24 June 2009|
Stockholm (Sweden), Hovet
This Charming ManThis concert went down well, but it left many attendees slightly disappointed. The main complaint was that Morrissey looked bored, like he was going through the motions. However, from the various bootleg recordings viewable on the internet, things were not as bad as they were made out to be. Morrissey was perhaps slightly tired, but he still put on a good show. He wasn't as talkative as he had been known to be, he may have still been sparing his voice, but he still said more than on the previous date in Gothenburg. The difference may have been with the crowd. Where in Gothenburg it was lively and receptive, in Stockholm it was subdued, which probably didn't help the general atmosphere of the show, leaving more people disappointed.
On a brighter side, this show saw the live debut of "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby", a song from the Smiths days that had never been done live before, not even with the Smiths. Morrissey made quite a few changes to the setlist and "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell", "I Keep Mine Hidden" and "Sorry Doesn't Help" were reinstated. The latter title had actually been absent from the setlist for a few weeks. To make space for these, "All You Need Is Me", "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself", "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" and "Best Friend On The Payroll" had to be dropped.
As he came on stage Morrissey greeted the audience with the line "Stockholm, Stockholm, the heart of the world!" For some reason, perhaps distraction, in both "Billy Budd" and "How Soon Is Now?" he reverted to original lyrics. In the former he sang "12 years on" instead of the usual 2009 live adaptation "30 years on". In the latter, he sang the line "you could meet somebody who really loves you" instead of the standard live change "you could meet somebody who can actually stand you". He extended a line in "Ask" to "shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life that you like to, trust me!" After the song he simply said "A rough kindness...", thanked the crowd, then asked "Do I deserve this? Have I earned it? I wonder... I wonder..." When he asked this, he surely had in mind "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" which was just a few minutes away from being debuted. The latter song was not updated lyrically or musically. The only change, a minor one, was "You just haven't earned it, my son".
After the latter number Morrissey said "That song was for Kirsty, our friend, who's still with us..." The Kirsty in question was Kirsty MacColl, who had done backup vocals for both the Smiths and Morrissey, and had died about 10 years earlier. Morrissey dedicated the song to her because she had recorded and released her own cover of it. Morrissey then segued into the introduction of the band: "And still with us is Boz Boorer... occasionally with us is Solomon Walker... yes, Solomon Walker... with us, with us, is Matt Walker... very with it, Jesse Tobias... and presently with child, Kristopher Pooley... and I am the child..."
After "Irish Blood, English Heart" Morrissey teased the Swedish crowd by saying "You will have noticed of course that this year the Eurovision Song Contest was won by Norway (crowd boos)... your close friends, your determined allies, Norvège (crowd remains silent)... So many cheers for Norway..." He then called out bassist Solomon's name to signal that he was ready to launch into the next planned number because he had just interrupted him to say the latter line. He bridged "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" to "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" by saying "So that was that song, and this is this song..." After "I Keep Mine Hidden" he said "You would have had to have been there... oh, you were, you were... Hello Youtube!" (funnily enough a clip of this moment has made it to Youtube). He extended a usual lyric change at the beginning of "Let Me Kiss You" by singing "There's a place in the sun for anyone who has the nerve to come closer".
When Morrissey came back to the stage for the encore, after the traditional line-and-bow alongside his musicians, he had the following parting words for the audience: "Thank you for the love... thank you to Doll & The Kicks, for support... and for God's sake, don't forget, hold on to your friends..." The crowd may have been rather quiet throughout the show, but the front rows got rowdy during encore "First Of The Gang To Die". As soon as the song started people were trying to jump over the pit and security with the intention of landing on stage. Someone looked like he got badly hurt, Morrissey looked genuinely concerned, and in a panic security started to get rough with anyone trying their luck. Morrissey seemed to enjoy the struggle between fans and security. However this was at the expense of the song, as he la-la-la'ed, grunted and growled his way through because he was too distracted to sing the real words.
There is also something for collectors of video bootlegs as Wiltteri also filmed seven songs from this set: "This Charming Man", "Black Cloud", "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris", "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby" (excerpt), "Life Is A Pigsty" (excerpt), "I'm OK By Myself" and "First Of The Gang To Die". This was filmed from the left balcony, the footage is overall quite good (the first two songs can be slightly shaky at times) and the sound is particularly good for a video recording. It is often found on bootleg DVDs also featuring Wiltteri's partial recordings of the following concerts in Tampere and Helsinki.
About 2/3 of the set is featured on "Scandinavian Refusal", a compilation DVD featuring material from all the Scandinavian dates of this tour, put together by FamousWhenDead. The Stockholm portion of this DVD mixes the Wiltteri footage with Youtube footage, over the Wiltteri audio recording.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.