Tuesday, 22 September 2015
Day 1472 - For with the dawn, you'll be gone
Oh, Morrissey, Morrissey, Morrissey! Where do I start? Where do I end? And what the f*ck goes in the middle? I guess the easiest thing to do is just let my little fingers type away, and see what comes out.
I turn 50 in ninety three days time, so what the hell was I doing two days ago, standing in the mosh pit at a concert? Surely this is a place for the kids! The answer is simple, in the 49 years and 272 days that I have so far been on this earth, I have found no greater high than the one that is obtained by being squashed amongst hundreds of sweaty Morrissey devotees, with us all singing at the tops of our voices? I have always enjoyed singing in groups, be it in a church choir (yes, I really was in my local church choir as a boy, and have very fond memories of it, even though I no longer believe in the subject matter of the songs), or on a football terrace, but being amongst fellow Morrissey fans, and to have the man himself standing right in front of us, singing with us ...... well, you can keep your drugs.
I am writing this 36 hours after attending Sunday nights concert at the Hammersmith Apollo, but the high still hasn't warn off. Songs from the concert are still spinning around inside my head. There were just SO many highlights, but the one song that keeps pushing it's way to the fore, is Morrissey's unbelievable rendition of an Elvis Presley song called, You'll be Gone.
I love Elvis, but I must confess that I had never heard this song before Sunday night, and when Morrissey started singing it, I thought it might even be a new song. I have since learned (from wiki!) that this beautiful, beautiful song, was one of only two songs that Elvis ever wrote himself. WHY OH WHY did Elvis not continue to write? Apparently Priscilla wasn't particularly enamoured by the song, so maybe Elvis's confidence as a songwriter was knocked beyond repair. It is a crying shame.
Anyway, back to Moz. I travelled up to London on Sunday morning with my Moz loving mate, Rich, and we met up with my New York companions of 2013, Midlife Matt (MM) and Sophie Twenty Something (STS) in The Dove pub in Hammersmith. Since my last mention of MM and STS, they have had a baby, named Morrissey Elvis, which suddenly seems VERY apt.
ME IN THE DOVE SPORTING A WHO IS MORRISSEY? T-SHIRT, A BLUE ROSE AND TWO BADGES (HOMBRE OLE AND NOT A MAN)
I had announced my whereabouts on Twitter, and invited BRS members to come and join me. To my surprise, Bitchy Bobby Neville, Kerry the Cocktail, and Kerry's man servant, Dave, all came to find me. To my greater surprise, they weren't armed, or at least if they were, they didn't reveal their weapons. To my greater, greater surprise, I soon realised over the course of a few drinks, that both BBN and K the C are both very nice people (and so is Dave, but I had never questioned that!). It wasn't long before these two members of the non rose wearing BRS splinter group, were fighting over who would wear my spare blue rose. BBN grabbed it first, but by the time we had reached the venue, he had lost out to KC, which was always inevitable.
BITCHY BOBBY WITH BLUE ROSE IN MOUTH......
.... WHICH SOON BECAME THE PROPERTY OF KC
As I stood in the queue to get in to the Apollo, which incidentally, I had never been to before, I got talking to two young lads in front of me. I was intrigued to know what two fresh faced young boys (they were both 17) were doing at a Morrissey concert. The first one admitted that this was the first concert that he had ever attended, and knew nothing of Morrissey's music. The reason he was here, was because he was accompanying his friend, who enthusiastically informed me that he had discovered Morrissey six months previously, and just loved him. He asked me, "have you heard his lyrics?" I managed to hold back a full blown laugh, but politely replied, "yes, yes I have. They're rather good aren't they?" My new friend continued, "have you heard the song, America's not the world? It's just amazing." I was a little taken aback. Of all the 200+ songs he could have chosen to mention, I wouldn't have for one minute imagined that it would be that one, but that's the beauty of Morrissey songs, they are ALL so good, that no two Moz fans would EVER pick the same top 5, or 10, or 100.
As we entered the venue, the boys shot up to the circle, and I headed for the pit.
It was already quite busy, but I spotted Kerry, Dave and Rob about 15 rows back, and joined them.
"We're going to get Boxers tonight or tomorrow", Kerry informed me. "No we won't", I replied. "I promise you we will", insisted Kerry, before adding, "but please don't blog about it, or it won't happen." 'How can I blog about it?", I asked, "I'm stood here in a concert hall!" "Well, if it's not tonight, it will be tomorrow, but promise you won't mention it", she pleaded. "What makes you think he will play it?", I asked. "He told me in the MorrisseysWorld chat room that he would sing it." I immediately remembered that last September, the St.Ill Moz pessoa had told us all that Boxers would be played on the upcoming tour, which a number of us then shared on twitter with anyone who would listen. It subsequently didn't happen, so I could see why Kerry didn't want it mentioned that she had received the wink, but as Boxers hadn't been sung live by Morrissey since 1995, I wasn't holding my breath.
There is no support act on this tour, so it was up to the pre-show video to get us warmed-up - how I dearly miss Kristeen Young. As the video played, we slowly edged our way forward. We bumped into former MorrisseysWorlder, RosyMires, so I took the opportunity to try and convince her that it really WAS Morrissey who had been behind MorrisseysWorld. Not unexpectedly, my words fell on deaf ears. Rosy has buried her head so deeply into the sand, it is a wonder that she can still breath.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NON-BREATHING ROSY MIRES
I ended up about six rows from the front, alongside a couple of proper MozPitters, Paddy (@Padraigolaoigh) and Dave King (@DaveKingPhoto). Also in amongst it was tiny Julie Hamill, the founder of the twitter group MozArmy. She was keen to get a copy of her new book, 15 Minutes With You to the front, so that it could be handed to Moz.
As I stood shoulder to shoulder with my fellow meatheads, myself Paddy and Kinger took it in turns to start the Morr-ee-see, Morr-ee-see, Morr-ee-see chants that are obligatory at UK Moz concerts. Interestingly, TTY has today posted a pre-show Morrissey chant from a concert in LA, but the Yanks don't chant it in quite the same way as us Brits - they just aren't yobboey enough!
And then he appeared.
"I gave you my life", he cried, before launching straight into the magnificent Suedehead, and we were off. We jumped, we pushed, we sang. Next up was Alma Matters, a song that up until Moz took a blue rose during at the Hollywood High concert in 2013, had not particularly meant that much to me - these days it means EVERYTHING. Next came yet another cracker in the form of Speedway, and although we didn't get What Difference Does it Make during the pause (Ed - that was NEVER going to happen!), we did get the band swapping instruments. Boz's extra gusto on the drums at the end brought a smile from the boss. The reason I know that it brought a smile, is because my focus very rarely left Morrissey. It is always the same, and always has been, even in the days of The Smiths. You are drawn to Morrissey like a moth to a flame, and although his musicians are all very talented, it could be anyone stood up there alongside him for all I'd care.
Following Speedway came Ganglord, which on it's own would have made my night. I had seen the song perfor, er, sung live before, in 2009, but since then it has grown on me immensely, to the extent that Swords has been my vinyl album of choice to listen to in recent months. I found myself being drawn to watch the accompanying video of police violence, but only momentary, as once again the singer drew my gaze back to him.
We were then treated to three songs from the best album of 2014 (and there hasn't been one to better it in 2015) - Staircase at the University, Kiss Me a Lot and the title track, World Peace is None of Your Business. I could never tire of ANY of these three songs, all grabbing me for different reasons.
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris and Istanbul next, followed by Morrissey stating that he hopes Jeremy Corbyn does NOT go to Buckingham Palace and kneel before the Third Reich. As I have written previously, I believe Corbyn will go and kneel, but he will be laughing to himself as he does it, because he will know it means NOTHING. And then we got The World Crashing Bores, a song from my favourite album of all time, You Are the Quarry. I sang along with all I had.
And they just kept coming. Back to the World Peace album for the sublime, I'm Not a Man, and this time I did manage to take my eyes off The Mozziah for a bit longer, as I studied the video screen desperately looking for a clue as to what film the accompanying clip comes from. I remain clueless.
Morrissey's introduction of his band concluded with him telling us that Boz Boorer was from, "The Bricklayer's Arms".
"The pain in Spain, falls mainly on the bull" - The Bullfighter Dies and Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed came next, and then Gustavo's long piano intro. I held my breath, whilst quietly saying to myself, "let it be Trouble, let it be Trouble, let it be Trouble". As the words "Yes, I am blind" left his lips, any disappointment I may have thought I might feel disappeared. I had never seen this song live, and I was hooked. It is one of those songs that I mentioned earlier, that is still spinning around my head. Yes, I am Blind will always remind me of the Santa Ana concert last May, when Morrissey not only accepted a blue rose, but serenaded it and wore it.
As if having Yes, I am Blind wasn't enough, the next song floored me - Oboe Concerto. I had hoped, I had hoped, I had hoped. And we got it. And it was.... well, it just was!
One of the other songs that I had written about wanting to be in the set was I Will See You In Far-Off Places, the opening track from the chart topping LP of 2006, Ringleader of the Tormentors. I wasn't to be disappointed, because not only did we get it, but it was as stunning as I remember it being back in 2012 in Manchester.
Meat is Murder, as usual, shamed me, especially as Morrissey sang, "what would ever make you care?" I have somehow convinced myself that as I no longer eat red meat, all is okay, but it isn't okay, and in answer to his question, I'm not sure that there is anything that will ever make me care enough to take the next step, or indeed ALL the steps. But who knows.
And from shame to jubilation - Morrissey's rendition of You'll Be Gone.
I have already played it, and played it, and played it. In fact, I have spent the last two hours going from Morrissey's version to Elvis's version, and they are both so, so good. Oh, Elvis, you gorgeous, talented man - you should have believed in yourself.
As Morrissey started to tell us about the song, the power in the building went off, and the band left the stage. When they returned, Morrissey told us that it was a conspiracy, and that Buckingham Palace were going to get him. Unfortunately, we didn't get to hear the rest of the Elvis story.
And so to the last song, Everyday is Like Sunday. Filled with Quando Quando Quando's, I bellowed with all I had left. What a song. What a song. What a song. As Morrissey stood right in front of where I was stood, I whipped my blue rose from my lapel, and launched it his way. As I was still 6 rows back, it fell short, and landed in the dry moat between us and him. Bugger!
The band left the stage. We chanted Morr-ee-see, Morr-ee-see, Morr-ee-see, and they came back on again - that's how it works! The second Smiths song of the night - What She Said. I had a feeling that as Morrissey had announced that the Hammersmith concerts would be his last, many fans would try and mount the stage, and I wasn't wrong - the crowd went bananas, with stage invading attempts coming from all directions. What I hadn't imagined would happen, was that I would be one of those jumping the barrier to try and make it onto the stage, but my semi-successful attempt of 2009 in Great Yarmouth must have somehow returned to my head, and with no thought of being a bald headed 49 year old with a bad knee, I leapt..... and was subsequently wrestled to the ground!
To my surprise, and delight, as I returned to my feet, I was met by Morrissey, holding out his hand. I shook it, we nodded to each other, and I walked away.
If yesterday's concert really does turn out to be Morrissey's last in the UK, then I will feel no regret at having not been there, as how could it possibly have lived up to my last act of Sunday? But was the handshake the highlight, or was it Oboe Concerto, or You'll Be Gone? The one thought that has kept coming back to me over the past two days, is that a 17 year old has discovered Morrissey, and I will never forget the excitement I saw on his face as he waited to see Morrissey for the first time. It thrills me beyond words. I dearly hope for his sake, that Morrissey returns.
And finally, it has been reported that David Walliams was in the audience on Sunday, and Marcus the Greek has reported on TWoM blog, that Russell Brand was in the audience for the following night's concert. The pair have no doubt been banned from attending on the same night after the Roundhouse debacle of 2008.
And as for Kerry's deluded prediction that Boxers would be played..... well it was, but it won't of course make the blindest bit of difference. Our story is old, but it goes on.
Morrissey started Monday's concert by not only once again singing You'll Be Gone, but with a line from another Elvis song, Always on My Mind. The line was, "If I made you feel second best, I'm so sorry I was blind". The combination of this line, the Elvis song, Boxers, and it being London, has instantly made me think of just one word - Jake. But I will leave it there.
Next stop, Paris, and Orangey Chuck's attempt to get a blue rose to Moz. I actually have a renewed belief that blue rose will grow, and our bond as a group might just start to get tighter.
*Goes off singing* For with the dawn, you'll be gone, for with the dawn, you'll be gone.
Posted by TRB at 17:50
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- Day 1480 - Beneath the kitchen table
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- Day 1473 - I Could Already See Me
- Day 1472 - For with the dawn, you'll be gone
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- Day 1468 - "Time trudges on'
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