20 May 2009|
Hartlepool (UK), Borough Hall
This Charming ManA great intimate venue, a great atmosphere, a very good crowd and Morrissey in top form, all the elements were there for this to be a great concert. The only complaint was that Morrissey was not as talkative as he was known to be at the time. It must be said that, because of the recent cancellations, he might have been saving his voice. "All You Need Is Me" replaced "Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed" in the setlist. "Sorry Doesn't Help" was slotted following "Best Friend On The Payroll", but it was skipped.
When Morrissey got on stage he greeted the audience by delivering the intentionally incomplete "Mere words cannot express how..." Besides previously heard changes in "All You Need Is Me" he also sang "you roll your eyes up to the skies, trying to look horrified". There were more new changes in "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel": "the future is passing you by, I'm sorry, but the future is passing you by" and "a slave to the grave". Morrissey's first banter of the evening came following the latter number: "It's a great honour to be in Hartlepool (crowd cheers)... Thanks for having us back..." He changed a line in "Let Me Kiss You" to "I've zigzagged all over the planet".
Before going into "Ask" Morrissey proceeded with the introduction of the band: "On guitar, the lovely Boz Boorer... on the bass guitar, Solomon Walker... a happy birthday to Matt for tomorrow, Matt Walker... it's not his birthday, Jesse Tobias... and the lovely Kristopher Pooley... Do you need to know anything else?" He extended one of the usual lyric changes in "Ask" to "mark my words, if it's not love, then it's military might, it's macho military might that will bring us together, in the meantime ask me, ask me, ask me". After "Something Is Squeezing My Skull" he said "I was () in a room which had four pictures of Hartlepool mayors through the years... of Hartlepool mayors... mayors... very real looking people... really real... looking people... really real looking people..."
Following "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" Morrissey asked "Are you in trouble? Well you will be one day..." As an introduction to "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" he said "And while we're on the subject of the Mercury Music Prize, can I just say this?" After the song he said "So for Wednesday night, it's really not bad...", which is surprising given that after a few more songs, he would decide to skip "Sorry Doesn't Help". After "When Last I Spoke To Carol" he alluded to his upcoming birthday, and perhaps the concert he was going to give on that date, when he announced: "So Friday is the black horizon... not really!" After "Best Friend On The Payroll" he asked "What did I miss?"
Following one occurrence of the line "some girls mothers are bigger than other girls mothers" in "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others", Morrissey exclaimed "True!" After the song he teased the crowd by asking if they were looking forward to go to bed. When he returned to the stage for the encore his parting words were "You've given us a great time, we're very grateful, and... I'll see you in my dreams!" At the very end of encore "First Of The Gang To Die" he shouted "God bless you!", removed his shirt, threw it into the crowd, then escaped backstage.
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