8 May 2006|
Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
First Of The Gang To DieThe third and final of three Manchester dates went down quite well. The venue had a good sound on the floor, but not so much in the balconies. It was a seated venue but most of the very receptive audience was on its feet. Morrissey was in his element and in top form, alternatively basking and ignoring the adulation of the crowd. There was no barrier keeping the audience away from him, but security was aggressively determined not to let anyone get too close to their idol. Some fans still managed to get close enough to shake hands with Morrissey who indulged them most of the time, but sometimes playfully held back his hand.
The middle part of the setlist was significantly scrambled and "Human Being" replaced part-timer "The Father Who Must Be Killed".
As he entered stage Morrissey greeted the audience with the cryptic "So, this is your last chance fatso". The second part of his greeting usually came after the opening song, but on this date is was delivered after the second number, "Still Ill": "Welcome to the final installment, welcome to another dose, and don't forget, you were warned!" Upcoming single "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" was introduced with the words "And in the grotesque and humiliating world of pop music, this is our new single and woe, my God, has us." The audience was then thanked "... enormously" for their cheers.
After "I Just Want To See The Boy Happy" Morrissey proceeded with the customary band introduction: "For your listening pleasure, the indestructible Boz Boorer... the irreversible Gary Day... (crouching down, peering into the bass drum) In here? In there? Matt Walker... and come here, Jesse Tobias... and he blows his own trumpet, Michael Farrell... and I'm just a vision passing through..." In the bridge to following song "Let Me Kiss You", as Michael did the horn line, Morrissey highlighted was he had just said in his introduction of the man by saying "See!". One line in the latter song was changed to "I heard that you'll try anyone twice". After that he mock-blushed and answered the crowd's cheers with "Now you're just being too kind..." and introduced the Smiths-era's "Girlfriend In A Coma" with the line "This next song is steeped with local history".
After "Girlfriend In A Coma" the crowd broke into a chant of Morrissey's name and the man in question teased them by saying "Who?" and by pretending not to know who they were singing about. As on the previous two Manchester dates before this one the Smoking Popes cover of "You'll Never Walk Alone" on the intermission tape had been booed by the Mancunian audience who heard it as the theme of the Liverpool football team. So, just like he had done the night before, Morrissey had to reprimand the audience, and he did it after "To Me You Are A Work Of Art": "I noticed that there were still often booing going around for 'You'll Never Walk Alone'... but you realise the song has absolutely nothing to do with (Liverpool FC legend) Steve Heighway... You did realise that?"
Morrissey then immediately introduced the following song on the setlist, the New York Dolls cover "Human Being", with "Some people had wives and girlfriends... I had the New York Dolls". A few notes into the song he apologised "Forgive me, please". He made many lyric changes in it, like "Because you're liable to lose it on the worst lover you might get" instead of "Because you're liable to lose it on the best lovin' you've had yet". After the song Morrissey announced "They promise we'll never play that song again...(crowd boos) see more boos... boo-boo-boo-boo-boo... It's the British Protection that does it." The British Protection was the name of the pub opposite the venue where Morrissey rightfully suspected many of the fans had spent time in before the show.
Performances of "Trouble Loves Me" on this tour were segued from a short intro of a well known local song. This date was no exception. The song picked for this date, "Sally" by Gracie Fields (the theme from the 1931 film "Sally In Our Alley") was the same as on the night before and the opening night of the leg in the Mancunian suburb of Salford. This was followed by the customary nod to the opening acts. Morrissey took the opportunity to reprimand the fans for arriving too late and missing them, perhaps because they had been at the pub across the street: "If you had prowled in here slightly earlier, you would have seen the genius of Kristeen Young (cheers)... I'm so pleased... Tiger Barmy... what? Very clever... and Tiger Army... but you didn't, so you didn't see them... however, it's the drinking classes!"
After "Ganglord" Morrissey replied to someone in the audience "Do I actually look mad? (crowd: yes!) I thought so..." Then to someone shouting to take his shirt off, he answered by asking "For what?" He gave a very playful performance of "At Last I Am Born". Instead of "now I just sit back and yawn because I am born, born, born", he sang "now I just stand here and yawn, (makes triple exhaustion/yawning noises that parallel 'born born born)". He also sang "I think! I'm living the one true free life". On the other hand, he didn't do the other usual changes ("vegetarians know" and "miserable child").
After "At Last I Am Born" Morrissey thanked the audience and added "...and especially thank you to all those of you who managed to punch your way along to all of the Manchester appearances... we know who you are!" In "In The Future When All's Well", as he sang "stand up and defend me", a fan in a wheelchair did just that, he stood up and shook Morrissey's hand. Obviously surprised Morrissey missed a few words and the audience cheered loudly what looked like their idol performing a miracle.
"How Soon Is Now?" was introduced with "Jesse, it might be a manky Monday, but there's fire in the belly". The crowd favourite with its powerful added percussive outro brought the set to a close and Morrissey and his musicians took a break before returning to perform the encore. When they did, Morrissey started by thanking the audience "...for having us!" before going into the short but powerful "Irish Blood, English Heart".
The complete show was also filmed (recorder: G.O'G.) from the balcony but the footage is rather obstructed. The original footage is not being shared much yet but the best shots were mixed with footage from 2 days earlier on a bootleg DVD that is slightly more circulated, but still quite rare.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.