25 August 2006|
Rock En Seine, Paris, France
PanicThe penultimate gig of Morrissey's 2006 festival tour was a great success, one of the best concerts of the summer. The Parisians - fans and non fans - were very up for it. Morrissey was in extremely good mood, playful and energetic. Unfortunately he was clearly on some time limit. He had come on late and towards the end of the show the band sprinted through the set to get all the songs in. Jesse had a camera which he filmed the crowd with near the end.
The setlist was significantly scrambled, and in the process "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now" was replaced by "To Me You Are A Work Of Art" and the lesser known b-sides "If You Don't Like Me, Don't Look At Me", "Human Being" and "Ganglord" were dropped. Unfortunately fan favourites "We'll Let You Know" and "Life Is A Pigsty" were also dropped. On the up side "Now My Heart Is Full" returned to the setlist. It had only been played once so far on this tour.
After the traditional bow at the front of the stage alongside his musicians, Morrissey picked up the microphone and greeted his audience "Bonsoir!". After set opener "Panic" he underlined the similarity between his name and the french word for "Thank you" by saying "Merci, Morrissey, c'est merci!" After "Irish Blood, English Heart", he quoted from one of his all time favourite band's song, Sparks' "Thank God It's Not Christmas". He started "If this were the Seine, we'd be very suave, but it's just the rain, washing down the..." He paused, hoping that someone would fill in the missing word. Answers were shouted from the audience, all of them incorrect, so he gave them a severe "... wrong!" The answer he was looking for was "... boulevard".
In "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" Morrissey followed the line "... and it can come from the strangest direction" with a roar of "Come here kid! Come here kid!" After the song he thanked the audience in French and pulled the same pun with his name. He then said "Welcome to our musical songs which we hope you enjoy..." After "In The Future When All's Well" he joked "So if Paris is the city of lovers, so where is mine? (mocks disgruntled face, feigns to leave) Goodbye!" The following song was "How Soon Is Now?" and it was preceded by a short classical piano intro reminiscent of the intros tagged at the beginning of "Trouble Loves Me" earlier in the tour. In the song Morrissey changed a line to "I am the son and the heir of a shyness that is crippling and vulgar". He followed "...and all my hope is gone" by "... for good!"
After "How Soon Is Now?" Morrissey joked "That song was called 'Life Is A Pigsty' (crowd reacts) Ha! Ha-ha-ha-ha!" He then asked his favourite fan "Julia, you ok? (crowd cheers) I was talking to Julia, but that's ok". He then turned to someone else in the front rows and said "Yes friend, the name is Jean Gabbinn? (gets corrected for his pronunciation) Or Gabbinn? (corrected again) Gabin! (cheers of approval) Sorry I'm a bit slow, bit slow, sorry. Jean Gabin! (more cheers) That's me!" He still pronounced the silent 'n' at the end of Jean and Gabin, but his efforts were still appreciated by the French audience.
Morrissey took a break from tradition and did not remove his shirt and tease his fans by caressing himself in the latter part of "Let Me Kiss You". After that song came the customary band introduction: "He's very very shy, in mixed company, but would you say hello to Boz Boorer... he's very very shy but would you say hello to Gary Day... he's very shy, Matt Walker... he's not very shy, Jesse Tobias (crowd chants Jesse's name and Morrissey grins)... he will soon be very shy, Michael Farrell... my name is Sacha Disturbed."
In "At Last I Am Born" Morrissey made most of the usual changes. However instead of "historians note", he had been known to sing "historians write this down". Recently this had become "somebody write this down", and on this date Morrissey actually sang "somebody notice this". He also improvised another change, this one to "I once thought that life accentuates despair". In "I Will See You In Far Off Places" two whole lines were changed to "where we come from, where we go, but in my heart I know". Then Morrissey sang "The body knows why I grieve" instead of "The heart knows why I grieve". After the song he replied to a chant of his name with "Yes what now? What happens now?"
Before going into "To Me You Are A Work Of Art" Morrissey had a laugh with the audience, relating something that had happened to him in Buffalo in 1997: "Some years ago we played a place in the Dis-United States called Buffalo, which is - as I'm sure you do not know - is Upstate New York, Cleveland, Rochester, ta-ta-ta, it's almost Canada, but Canada didn't want it so it stayed a part of the USA (turns to someone pressing him) Do you mind? (returns to subject) And when we were in Buffalo I walked on stage and I said 'Hello Paris!' (crowd laughs) which I thought was funny. But the next day in the press in (mocking voice) Buffalo, they all said Morrissey could not even remember where he was, so I think irony is never a safe bet in Buffalo..." In the song he extended a line to "And I would give you my heart, that's if I had one, which I don't... I don't!"
Before going into "Girlfriend In A Coma", returning from backstage where he had changed into a fresh shirt, Morrissey joked "We have been told that we must be very very quick because the local police want to go to bed... with each other probably, I don't know..." He echoed the last line of the song by saying "Bye!" to the audience after its performance. Then "You Have Killed Me" was introduced with "Here is yet one more of our singles that wasn't a hit in France". He joked in the song by singing "Piazza Cavour, what's my body for?" He also took liberties with "Visconti is (pointing at himself) mmmmmmmm, Anna Magnani I wish you would be"
Before going into main set closer "First Of The Gang To Die" Morrissey asked "Boz? Can we do more? No? Well... we've been told (mocks french accent) No more! No more of the song!" In the latter title he sang "the first lost lad to go under the sod, ciao!" At the end of the song he saluted the audience, pointed at his wrist and mimed someone slipping a noose around his neck, to signify that they were asked to rush or else...
Returning after a very short encore break, after another bow alongside his musicians, Morrissey announced "We must be very very quick or else police will (makes gun shooting noise)" as he straightened the fresh shirt he had just changed into. He then asked "Do I look okay Julia? That's all that matters..." and rushed his musicians who were not quite ready yet with "Faster! faster! faster! faster! faster! faster! faster! faster! faster!" As "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" was ending, Morrissey waved the audience "beddie byes" Then the surprise "Now My Heart Is Full" was preceded by the cryptical comment "Here's my prediction...". The song brought the crowd together in a huge singalong. In it Morrissey dropped the word 'puny' in "just some rain-coated lovers' puny brothers" as he had done live many times before, and sang "Tony Franciosa raised to wait" and "every jammy Parisian poet".
The full concert was broadcast on France's gay television channel Pink TV. The recording captured very well Morrissey's energy and playfulness and this probably is the best visual souvenir of the Tour Of The Tormentors MMVI. Snippets from the concert were shown on France 3 news bulletins over the following few days. In the noon bulletin of the 26th they showed a bit of Morrissey coming on stage and greeting the audience. Then during the dinnertime bulletin that same day they showed an excerpt of "Irish Blood, English Heart". Finally in the lunchtime bulletin the following day they showed a bit of "Panic".
A bass-heavy audio-only audience recording is also circulated (recorder: Liquidsky), but this will appeal only to completists given the existence of the better quality ripped audio track of the tv recording mentioned above. It is sometimes seen with fanmade artwork under the title "City Of Lovers".
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.
Morrissey, in a statement to the True To You website in September 2006: "The Rock En Seine concert was fantastic - for me, anyway; I have no idea why I talk so much onstage when, years ago, I would virtually sing with my mouth closed - sealed up like an envelope until the final song. Now, I stick one word after another in the hope of making a sentence. Occasionally, it works."