30 October 2002|
The Academy, Birmingham, UK
I Want The One I Can't HaveThe first date of a five-concert stretch in the UK was a huge success. The crowd was one of the most enthusiastic of this tour, and Morrissey fed off its energy. There were many attempts by fans to get on stage, some as early as the start of the show, but only one or two of them were successful. From before the show to the very end the crowd engaged in chants of Morrissey's name. At some point they even chanted: "Sign him up! Sign him up!".
There was no change in the setlist content, only minor resequencing. "Late Night, Maudlin Street" was actually scheduled in the place of "November Spawned A Monster", but for some reason a last minute change was made in favour of the latter.
As he entered stage to the usual walk-on sound of church bells Morrissey's initial greeting was the simple "Hello Birmingham!..." He then asked the sound engineer to stop the sound of bells with a single shout of "Bells!..." After set opener "I Want The One I Can't Have" he extended his greetings with "It's nice to be seeing you again..." After "Little Man, What Now?" he asked front row regular Julia: "Where do they come from Julia? Where do they come from? Dunham? Where do you come from? Silly question?... Hello friends..."
New composition "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" was introduced following a nod to BBC radio DJ Janice Long: "Now the most loveable person who lives in this city, her first name is Janice, you know her (fans shout: Janice Long!) Yes, she's a beautiful woman and she allowed us to sing this song on her radio show recently and... I don't know if you still read the music press - I certainly don't, 'cause there's no point. What you can do, if you're forced to buy any of these magazines you must agree, the world is full of crashing bores..."
After the latter number Morrissey asked "The world is full of crashing bores, can you name one? (almost everyone shouts Elton John) Elton John? Yes... I think that's been said before. Besides him, who? Who?" Following "First Of The Gang To Die" he addressed his situation within the record industry: "We don't actually want a record deal, I mean who would want to be a part of that, I really don't know... I would..." The crowd favourite "Jack The Ripper" was introduced with the words "I am a prostitute and... this is what you would say to me if you saw me in the Bullring (crowd breaks into laughter) on a Wednesday night, which you might..."
Following "Jack The Ripper" Morrissey acknowledged the dedication of his favourite fan: "This tour began for me months ago and every single night in every single place our good friend Julia has been on the front row, which is incredible and she... If you could find a cheer in your heart, she deserves it..." After "Everyday Is Like Sunday" he teased the audience by saying "I hope you have courage because there's much more..." Then "I Like You" was introduced with the line "This is a startling confession on my behalf: 'I Like You'!" After the song Morrissey repeated "That song was called 'I Like You'...", hummed a few lines, then said hello to a few people.
After "Alsatian Cousin" Morrissey replied to someone shouting his name with "Yes, I'm coming! Well, I'm here anyway... I'm alive..." The vegetarian anthem "Meat Is Murder" was introduced with "So my big statement of the night is that in a world of Hannibal and cannibals, we must prefer Reggie the Veggie! We do!" Halfway into the song Morrissey congratulated a stage climber with "You made it! You made it!" After the song he proceeded with the customary introduction of the band: "While I was playing rugby for Rugby I met four fantastic rugby players. Would you please put your teeth together for Boz!... and for Gary!... and for Deano!... and for Gareth Gates - Alain!... I get the two confused, sorry..."
A line in "November Spawned A Monster" was slightly extended to "sleep on and dream of love my friend". As someone then tried to get on stage Morrissey told them "fly away, sweep away, fly away". He was then distracted from his vocal duties for the length of a verse by what was happening in front of him. After the song he said "Thank you Birmingham, thank you England, thank you world..." Then, as an introduction to "Hand In Glove", Morrissey pointed at various people in the audience and said "This song is older than you, and you, and you... and not me."
Before "Irish Blood, English Heart" Morrissey said "It's quite remarkable to me how such a great country cannot come up with a decent politician and... if somebody doesn't get rid of Tony Blair soon, Jesus, I won't be responsible!" When he returned to the stage after a short break to do the encore, his final words were "So, before we go back to the (?) I'd like to say you've been so nice... Don't forget Oscar Wilde, don't forget Johnny Thunders, and God bless you!"
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