18 April 2006|
The Lowry's Lyric Theatre, Salford
First Of The Gang To DieThe first British date of the Tour Of The Tormentors MMVI was also some sort of homecoming for Morrissey as he often playfully and perhaps nostalgically reminisced about local landmarks and people. The man looked in great shape, was in top form vocally and his musicians gave an excellent performance, which led to positive reviews in the local papers and online in the days that followed. The venue was a seated one, which at first had a negative effect on the audience's enthusiasm, particularly in the sections of the room further away from the stage, but by Morrissey's final "Ciao!" at the end of the concert, most of the crowd was on their feet. Security was fair, the stage was rather low, and despite the absence of any barrier, no one made it up on stage.
There was no change to the setlist of the second Dublin date from two days earlier.
Before going into opening number "First Of The Gang To Die", Morrissey introduced himself to the sold-out crowd by pretending to be unfamiliar with the place, declaring "So this must be Salford!". The next allusion to the locality came just seconds later, in the changed first lines of the song: "...until you've seen the stars, reflect in the Collyhurst reservoirs". After the song Morrissey extended his greeting by welcoming his fans "... to a night of torment". The band then went into an ecstaticly received "Still Ill".
After "You Have Killed Me", looking high into the crammed Lyric Theatre, Morrissey teased the locals again by declaring "You see, it's exactly like the Willows in Salford (...) We're the star turn." After "I Just Want To See The Boy Happy", he acknowledged the fact that his newly released album just spent a week at #1: "Thank you for giving us our seven days of glory with 'Ringleader Of The... Tomatoes'... Well..." Then, turning to someone shouting "Get your shirt off!", he smirked "For what? For what? You really can't be that starved... have you considered Prozac?"
After "The Youngest Was The Most Loved", Morrissey announced "That will be our new single in a few weeks... and Radio One have already said they won't play it. And you know why? This is the truth, do you know why they will not play it? Because the head of music at Radio One said 'Morrissey was born in 1959 and the furthest back we will go is 1971'... which means of course (mumbles 'I'm too old'). However this rule does not apply to U2 or Madogga... they're all older than me... so I think it's just Radio One's way of saying 'Screw you!'... but do we care?"
After "My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye", the crowd went into a chant of Morrissey's name which was interrupted by the man himself who wanted to introduce his musicians: "Could I please introduce you to the faithful? The captain of our ship, Boz Boorer... the first lieutenant Gary Day... our best ever drummer, Matt Walker... our Texan, Jesse Tobias... and the very mysterious Michael Farrell (then to someone in the audience) Yes, I like them too". After "Reader Meet Author", Morrissey extended his gratitude to the audience "...and thank you for buying your tickets so quickly".
"What about them?" Morrissey asked when one fan chanted his old band's name, "Well it's only life..." He returned to the subject after following number "To Me You Are A Work Of Art": "You see, the past is a very nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there really... Life, strange as it is, crawls on." After "I Will See You In Far Off Place", he had a second dig at U2/Bono: "I noticed today in the newpaper that, in a lyrical competition, that Bono had beaten me... (boos) and, he's very nice, but really..." After "As Last I Am Born", Morrissey reminisced some more about old Salford landmarks: "Thank you Salford... Does anybody remember the old Salford Market with the clock? You don't really do you? With the clock and the marine and white flags? No? So nobody's old as me here... That's a blessing! (then answering someone in the audience) What? They're older than me? Jesus, they must be old!"
As was custom at this point in time, "Trouble Loves Me" was given an intro of a traditional or well-known local song. In Salford the song was "Sally" and during it, Morrissey asked "You've forgotten Gracie Fields haven't you? Shocking!" ("Sally", the theme from the 1931 film "Sally In Our Alley" was Gracie Fields most famous song). After the song he replied to shouts of "Re-release it!" with the words "Well who would buy it?". He then introduced his cover of Magazine's "A Song From Under The Floorboards" with "This next song is a Manchester song (cheers!) but you haven't heard it yet... However it originated in Leeds (boos) Well it's not my fault! ...and it made its way to Bolton Tech-of-what's-it-called? ... Bolton what? Bolton Technical College... Yes Bolton Institute Of Technology... and then it came to Manchester and...(someone shouts 'Salford!') Well it was actually Lower (undecipherable)... and the song goes absolutely nothing like this."
After the song, Morrissey cryptically started "A train of events, a chain of events..." but he was interrupted by someone loudly heckling "Was that Speedway?" which was given the immediate reply "Oh yes very well observed." After "How Soon Is Now?" he enquired "So tell me one thing, do you approve of (UK television programme) Shameless? (crowd mostly 'yes!') Me too..." Someone then shouted "We're having a party!", which is a catchphrase from the show, and Morrissey added "Almost funny...". Concluding proceedings with a one-song encore, Morrissey introduced "Irish Blood, English Heart" telling the crowd "We have to be quick because ('X Factor' winner) Shayne Ward is coming on next... (boos) Oh you like him, you know it!"
An alternate video recording has been reported, this one of the complete concert. However it is not shared much at this point in time.
A fanmade audio recording is also circulated on bootlegs and on the internet, and this one features the complete set. Sound quality is average. The audio from the incomplete video recording is also circulated.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.