pit. Morrissey dedicated the evening to John McBeath, a promoter from Manchester who passed away earlier this year. The image of Adam West and Burt Ward returned at the end. Highlights for me were: Everyday is Sunday; How Soon is Now; Please Let Me Get What I Want, Still Ill, which I don’t think I’ve seen him play since the days of The Smiths. Meat is Murder was quit extended with lots of old video footage of animals being slaughtered. I wonder if this is the same footage that was used on the Smiths’ Meat is Murder tour. It looks pretty similar. The crowd were quite subdued; the reaction wasn’t anywhere near what we’d expected, given this was a homecoming gig and his only British gig this year. Nothing like the 50th birthday gig at the Apollo. Notwithstanding that this was a good gig, which both Laura and I really enjoyed. He finished shortly after 10pm, and we were home by around 12.45am. Setlist: You Have Killed Me; Everyday Is Like Sunday; You’re The One For Me, Fatty; How Soon Is Now?; I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris; Ouija Board, Ouija Board; Maladjusted; When Last I Spoke To Carol; Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me; People Are The Same Everywhere; I Know It’s Over; To Give (The Reason I Live); Scandinavia; Black Cloud; Action Is My Middle Name; I Will See You In Far-Off Places; Meat Is Murder; Let Me Kiss You; Speedway; Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want. Encore: Still Ill

Morrissey Middlesbrough Town Hall 8 July 2011

Morrissey Middlesbrough Town Hall 8 July 2011
Great show from Morrissey last night. Middlesbrough Town Hall is a wonderful venue and just the right size and atmosphere for Morrissey. Laura was looking forward to this, having missed his Glasto set by going to see Radiohead on the Park stage. Good mix of solo and Smiths songs. The crowd was a little subdued, but Mozza seemed in relatively good spirits. At one point there seemed to be a problem with the sound and the whole band left the stage while it was sorted out. I found Meat is Murder particularly good; Morrissey has changed the lyrics to something like Eat Meat Murder. It took me back many years to seeing the Smiths on the Meat is Murder tour at the City Hall. It was a powerful song then, and still is now. Laura was pleased that There is a Light was the encore.
Setlist: Panic; First Of The Gang To Die; You’re The One For Me, Fatty; Shoplifters Of The World Unite; Everyday Is Like Sunday; I Want The One I Can’t Have; I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris; You Have Killed Me; Action Is My Middle Name; I Know It’s Over; Satellite Of Love; People Are The Same Everywhere; Alma Matters; One Day Goodbye will be Farewell; Ouija Board, Ouija Board; Meat is Murder; Speedway; Irish Blood, English Heart
Encore: There Is A Light That Never Goes Out


Glastonbury Festival June 24 – 26 2011

I’ve taken a long time to get round to writing anything about this Glastonbury; I seem to have been catching up on things at work and home since we got back.
We (Me, Marie, Laura and David) all made the journey to Pilton Farm this year, again hiring a campervan. This year’s weather was quite a bit different from last year, with lots of rain earlier in the week, making the site very muddy. Our van got stuck deep in the mud on arrival and, after lots of pushes from staff and others, we were finally towed into the field by a giant tractor. As last year, we studied the clashfinder and made lots of plans of who we were all going to see; however the reality was very difficult, with the mud making it very difficult to make great trecks across the whole site from stage to stage. I’d particularly wanted to see the old-timers on the 71 stage, but in the event, didn’t get much of a chance to do so.
Friday was pretty wet and all of the walkways were deep in mood. It was really hard work walking through the mud which was very sticky; wellies were coming off and people were falling over…..
71 stage: managed to wander over through the mud and saw Martin Stone playing some pretty solid blues/rock. David was over there earlier and caught Noel Harrison singing Windmills of my Mind.
B B King: Some great guitar from a legend. Much better than I thought he might be.
Radiohead: Laura and David went over to the Park stage to see Radiohead do their special guest spot. They returned quite disappointed; apparently the sound wasn’t great, and the set focussed on the more recent albums.
Morrissey: Marie and I watched Morrissey’s set while David and Laura were at the Park seeing Radiohead. He was pretty good, although he didn’t seem in a great mood, telling the crowd “I know you’re all waiting for U2; I’ll sing fast”
U2: By now the rain was really coming down. The set had a good selection of old favourites, and Bono was out to impress. Fraid the rain got the better of us in the end, and we retired to the van.
Saturday was much better weather wise with no rain at all. The mud was drying out, but still very deep and sticky on the walkways over to the Other Stage and Arcadia.
Pulp: The highlight for us. When we heard Pulp were reforming I promised Laura (and myself) that we must see them. So when we heard that they might be Saturday’s special guest at the Park stage, we had to go over and see. And Javis and crew didn’t let us down. The field was rammed; they had to close the gates. Everyone was singing along, and I was surprised how many songs I knew. Started with Do You Remember the First Time? The whole field went mental and sang Disco 2000 and Common People like their lives depended on it.
Coldplay: OK; not my favourite band but seemed to go down well with the crowd.
Chemical Brothers: Laura and David went across to the Other Stage for The Chemical Brothers and seemed to have a great time too.
Sunday was red hot.
The Wombles: This was the highlight for Laura. Mike Batt and co played Avalon in their suits. Started with Remember you’re a Womble and finished with the Wombling Song. The tent was packed; everyone determined to have a great sing-a-long. Shame we missed out on getting a Wombles mask, but Laura bought a t-shirt.
Paul Simon: A good set.
Beyonce: I just didn’t get this. Laura thought she was great, but Marie and I weren’t too impressed. Yet when I got home, the first thing everyone I saw said to me was “did you see Beyonce?” and then told me how great she was on the TV coverage. It seems to me that it may have looked better on TV than from the field itself. Everyone around us didn’t seem to be getting into it.
We left straight after Beyonce and, after getting the van pushed out of the mud by a group of friendly guys, we drove all through the night and were back home at 8am on Monday. It took Marie and I 3 hours to clean the mud from the van, before we returned it to the hire company….



Morrissey 50th Birthday Concert Manchester 22 May 2009

Morrissey Manchester Apollo 22 May 2009

Laura and I went to wish Morrissey a Happy Birthday at Manchester Apollo on Friday.

Laura had been waiting for this one for some time. The thought of seeing the great man in his home town on his 50th birthday was pretty exciting I must admit.

We left early on the Friday evening to drive to Manchester, as it was bank holiday weekend and we feared that the traffic could be busy. And busy it was. The drive normally takes us just over 2 hours. This time it took around 4 hours; the A1 south from Durham was OK; but we crawled along the M62 from Leeds to Manchester. Still we arrived on time and got into the Apollo before the support act Doll and the Kicks took to the stage. Saw the mother from Shameless outside, and heard afterwards that half of the cast of that show were there.

We took our seats upstairs. We were in the fourth row at the side overlooking the stage; a pretty good view. Doll and Kicks were OK; the singer danced around the whole stage; reminded me a little of Clare Grogan and Altered Images, though the music reminded me of Pauline and Penetration.

The atmosphere in the Apollo was electric. The place was full of hardened Morrissey fans from all over the place, and everyone was keen to make sure that he got a great birthday. He had cancelled a few shows the week before due to a sore throat; so this show was all the more special. The interval featured the usual Morrissey video show with his own (quite bizarre) selection of favourites: Anthony Newley, Shirley Bassey, The New York Dolls, and Vince Taylor (theres a lotta twisiting going on: have a look at it on YouTube and you’ll see where Morrissey gets his quiff from!).

Soon the lights go down and the birthday boy takes to the stage to an innovation that I swear I have never seen the like of before. I thought the crowd were never going to stop cheering. Morrissey is clearly moved and kneels down in front of us all. The set is the same as the rest of tour; no big surprises. We do get a chance to sing happy birthday to him, and a couple of shirts are thrown out. The crowd downstairs look pretty wild; lots of people are dragged out and a few get the chance to shake Morrissey’s hand. He gives the mike to a few people at the front who wish him happy birthday. He’s clearly enjoying it and is on good form.

One note of disappoitment. Laura had promised herself a signed lp. They sell them at the end of each gig, and are limited to around 20 copies. So I went down to the merchandise stand in the foyer during The Loop; a couple of songs before the end of the set; and join a queue of less than 10 people waiting to buy the signed vinyl. As he leaves the stage they start selling the lps; but the first 3 or 4 people in the queue buy 4 or 5 each and the rest of each don’t get a chance! A few unhappy people start to argue with the guy on the stall, but nothing can be done. I do think it would have been fairer if they had limited sales to one each! So we have to settle for the special laminate pass which they were giving out free to everyone.

All in all a great experience; and a wonderful night. Laura declares it the best concert she has ever been to!! Two hours later we arrive home at around 1am.

Setlist : This Charming Man / Irish Blood, English Heart / Black Cloud / How Soon Is Now? / All You Need Is Me / How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel? / Girlfriend In A Coma / I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris / Let Me Kiss You / Ask / Something Is Squeezing My Skull / One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell / Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself? / The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores / I Keep Mine Hidden / When Last I Spoke To Carol / Best Friend On The Payroll / Sorry Doesn’t Help / Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others / The Loop / I’m OK By Myself // First Of The Gang To Die


birthday laminate pass given out at the concert

birthday laminate pass given out at the concert