11 May 2006|
King George's Hall, Blackburn
First Of The Gang To DieThis one started out on a near perfect note. Great venue (home to one of the most memorable gigs of 2002), great crowd, the band on top form and Morrissey at his best and very playful. The ma was actually very talkative and made many lyric changes, some of them unheard of before. However things changed halfway into the show because of some heckler in the audience. The situation could have brought forward the end of the evening, but fortunately it didn't (read further).
Setlist-wise, part timers "Reader Meet Author" and "The Father Who Must Be Killed" made their return into the playlist, at the expense of fan favourite "Trouble Loves Me" and the generally less appreciated "My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye".
Morrissey was in really good form when he came on, flexing his muscles, kicking his legs out. He had his shirt tied in a knot in the middle again. It was very hot in the venue and it wasn't long before the shirt ended up in the audience (after being used as a towel to wipe Morrissey's sweat) and replaced by a fresh one. Blackburn being a mill town, Morrissey greeted the audience "Trouble at th'mill!" before going into the opening song. In "You Have Killed Me" after singing the usual live change "Fellini I'll be..." he continued "...to a scream!" After "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" he cajoled the audience by saying "When we were in Halifax, I looked into the audience and I felt very blessed and... God help me... (to a heckler) tsk-tsk-tsk manners... (continues) God help me I feel the same now so..."
The performance of "Reader Meet Author" was a particularly playful one. After singing "You don't know a thing about their lives", Morrissey exclaimed "so just!". He then changed a line to "But you write as if you all sleep side by side". Then after "Have you ever escaped from a shipwrecked life", he exclaimed "yes!". He also said a few other things to the audience in between lines. After the song he said "Thank you Clitheroe kids", paused, then added "You must be very embarrassed about (labour MP) Jack Straw... you shouldn't be!" Morrissey's playfulness carried over to "Let Me Kiss You" which started with the line "There's a place in the sun for anyone who has the will to chase me.
Before going into "The Father Who Must Be Killed" Morrissey cryptically said "As you probably know, the foulest day's upon us, so..." After the song he apologised by saying "Thank you for understanding... there are certain things in life that must just be said". The apology appeared to be for the subject of the song, but it might also have been for the sound problems experienced at the beginning of its performance.
After "To Me You Are A Work Of Art", the show took another direction. Morrissey started to comment on something that had just made the news1 "It was very sad today to hear about the animal rights people who were given such... (heckler tells him to shut up) Why? Why should I? (Morrissey continues)...who were given 40 years for trying to help animals (crowd boos) and yet... the British... (heckler tells Morrissey to fuck off) What, should I go then? (crowd shouts no!) Well if he's standing next to you, please wop him wop him wop him!" This could have turned to the worse if Morrissey had decided to walk out, as he had done in the past in similar situations. But he decided to move on by introducing the band: "Anyway, do you mind if I introduce Boz Boorer? Do you mind if I introduce Gary Day? Do you mind if I introduce Matt Walker? Here is Jesse Tobias... here is Michael Farrell..." For the rest of the concert Morrissey still shook hands with fans in the front rows, but had lost his playfulness and didn't talk to the audience much.
Morrissey didn't do any of the usual lyric changes in "At Last I Am Born", but he did sing "At last I am born I think! I'm living the one true free life". After the song the audience broke into a chant of his name. Jesse had a few problems with his guitar sound in "Life In A Pigsty". The same happened to Boz in the main set closer "How Soon Is Now?". But these minor problems were not even noticed by a good portion of the audience.
1 Four animal activists were given a sentence of 40 years for desecrating the grave and stealing the remains of a relative of a family whose farm bred guinea pigs used for medical research.
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