Firstly, I didn't take the above photo nor is it from the show in Salisbury. I hate to state the obvious but sometimes people are a bit dim. I would've used one of my photos for this header but you haven't seen them thangs yet, more about that later. Yeah, they bad man. They bad.
I was due to see Morrissey live and in person the week before this show in Bournemouth but he cancelled after collapsing onstage in Swindon during 'This Charming Man'. Now, as it happens, I was born in Swindon. I make no apologies for this but by the same token, it's not exactly beautiful. It looks like a Smiths song in fact, "...Rain falls down on a humdrum town.." indeed. Thankfully the Swindon collapse wasn't a Tommy Cooper job and the man was back on his grind hustlin' within a week. After a trouble free London show at the Royal Albert Hall, Morrissey rolled up to Salisbury for a show which I'm sure he just couldn't wait to play. Almost as much as I couldn't wait to write up this review that I've been putting off by just generally doing other things since the show. These things include Xbox, cutting my nails and trying to get the light switch perfectly stuck between off and on so the lights flicker.
As always, my disorganisation meant that we didn't actually have tickets so we had to source them from somewhere. Cue the Morrissey fan forum which is definitely not full of obsessive fans that listen to nothing but The Smiths, Morrissey and bands covering songs by either The Smiths or Morrissey. Great place actually. I set up a 'username', picked an 'avatar' read some 'threads', sent some people a couple of 'PMs' and that was it. Two tickets to the gun show baby! By gun show I mean 'Morrissey Gig' and I also apologise wholeheartedly for using the phrase "Two tickets to the gun show."
A friend of MMD was so upset about Hard-Fi simply existing he decided to get a drink to numb the pain. Guess what?! Bastards have spoilt alcohol too! When will they stop?! Tune in next week when the Hard Fi guys spend a day pricking holes in condoms and dropping atomic bombs on poor African countries.The venue was of perfect size I thought. It was a bit light (as in torches and lightbulbs) when the support, Doll & The Kicks, were playing and I couldn't help but think of a school talent show in a gym. You know the drill. Five little girls do a spice girls routine, angsty teenage boys cover a Foo Fighters song or summat. I had plenty of space but in front of me I had a man I affectionately could only refer to as Mr Kilimanjaro. Simply because he was as big and cold as hard rock. Safe to say I had to struggle to get a view of our main man through a gap under MK's armpit or through his legs as and when the chance arose. When it comes to man mountains in my vicinity at gigs, I'm like a moth and lightbulb tale and I've never worked out why. Think it's just people being surefire spiteful bastards.
Right, an actual review. The setlist was peppered with the Smiths songs you'd expect him to play and make no mistake, most people are there for Smiths songs. 'This Charming Man' has had a bit of a reworking which I kinda disagree with. It's all a bit power chordy now. Regrettably, it now sounds a bit like a semi decent cover of 'This Charming Man' as performed by ohidontknow The All American Rejects? 'Cemetary Gates' was fantastic, absolutely fantastic. I had to apologise to those around me for getting a bit too involved in the singalong. There really always is someone, somewhere with a big nose who knows how to ruin everything so it particularly resonated. 'Irish Blood, English Heart' chugged along brilliantly sneering at every corner whilst 'Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself' was met passionately by the crowd syllable by syllable. It seems this setlist has been doing the rounds for a while now but I think it plays to the band's strengths pretty well whilst still pleasing most crowds. There's a few they can rip through. There's some easy singalongs to fall back on regardless of venue. Even a couple of b-sides from 'Swords' for the 'Morrissey Forum' guys. There's no 'Now My Heart Is Full'. Wait, that last one isn't a good thing at all.
Camera was so toilet I actually started taking photos of Kilimangiro taking photos of Morrissey. Kinda post modern, more pathetic.
At some point during 'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris' I gave up taking photos because they were looking truly dreadful (see above). It's my camera. It's a bad workman blaming his tools. Either way, half the photos could be of anyone. A blurry face that could be Morrissey or y'know anyone else on the planet. " Yeah, perhaps. Like maybe it's Morrissey, I mean it's definitely a man.. Actually, it could be Che Guevara; Is it? Oh, and that person on the drums looks familiar? Is that Mel B?! Shit. weird pairing but wait....a dragon playing bass?!" You get the picture. Actually when it comes to the picture, you really don't get it. Geddit.
God. I really haven't written anything about the actual show have I? a blog by its very nature is self obsessed and self indulgent though right?! I don't know. This is a hard review to write. Seeing someone like Morrissey is a funny thing in a way. I felt similar when I saw The Stones and Dylan. Without wanting to sound like a student idiot, these are genuine 'legends'. Cornerstones of popular music even. Still, they are only mortals. They age and everything. Belie dat? What I'm trying to say is that it's hard to judge them on merit of a single night or a new album. Bloke was in The Smiths knowhaimsayin?
My best photo. No I'm not joking. Do I have a joking face? Do I look like a clown to you? [/Joe Pesci in Goodfellas]
Still, I enjoyed the show. Truly I did. I really pray that Morrissey did too. Sometimes you wonder if he genuinely enjoys singing these old songs in front of these people (and there were some funny looking buggers in the crowd) anymore. It's been a tough tour and as I'm writing this the internet is awash with videos like this one from Stereogum showing Morrissey being struck with a bottle at the Liverpool show at the weekend. Heavens above. Just when you thought this tour might be getting back on track and then bang! November goes and spawns a monster. In Liverpool too! That's only down the motorway. Barbarism Begins at Home!
I'm now solely writing in song puns. I swore this would never happen. I'm a pastiche. I'm past it. I'm out.
P.S The Antlers - Hospice. It's the album of the year folks.