A GUEST POSTING by ROBERT
Some of you might accuse me of rank hypocrisy here given that I said a few months back that I was going to make this little corner of the internet a Morrissey-free zone from now on. It remains my intention never to write anything but that won’t stop me accepting guest contributions, such as today’s piece from Robert who last appeared within these pages with his lovely tribute to the late Dolores O’Riordan.
This all stemmed from Robert putting up a Facebook posting late last Saturday evening that simply said “In my 27 years of going to see Morrissey I have NEVER seen him better than tonight!!!”
I responded by saying that I would be genuinely interested to hear why he thought that to be the case given that the new material isn’t (IMHO) a patch on older stuff and as for shows, previous tours taking in small halls in towns across Scotland such as Stirling, Paisley, Greenock, Hawick and Dunfermline surely took some beating. A few private messages later and I’d commissioned Robert to provide me with a review of the London Palladium gig. I think it’s a wonderful piece:-
So I made the statement on social media “In my 27 years of going to see Morrissey I have NEVER seen him better than tonight !!!” Straight after the show.
If I was to write it again today (Sunday) on reflection it would probably be “In my 27 years of going to see Morrissey I can’t recall seeing him better than tonight !!!
Some other points that are worth noting, I’m a fan and Morrissey has been in my life for almost 70% of it. I don’t share every view Morrissey has, I am neither apologist or spokesperson I don’t feel I need to. Morrissey has always been controversial , he has always done things his own way and polarised opinion. This is not new information.
My reflection on the gig was mine and how I felt and while others will disagree by pointing out other moments of glory last night it just felt right in every way for me.
The set list was well-balanced and interesting, the songs were sung with passion and intensity. The love in the room was tremendous and an air of finality, defiance and hope rang in very word sang or played.
I’ve seen Morrissey play some pretty pedestrian shows over the years , going through the numbers , ticking the boxes in small and large venues. I remember seeing him in Hawick to 450 odd people and think while it was great to be so close it was for me uninspired and a little passionless. I’ve seen him play well over a hundred times so think I can call out the good and the not so good.
I can’t remember the last time I saw him (outwith this tour) where I was moved and by fuck was I moved last night. It felt like a mixture of defiance and understanding how important the people in front of him were and giving them something back, something they needed and wanted.
He said “thank you, I honestly mean it, thank you” and I knew that he did. Something has changed with him and it’s been evident over the past few weeks he seems happy and contented every night. The recent shows have been filled with kids wanting to hear his songs not The Smiths, I think that has helped move things on but last night I don’t know if it was the intimacy of the venue in comparison to some of the stadiums earlier in the tour but it was electric and EVERYONE felt it.
Maybe it will be his last ever gig s, apart from one show in Mexico, there is nothing else planned or announced so maybe he was bowing out and that was it, after the stretch of this tour I hope this isn’t the case but he has always said it will end one day and as I said he has always done his own thing. I don’t know, but as I said something has changed. If it was the last then I’m glad I was there to see it, if it wasn’t then I look forward to the next one.
Robert is one of life’s genuinely good guys. Yes, he’s a Morrissey fan but you’ll see him at plenty other gigs in Glasgow by other bands – for instance, he was someone I was alongside at LCD Soundsystem at the Barrowlands last year and he’s a mainstay of the local indie scene championing all sorts of new and emerging bands over the years. I’ve always valued his views and opinions and I don’t doubt the sincerity and the sentiments behind his review of this particular gig. Cheers mate.
Oh, and I went online to find the set list:-
You’ll Be Gone (Elvis Presley cover)
I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish
I Wish You Lonely
When You Open Your Legs
Who Will Protect Us From the Police?
How Soon Is Now?
November Spawned a Monster
The Bullfighter Dies
Munich Air Disaster 1958
Home Is a Question Mark
I Bury the Living
Back on the Chain Gang (The Pretenders cover)
Spent the Day in Bed
Jack the Ripper
World Peace Is None of Your Business
If You Don’t Like Me, Don’t Look at Me
My Love, I’d Do Anything for You
Hold On to Your Friends
Everyday Is Like Sunday
Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up on the Stage
The Last of the Famous International Playboys
Makes sense to feature this today:-