4 September 2004|
Empress Ballroom, Blackpool
How Soon Is Now?This was another great concert. The only downside must have been the incredibly hot temperature inside the venue. Morrissey was playful and talkative. The crowd was very energetic, except perhaps during a few less familiar numbers such as "Munich Air Disaster 1958". Security was very strict, so no one made it on stage although there was one near successful attempt during the encore. The band was dressed in kilts again.
The setlist was slightly resequenced and in the process "The Headmaster Ritual" was replaced by "Rubber Ring" while "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" and "All The Lazy Dykes" were replaced by "Munich Air Disaster 1958" and "Jack The Ripper".
As he entered stage Morrissey greeted the audience with "Blackpool, I've got you under my skin!" After set opener "How Soon Is Now?" came part 2 of his greeting, in the form of "Welcome to a big fat slice of Saturday night!" Future b-side "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" was introduced with "You can do anything... but don't make fun of Daddy's voice." Morrissey bridged the gap between the latter number and "I Like You" with another greeting: "Welcome to our Blackpool gang show... We've had a fantastic time in Scotland, but... things can only get better... maybe... This is from 'You Ate The Curry', 'I Like You'!" The latter introduction was likely an allusion to the important Indian communities of Blackpool.
As an introduction to "Munich Air Disaster 1958" Morrissey said "This song may have some minor resonance for those of you who live in the Old Trafford area (crowd cheers/boos)... Who booed? People who boo are not allowed..." Over the first few bars of the song he saluted his most dedicated fan Julia. After the song he introduced his musicians: "Would you please say hello to the boys of the band... would you? (crowd cheers) You don't mind? Can you see it in your hearts to say hello to... Boz Boorer... and to the inimitable Gary Day... and on the drumkit (crowd chants 'Deano! Deano!')... a man who needs no introduction... here is the sensational Jesse Tobias... and a man of one or two parts, Mikey V Farrell... and you can call me Stinky! Oh you do?"
After the Smiths classic "Shakespeare's Sister" Morrissey introduced the upcoming single "Let Me Kiss You" with "However, the future really is more important than the past and... against our psychiatrist's advice we are releasing a new single... Yeah... (someone shouts something derogatory about the single's upcoming failure in the charts) I heard that... it hurts... And on the same day we release this single, so does Nancy Sinatra release the same song... But she and I are not the same person. Did you know that? No? Is it really that boomy you can't hear what I say... It's really that boomy..." After "Let Me Kiss You" Morrissey threw his shirt in the crowd and warned "Be careful with the shirt, the material is very very cheap... I bought it in Blackpool today... I was fascinated to drive through Blackpool and see so many - yes - drug addicts... It's not the place it used to be... Say that again please? Who?" This was the perfect introduction to "Everyday Is Like Sunday" because Blackpool is the typical seaside town that is mentioned in the song.
In the bridge between "Subway Train" and "Everyday Is Like Sunday" Morrissey repeated the sound "Coo coo! Coo coo!" He extended a few lines to "scratch on a postcard: Mummie how I dearly wish I was not here" and "come, come nuclear bomb, please!" After the song he said "When 'You Are The Quarry' was released (steps into gum and says 'Shit! Excuse me' and continues) When 'You Are The Quarry' was released a certain track was played on... Constipation Street and... the only reason why this is really interesting is because two weeks ago... blah blah blah... they played the same track! Did you hear it? (crowd: yes!) Well, who was it then? (shouts of 'Ciaran!') Jolly good, jolly good... (looks at the gum on the floor) Arrgghh! The moral face of Blackpool..." The song in question was "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel" and this is what the band launched into next. In live performances of that title at the time Morrissey usually changed a line to "everybody look, see pain and turn away" but on this date he took it a step further and sang "everybody look, see pain and cycle away".
Before "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" Morrissey told someone "I can hear you!". The crowd then broke into a chant of his name and he replied "And after this you go and you spew up on the Pleasure Beach? (crowd: yes!) I wish I wasn't (?)!" Into the song Morrissey followed the line "most people keep their brains between their legs" with the question "agree?". After its performance he announced "That song is played in memory of an album called 'Bona Drag'... which you all bought for 1.99... but thank you anyway..." His favourite fan was exceptionally sitting in the balcony's front row and Morrissey at this point said "Julia is on lights... (giggles) Sorry Julia..."
Following "Rubber Ring" Morrissey changed shirts again and, self conscious, he said "No taking the mickey because one day you'll be thirty-five... Yes!" In "Now My Heart Is Full" he changed the usual "every jammy Stretford poet" to "every cramped Manchester poet". After the song someone requested "The National Front Disco" and Morrissey mocked his Scottish accent and replied "'National Front Disco'? Didn't you say that in Perth?" Then, reverting to his usual voice he continued "Well it's a lovely song but err... so is 'Knock Knock Who's There' and we're not gonna sing that either... although... What? 'Handsome Devil'? What, now!? OK! 'Handsome Devil'!" Of course he was kidding and over the intro of the following song - "November Spawned A Monster" - he laughed like a madman.
During the latter number some of Jesse's guitar strings snapped and he had to make do with until the guitar technician sorted out a replacement. Morrissey seemed partly distracted by that and adlibbed many minor live changes and changed the melody of some lines by 'prosing' instead of singing. Minor changes included "Sleep on and dream of love Why? Because it's the closest you will get to love", "But Jesus made me, so he can save me from...", "nothing can make good of the bad that's been done" or "she'll never be rich or beautiful". Morrissey also did most of the usual live changes such as "idiots discussing me". Between two lines he said 'attitude!'. After the song he apologised: "The recorded version is much better... We snapped several strings, does anybody care? (crowd: no!) Very nice..."
After "You Know I Couldn't Last" Morrissey enquired "You're not really gonna vote for Tony Blair are you? (crowd: no!) Promise?" When he returned to the stage for the encore his final words were "Goodnight boys! Thank you for being so... lovely!... and try not to kill anybody on your way home... or try... I know it's difficult... but thank you!" In encore "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" he humourously changed a line to "and in darkened underpants I thought oh God my chance has come at last". As he had recently begun to do Morrissey sang the chorus at the end of the song. After a few lines he stopped and let the audience supply the vocals. He then said goodbye and left the stage. From this point the song was extended the same way it had been at the beginning of the tour. One at a time Morrissey's musicians put down their instruments and left stage, thus gradually stripping the song to its basic 'violin' melody played by Mikey on keyboards.
Thanks to Mike Spendlove for contributing.
An audio audience recording of the complete concert is found on compact discs and in digital format on the internet. The quality is slightly below average for an audience recording of 2004. It is unclear whether or not this is the audio from the video recording mentioned above.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.