5 November 2009|
London (UK), Alexandra Palace
This Charming ManThis was a very good show. Morrissey was on form, chatty and sounded fantastic, although some people reported that he looked tired and/or ill. If he was, it didn't transpire in his performance. He even shone on the numbers that are usually harder to sing. The crowd was overall quite receptive, despite Morrissey hinting otherwise at some point when he said "and the minutes fly by like hours... and the minutes fly by like hours..."
For the first time on this tour there was a significant shuffling of the setlist and in the process a few changes were made to its content. For the first time in a very, very long time, standard encore "First Of The Gang To Die" was moved up the setlist. It was replaced in that position by a returning "Something Is Squeezing My Skull", played for the first time on this tour. The other return was the cover of Sparks' "Moon Over Kentucky" which had only been done twice before, earlier in the year on the Tour Of Refusal. To make space for those two new entries, "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself" had to be sacrificed.
As he took the stage Morrissey greeted the crowd in French with a simple "Bonsoir!" As this was Guy Fawkes Night aka Bonfire Night in the UK, after "When Last I Spoke To Carol" the singer said "On this very special night I think we're all very aware, that Guy Fawkes was a genius!" He was actually echoing a sentiment he had already etched between the run out grooves of the "Strangeways, Here We Come" LPs in the UK. He introduced "Cemetry Gates" with the words "this, what was, is this..." He changed a line in "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" to "in the absence of your smiling face, I trudge all over the place".
Following the latter number, Morrissey commented on the purple poppy which he was wearing (at a time of the year when most people are wearing red poppies in remembrance of War Veterans): "Now, in case seven of you are wondering, the purple poppy is for all the animals who were killed in the war, and mainly for all the animals who are killed every day against their will. And please, David Cameron, stop killing stag..." He changed a line in "Ask" to "a buck-toothed girl in Manchester". For some reason, he didn't do most of the usual lyric changes in that song, or did them differently, such as "for God's sake, nature is a language can't your read" instead of the more common "can anybody read?" After the song he replied to someone's comment by saying "What?... Well, there's original wisdom for you, after all these years... Pat yourself on the back..."
As an introduction to "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" Morrissey slagged off Michael Buble by calling him "Boob-lay" and saying "There are massive billboards all over London (makes large sweeping gesture everytime he says 'massive'), because as you know, England takes care of its own. Massive billboards. And I think, well, if I cover 'Cry Me A River', there will be massive billboards all over London (crowd cheers)... funny, but I do think the world is full of crashing bores..." Then over the opening bars of the song he added "very funny..."
Morrissey changed a line in "Irish Blood, English Heart" to "and denounce these horrible royals that still salute him" After the latter number he asked "Can you bear any more? I know I have..." At some point into the show he said something like "I'm happy to be out of Universal Music, I feel like I'm 16 again." When he returned for the encore, his parting words were "Thank you of course to Doll & The Kicks... thank you to you for being... MacBethian... and if you're driving home, don't kill me..."
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