2 November 2002|
King George's Hall, Blackburn, UK
I Want The One I Can't HaveThe Blackburn audience was one of the wildest, most energetic and enthusiastic ones of this tour, which was a good thing as this concert was filmed by the BBC and/or Channel 4 for an upcoming documentary (Channel 4 did broadcast a documentary called "The Importance Of Being Morrissey" in 2003). There was very good material for the media. Morrissey's name was chanted by the whole crowd from long before the start of the show until the lights came up at the end. There were numerous attempts by fans to get on stage, and a few were successful, sometimes thanks to Morrissey's help. It must be said that security didn't make it too difficult either. Of course Morrissey fed off this energy and gave an incredible performance. He sent two of his shirts flying into the audience, the first one at the end of the regular set, and then the replacement one during the encore. The fighting for scraps of the shirts lasted for quite a long time, providing more material for the cameras. Morrissey friend Linder Sterling was also present, taking photographs.
There was no change in the setlist.
Morrissey greeted his fans "Blackburn, I'm right behind you carrying a bucket! Good evening to you! Hello!". Over the opening bars of "Suedehead" he shouted "I just want to ask you one question!" Of course the question was the song's opening line "Why do you come here?". After "Little Man, What Now?" the man announced "We're here in Blackburn because Julia's here and wherever Julia goes we follow... but it's also nice to see you!" After an incredibly well received "Hairdresser On Fire" Morrissey asked "And where better to be on a wet Saturday night than in Blackburn?... Anywhere!... Boz? I wish you'd stop... Yeah? Yeah..."
"Speedway" saw the first serious attempts by fans to make it on stage. As he sang Morrissey kept an eye on what was happening in front of him and commented between lines with lines such as "Where are you going?" or "Hello my man!". New composition "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" was struggingly introduced over the loud roar of the audience: "I think you must surely have realised that... that modern pop music is really... is really all about awards. You appear on Top Of The Pops once and you receive an award and... I think you can gage, and you must agree, but you don't have to, that the world is full of crashing bores..." After the song Morrissey enquired "The word is full of crashing bores, can you name one? No we can't name one... fascinating..." New song and future classic "First Of The Gang To Die" was introduced with "Well there are a few bitches back in Manchester who would like to... who would like me to be the first of the gang to die..." After the song Morrissey replied to someone "Yes, good acting, hello to the Bruisers as usual... Where would we be without him? Where? Frodcham? Wigan? (to someone else) Yeah? Don't say it unless you mean it..." Crowd favourite "Jack The Ripper" was then introduced with "These, I'm reliably told, were the thoughts of Jack the Ripper."
After the latter number Morrissey mentioned a recent poll published in the Manchester Evening News: "Now some of you might now that a local newspaper ran a poll and the readers voted me the Greatest Mancunian that (crowd cheers, Morrissey giggles)... the Greatest Mancunian that never lived! And I'm very grateful to the readers of the newspaper - well, we think it's a newspaper, we're not sure - and how I managed to beat Jimmy Clitheroe I really don't know..." Morrissey returned to the subject when he introduced "I Like You": "This is a song for all the readers who voted and it's called 'I Like You'..."
Before going into "Alsatian Cousin" Morrissey proceeded with the introduction of the band: "If I could make an introduction... Directly from the Tracy Langton school of acting, would you please say hello to Boz... and also to Gary... born and braised in Rochdale would you believe, Deano... talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, see, he can spell! He can spell!... And born, we think, Alain... And I'm a complete mystery... to myself!" Before "Sister I'm A Poet" he had a few words with his favourite fan in the front row: "Are you surviving Julia? Yeah? Are you staying in Blackburn? You know, like Darwen... Darwen. Where are you staying? Manchester? Manchester-Fitz? Yes..."
"Sister I'm A Poet" was followed by the comment "Who says pop music has to be tasteful, it doesn't..." Then Morrissey introduced "Meat Is Murder" with "Now I'm really not gonna sermonize about vegetarianism because, I'll tell you why, if you're not vegetarian by now, and if you don't understand by now, then good luck with your future diseases!" After the song he thanked the audience "...enormously" then introduced "November Spawned A Monster" with "Well it is November, and some people think I'm a monster, so... (Alain says something) Alain! How are you? (I'm fine) That's enough, sorry..."
Morrissey introduced "Hand In Glove" by quoting from a song he covered, "Interlude": "You've made us all very happy and, all I can say about this next song is... is that time is certainly like a dream..." After the song he pretended to weep and added "Yes indeed time is like a dream..." As Alain was taking too long to launch into "Irish Blood, English Heart" Morrissey signalled him with a brief "Alain!" His final words as he was about to launch into encore "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" were "You will never know, you have my heart, thank you Blackburn and, don't forget me!"
As for audio, two different audience recordings of the complete set are widely circulated. The best of the two is of rather good quality, it captured quite well the energy of the audience without too much interference by neighbours of the recorder. Its only minor flaw is that it lacks the end of "Everyday Is Like Sunday". The other recording is slightly below average and generally sounds more muffled than the first one.
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