Wednesday, August 01, 2012
MORRISSEY - USHER HALL, EDINBURGH - 30 JULY 2012
As the curtain drops to the floor and the great man and his band take the stage there are two immediate observations:-
1. Morrissey is looking fabulous. He's lost a bit of weight again.
2. Boz Boorer is very scary. He's in full drag and reminds me of one or other of the characters played years ago on British telly by Les Dawson & Roy Barraclough (it's the Les Dawson character on the left hand side of this picture....honestly, Boz could have passed as a body double)
Then the show begins with what appears to be a familiar bit of music but it is difficult to be 100% certain as the crowd is going nuts and the sound is a bit all over the place. Then there's a crash and the great man sings his first notes:-
"Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Love Me....'
What a stunning and hugely surprising opening to the show.
The next near 100 minutes contained plenty other surprises and only the occasional dull moment as one or other of the less essential solo tracks was aired. Oh and again I was in the crowd at a show when he aired Meat Is Murder. I'm sure he does it deliberately....
Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved me
Everyday Is Like Sunday
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
You Have Killed Me
Shoplifters Of The World Unite
You're The One For Me Fatty
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell
Ouija Board Ouija Board
I Know It's Over
Let Me Kiss You
People Are The Same Everywhere
To Give (The Reason I Live)
Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want
I Will See You In Far-Off Places
Meat Is Murder
How Soon Is Now?
The highlights were the six Smiths songs. For once the band didn't butcher them. Indeed the different arrangement on Please...was quite wonderful while the minimal playing on I Know It's Over allowed Morrissey to demonstrate that when he is on form, as he was all night, he is a tremendous singer. Maybe it's now the fact that I'm well into my middle age that I hear songs of old differently, but when he sang the lines:-
If you're so funny, then why are you on your own tonight?
And if you're so clever, why are you on your own tonight?
And if you're so very entertaining, why are you in your own tonight?
I was as moved at a gig as at any other time in my life as a deep and dark thought descended on me. Loneliness may feel bad when you're in your teens or early 20s. But by fuck it is so much harder to deal with the older you get....being alone in life is the scariest thing imaginable. And it's taken a couple of tragedies in my life this past couple of years to fully realise that.
Thank gawd all that came in the middle of the set and a fair while after myself and Aldo had done our mental mad dancing bit at Shoplifters and Fatty which were another couple of highlights as was the airing of Speedway, one of my favourites from the entire solo catalogue.
There was the now obligatory cover version, although I didn't know this until I checked my set list against others when I got home. To Give (The Reason I Live) is a 1969 track originally recorded by Frankie Valli. Seems that Morrissey has been featuring in most nights on his current tour....I of course thought it was an original and typed in the note 'New Song...Torch Song....Could be a highlight of the new material!!'
One other thing worth mentioning is that Morrissey didn't actually say all that much during the set. But his one diatribe was to say that the British judiciary was responsible for killing Oscar Wilde while the British establishment destroyed other great poets and heroes such as Shelley, Keats, Yeats and Byron. Things aren't any better nowadays as the British establishment hands out awards and prizes to those who are mediocre and utterly hates those who are not mediocre. And with that he launched into the aforementioned Please, Please, Please which showed that Jesse Tobias is indeed a decent guitarist whose playing can be subtle and beautiful when the song demands it.
Regular readers will know that I've seen Morrissey play live loads of times and I've not always been complimentary. This however, was one of his best shows and I'd rush back again next time.
mp3 : The Smiths - Still Ill (live, Laguna Hills, California - 1986)
mp3 : Morrissey - You're The One For Me Fatty (live, Zenith, Paris - 1992)
mp3 : Morrissey - Speedway (live, Albert Hall, London - 2002)