Friday, November 20, 2009

Concert Reviews: Morrissey – April/May 2009

I’ve had a long history of listening to Morrissey, ever since I discovered the Smiths in the 1980s. Although he’s playing in Dublin next Monday, I can’t justify shelling out to see him again, having seen him twice in 2 provinces in Ireland this year!

Despite his disappointing Years of Refusal album, I eagerly headed west to Leisureland in Salthill to see Morrissey live once again. On approaching the venue we were met with the overwhelming smell of… chlorine! (Leisureland has an amusement park, gym and swimming pool on the premises). The venue was a bit rough and ready but we were not disappointed by the band, though they absolutely bludgeoned through the opening song, This Charming Man. Most of the songs were rendered in a semi-rockabilly style, which worked excellently on all the rest of the songs.

Predictably, Morrissey was adored by all and sundry. Not for him the old “I am sick and I am dull and I am plain”, he’s quite fond of himself these days, and it shows. The highpoint of this was when during ‘Let Me Kiss You’ he opens his shirt and removes it at the point when he sings “and then you open your eyes and see someone you physically despise”. Theatre in the extreme, yet it works. The set was sprinkled with a few Smiths classics, apart from This Charming Man they played How Soon Is Now, Girlfriend In a Coma, Ask and Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others.

Morrissey’s voice is in fine form these days, and really shined on the slower songs like Seasick, Yet Docked. I was lucky enough to get to go to Belfast a couple of days later. The venue this time was in the Waterfront which was a lot posher! The set was similar though it was great to see him again. Later that night we had a few drinks in the hotel bar and ran into Boz Boorer, guitarist and collaborator with Morrissey. As we were heading to bed that night at about 4am, he teased us, calling us lightweights!