30 September 2002|
L'Olympia, Paris, France
I Want The One I Can't HaveThis was Morrissey's first concert in France in 10 years and it was a success. Performing in front of a crowd whose main language wasn't English, he was just slightly less chatty than he had been so far on this tour. He often greeted and thanked his audience in French, with 'bonsoir's and 'merci's. The fans were very energetic and happy about Momo's return to their capital. There were many attempts to make it on stage, but none were successful. The concert was filmed, perhaps for eventual DVD release. Some of that footage has since surfaced in the 2003 documentary "The Importance Of Being Morrissey".
The lesser-known "Mexico" was removed from the set and the more familiar "November Spawned A Monster" could be reintroduced. For the first time in many weeks the setlist was slightly resequenced.
As he came on stage Morrissey added a new chapter to a running joke dating back to 1991 and 1992, by greeting his fans with "Bonsoir, I can speak french... hello, hello, hello, hello, hello..." On stage in Paris on 29 April 1991 he had apologetically said "I cannot speak French", a line that became familiar to many French fans because that concert had been recorded and broadcast on local radio quite often at the time. Then back in Paris on 22 December 1992 Morrissey had referred to his earlier comment by saying "I still cannot speak French". This became familiar not only to the French, but to everyone because part of that concert was released on the official live album "Beethoven Was Deaf".
In set opener "I Want The One I Can't Have" Morrissey added emphasis to a line by singing "I want the one I can't have and Jesus! it's driving me mad!" After the song he extended his greetings with "Thank you for dragging yourselves along to this British musical comedy... Oh so sweet... (someone shouts that it's been 10 years) 10 years? A short time..." He preceded "Suedehead"'s opening line "Why do you come here?" with "One question:" After "Little Man What Now" he commented on the venue: "We are very pleased... (gets interrupted by fan) From Portugal? Oh very nice... (back to topic) we are very pleased to be in this very famous venue... Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, and!... December 2nd 1973, the New York Dolls! Very good! God bless the New York Dolls..."
Over the opening bars of "Hairdresser On Fire" Morrissey told someone "Didn't see you..." Then instead of that song's usual live change to "Where is London, so much for London?", he sang "Where is Londres, so much for London". After the song he first said "Thank you for flowers..." then had a few words with his favourite fan: "Are you still alive Julia? How did you manage it? Where did you stay last week? Where? You flew back to Boston? (giggles) Julia flew back to Boston..." Morrissey then chatted with other people in the audience: "First, before we get on to Middlesborough... if we do... surely not Glasgow... not Easterhouse... Where? Redcar... What? Where should I be? What shall I get?... Shhhhut up!"
"First Of The Gang To Die" was introduced with the line "This is a new song, which means, exactly, written in the last seven years..." For the benefit of fans who were unfamiliar with this new composition, he followed its performance with the additional words "That song was called 'The First Of The Gang To Die'..." Morrissey then answered a few more questions from the audience: "What?... People have so much to say... it's a modern disease... What?... Yes... I like Paris in the summer... only in the summer..." The fan favourite "Jack The Ripper" was introduced with "This is... This song is about England's equivalent of Paris, which is called Whitechapel... Boz, the thing..."
Following "Jack The Ripper" Morrissey enquired about the audience's appreciation of the opening band: "We hope you enjoyed our friends Sack, did you?... Yeah! Did anybody not like them? This is a new song which is called... Darn it! Darn it! 'I Like You'..." After the latter number Morrissey asked someone in the balconies "Why are you up there?" He then tried his hand at French and asked the crowd "Comment allez-vous?" (how do you do?) Alain replied "Je m'appelle Alain" (my name is Alain) and Morrissey immediately retorted "No-no-no-no-no, Eric Cantona!". "Sister I'm A Poet" was announced with "This song - fiddle-fiddle-fiddle - we sang the last time we were in Paris." Then the following title, "Alsatian Cousin", was similarly introduced: "...and strangely enough, this song we sang the last time we were in (crowd: Paris!)... Belgium..."
"Meat Is Murder" was preceded by the comment "I noticed all around Paris, in many many shop windows (in a disgusted voice) fur, fur, fur... which is so horrible... so horrible... but this you know... and... I... I... répétez (repeat after me) I... will... become... vegetarian! You said it!" After the latter number Morrissey replied to someone shouting his name "Yes! I know my name, I know my name..." Then "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" was introduced with "This song is about the person that you left at home tonight. It's called 'The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores'." After the song Morrissey felt he needed to repeat this information: "In case you were dozing, that song was called 'The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores'... crashing bores..."
At this point Morrissey proceeded with the customary introduction of his band: "I don't know if you know, but last night I was arrested by French Police... Oh yes! Oh yes! Oh yes... I was arrested by French police for peeing on Jim Morrison's grave... and while I was in the slammer, I met four lovely musicians... Boz... Gary... Deano... Alain... and my name is Serge... Oh that's his uncle's name... if only I'd known... Shall we begin? Anybody home?" After "Late Night, Maudlin Street" he had more or less a private conversation with someone in front of him: "She's a... Yes, do you know him? Where? I know, I was there..."
Following "November Spawned A Monster" Morrissey thanked the very appreciative audience and added "You're very generous... You have big hearts... Julia they have big hearts... my heart is small..." He then replied to someone who had shouted "I love you!" with "I am a figment of your imagination, I am not a person... Alright, this song... What? What? Pardon? This song is called 'Irish Blood, English Heart'..." A fan threw a Union Jack on stage during the latter number. Morrissey picked it up, waved it around, wrapped it around his head, wiped himself with it then threw it back into the audience.
Before going into main set closer "Speedway" Morrissey commented "We still do not have a record contract... but we don't care... we're happy!" Then over the opening bars of the song he seemed to repeat someone's suggestion: "Sanctuary? Sanctuary?". Strangely enough Sanctuary is the American label Morrissey would end up signing with in 2003. Before going into encore "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" he mentioned someone else's grave (very likely Oscar Wilde) also found at Paris' famous Père Lachaise Cemetary: "I'd like to tell you that at midnight tonight, I will be sprawled across a certain grave... join me if you'd like to... Meanwhile, may God and Oscar Wilde always bless you!". During this final song he threw his shirt into the audience and it was, as always, torn to pieces by fans. At the very end he shouted "Je t'aime!" ('I love you!') before fleeing backstage.
There is a second audience recording out there (recorder unknown), its sound quality is quite good, but it is not shared much at this point in time. A DVD bootleg of the concert is also rumoured.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.