11 April 2009
Houston (TX), Jesse H Jones Hall

This Charming Man
Billy Budd
Black Cloud
How Soon Is Now?
Irish Blood, English Heart
When Last I Spoke To Carol
How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others
Something Is Squeezing My Skull
Seasick, Yet Still Docked
The Loop
The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
Death Of A Disco Dancer
Best Friend On The Payroll
I Keep Mine Hidden
Sorry Doesn't Help
Let Me Kiss You
I'm OK By Myself
/First Of The Gang To Die
Houston was a fantastic crowd, Morrissey and his band fed off its energy and gave a great concert. The stage was not very high so Morrissey shook many hands and often teased people in the front rows into attempting to come on stage. Many did, mostly during the encore. There was no change in the setlist.

As he walked on stage Morrissey greeted the audience by asking "Untie the great big knot of my heart..." He followed set opener "This Charming Man" with two shouts of "Attack!". This was taken by some as an invitation to get on the stage. After "Billy Budd" came Morrissey's real greeting: "Welcome to our burlesque..." After "How Soon Is Now?" he asked the crowd "Do you get the message? (crowd cheers)... Well, act upon the message..." This was taken by some as an invitation to crash the stage, but it had probably more to do with the song's lyrics. A very well received "Irish Blood, English Heart" was simply followed with "Thank you Houston..."

Over the opening bars of "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?" Morrissey asked "Pressure?". He changed a line in that song to "because you wear a uniform, officer! a smelly uniform, officer!", as he pointed to someone from security. After the song he proceeded with the introduction of the band: "Can you feel it in your heart for Boz Boorer... for Solomon Walker... for Matt Walker... Texan 'til death, Jesse Tobias... the illustrious Kristopher Pooley... and I come and then I go, and that's life..." The singer changed a line in "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" to "I figure skate all over the place". After the latter number he simply said "Well..."

Morrissey changed lines in "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" to "and you have just discovered" and "on the shop floor there's a calendar and it's pointing out to you something you never knew". He followed the song with the line "Once you stick rhythm with beat and lyrics, ridiculous things happen... I don't advise it..." After "Death Of A Disco Dancer" he asked various people in the front row where they were from and handed them the microphone so they could answer: "Where are you from? (fan: 'Fairmount Indiana') Fairmount? Fairmount? Beaumont? (moves to someone else) Where are you from? (fan: 'from Texas') From Texas? (moves to someone else who says 'Southern California') Southern California? (someone else shouts 'L.A. baby, L.A.!', Morrissey mocks voice) L.A. baby... I'm an L.A. baby... (someone else: 'Mexico City', Morrissey whispers) Mexico City! Wow!..."

The Smiths rarity "I Keep Mine Hidden" was introduced with the line "Somewhere trapped in the filthy bowels of time is this song..." After the song he theatrically exclaimed "Wow, somebody's happy... Incredible!" Over the opening bars of "Sorry Doesn't Help" he asked "Do you know this song?", and after it he shouted "Si! Si!" A line in "Ask" was extended to "Nature is a language, can you read? Can you?" After the latter number Morrissey said "Something is rumbling in row F... What can it be?..." As was tradition he removed his shirt near the end of "Let Me Kiss You" with the intention of throwing it into the audience. However on this date he struggled to remove one arm out of its sleeve and, getting impatient, said "It won't come off!" When he finally managed to do it he gave the shirt to a fan who he seemed to recognize because when he returned to the stage he asked her "Are you from France?"

Before going into the encore Morrissey's parting words for the audience were "We give ourselves to you... thank you for listening... hold on to your friends..." He replaced two complete verses of encore "First Of The Gang To Die" with verses from the Big Dee Irwin song "Swinging On A Star". Quite a few fans made it on stage during the song and Morrissey kept a eye on the action. As one girl was picked up by security and carried stage left, he couldn't hide a faint smile to the audience as he shouted "people power!" At the very end of the song he decided to shake a few more hands and as one female fan was holding on tight to his hands, he backed up and in the process pulled her up on stage. After she got up on her feet, she and Morrissey bowed and curtsied to each other a few times before Morrissey fled backstage and she returned to her spot.


A quite good audience recording of the complete concert is circulated on bootlegs (recorder: Prof Peabody).

"Irish Blood, English Heart" and "First Of The Gang To Die" are featured on "Nights Of Refusal" volume 2, a compilation DVD featuring HD Youtube material from the second half of the American leg of the Tour Of Refusal.


Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.