22 December 2006|
Manchester (UK), G-Mex
PanicThis was the first of two consecutive concerts in Morrissey's hometown marking the end of a year spent extensively touring. In 1986 the Smiths were one of the first bands to play the G-Mex. This Morrissey show and the one scheduled for the following night would be the last time gigs were to be held in this venue, because it was then to be turned into a full-time conference centre. The man seemed to have had a great time and to be on top form despite having felt signs of an upcoming cold in Amsterdam two days earlier. However the audience - bar the first rows - was surprisingly subdued for a Manchester one. It must be said that the size of the venue might have had something to do with it. Still the sound quality was better than expected. There was no change in the setlist.
Morrissey made a great entrance, he shook hands left and right, lapping up the crowd's anticipation. His first words as he picked up the microphone were "Well, you sound friendly..." In the very short interruption between set opener "Panic" and "First Of The Gang To Die", he thanked the audience and shouted "Off you go!". In the latter title he followed "...the first lost lad to go under the sod" with "...goodbye!" After that song came Morrissey's real greeting "Thank you, and welcome to my dazzling career!... My dazzling career..."
After the line "there is no such thing in life as normal" in "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" Morrissey pointed at the audience and shouted "Look! Look!". He added emphasis to another line by singing "We kept him from the world's glare thank God! he turned into a killer". Similarly he followed this with "there is no such thing in life as normal thank God!" After the song he said something that sounded like "Thank you Harpurhey". As was now tradition he opened "You Have Killed Me" by climbing on the drum rise to point at the Pasolini backdrop while he sang "Pasolini is he..." Then, coming down the drum rise he continued "...and Mozalini I have no choice I have to be". Further into the song he went "Fellini I'll be, Diana Dors you will always be" and "I entered nothing, and look! nothing entered me".
After "You Have Killed Me" Morrissey proceeded with the customary band introduction. He was in a playful mood and homourously quoted from the Smiths song "I Want The One I Can't Have" when doing so: "Five, count them... Five. Five. Five. Five tough kids who sometimes swallow nails... raised on prisoner's aid... they killed a policeman when they were thirteen... which obviously impressed me... however, they have their own names... and they're wearing their clothes of choice. Boz Boorer... the two and only Gary Day... the great Matt Walker... a real proper Mexican with a prison record, now there's a surprise, Jesse Tobias... and last and forever least (crowd: aahhh!; Morrissey looks at Michael and points at the audience)... see sympathy, I'll have to drop that one I think... Michael 'pretty boy' Farrell... and I... I am the king of the slums... joke!".
"Ganglord" was preceded by a dedication: "This song is for the fantastic memory of Tom Bell and especially Jean Charles de Menezes". Both were somehow related to the subject of the song. The latter had been a victim of police brutality while the former was a recently deceased actor who often played characters with a sinister side to their nature (including one in the Morrissey-loved movie 'The Krays'). In that song the "clock on the wall" was said to make fun and made a joke "of you all" instead of "...us all". Near the end of it Morrissey sang "get your fat ass back to the ghetto".
Before going into "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now" Morrissey announced "Can I express extremely heartfelt thanks for everybody who voted for me on the Culture Show thing (crowd cheers)... However, you know very well that they couldn't have let me win... However you have Sir David Fattenborough, he represents art and culture as you know..." Then as the song was about to kick in, he emitted a "aargh!", like the sound of a cat about to attack. In the song itself he changed a line to "They who shouldn't love me walk right past me" and another one to "...and as far as I know, I haven't even died yet!".
The Smiths-era classic "William, It Was Really Nothing" was introduced with a comment on the Smiths concert held at the same venue 20 years earlier: "So 20 years ago (crowd cheers) I was in, I stood on this very spot, in these very trousers, in this very shirt, with a musical act that you probably forgotten (crowd boos) Well... I should say nothing, except this..." For the first time, or perhaps the second since he had introduced this song in his set at the beginning of this leg, he didn't change "God knows I'm trying to live mine" to "I'm here trying to live mine". At the end of "Irish Blood, English Heart" the man threw his shirt into the audience and went backstage to change into a clean one. As they were waiting for him to return the crowd broke into a chant of his name. When he did come back he greeted the chant with the comment "It's a lovely name!"
In "I Will See You In Far Off Places" Morrissey didn't sing the now standard live change "...I will close my mouth forever". However he did the usual live change "It's so easy for us to stand here together..." and followed it by the newish "...but it's impossible for the flesh to combine..." After the song he had a word with his favourite fan: "Well Julia, you are in Manchester, it's your own fault really, nothing to do with me..." He then introduced "Girlfriend In A Coma" with "This song was originally recorded by George Formby." "Everyday Is Like Sunday" was dedicated to one of the Moors Murderers' victims: "And of course, historically, we're standing on the spot where (interrupted by a fan) yes, you first... we're standing on the spot where Edward Evans was scooped up by Ian Brady, so this song is for Edward Evans..."
In "Everyday Is Like Sunday" Morrissey sang "you must share some grease tea with me..." and extended a line to "scratch on a postcard oh Mama! how I dearly wish I was not here". He also extended another line to "Everyday is silent and grey at least when you're on your own... when you're all alone". "In The Future When All's Well" was introduced with the line "The message in this next song is absolutely helpless..." Beside the usual live changes in that title Morrissey also playfully sang "I will lie down anywhere and be sat on, in the future when all's well". Further down he sang "Every day I play a silly game called...", "I thank you with what's left of my heart" and "Lee, anybody, stand up and defend me". After the song he had to ask the crowd to "steady on!".
After "I've Changed My Plea To Guilty" Morrissey asked "Would anybody like to speak into the microphone? (crowd cheers)... Well bring your own!". After "The National Front Disco" he mocked a fan's request by replying in a heavy Mancunian accent "'Best Friend On A Payroll'? What's that?... I don't know 'Best Friend On A Payroll'!" He then reverted to his normal voice for "Any more requests? Not that we're listening, we're not listening, but..." and pressed his keyboard player to start the next song: "Michael!" In "How Soon Is Now?" he sang "...of a shyness that is crippling and vulgar", and further down, "you could meet somebody who actually likes you" and "see I've already waited too long but so what! Yes, so what!" Most recent single "I Just Want To See The Boy Happy" was introduced with the witty comment "This next song, I can guarantee, you will have never heard on the radio, so from this you can gather, it was a single..."
When Morrissey and his musicians returned to the stage after a short break to perform the encore, they lined up at the front and bowed. As the singer was remaining in a bent position a bit too long for comfort, his musicians, looking confused, started rising but he himself didn't move, and then pretended to collapse to the floor. Matt was laughing and tried to help Morrissey up as he was falling to his knees. The man then picked up the microphone to salute the audience: "So I realise my hair is too long, I hope it didn't ruin your night... but 'til the flesh drops away, I will be yours (crowd cheers)... so, thank you for everything that you've given, I love you!" The performance of "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" that followed was a very emotional one. It looked like Morrissey was fighting back tears. After the song he surprisingly left the stage although there was one more planned encore. His musicians followed him, but everyone soon returned to perform the second encore, but not before Morrissey exclaimed "Me!".
"Speedway" was again heard at soundcheck, it was expected to be a surprise addition to the setlist for the final date of 2006 the following night, but this never happened.
The audio was lifted from this and is circulated by itself on the internet.
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