If you know me, you will know I’m a huge Morrissey/Smiths’ fan. I’ve now seen him live five times, Johnny Marr once and their tribute bands The Smyths twice. (It’s the closest thing you get to seeing The Smiths live for my generation who were born long after they broke up!).
If you ever look at my possessions, I own Morrissey posters from the 1980s (thanks to my Dad), mugs, t-shirts, vinyl, CDs and now his books. When it comes to music, I was definitely born too late/in the wrong era! (Sadly I can’t take a photo of these as they are packed away waiting for me to move house.)
Almost two Sundays ago (has it really gone that fast!?), I attended Morrissey’s gig at the Apollo in London. My siblings and I decided we were going to split the price of tickets for my parents for their birthdays, despite having already seen Mozzer twice in the last year, I thought I’d buy one for myself too.
I have no idea how old the building is but it has a real glitzy, glamour feel with Victorian style architecture. However, I feel it wasn’t a particularly fantastic venue for sound wise. It sounded very tinny and much too loud for the speaker system to handle. Very close to Morrissey’s finale, all the power went out whilst he was talking to the audience which Morrissey joked afterwards that it was a “conspiracy by Buckingham Palace”.
The only photo from the Apollo that I could kind of say is “clear”. Even this doesn’t look particularly clear due to people walking in front of me and making my phone change its lighting.
As much as Morrissey’s performance was still good, it wasn’t the best performance I have seen him do. Although, I am aware he is touring with his most recent album, he sang very little Smiths’ songs which I think would have disappointed a lot of people. He did, however, do a few old classics from his early solo career like Suedehead, Everyday is Like Sunday and his not so well known Vauxhall & I classic Speedway.
Morrissey as always did perform Meat is Murder off the same titled Smiths’ album. Despite being vegetarian myself, I still find the videos he likes to display in the background, whilst performing this song, rather chilling. The last Morrissey gig I went to at Bournemouth BIC, back in March, made one of my friends turn veggie. He hasn’t eaten meat since.
Mozzer ended his finale song with What she said. A great Smiths’ song from Meat is Murder but not one I would expect as his finishing song since Morrissey has now stated that this is his Final UK tour ever. Personally, my favourite Morrissey gigs have been at the London 02 last November (old Millennium Dome) and Plymouth Pavillions back in 2011. I, personally, think a venue can have a major impact on how you perceive an artists performance and the actual venue of both these places was fantastic! You couldn’t fault it whatsoever. The 02 had such great sound and two huge screens so you could see everything clearly (I’m short and have gone to too many festivals that I love having screens to watch bands/artists on). What made Plymouth Pavillions so good was the fact that it’s a small venue, it wasn’t very busy and I got so close to the front that Morrissey was only a matter of metres away from me (as you can see in these photos I’ve included). He also performed a good mix of everything as he had no album to promote. I know that sounds like I’m complaining about his recent releases, I’m not as I do really like it but when I think, “I’m going to listen to Morrissey now.” when I put some music on, I always go to his earlier releases until about 2004’s You are the Quarry release. Pre-2004 Morrissey is my favourite.
Sadly, the photos I took from the other week cam out too blurred, so I’ve included a couple of photos I took back in 2011 at Plymouth Pavillions. As you can see, I did some “cool editing” back in my college days. Unfortunately I wasn’t one of the people who got to shake his hand as you can see in the second photo.
I really hope this isn’t the end of Morrissey touring the UK. He’s toured before without a record label like in 2011. I would still happily go to more of his gigs but perhaps the Apollo is a venue best for stand up comedy as it widely is used for?
Do you like Morrissey? Have you ever been to his gigs? Has a band/artists ever made an impact on your life?