19 July 2009|
London (UK), Brixton 02 Academy
This Charming ManThis show, rescheduled from May, was a great one. The atmosphere was at its best. Morrissey was on boisterous form and looked like he was enjoying himself. He was unusually quiet, but it is speculated that he was sparing his voice. The crowd was generally receptive and appreciative. The gap between the crowd and the stage was quite large, so there were not a lot of handshakes and no one made it on stage.
Setlist-wise, Morrissey had a few surprises in store for his fans as this show saw the live debut of two songs: the recent b-side "Because Of My Poor Education", and a cover of his beloved Sparks' "Moon Over Kentucky". Another smaller surprise was the return of "Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed", which hadn't been played in two months, and "I Keep Mine Hidden", which hadn't been played in one month. The Smiths classic "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" also returned, while to make space for all these additions the following numbers had to be dropped: "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel", "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell", "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself", "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" and "Sorry Doesn't Help".
As he walked on stage Morrissey pointed to the backdrop and said "Can you see the black cloud?", a line from his song "Black Cloud". After set opener "This Charming Man" he jokingly greeted the crowd by pretending he was his opening band: "Good evening, we're Doll and the Kicks..." He punctuated the line "you see I've already waited too long, and most of my life has gone" in the Smiths classic "How Soon Is Now?" by adding "thank God! thank God!". As an introduction to "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" he said "The very first book was developed in France, the country, so therefore, when I have a straight moment..." He changed a line in the latter number to "In the absence of your smiling face, I ski all over the place".
Morrissey was exceptionally complimentary to his musicians when introducing them and of himself added "I don't have an identity, and I don't want one either!" Over the opening bars of "Irish Blood, English Heart" he said "very strange..." He changed a line in the debuting "Because Of My Poor Education" from "kind-hearted view me and say" to "kind people, they look at me and say". After that song he said "Strike a ?... Do I look happy? (crow: yes!) Because I am... And I am... very happy. Very, very happy..." Then over the opening bars of "I Keep Mine Hidden" he added another "Very happy..." After the latter number the crowd broke into a chant of Morrissey's name. The object of the chant interrupted it to ask someone in particular, "Say that once more?" then the whole crowd, "Somebody has requested the microphone, should I give it to him? (crowd: yes!) I never follow the masses..."
Morrissey dedicated "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" to all the mourning Michael Jackson fans. After that song's final line "Would you do? Would you do?" he asked "No? No? No?" When he returned to the stage at the end of "Life Is A Pigsty" (after changing into a fresh shirt), he playfully pressed a few keys of Kris Pooley's keyboard. His parting words before going into the encore were "Thank you for your indulgence and this song is called 'Anyone Who Had A Heart'." However the encore was of course the standard "First Of The Gang To Die". Near the end of the song he looked at all the arms extended towards him, all waiting for a handshake, and shouted "Why me? Why me? Aaah! The pressure! The pressure!"
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