18 July 2009|
London (UK), Mile End Troxy Ballroom
This Charming ManFollowing the recent cancellation of two dates in Italy, Morrissey and the Lads were back in the UK for the 4 final shows of the Tour Of Refusal. The break gave them a chance to rest and it showed. It was a great show. The band rushed from one song to the next for the first half of the concert so Morrissey was slightly less talkative than usual, but he may have been sparing his voice. The crowd was not the most energetic, but still appreciative.
A few adjustments were made to the setlist as "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?" replaced "Let Me Kiss You" and "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" replaced "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others".
As he came on stage Morrissey greeted the audience with the pun "Troxy music!". After the usual lyric change to "you see I've already waited too long and most of my life has gone" in "How Soon Is Now?", he added "Thank God! Thank God!" After that song he said something that sounded like but probably wasn't "Thank you commercial row..." He followed "Irish Blood, English Heart" with the comment "And of course, Britain is sick to death of Labour, but will they go? Will they go? No..." He followed the line "if it's not love then it's the bomb that will bring us together" in "Ask" with the words "when you're ready!" At the end of the latter number he was given a book which he took and put on the drum rise, then said "I'm always touched by your presents", a very likely pun on the Blondie song title "I'm Always Touched By Your Presence, Dear".
After "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" Morrissey asked the crowd "Are you uncomfortable? I like to think so..." After "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?" he proceeded with the introduction of the band: "With me tonight is the complete cast from Department S, and they are Boz Boorer... playing the bass guitar as well as he can is Solomon Walker... trying very hard on the drums is Matt Walker... and standing around having a fag is Jesse Tobias... and plinking, plinking, plinking, Kristopher Pooley... and I, I... I do nothing... very well!" As an introduction to "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" he once again commented on the media hype and commercial frenzy surrounding Michael Jackson's recent passing away: "Yesterday, I was walking through Piccadilly and I saw all these t-shirts which said 'Michael Jackson - king of pop', and this next song is called 'The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores'."
Before going into "Girlfriend In A Coma" Morrissey received a second gift, this time a small sign that said "You're Too Frinky". The singer took it and asked "Still? Am I still frinky? Well..." before putting it on the drum rise next to the book he had gotten earlier. He ended "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" with the alternate line "So grab me while... While what? While what? While what?..." This was followed by his traditional chat with fans in the front row. He started "Well what? Well what?" then handed the microphone to someone but immediately took it back to say "I have no children". He then handed the microphone to loud and probably drunk British fans who shouted something mostly garbled about Manchester while Morrissey (im)patiently waited to have his microphone back.
After "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself" the crowd broke into a chant of Morrissey's name. In "Life Is A Pigsty" the singer slightly changed a line from "this you surely knew" to "surely you knew", but a more interesting change came from Boz who added some clarinet in the song's long instrumental outro. After a very beautiful performance of "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want " Morrissey jokingly said "We recently had a fantastic time in Eastern Europe, in Russia, but... we struggled in Hemel Hampstead. I don't know why..."
When he returned to the stage before the encore, Morrissey's parting words were "So before you take yourself home to the brewery tap where you'll be much happier (crowd reacts)... What? (one of the Manchester guys shouts something) Don't people from Manchester talk funny? Just joking... Just a second!" Following this Morrissey went to the drum rise, picked up his half empty bottle of water, and gave it to someone in the front row, perhaps one of those Mancunians. In encore "First Of The Gang To Die" he sang "until you've seen the stars reflect..." then motioned to the crowd to finish the line. After the line "we are the pretty petty thieves" he posed and shouted "Look! Look! Look!" Further into the song he stopped singing again, this time to tell someone "What's going on? What's going on now?"
The existence of a second recording is rumoured, but this may just be the 'unpatched' version of the recording mentioned above.
There is also something out there for collectors of audio bootlegs: a good quality audience recording of the complete show (recorder: Rimbaud).
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.