Wednesday, April 19, 2006


He'd not set foot in Salford since before they had the trams (and possibly since they took the last trams out), and as NME's coverage of last night's Mozzer return to the city shows, he was very aware of the passing of time:

Reflecting on his return home, Morrissey introduced himself to the sold-out crowd, simply declaring, "So this is Salford," before later on he quizzed the audience about the locality.

"Does anyone remember the old Salford market with the clock?" He enquired. "No? So there's no one as old as me, that's a blessing."

He also had a go at Radio One:

"Radio 1 have already said they won't play it (the single)," he told the crowd. "Do you know why? Because the head of music at Radio 1 has said: 'Morrissey was born in 1959 and the furthest we go back is 1971'. This does not apply to U2 or Madonna, it's Radio 1's way of saying screw you, but what do we care?"

Radio One pointed out in a slightly hurt way that Colin and Edith had played The Youngest Was the Most Loved - although that's hardly likely to delight Mozzer.

Come to that, why is Morrissey bothered anyway? He's surely not chasing the Chris Moyles demographic anymore, is he?

Perhaps it's the fear that Bono is getting something he can't have:

Responding to a recent poll that had voted the Irish band's song 'One' one of the best lyrics of all time, Morrissey quipped to his audience, "I noticed in the newspapers that in a lyrical competition Bono did better than me. He's really nice, but really?"

The Guardian awarded Morrissey four of its stars, but it could be that Dave Simpson was just in heat:

"New album Ringleader of the Tormentors suggests his new bonhomie has resulted from pop's most famous celibate finally discovering sex. Which makes it a bit curious that he's left the album's sexiest one-liners behind. There isn't even the one about "explosive kegs between my legs", although the cut of his trousers suggests the munitions are ever present. It's left to an audience member to lower the tone. "Get your shirt off," he cries."

Chris Mugan was in Salford for The Independent, and tried to keep his mind on the music:

His long-suffering backing band was still limited by their devotion to rockabilly, yet "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" still hits home as a fantastic single. Furthermore, while Morrissey has often been accused of glamorising violence, this was a compelling tale of a killer's gestation.

At first, the tinny keyboard was little compensation for Ringleader's orchestration. At least guitarist Jesse Tobias added sparkle to sumptuous torch song "To Me You Are A Work Of Art". Then all the band came together to replicate the Middle Eastern prog rock grandeur of "I Will See You In Far Off Places", one guy playing trumpet, accordion and keys in the same number.

We'll have to wait to see what the Weatherfield Gazette made of it all - let's hope they sent Ken Barlow down - but the other local paper, the Manchester Evening News in the figure of Simon Donohue took the opportunity for some punning:

Ringleader of the Tormentors? Ringleader of the Tour Mentors, more like.

Good lord.

To see the trousers Dave Simpson was so taken with, Eyes Open Music, Bob Rose's photoblog, has some shots of the man in action.

Lots of reaction over on Morrissey Solo. Auntie Edith has what sounds like it could have been a dinner party set-up from hell:

Two rows in front of Paul Morley, but one row behind Marc Riley.

But there are grumbles, of course. Although not about Mozzer:

two selfish twats (a girlfriend and boyfriend stood at the front on the left if you're reading this, he was the one chanting MORRISSEY when Moz was actually trying to speak - you know the one I mean), barging through from wherever their seats actually were, to go and stand at the front, flailing their arms in everyone's faces, getting on the nerves of people who actually managed to get decent seats in the first place.

But generally, the reviews there are brief but positive. It falls to anonymous to give a broader report:

The audience reaction was well short of hysterical - as I've noted in reviews of previous recent shows, it was really quite a mild-mannered response. A lot of people around me didn't seem particularly arsed, and I wonder if the somewhat unphysical nature of the backing isn't part of the reason for that. One doesn't feel completely seized by the music. On the other hand, the man himself sang great, and I feel more and more that the correct approach to Moz is 'a la Sinatra' ... i.e., musically things might not be groundbreaking, but above all it is about THE VOICE.

So, pretty much everything as you'd expect as Morrissey starts his UK tour.

The setlist in full:

First Of The Gang To Die
Still Ill
You Have Killed Me
I Just Want To See The Boy Happy
The Youngest Was The Most Loved
My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye
Reader Meet Author
Girlfriend In A Coma
To Me You Are A Work Of Art
I Will See You In Far Off Places
At Last I Am Born
Let Me Kiss You
Trouble Loves Me
A Song From Under The Floorboards
How Soon Is Now
Life Is A Pigsty
Irish Blood, English Heart


Anonymous said...

Odd there's no comment of his inclusion of Magazine's "Song From Under The Floorboards" in the set, or is this not a new occurrance? It's new to me, and perfect too, as I always thought Devoto's lyrics were a major influence on the Moz:

"I am angry I am ill and I'm as ugly as sin,
My irritability keeps me alive and kicking,
I know the meaning of life, it doesn't help me a bit,
I know beauty and I know a good thing when I see it"

Let's face it, that could have slipped in anywhere on "Hatful Of Hollow" :)

Can't wait to hear a bootleg, bootleg...

Anonymous said...

Hopefully that a) works, and b) sounds good. I can't check either from here..

georgina said...

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