17 May 2006|
First Of The Gang To DieThis was one of the best concerts of this leg of the tour. The band was on top form and Morrissey in pointedly good humour. The local references were present in abundance in his banter. He was animated and energetic on stage. The venue had an overall good sound and was not seated, which helped the atmosphere. The crowd was very receptive. There was only one attempt by a fan to make it on stage. It failed but Morrissey made a special point of coming round to the side and shaking the fan's hand. He must have been happy with the previous date's setlist because he didn't change it in content or order.
Morrissey's greeting at the start of the show was "It's wet, it's Wednesday, it's (D)reading, it's... (points to microphone)". Two or three songs into the set he said "I didn't hear you clapping Reading". Throughout the evening he namechecked various places in Berkshire. He particularly did so when he mentioned his newest album "Ringleader Of The Tormentors" and listed people who had bought it: "...People in Reading, people in Newbury, people in Finchampstead, people in Checkendon, people in Caversham... no, no one in Caversham..." (or perhaps is it "even people in Caversham...").
The crowd regularly chanted Morrissey's name. At some point he answered them with "I'll blush..." and another time he just said "Yeah?", in a "What do you want?" tone. There was the customary band introduction about halfway into the evening: "Would you say hello to Michael Farrell... would you say hello to Jesse Tobias... would you say hello to Matt Walker... dare you say hello to Gary Day... would you say hello to the shop steward, Boz Boorer... and as you know, I have no identity..."
After "Ganglord" Morrissey said something like "It's probably very foolish, but we're going to release a single... that's the b-side." He had the traditional mention of his opening act in the latter half of the gig: "Did you enjoy Kristeen Young?" The audience applauded and Morrissey then said "....that's it!?" At some point he asked a male fan who was following the tour "You surely can't be back for more?". He also continued a conversation he had had on the previous date with his favourite fan Julia, about what she had for breakfast: "What was it today? Weetabix? Two, I hope, two."
On this tour a few bars of a local well known song was always played as an intro to "Trouble Loves Me", and in Reading the choice went to "Mouldy Old Dough", a 1972 hit for Lieutenant Pigeon. As it was being played Boz joined the people in the audience who knew the words while Morrissey commented "That wasn't funny... I've tried to get him to stop... I've tried.... He just keeps going... He's available for Bar-mitzvahs..." In the song, after singing the title line "Trouble loves me..." he added "...fact!". At the end of the show he signed off by thanking the audience for being "warm and cuddly".
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