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After a full two-year break of touring, Morrissey returned to the stage in February 1995 for a 3-week tour of the UK promoting the "Boxers" single and the "World Of Morrissey" album.
To highlight the tour's name, Morrissey had night after night a post-fight look with fake bruises and cuts.
In certain cities, Morrissey came back for the encore in a football shirt of the local team. Details are given date by date at links above.
Tambourines with words written by Morrissey on them were thrown into the crowd during "Billy Budd" or at the beginning of "You're The One For Me, Fatty". For the first few concerts, the word was 'SELF' then came 'SELF SELF SELF' then 'ERIC', 'CANTONA', 'ERIC CANTONA', 'SHAG' or 'MENSI'.
Personnel: Boz Boorer (guitars), Alain Whyte (guitars), Spencer Cobrin (drums) and Jonny Bridgwood (bass). The latter replaced Gary Day.
After the first night the merchandise company was sacked and no merchandise was sold again until the Birmingham concert after some other company took over. Following this, the Griffith Observatory t-shirt and a new version of the black "Boxers" long sleeves shirt (corrected, without phone numbers on back) were back on the merchandise table. A short sleeve variation of the latter was added shortly thereafter (view). After a few more dates the blue t-shirt mentioned above was put up for sale again.
The surprise was the live introduction of two songs from the Smiths catalogue. It was the first time since the Smiths' farewell concert in Wolverhampton 1988 that Morrissey did songs written with his first band. "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" which had only been performed once by the Smiths was the encore song every night on the Boxers tour. "London" which had been performed by the Smiths on the UK leg of the "The Queen Is Dead" tour was added to the set two weeks into this tour, in Newcastle, and kept on until the final show.
As for the solo material, all three new song on the "Boxers" single were performed every night, or almost: "Whatever Happens I Love You", "Have-A-Go Merchant" and the title track. The previous album "Vauxhall & I" hadn't been toured and was represented by "Billy Budd", "Spring Heeled Jim", "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get", "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself, "Hold On To Your Friends", "Now My Heart Is Full", "Speedway" and "Used To Be A Sweet Boy". The latter was actually dropped from the setlist after one week while "Hold On To Your Friends" was dropped three quarters into the tour.
"Your Arsenal" which hadn't been toured much in the UK was represented only by three tracks: "You're The One For Me, Fatty", "We'll Let You Know" and the controversial "The National Front Disco". The latter was always followed by the quiet "Moonriver", a b-side. Another b-side "Jack The Ripper", rounded up the set, it was played every night.
The three tracks from "Your Arsenal" mentioned above were the only ones that had previously been played in front of an audience. Nothing older than 1992 was performed on this tour, with the exception of the two Smiths songs mentioned above.
Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency. This is based on 18 concerts.
Billy Budd - 18
Click here for more tour statistics.
Morrissey didn't sing the falsetto part in the bridge of "We'll Let You Know" like he did on the previous tour, in 1992. But he still changed a line from "We sadly know" to "Of course we know" and ended with the slightly alternate "We are the last truly British people you wouldn't want to know, and so on...". The latter change was modified halfway into the tour to "We are the last truly British people that you couldn't stand to know, and so on..." Just like he did in 1992, he skipped the last verse in "Jack The Ripper". In main set closer "Speedway", the intro lines "And when you slam down the hammer can you see it in your heart?" were dropped and Morrissey changed lines to "all of the rumours leaving me grounded", "when you try to break my spirit, it just won't happen" and "until my ugly mouth is shut good and proper". In the latter half of the tour, Morrissey sang the slightly different "We wore each other's clothes" in "Whatever Happens, I Love You".
As he always did on the previous tour in 1992 in "The National Front Disco", Morrissey changed a line to "Ah, have we lost our boy" and skipped the title, the "Ah, then you might do" and the "When you've settled the score" lines. The song also still ended in a blinding chaos of feedback and lights despite not being slotted at the end of gigs on this tour. An interesting contrast however was having the song's noisy ending always segue into the very mellow "Moonriver".
Good audience video recordings of the full London-Brixton Academy and London-Ilford Island concerts are also available on bootleg DVDs. The Brixton Academy footage was filmed from the left balcony, is steady and features many close ups. The Ilford Island filming was done from the right balcony and the footage is steady.
The complete Portsmouth concert was filmed from the left balcony and the quality of the image and sound are subpar. The least interesting recording of the six might be the one from Croydon. The complete set was filmed but for about 5 songs here and there the footage is only of the ceiling, probably because the recorder didn't want to get caught by security. The rest of the footage is rather good and steady.
Needless to say, quite a few transfers to bootleg DVD of the official live video "Introducing Morrissey" are also circulated among collectors and non-collectors because the latter release has yet to be officially re-released on DVD format.
All other 14 concerts are available in full, but between them the quality ranges from excellent to poor. At the excellent end of the range are Cardiff and the final date, London-Drury Lane. The latter, produced from a radio broadcast, is actually available on many bootlegs but only one title, "Drury Lane Live", features the full set. Other bootlegs feature different broadcasts trimmed down to 10, 11 or 14 songs.
The next best things after these are good or reasonably good recordings of Motherwell, Edinburgh, Cambridge, London-Ilford Island, Bradford, Newcastle and the better of two Ipswich recordings. Hull and Bristol are fair or average. Then Portsmouth, Croydon and London-Brixton Academy are for completists only.
Finally completists might also be interested in the recording of a soundcheck before the Ipswich concert.