25 June 2004|
Meltdown 2004, Royal Festival Hall, London, UK
Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's VoiceThis was the first of two Morrissey gigs at the tail end of the 2004 Meltdown festival which he was curating. He had already given a concert at the beginning of the festival. This one seems to have been even more appreciated by the people who attended. Morrissey was in great spirits and very talkative, he chatted with many fans and touched the hands of the people in the front rows. The crowd was overall very ecstatic and quite a few managed to make it on stage, particularly during "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" and "Everyday Is Like Sunday". Some fans were anticipating the return of guitarist Alain Whyte, but he still wasn't back.
The setlist was significantly scrambled. The usual encore "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" was moved up halfway into the main set. "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" was moved up to the position of set opener, right before "Shakespeare's Sister" which was being performed for the second time ever. "Hairdresser On Fire" which had been a regular so far on this tour (as well as on the previous one in 2002) was dropped from the setlist. It would not return. In its place "The Headmaster Ritual" was reinstated.
As he entered stage Morrissey greeted his fans in Spanish with a shout of "Buenas noches!" He changed "something got stuck in his throat" in set opener "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" to "somebody got stuck in his throat". After that song he extended his greeting by welcoming the crowd "...to one of those nights". He had more to add following "Shakespeare's Sister": "And welcome to the dying nights of Melt-Up - Meltdown, which I know you've enjoyed... (points at someone in particular) especially you..."
As an introduction to "Let Me Kiss You" Morrissey asked "I don't know if any of you or many of you came to... came to see Nancy Sinatra (crowd cheers)... So it's a no... and she was sensational and... this is one of her songs apparently..." Of course the song in question is Morrissey's, but plans were being made at this point for her to release her version of it. After the song Morrissey answered someone's shouts: "Yes?... Any problems?... What?... Sweden was... Boz how was Sweden? Fantastic... (?) is fantastic..."
The Smiths classic "The Headmaster Ritual" was introduced with the line "And of course, some of the songs from the past still (crowd cheers, Morrissey calms them down)... well I could be gonna sing 'Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep' for all you know. Some of the songs from the past still have meaning... unfortunately..." At the very end of the song Morrissey took a toreador pose and shouted "Ole!". He must not have been very happy with his performance because he corrected his earlier statement: "Some songs from the past still have meaning... and that wasn't one of them... (fans cheer) Why do you cheer when I say that? Oh I see it's... general support..."
Following the line "most people keep their brains between their legs" in "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" Morrissey added "so do I!". After the song he announced "You may be completely shocked to hear that 'You Are The Quarry' went up! up! in the British chart this week... which obviously means that sales all over the world are generally down... and it's not happened to me since 1971 so... Did you know I was in the Handley Family? Do you remember 'Wam Bam!? Sorry... it helps..." In "I Have Forgiven Jesus" he sang "Wednesday-degradation, Thursday-is pathetic, by Friday-this life has killed me, by Friday-this job has killed me".
Before going into crowd favourite "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" Morrissey proceeded with the introduction of the band: "Could I please introduce you to some of the lovely thugs... this he, this he heree is Boz Boorer... this he is Gary Day... this he is Deano... this is our very good friend Little Barrie... and of course a man of many parts, Mikey V Farrell... And I'm somebody that you would not want to know, believe me!... Funny? Not really..." One fan made it on stage during "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" and, as if this was some sort of cue, was soon followed by others. Some were stopped by security, but many were successful.
Upcoming single "First Of The Gang To Die" was introduced with the line "Now, if all goes to plan, which of course it never does, we should... What? Who's that?... We release this single on July the 12th and... if Keane don't mind, we might have a hit..." Keane had beaten Morrissey to the #1 spot on the album charts the week "You Are The Quarry" was released, keeping it at #2, hence the comment. After the song Morrissey discussed the Meltdown festival which he had been curating: "Did anybody see the New York Dolls? Well, I think you'll agree that Meltdown has been really fantastic! And I don't know who curated it but... incredible... New York Dolls fantastic. Nancy Sinatra fantastic. James Maker fantastic. Did anybody see Lypsinka? Really? Fantastic. However the tastemakers of the world seem to prefer other people and... (someone says that he hasn't mentioned Alan Bennett) No, I didn't mention Alan Bennett. Did you notice? The tastemakers of the world... (someone shouts 'why do you come here?') No, because I want to, I like you... and beyond the doors of this venue, (whispers) the world is full of crashing bores..."
The last words obviously served as an introduction to "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" and following that Morrissey interrupted a chant of his name to say "Let me guess, (?)... Do you really think that happened? I did notice in an award ceremony the other day that Will Young was artist of year which... can we argue with that? Artist. Of. The Year..." The cover of Raymonde's "No One Can Hold A Candle To You" was introduced with the quick "This song was written by James Maker and it's called 'Suffer, Now I Must'." In it Morrissey sang the slightly alternate "they stand on my face, they stand on your face". He must not have been satisfied with his performance of it because he made an exasperated face after he was done. He looked at his most dedicated fan and said "Julia!". Someone else then asked him how his mother was and Morrissey, looking perplexed, replied "What? How is my mum? (giggles) Why?... Yeah, she's wonderful, so, what? (more giggles)..."
"Everyday Is Like Sunday" saw another wave of stage invaders. The situation, as during "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" earlier, almost degenerated into a massive stage invasion. Before going into encore "Irish Blood, English Heart" Morrissey's final words were "Thank you for listening... we'll be here tomorrow... you won't... I won't..."
At least five recordings are circulated in audio form, either on physical support or in digital format on the internet. The best of these was taped by Steve from Soundsville International and features the complete set. Two other recordings would rate as being good and also feature the complete set. One of these was taped on minidisc by recorder Johnrw and the other may be the audio from the Loz video recording mentioned above, but this is not very likely. Next up in level of interest is the audio ripped from the Chris A video recording mentioned above. While the footage is excellent, the audio by itself is not that good. Finally "Shakespeare's Sister" and "All The Lazy Dykes" from an unknown source are also circulated on the internet. These may have been lifted from the LOZ video recording because the sound is quite muffled.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.