Friday, 6 November 2009

Live: Morrissey at Alexandra Palace

Had an unexpected treat last night as my boyfriend won two tickets to see Morrissey at Alexandra Palace on Facebook! We’d decided against going due to money and having already seen him 3 times this year, so it was really great to have this extra chance. The only bad part was I’d already looked at the setlist! Boo. But he did mix it up.
I saw Moz at Alexandra Palace in 2005, even getting a piece of hallowed shirt (well, not me directly, but I seem to have won THAT custody battle). Last time I didn’t like AP much as a venue, it’s a bit airport hanger-y and I remember being stuck on the bus trying to get out of there for what felt like years. This time though (maybe because it was free!) everything seemed easy. There was no pressure to have a good time, and we were just lucky the old man was still standing, really.
Doll and the Kicks were good as usual, although not impressed with the guitarist’s haircut, I liked his massive afro! I thought ‘If you care’ was very moving. The other songs do sound a bit the same, but they’re all good the same, so that’s not too bad. I like Doll, fantastic outfit, she looked very cool (nightmare before Christmas shadows are so very now!), and I like her slightly ‘drunk grandma at a wedding’ dancing. The best Moz support band EVER. Buy the album, I did.
Then there’s the insufferable video clips. Seriously, I thought I’d escaped that tyranny. I want my own youtube disco to force on people; clips of brian molko tipping over a table, clips of courtney love with one foot on the speaker, conor oberst miserably telling us to become vegans, and Richard off Pointless telling people off for not listening to the question SPECIFICALLY. Don’t think it’s gonna happen.
And then. We were quite close to the front at the side, and these two very loud Scottish guys came behind us, and I just knew we were in for trouble! Everyone surged forward for this charming man and I was getting totally battered, so just had to move back about three rows, which was fine, as I still had a really good view. For some reason my boyfriend chose to stay in the middle getting molested and sung at, but we were reunited in time for (ugh) The Loop.
I though the first six songs were the best, the atmosphere was rowdy but buzzing and the pace of songs was kept up well. Very much enjoyed Was it Really So Strange, always nice to hear one you’ve never heard before. Was also pleased to hear First of the Gang early as I’m sick of it as an encore. I could actually enjoy it, and then there was the mystery of what might be the encore instead! Stand out song of the night for me was Ganglord; I think he does it beautifully live. Really strong performance.
Cemetry Gates was nice to hear but it seemed a bit limp live to me for some reason. Liked ‘stonely read the graves’ for a lyric change though. Mid set there was a bit of a lull; Paris (bothered) and Teenage Dad, a dire song, with lyrics that make Brian Molko look opaque. I like Ask but I can take it or leave it. I quite like his cover of Moon Over Kentucky, his yodelling in it is pleasing (it’s better than Redondo beach, right). How Soon Is Now I’ve just seen too many times, plus I don’t like that cut and paste version, it’s all about the build up at the start for me. Because of My Poor Education can fuck off, I couldn’t even sing you a line of it. I‘d rather hear Asian Rut (I have no idea how that goes, but how bad can it be, right?). And One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell over Mama? Ich don’t think so!
Death at One’s Elbow is silly but was fun to hear, Crashing Bores, if I never hear again will be too soon (and I used to love it!). His shows are quite Quarry heavy but I’d like to hear I Have Forgiven Jesus or something just for a change. The Loop has never been acceptable, and will never be, you can take The Loop and Sing Your Life and shove them up Boz Boorer’s arse. People didn’t seem as wildly enthusiastic about The Loop as they were at Brixton though; they were literally intoxicated by the shitness of it there. I despaired for humanity.
The set ended on a high, Irish Blood doesn’t date, it’s still powerful, and I’m OK By Myself is bloody brilliant. I love the screeching/ cardboard box bit at the end, it’s amazing, like a glimpse of Moz as a real rocker. It works fantastically live (and I’ll even bite my tongue about the shoulder/ revolver line). I like hearing Squeezing My Skull too, not sure it’s strong enough for an encore, but I enjoyed it a lot. When he threw his shirt in at the end I got an elbow in my chest (pain at one’s elbow) and was winded! Honestly, people (no, men) are too aggressive, it’s not worth trampling on someone’s head for a bit of Moz’s shirt; I’ve got a bit, so I know.
Banter: he was taking a lot, slagging off Michael BublURGH (‘England looks after it’s own’), David Cameron for shooting stags, and mentioning he was wearing a purple poppy for all the animals killed ‘against their will’ in the war. Were any willingly slaughtered, I wonder?! Good old Mozzy. I thought he was on good form; I’ve seen him when he’s been a right grumpy sod before, but he seemed up for it last night. His voice was strong, too. And the lights were quite good. My boyfriend said Moz looked ropey, but I didn’t think so.
I do have a couple of pics too, perhaps I’ll post later.
Bit disappointed there was no Nowhere Fast, but no worries. I still think the setlist wasn’t bad, despite my grumbles (it’s Moz, we’re allowed to grumble!)
Got out of there SMOOTHLY too. Very good indeed. Thanks Facebook. I enjoyed being on the guesty. Next stop: Molko in Manchester. Bring on the fine whines!


Unknown said...

I don't know why you bothered going.

Anonymous said...

I stopped going to see Moz after too often paying 40 odd quid to hear a very lame set. His obsession with playing mediocre b-sides, weak album tracks, and cover versions is beyond annoying -I think he does it simply to piss people off.

What saddens me most is his refusal to play so many of the songs that, well, saved our life. Why on earth do his concerts lack any of Suedehead, Everyday is like Sunday, Now my heart is full, November Spawned, There is a light, Bigmouth, We hate it when our friends, Speeway, Stop me, Interesting Drug, The more you ingore me, Hold on to your friends, last night I dreamt etc (I could go on and go).

My advice would be to save your pennies and go and see The Smyths instead.

Chris Stokes said...

I've never seen Morrissey live but would like to. I've heard mixed reviews from people likening it to Nirvana to people who've actually gone right off him after seeing him live and stopped listening to him entirely. I don't think I'd end up feeling either of those, but I do want to go and find out.

lightupvirginmary said... that wasn't even a bad review, believe me.
Anonymous, I hear what you're saying, but that's Moz, what are you going to do? We can't stick money in his back and pick the songs.
Chris, go see him soon, if you can. I think last night's bottle incident bodes badly.