“Everybody’s heading for the exit!” was the cry during ‘Jacky’s Only Happy When She's Up On The Stage’, one of many newer tracks from Morrissey’s eclectic catalogue at tonight’s show in the Glasgow Hydro.
One might have taken this statement literally if you were to believe certain tabloids reports of a mass walk out after the singer had a mild pop at the apparently untouchable leader of the Scottish National Party.
“I am curious. Do any of you actually like Nicola Sturgeon?” Morrissey asked early doors, prompting a healthy democratic mixture of boos and cheers from the crowd. “Those hands will be in anybody’s pocket.” he added, which, if were are to believe said reports, was enough to send certain parts crowd towards the door. The term ‘fake news’ comes to mind.
Despite the alleged controversy, Morrissey sang to a mostly rapturous crowd, belting out a generous mix of the new and older tracks which I dare say many here would have came to hear. He has come to a stage in his career where the lack of Smiths songs in a set doesn’t really make a difference. He might indeed be a moody (even at times loveable) prick with views and comments which divide opinion, but he gives heart and soul into everything he does, plain to see in a performance which anyone with half a love of the man would have been giddy to experience.
True enough, Smiths signature tracks like ‘I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish’ and ‘How Soon Is Now?’ were received greatly, but no more than his own solo hits such as ‘Suedehead’, ‘Everyday Is Like Sunday’, and then ‘The Bullfighter Dies’. The latter seems to be Mozza’s ‘Meat Is Murder’ for the 21st century, and came compete with glorious images on the huge screens of bulls taking revenge on their tormentors.
Morrissey’s latest record ’Low In High School’ contained a few tracks which in time should justifiably reach classic status - the most obvious and instantly recognisable of which, ‘Home Is A Question Mark’, a particular stand out, and paved the way for another melancholy great broken from the same mould. ’Jack The Ripper’ invited the crowd to ‘crash into the arms’ of the morose crooner, and indeed, those of us who hadn’t supposedly left were happy to do so and demand more of the same. Alas, in true Morrissey style, it wasn't to be.
A mild encore of ‘Irish Blood, English Heart’ came and went instantly and with that, Morrissey left us elated for the most part and ever so slightly disappointed, almost as needy as he.“To hell with everybody else” he mused earlier. So it goes.
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Words: Ray Jackson
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