1 July 2006|
Eurockéennes Festival, Belfort, France
Irish Blood, English HeartThis was a festival appearance and it looked like only a minority in the crowd was there to see Morrissey. Many people were waiting for headliners Depeche Mode to take the stage and some of that band's more eager elements were vocal about it. Despite these condition Morrissey and his musicians gave a great show. Momo (as the French like to call Morrissey) wasn't as talkative as on regular dates, but still quite chatty for this type of event.
Setlist-wise the big surprise was the major resequencing, almost reversal of song order. Numbers like "Irish Blood, English Heart", "How Soon Is Now?" and "I Just Want To See The Boy Happy" which usually closed the set were moved at the very beginning while recent opener "Panic" was moved completely down to the position of set closer. "First Of The Gang To Die" which had just spent two tours as opener, or at worst in second position was unusually slotted mid-set. It must have been a refreshing change for the fans who had already seen Morrissey a few times on this tour. In the process "The Father Who Must Be Killed" was dropped and replaced by "Ganglord" and "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now".
Morrissey greeted the audience by saying "God bless God, vive la France, do your best, don't worry!" before going into set opener "Irish Blood, English Heart". After "How Soon Is Now?" he started "Thank you to Claude Brasseur for being alive..." He got very little reaction from the audience so he asked "You know Claude Brasseur?" The only answer he got was someone shouting 'Manchester!', so he just said "Manchester, yes." Recent single "You Have Killed Me" was introduced with the line "Well, we nearly, we almost had a hit single in France... almost..."
Before going into "Ganglord" Morrissey told the audience "We had no idea it could ever be so warm in France..." Then as the first notes of the song were heard he answered to some shout (perhaps someone shouting for Depeche Mode) with a quick "Who cares!" After the song he joked with his semi-official webmistress who was at her usual position in the front row "Well Julia, it's a long long drive from Copenhagen... well, yeah, we drove!" After "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" he proceeded with the customary band introduction: "Do you mind if I introduce you to the Pigsty 5? Do you mind? I don't mind... Well if you don't mind, here, here is Michael Farrell... here is Jesse Tobias... Matt Walker... Gary Day... B-B-B-Boz Boorer... and I'm the singer!"
After "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now" Morrissey returned to the subject of his lukewarm success in France. This time instead of his recent single he mentioned his newest album: "We have a cd called 'Ringleader Of The Tormentors' which isn't doing very well in Fr-ts-ts-ts this country... I wonder why?" He got a smart ass answer from someone in the crowd and immediately replied "I heard that!..." The epic "Life Is A Pigsty" was very well received so Morrissey enquired "You're quite sure? Well thank you." After "First Of The Gang To Die" and another good dose of cheering from the crowd Morrissey thanked them and added "We try our best... hard to believe, I know!" Then to someone in particular: "Thank you for the shirt... beautiful... Is it from Manchester? Ah, yes!" Before the set closer "Panic" Morrissey said goodbye to his fans: "Have a very good time with Depeche... thank you for listening, ciao!"
A television special on the Eurockeennes Festival (broadcast on France's Europe2TV shortly after it took place) featured "In The Future When All's Well", "Girlfriend In A Coma" and "First Of The Gang To Die" from Morrissey's set alongside performances by other artists having played the festival over the weekend. A few years later Morrissey's complete set was broadcast on French television channel Demain and in the UK on Sky Arts.
Two different audio-only audience recordings of the complete concert are circulated on cd bootlegs and on the internet. The one referred to as the Zinc version is quite good while the version recorded by Liquidsky is in mono and sounds slightly inferior. One of them, probably the Zinc recording, is sometimes seen paired with the audio of the three television songs mentioned above, under the title "Vive La France".
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.