20 August 2006|
V Festival, Chelmsford, UK
PanicThe second V Festival date was probably the best of the two. Morrissey was relaxed, in top form, playful and witty. The audience was quite receptive considering the proportion of 'tourists' who had come to the festival for other artists. The setlist was almost the same. The order remained unchanged and "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now" was replaced by "To Me You Are A Work Of Art".
After entering stage and the traditional bow alongside his musicians, Morrissey took the microphone and sang the first line of Elvis Presley's "Are You Lonesome Tonight". However attentive ears noticed that the man actually sang "Are you loathsome to light..." After set opener "Panic" came Morrissey's real greeting: "Welcome to more of the Vs!" A trumpet line was added in the bridge of "First Of The Gang To Die". After that song Morrissey teased the audience "Very nice, very nice to see you all... in your neat blazers, with the (?) buttons... and I hope to God you're not swathed in mud..." In "You Have Killed Me" he put more emphasis on a line by singing "I entered nothing, and obviously nothing entered me..." At the end of the song, as he sang "I forgive you, I forgive you", he absolved the audience. After this Morrissey went looking for his regular front row fan: "Julia, you're not stuck in a line, are you? Well..."
In "The Youngest Was The Most Loved", after a few chorus lines of "there is no such thing in life as normal", Morrissey pointed at the audience and said "look! look! look! look! look!" After the song he thanked the audience and said "... you're very gracious... I'm sorry about the screens, I hope it doesn't frighten you... scares me to death..." In "Let Me Kiss You", as he sang "you see someone that you physically despise", instead of removing his shirt like he usually did to get a reaction out of the audience, he simply lifted it above pectoral level and caressed himself. After that song he started "So last week we were in Iceland where the weather was beautiful then we came to England and bwwweeeuuu... however..." He was interrupted by some heckler and answered "Well, where do you live? I don't live in LA! Well..." He then resumed what was to be the introduction to "Girlfriend In A Coma": "Anyway, deep in the fat bosom of time..."
Upcoming single "In The Future When All's Well" was preceded by a plea to buy the live version that was about to be recorded as it was performed: "Now, if I can - if I may explain something to you... this is the point where you must imagine, if you can, that I'm a shop steward from Kelloggs in Old Trafford (crowd laughs, some boo)... It's very hard to imagine I know but... The fact is tomorrow we release our new single and, of course, as I've been saying since I was three years old, nobody will play it, no radio station will play it, including Virgin Radio will not play it (crowd boos)... Yes but, as I explained in Staffords, they don't care what you think... So, we have to join the vicious world of... what is it called? Is it called downloading? And if you text on your fancy mobile, if you text the number on the screen, that's printed across my arse, if you text it, you will be unfortunate enough to receive the following song and, who knows, if it makes the top 10, which is what counts, rest assured, it will piss a hell of a lot of people off (crowd cheers) So please do it, and, you know the drill: no Blair, no Bush, no Blair, no Bush, no Blair, no Bush, in the future, when all's well!"
After this Morrissey proceeded with the customary band introduction: "Lumbering up behind me, as in the darkness, is the wonderful Boz Boorer... here, this is Boz, this is Boz... what do say Boz? (Thank you very much!)... the two and only, but never lonely, Gary Day... we have his tongue removed... the gong-lord, Matt Walker... here the lovely - but used - Jesse Tobias... and least, but by least means least, Michael Farrell... and I'd just like to say, I have nothing in common with any of them... I'm very pleased about that..." In "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" Morrissey changed a line to "somebody got stuck in his throat".
After the latter song Morrissey went on a long explanation that turned out to be the introduction of the next title on the planned setlist: "I know that when you come to festivals you're supposed to ask the crowd all the time if they're feeling alright... you know I can't do things like that... that's because: A- I'm from Manchester and B- I'm very unusual in that I have the assumption that people who listen to music are intelligent (crowd cheers)... So... But you know that I do care that you are alright... It's just that I won't say it... However, to me, you are, a work, of, art." During the instrumental part at the end of that song Morrissey removed his shirt, wiped his chest sweat with it and threw it into the audience to be fought over.
As he returned in a fresh shirt, he answered someone "Yes I know... difficult being me... but I pick up the pieces, I push on..." After a very well received "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before", he asked "Please don't leave yet..." The fan favourite "Life Is A Pigsty" was introduced with the line "With this next song, there is no room for discussion... just take it, take it..." In the song Morrissey sang "But I'm still the same underneath unfortunately" instead of "But I'm still the same underneath this you surely knew". It was ended with a noisy jam followed by Michael playing alone "Auld Lang Syne" on the piano, just like on a few dates the month before. This very beautiful ending echoed the outro of the Smiths' "Asleep" and moved the audience, fans and non-fans.
During the beautiful bridge in "We'll Let You Know", as Boz was playing the flute and Michael created radio airwave noises, Morrissey picked up the end of Gary's double bass and together they carried it around as if it was a coffin. After the song, as he was holding and having a look at a Lazio scarf that ended up on stage from the audience, he said "As I'm sure all of you know, the world is in a mesmerizing mess, but here we are anyway and..." He was interruped by someone who shouted "Lazio!", the apparent provenance of the scarf. So Morrissey joked "Lazio? Is that near Leeds?" He then repeated the words in different voices: "Lazio. Lazio. Lazio..." as he tied one end to the microphone stand and held the other one up as a banner. The flag was used as a prop again soon after, in "Irish Blood, English Heart", when Morrissey lifted the loose end again as he sang "...standing by the flag not feeling shameful..."
After another shirt change and another sweat-drenched one in the crowd, Morrissey said "I'm completely convinced that there are some people who only come along to catch the shirts (crowd laughs)... they actually have no interest in the music... I like them!" In "At Last I Am Born", instead of singing "historians note", or the common live change "historians write this down", he sang "somebody write this down". After that number he announced "Some of these songs, as you know, come from 'Ringleader Of The Tomatoes (corrects himself) Tormentors'... 'Ringleader Of The Tomato / Tormentors'... I said that twice, sorry Julia..." Before going into the final number "How Soon Is Now?" Morrissey said goodbye with "Thank you for listening to this outpouring... if you're driving home, try not to kill anybody, unless, of course, you see Condoleeza Rice (crowd laughs)... Foot down! If you possibly can, take care of yourselves, and God bless you..." Incidentally, on a sad note, three people who had attended the festival (not necessarily Morrissey fans) died in a car accident on their way back.
In "How Soon Is Now?", after an instance of "you go home and you cry and you want to die", Morrissey added "...that's life!". He also sang "Look! All my hope is gone". During an instrumental bridge he adlibbed many bits. He seemed to say "Paul!", then "not now", then "very lovely people" and "very nicely". At the very end, before leaving stage, he shouted again "Be safe, I love you!" and left the band to end the song in a noisy jam during which Boz balanced his guitar on his hand.
Performances of "In The Future When All's Well" and "How Soon Is Now?" as well as a short interview of Morrissey by Lauren Laverne were broadcast on C4 television in the UK on the same weekend the festival took place. Performances of "Panic" and "Irish Blood, English Heart" (assumed to be from this one of the two V Festival appearances) were made available for viewing on Comcast's and Charter Communications Video On Demand in May 2007.
The television footage of the two songs and interview broadcast on C4 are also circulated on bootlegs. The quality of this is obviously excellent. This is often found tagged at the end of another concert.
No audio-only audience recording is circulated, but the audio was ripped from the full video recording above and is found here and there on compact disc and for audio download. The audio of the television broadcast is also similarly circulated.
Digital files of a radio broadcast credited to this date is circulated amongst bootleg collectors, but this is actually from the other V Festival date which took place on the previous day.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.
Morrissey, in a statement to the True To You website in September 2006: "After the Chelmsford festival three teenagers were killed in a car crash on their way home. Nobody knows what human life is... I had made the download request at V because Sanctuary had asked me to, and they had suggested it because we were faced yet again with zero airplay and the unassailable competition of all the usual marketing devices that would pull the mid-week #6 rug out from underneath us. It all seemed so unfair. We would be pushed out by 'artists' whose audience wouldn't fill an average kitchen in a Battersea council flat. Modern life is war."