22 July 2009|
London (UK), Brixton 02 Academy
This Charming ManThe final concert of the Tour Of Refusal went down quite well. Morrissey looked a bit subdued at first, but he gradually woke up as the show progressed. He was more chatty than he had been for most of the tour. The crowd was energetic near the front, but rather flat in the rest of the venue. There was a lot of crowdsurfing during the encore as many people tried to get close to the stage, even perhaps on it, though no one was successful.
This show saw the most setlist changes in the whole tour, surely because this was the fourth consecutive date in London and Morrissey knew that many people were attending more than just this one. Returning to the set were "Billy Budd", "Something Is Squeezing My Skull" (played for the first time in a month), "Seasick, Yet Still Docked" (played for the first time in over a month), "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others", "Best Friend On The Payroll" and "Sorry Doesn't Help". To make space for these, "I Just Want To See The Boy Happy", "Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed", "Moon Over Kentucky", "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby", "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself" and "One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" were dropped.
For this special final night of the Tour Of The Refusal Chrissie Hynde introduced Morrissey on stage: "I once heard of a drug that slows down time... that heightens your sense of awareness... ladies and gentlemen, I give you Morrissey!" This was followed by the usual walk-on music, the outro to "You Were Good In Your Time". At the end of it Morrissey walked on stage and shouted "This is a raid!... Good evening..." He changed a line in set opener "This Chaming Man" when he sang "will nature make a mouse of me yet?" As he sang the final "he knows so much about these things", he kneeled and pointed either at the Walter Chiari backdrop or his band. After the final "don't gimme any more" line in "Something Is Squeezing My Skull", he repeated "never mind... never mind..."
When he introduced his band, Morrissey started by saying "After a thousand years of making music, I finally have the perfect line-up... of shirts!" He then proceeded to introduced each of his musicians one by one, ending with himself: "I am faceless, timeless, pointless... but I'm the one with the microphone..." Besides the usual lyric changes in "When Last I Spoke To Carol", he also sang "since the say I was born in 1959". He went backstage to change into a fresh shirt while the band finished the latter number, and when he returned he said that it made all the difference. At the very end of "Ask" he shouted "just ask!" As this was the fourth anniversary of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes which had taken place at the Stockwell Underground station one stop away from Brixton, Morrissey paused before "Irish Blood, English Heart" to declare: "Jean Charles de Menezes, we will never forget, we will never forget..." He changed a line in "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" to "in the absence of your smiling face, I tour all over the place".
As he sang the final "I know it's serious" at the end of "Girlfriend In A Coma", Morrissey mimicked pulling a bed sheet over a dead body. Then over the opening bars of "Best Friend On The Payroll" he added "how serious!" He changed a line in "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" to "they who want to kill you work within the law". He introduced that song by mentioning a recent review of his Troxy concert: "The review said I was offensive without saying how or why... and that's why music journalism is full of crashing bores..." At some other moment in the show he also took aim at music journalists by asking how many music publications had reviewed his Brixton gigs, and answering 'zero'. Before or after "Life Is A Pigsty" he thanked his 'irregular regulars': "You'll be horrified to know that as we tour around there are people who follow us... We don't know your names, but we know your faces... all covered in scars..."
Morrissey started singing too early or sang the wrong part somewhere into "Sorry Doesn't Help". He just smiled, pointed at himself, and joked, "Is this when I sing then? Do I sing now?" as the music continued. There was a slight pause while he decided what to do next, until he simply asked someone in the front row "Can you sing? You do it!" as he threw the microphone into the crowd. Two fans shouted nonsense before Morrissey finally took the microphone back, wiped it disgustedly several times on his shirt, and the song was resumed. His parting words before encore "First Of The Gang To Die" were "I would like to once again thank Doll & The Kicks... I would like to thank... the majestic Chrissie... I would like to thank you for giving us such a fantastic night... thank you, thank you for the love, hold on to your friends, and we will see you in far off places..."
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