Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Guest Review - Morrissey 2006


The last time I critcised Morrissey in public was after The Smiths ill-fated gig at Preston, when a blood stained Moz stormed off stage during the first song. As a disgruntled fan I

aired my views on a local radio phone-in which the great man heard and quoted verbatim on the Janice Long Show. Quite a claim to fame that has not deterred a review of this, the final leg of his three nights in Manchester.

The Bridgewater Hall is acoustically wonderful, aesthetically beautiful, but as a venue for rock n roll it is about as lively as the Southern Cemetery. Previous Morrissey homecomings have been evangelical affairs but in the sterile home of the Halle Orchestra only the grasping front row could claim to have been touched by the hand of God tonight.

Misjudgement has lingered around Morrissey since the 90s and the choice of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as his entry music is greeted with boos and jeers. A deeply unpopular song round these parts, the pallid arena is suddenly turned into a football stadium as the association with arch rivals Liverpool proves a red rag to the Red Rags in the audience. Sadly this moment represents the energy peak of the evening and it’s all downhill from here. Non-plussed Morrissey has a dig at the audience for failure to appreciate the history of the song and later rebuffs the drinking classes who couldn’t be bothered to watch his chosen support acts. Perhaps he doesn’t understand his audience if he thought a scouse anthem would be greeted with anything other than derision. A fairly basic mistake for a Mancunian legend.

The next eighty minutes sees him deliver a mixed bag. Certainly there are moments of brilliance when, gliding like Vegas crooner in his flowing shirts and polished shoes, he reminds us of just how good his work can be. First of The Gang to Die, his best song in nearly twenty years, leads in to Still Ill, but when he sings “it just wasn’t like the old days anymore” he is so right. It wasn’t like the old days at all and the rest of the set meanders on taking us through the generally tedious Ringleader of The Tormentors. A blast of The New York Dolls’ I’m a human Being and the glorious How Soon is Now briefly spark life into the show, but the evening is enveloped in a flatness that never gets shaken off. Suedehead and other favourites are left ruefully in the dressing room and the night fizzles out long before ninety minutes are up. “He’ll be off to his hotel for a coco now” observes one fan. Perhaps they know him better than he knows them.


  1. Cheers for that Andy, after last weeks nonsense in Liverpool it's a good time to post it. That place looks a bloody stupid place for a rock n roll show.

  2. I should point out that he means "good" Andy and not the other one - the trouble causer

  3. Although I suspect Palmer may be a bigger trouble causer given a few Stellas

  4. I think he is quite entitled to clear off if people are lobbing stuff at him, whether it be sharpened coins, drinks or links of sausages.

    Good to see another reviewer though, particularly one with a name likely to cause confusion.

  5. very nicely written review.

  6. Palmer you're not supposed to comment on your own reviews

  7. Yes,nicely written, but a bit confusing