20 May 2006|
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
First Of The Gang To DieThis concert was generally well received by the press and audience. The venue wasn't the best choice for the hardest songs of the evening, but it was very well suited for the more mellow or orchestral numbers. The audience wasn't the most energetic, except after about three songs when it looked like there might be a stage invasion. Three fans did successfully make it on stage at some point, a rare occurrence on this tour. The crowd was still very receptive and even if the venue was a seated one, everyone in the stalls got to their feet even before Morrissey stepped out. The man himself was in a great mood, very talkative and upbeat.
Morrissey must have achieved a good balance with the setlist because it remained unchanged for the fourth consecutive date.
Morrissey walked on stage wearing a smoking jacket over his shirt which was tied once again at his navel. He would gradually dispose of the jacket, then of the shirt after "Let Me Kiss You". When he emerged back on stage after that all in black, he declared "I feel more secure in black!" At the end of the main set the black shirt found its way into the audience to be fought over.
The highlight of the evening for many happened when Morrissey brought his nephew Sam on stage. He told the audience that he was his pride and joy and remarked on him having appeared in his video for the song "Suedehead". Another memorable moment happened after "Girlfriend In A Coma". Morrissey introduced his musicians, and as Morrissey was about to remark about himself, he was interrupted by the band starting the following planned song "You Have Killed Me". When the song finished he voiced his bitterness at having been interrupted by saying "I can't talk much... they'll just drown me out!" Instead he gave the microphone to a fan in the front rows so she could say something to him. Favourite fan Julia also got the obligatory mention at some point.
When finished with "Ganglord" Morrissey said something along the lines of "We did find the courage to release a new song and that was the extra track on... " He was interrupted by someone shouting "Extra track and a tacky badge!". Morrissey seemed to weigh in the comment and added "Well, yes, but rather two tracks than one... (pause) that wasn't a clever reply of me, was it? He was right..." On this tour a few bars of a local well known song was always played as an intro to "Trouble Loves Me". The piece chosen for Birmingham has yet to be identified.
While the concert was taking place, the Eurovision contest was being shown on television and Morrissey, in his typical self-depreciatory manner, had to tell the audience that they had taken the wrong decision in coming to see him instead of watching the contest. References were made about the Jonathan Ross show (which he had appeared on the night before) "Was it passable? Was it horrible?" Calls of "Shirt! Shirt!" by a man in the audience were replied to with a "Shirt? Shirt? What shirt?" by Morrissey. The man then decided to make himself clearer and shouted "Take your shirt off!" to which Morrissey answered "Why?" and told the man to take his shirt off. The fan obliged, swung the shirt over his head and it hit the stage. This was greeted with much laughter from the audience as well as Morrissey.
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