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Monday, 5 March 2018

Day 2463 - Brighton rocks

On March 3rd 1985 I saw Morrissey live in concert for the very first time. That Smiths concert at Portsmouth's Guildhall was absolutely mesmerizing, and I knew on that Sunday evening that I would be a fan of the gyrating Mancunian singer for life....or at least for the next year or two, which is how long a career in pop music usually lasts.
Image result for morrissey 1985 portsmouth guildhall smiths

I certainly couldn't have imagined on that night in 1985 that thirty three years to the day later, I would be watching Morrissey in concert for the eighteenth time, and that I would also be over six years in as the author of a blog documenting his secret interactions with fans on the internet..... and yet, here we are.

My eighteenth Morrissey concert was held at the Brighton Centre, which is next door to the Grand Hotel - the place where Margaret Thatcher was nearly blown up. I don't know where Morrissey stayed, but wouldn't be at all surprised if he too stayed in The Grand. One thing that I do know for certain is that the hotel that I stayed in was anything but grand, and in fact made a post-fire Grenfell Tower look like the Ritz. I had made the fatal mistake of leaving the accommodation booking to one of my travelling companions, Midlife Matt, and although I grant him the excuse that we left it late to book somewhere; which was done on purpose, knowing that old Mozzer might not bother turning up, Matt surely to goodness could have found somewhere other than The Grapevine, which even Brighton's many homeless would turn their noses up at.

Image result for derelict hotel

Accommodation aside, Saturday was a great day out. Myself, Midlife Matt and Garibaldi travelled by bus, boat and train to Brighton, where we met-up with the dynamic duo; Bitchy Bobby Neville and Kerry the Cocktail, in the Lion and Lobster pub.
At around 8pm, after consuming a couple of pints, we wandered down to the venue, and were able to make our way through the crowd to the third row of the Moz Pit, ending up behind former BRS member, MerryAnne, who had probably been queuing since Christmas Eve.


After the usual pre-concert video montage, the concert began, and within a flash it was over.... don't get me wrong, Morrissey didn't take one look at us and walk straight off, what I mean is, the next ninety minutes just flew by, and I can honestly say with hand on heart, that my eighteenth Morrissey concert was every bit as good and as fresh as the first. Not only did I get to see NINE songs that I had never seen live before, but there was also just one song from that set of March 1985 that was played - how many other acts from the 80s who are still playing live would be able to give a show that didn't include at least half a dozen songs from the 1980s and not leave an audience feeling disappointed? I'll tell you, NONE!

I was hoping that the concert would start with the incredible You'll be Gone, but having seen a tweet from Morrissey (as Dawn) on Saturday afternoon, I had my doubts, and I was right. Dawn had tweeted, "Tease or please, tease or please. Let's make this night a night to remember." It turned out to be "tease", with You'll Be Gone replaced by The Last Of The Famous International Playboys, which I could hardly be disappointed with, and neither were the rest of the Brighton crowd, who bellowed their approval as the opening chords struck out, and then sang along to every word. In fact, the crowd sang along to every word of every song, and it was great to see quite a few younger fans, all of whom knew the words to not only the old classics like Everyday is Like Sunday, but also all the Low In High School songs, and the b sides too; including the fabulous If You Don't Like Me, Don't Look At Me.

It is impossible for me to pick out highlights, as genuinely all  the songs sung are great songs. The song I went to bed singing was Jack the Ripper, and the one I woke up singing on Sunday morning was Hold Onto Your Friends; and no, Midlife Matt hadn't sneaked into my bed - there wouldn't have been any room anyway, not with all the cockroaches and bedbugs!

As I write this two days later, and as I re-watch Youtube footage, I am reminded of just how good I Bury The Living and Home Is a Question Mark were on Saturday night, but there is one very special song, and it always has been special - How Soon is Now?

How Soon is Now is the only song played on Saturday that remained from that set of March 1985, and it is a song that I have always, always loved, and has always been with me. In the early 1990s, I lived alone in an old Victorian flat, and had the lyrics to How Soon is Now mounted in a frame on the bathroom wall - the words defined the life I was living. In 2013, at the Morrissey concert I attended in Long Island, How Soon is Now was the encore song that was sung just after Morrissey had just mentioned "toothbrush".

On Saturday in Brighton, during the singing of How Soon is Now, a rose was thrown at Morrissey, who not only caught it one handed, but then tucked it into his trousers - I do hope it didn't have any thorns on it!
 It wasn't a blue rose, it was white, but it was still a HUGE nod the the Blue Rose Society, as after all, when Morrissey first started asking for roses via his MorrisseysWorld blog back in 2011, it was red and white ones that he actually asked for - blue ones came later.....and whilst on the subject of the MorrisseysWorld blog and roses, here is a reminder of why Morrissey started requesting roses - it all started with a parody piece in which his mother asked for them:



The backdrop used during the singing of Hold Onto Your Friends was one featuring Dee Dee and Joey Ramone - with Joey in a Morrissey t-shirt. The picture was created and posted on Twitter by @EricaCalil on Friday - As to HOW would Morrissey have possibly seen it when, according to the masses, he doesn't go on Twitter, is anyone's guess!


As we travelled back from Brighton yesterday, myself and Garibaldi passed the time by playing our own version of Newman and Baddiel's History Today. When we had eventually laughed ourselves out - much to the bemusement of Midlife Matt - I instead put my earphones in, and listened to my iPod on shuffle. When Piccadilly Palare came on, I decided to tweet a lyric question, and asked my followers, "Name the Morrissey song that I'm currently listening to: 'No, no, no, you can't get there that way, follow me". The only answer I received came from..... Morrissey!, who as Dawn tweeted, "Round the Horne", which was, of course, the radio show that was the influence for the song. I tweeted to Morrissey that he was correct, and informed him that he may claim a prize.  I also thanked him via Twitter's DM for a wonderful concert in Brighton, and was told, "You are most welcome."

Well, that's about it. Having just read back through this entry, it sounds incredibly sycophantic, but what can I do? I love the man and I love his music, and I'm not embarrassed to say it....again, and again, and again.  Every time I attend a Morrissey concert it is a special event. Every time Morrissey releases a new record, I just happen to love it. If that makes me a sycophant, well I guess I'll just have to live with it. To me, the sycophants are the ones who agree with every word Morrissey says, and who queue up overnight just to be able to get on the front row and gaze at him in a trance, but they're no doubt comfortable with their status too.

And finally, Jake Walters released a photo yesterday that he has stated was originally going to be used on Years of Refusal. It depicts Morrissey in a Herb Alpert pose - it's a shame it was never used somewhere.

There are now just three dates left in this tour of the UK & Ireland, and they are all this coming week, in London. On Wednesday Morrissey will play the Royal Albert Hall, with our old BRS friend, Marcus the Greek in the audience, and then on Friday Morrissey will play at London's Alexandra Palace. The final show is on Saturday at the Palladium, which I shall be attending with my old mate Spud. I shall meet up with Bitchy Bobby Neville, and we endeavour to make it to the front row with our blue roses.


  1. A small correction: Erica tweeted the Ramones photo on Thursday, not Friday. I was mistaken when I originally said it was posted the day before the concert. Regardless, it was a quick turn around time and a nice surprise to see it as a backdrop. And what a lovely treat to see M with two roses during HSIN (although a bit of a tease too, since they weren't blue) - I wonder who threw them. Thanks for sharing all the details of your concert experience, Rats - bedbugs and all!

    1. I guess I should correct myself - Erica's photo was tweeted early Friday morning UK time, which was still Thursday US time. Not that this has any significance whatsoever, so please just ignore me.

  2. wow, what a fab time you had, but I guess nearly everybody has a great time at a Moz concert except the odd so-lower, really wished I could have attended any UK concert alas it is not to be. roll on the summer, I shall be tuned in to the Palladium concert via twit, hope everything goes well

  3. I think that final page of the minutes of the Bans committee is probably my favourite bit of the whole MW experience.

    1. I love Boz's signature - especially the crossed out M, where he obviously forgets he's not signing a cheque (or other legal document) in his real name of Martin. The fact that the signature also misses out an 'O' from Boorer is comedy gold.

  4. Sounds like you had a top night Rats. And even more special to see Moz catching the rose & wearing it in his unique way!
    If things work out I will have several blue roses on Friday. Of course don't hold your breath for any to make the stage, height is not my best asset, just like my aim & throwing skills.

  5. Ratty, such a beautiful account of the day. I don’t get the sycophancy vibe – only love. Did you pick up a pink shirt? Will agree to being utterly spellbound hearing the new music live. (But to me, it is ALL new). THAT picture, oh don’t you worry, will be getting some use out of it. I hope to experience all that is Morrissey somehow, some day with the UK crowd. One request, more details please and photos from the 3rd row…


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