I Want The One I Can't Have/You're The One For Me, Fatty/Irish Blood, English Heart/Shoplifters Of The World Unite/You Have Killed Me/Everyday Is Like Sunday/One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell/Ouija Board, Ouija Board/There Is A Light That Never Goes Out/I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris/People Are The Same Everywhere/Meat Is Murder/Action Is My Middle Name/Alma Matters/Speedway/I Know It's Over/First Of The Gang To Die/Panic
Hundreds of grey quiffs and skinny boys sporting Morrissey slogan tees filled the Victoria Hall on Tuesday creating an air of excitement and anticipation for the arrival of a legend. Arms outstretched, the hardcore amongst Mozzer’s Men fought their way to the foot of the stage, desperate for the slightest bit of interaction from their arrogant hero.
The bequiffed lyricist swaggered on stage opening with The Smiths ‘I want the one I cant have’ succeeding with material from a body of work that spans three decades. His mixed set of classic Smiths hits and solo work ensured every fan was catered for. Personally, I was disappointed ‘Suedehead’ and ‘This Charming Man’ were missing, however, his flawless singing and typically haughty stage presence meant the audience was suitably enthralled throughout.
Morrissey performed the powerful ‘Meat is Murder’ against a backdrop of video footage showing animals in a slaughterhouse not before lambasting the nations sweethearts, William and Kate for their recent trip to Canada, where the “hysterically good” Kate was taught how to make the “cruellest dish on the planet,” frois gras. He ended his onslaught by declaring: “William and Kate, Bag of Sh*t!” This had the audience eating out of his hands. If he’d told them to only consume vegetables that had died of natural causes you can bet the five person deep fanbase at the front of the stage would duly oblige him.
Ending on the more recent ‘First of the Gang to Die’ the whole audience sung along with stadium like enthusiasm. The crowd erupted into what can only be described as a bizarre Morrissey mosh-pit, sweat dripped from the brow of everyone present, including the main man himself.
Returning on stage for the encore after a quick shirt change, he wore three in total, each one more fabulous than the last, ‘Panic’ is to be his final number. A perfect end to a near perfect performance. I say ‘near perfect’ as I have to disagree with his comment, “Stoke on Trent. Where the men are men and the women are... men.” Give it a rest won'tcha.
All in all a fantastic performance from an iconic and captivating artist.