21 January 2008
London (UK), Roundhouse

How Soon Is Now?
First Of The Gang To Die
I Just Want To See The Boy Happy
That's How People Grow Up
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
Sister I'm A Poet
Something Is Squeezing My Skull
All You Need Is Me
The National Front Disco
Death Of A Disco Dancer
Life Is A Pigsty
The Loop
Billy Budd
Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed
The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?
Stretch Out And Wait
Irish Blood, English Heart
/The Last Of The Famous International Playboys
The first show of Morrissey's 6-date residency at the Camden Roundhouse was generally very well reviewed in the press. The venue was packed and the atmosphere was great. Morrissey complained at some point that he had a bad throat, but he and the band still gave a flawless show. Morrissey was expected to comment on the ongoing legal tussle with the NME (sparked by a recent interview in which Morrissey grumbled about immigration) and he did so via a few well-placed comments (read further), but without ever mentioning directly the NME. The audience was very energetic at the front, but rather quiet and unresponsive at the back. Despite many attempts, only one fan made it on stage, halfway into the show, and he caught everyone by surprise by emerging from the side of the stage. The fan said a few words in Morrissey's ears then dived back into the crowd, completely unnoticed by security.

There was very little change in the setlist. "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" was brought back while "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" was dropped. It is actually speculated that the latter number was planned, but Morrissey decided at the last minute to skip it, perhaps because of his bad throat.

Arriving on stage to chants of his name, Morrissey struck a Thinker pose and greeted the audience with a shout of "Good evening West Ham!" After the second song "First Of The Gang To Die" he said "My name is trouble... I believe..." which is thought by many to be the first of a few comments relating to his recent spat with the NME. After "I Just Want To See The Boy Happy" he interrupted a chant of his name to tell the audience "And now it's your turn..." He then introduced the next planned number by saying "And... if I may... if I may interrupt, I would like to thank... thank!... thank! Radio 2, XFM... for their support with our new single called 'That's How People Grow Up'..." He slightly extended a line in that song to "let me live before I die, Me? Not me, not I..."

Before "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" Morrissey apologetically said "Well, as you may have guessed... I have... as people in Tottenham say... I have a frog in me throat... and I don't mean a small French person... but onwards..." Over the opening bars of the song he asked "can you see?" He slightly extended one of the song's usual lyrics changes to "And so I drank one, or was it four? Anyway..." Then after the song he told someone, or perhaps the whole audience, "I can take it you know, say it!" He slipped another hint at his feud with the NME when he introduced new composition "Something Is Squeezing My Skull": "In between bloodbaths we have recorded a new album (crowd cheers)... So you see there's still no escape, and this song is called (articulates) 'Something Is Squeezing My Skull'...".

Following the latter number Morrissey proceeded with the introduction of his musicians: "I've made a few observations and a few studies and blah-dee-blah-dee-blah, and I've come to the conclusion blah-dee-blah-dee-blah that nothing, on the planet, today, can stop Boz Boorer... and on the bass guitar, Solomon Walker... on drums, his identical twin, Matt Walker... on guee-tar, a real, proper, live Mexican, Jesse Tobias... on everything else, our new genius, Kristopher Pooley... and my name is Stanley Ogden, and I come from Sidcup!... 'All You Need Is Me'!..." Emphasis was added to a line in the latter song: "What will I be when I grow up to be a man. Let me think, nothing!" Then instead of following "fate has just handed it to me" with a shout of "whoopee!", he shouted "too late!".

Before going into "The National Front Disco" Morrissey started to say something but never finished what he meant to share: "This incredibly clean venue is very historical, as none of you will know... and if I mention people like... Could I mention anybody? Are you still there?" After the song the audience broke into another chant of his name, and he just said "Beautiful... beautiful..." After the lines "even now at the final hour of my life I'm falling in love again" in "Life Is A Pigsty" he repeated "What's the point? What's the point?" The "Vauxhall & I" classic "Billy Budd" was introduced with a quick "Everything's relative, I know that, and this is 'Billy Budd'..."

New composition "Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed" was announced with the line "Now if you can bare one more song from our new album... the song is called 'Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed'." After the latter number Morrissey tried to introduce the next planned one, but he had a difficult time amongst all the shouts and heckling: "I... I'm sure... Arrgh!... I know, I know... tell me something new... just kidding... just kidding... I'm sure I don't need to... I'm sure I don't need to say anything hysterically funny to introduce this next song... because..." The song in question was "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" and over it's opening bars he continued by saying "... it's easy!". A line in it was slightly extended to "say a quick prayer 'cause he's still there". After the song Morrissey asked the audience "The world is full of crashing bores, can you name one?" He dangled and twirled the microphone around, but gave it to no one. Someone shouted something and he repeated "Cracker Jack?!"

In "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" Morrissey changed a line from "Iíve traveled all over the place" to "Iíve scootered all over the place" while making a funny twisting-a-knob motion with his hand. He probably felt the audience didn't give the song the best reception because after its performance he said "Don't feel obliged!... But you should..." He then introduced the crowd favourite "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?" with "We would now like to do a song that nobody likes... just for you..." A line in that song was twisted to "Some men here, they have a special interest in your so-called career". He also changed "sit there" to "stand there". After the song he told someone "When will you be the one the stage? Next month? Well, fancy that..."

Besides most of the usual changes in "Stretch Out And Wait" Morrissey also sang "Will the world end in the daytime, I really hope so... or will the world end in the night time, don't ask me I don't know..." Over the last few notes of the song he said something that sounded like "for fear of the dawn..." In "Irish Blood, English Heart" he changed a line to "I will die with both of my legs untied, hopefully!" At the very end of the song, before fleeing backstage for the encore break, he shouted "hello!". His final words to the audience before the final song were "Thank you for your love, and your concern..."

 


Two different audience recordings have made it in the collectors circles and both sound quite good. The one credited to Rimbaud is the clearer of the two, but it is also slightly more distorted than the other one which is credited to Steve from Soundsville International. The Rimbaud recording also lacks the first few bars of "Stretch Out And Wait".

 

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