23 December 2006|
Manchester (UK), G-Mex
PanicThis, the second of two consecutive concerts in Morrissey's hometown, marked the end of a year spent touring extensively. In 1986 the Smiths were one of the first bands to play the G-Mex. This Morrissey show and the one from the previous night would be the last time concerts were to be held in this venue, as it was then to be turned into a full-time conference centre.
Morrissey was clearly on form, playful and witty. He started off very chatty then grew slightly more subdued as the evening wore on. This parallelled the mood of the crowd: very energetic for the first half of the show, with a good deal of crowd surfing and people having to be removed for fear of passing out, then more subdued during the latter slower numbers. One brave soul made it on stage, but was caught by security just inches away from Morrissey. It must be said that the sound quality was better than expected considering the size of the venue and the G-Mex's reputation.
There was no change in the setlist. "Speedway" was expected to make the setlist, it had been extensively soundchecked over the previous few weeks, but it wasn't played.
Morrissey strode on stage covering his face with a Sacha Distel LP and announced "My, my, how Accrington's changed... something tells me I'm in the right place..." His performance of set opener "Panic" was very expressive. He plugged his ears with this fingers while singing about "the music that they constantly play", hit one fist into his other hand during the "hang the DJ" chorus, and pretended to hang himself with his tie at the end of the song. After that he shouted "Thank you I'm cured, I'm cured!" After "First Of The Gang To Die" he said "Tonight, we don't have the cameras from the South Bank Show, so... so let freedom be the essence of the night... for me!"
Morrissey added emphasis to a line in "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" by singing "We kept him from the world's glare thank God! he turned into a killer". Following tradition he started "You Have Killed Me" by pointing at the Pasolini backdrop and singing "Pasolini is he..." Because drummer Matt was between him and the backdrop, he joked by actually singing "Pasolini is he on drums!" This bit was usually followed by "...and Mozalini is me" but instead Morrissey sang "Diana Dors you would like to be", a change which usually came further in the song. He made up for that in the next verse by doing "Mozalini is me, Diana Dors you will always be". This was followed by "I entered nothing much strangely, nothing entered me". Further down he sang "Question: who am I that I come to be standing here".
After that song Morrissey proceeded with the customary band introduction: "They've lodged a complaint and they said they would now like to be introduced by their real names so, on guitar, Bozzy Wozzy... on bass, Gazzy Wazzy... on drums Matty Watty... Jessie Wessie... and last, and by all means least, Mikey Wikey... hysterical!" As an introduction to "Ganglord" the man said: "Now of course... since this is what I believe is called the Christmas season, I must warn you, on your way home, generally, to watch out for drunken policemen (crowd laughs)... stoned policewomen (more laughs)... and you think I'm joking! I'm not..."
In "Ganglord" 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 that number Morrissey sang "get your fat ass back to the ghetto". After the song he announced "So, as you can see, I am the new Sacha Distel... but not really as good as the old one..." before turning around to hide the smile on his face. "William, It Was Really Nothing" was introduced with the funny "I would like to take you way back (crowd cheers)... and... Why does that make you happy? I would like to take you back to the last time I stood on this stage, which was... last night! When we sang this f-f-f-f-funny little song..."
Following "Irish Blood, English Heart" Morrissey interrupted a chant of his name to go on a long rant: "I think that song is probably one of the reasons why I won't be on the Queen's new years honours list this year (crowd laughs)... however... but when you look at some of the people who have honours, like nasty Jamie Oliver (crowd boos/cheers)... who actually has an OBE... which means Obese member of the British Empire... and even the Irish singer Daniel O'Donnell (crowd boos)... who I know you love, he actually has an MBE, which is a Mad member of the British Empire, so... I think my chances of becoming king are quite slim..."
In "I Will See You In Far Off Places" Morrissey didn't sing the now near-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 interrupted another chant of his name, this time to say "Thank you, it's not necessary! I'm not necessary!" After "Girlfriend In A Coma" he cajoled his audience with "So, I used to be in this group (crowd cheers)... but, God bless me and protect me, I climbed out, I saved myself, and I lived to sing another day... and 59 years later, here I am, in Miles Platting, at the Social Club... third turn of the night, and all I have to thank is your good old selves (crowd cheers)... and me!"
Besides most of the usual live changes in "Everyday Is Like Sunday", Morrissey also sang "and a strange dust lands on your hands, and on your face, on your silly face..." He also changed another line to "Everyday is silent and grey at least when you're all alone, when you're on your own, when you're all alone". Similarly, he did the usual changes in "In The Future When All's Well", plus "I would lie down anywhere and be counted", "Everyday I play a pointless game called..." and the occasional "Lee, anybody, stand up and defend me".
After "I've Changed My Plea To Guilty" was fan appreciation time for Morrissey: "So every single night of this tour we've had the fantastic pleasure of... our friend Julia... Julia I think you'd like the microphone... (Morrissey hands her the microphone and she wishes him happy holidays; Morrissey giggles and says) Thank you... (takes an envelope from someone in the front row) this is money... and we've also had the pleasure of the irregular regulars... of whom you are, like it or not... Boz? Boz? Jesse? Yes... "
Someone shouted "Thank you!" after "Dear God Please Help Me" and Morrissey replied "Finally you say it, finally!" In "How Soon Is Now?" he sang "...of a shyness that is criminal and vulgar", "you could meet somebody who actually likes you", "and you go home and you cry and then you die... die..." and "see I've already waited too long aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!" During that song's powerful live finale he dramatically lied on the floor - as if he was dead - in the middle of a round spotlight. After the song ended he got up, picked up the microphone and said "And now is not the time for wisdom..." Before main set closer "Life Is A Pigsty" he simply said "So before you all nod off..."
When Morrissey and his band returned for the first encore, the musicians hoisted the singer onto Boz and Jessie's shoulders and they carried him across the stage. Morrissey was beaming and couldn't stop laughing. Then, as was custom, they all lined up and bowed, and as the musicians were returning to their respective spots, Morrissey said "We'd like to thank you for giving us a fantastic year... We've, would you believe it, a hell of a lot of laughs... and we'd like to thank our beloved crew without whom we would look very silly... I'd like to thank the band for being so incredibly macho... May God bless you and maybe I'll see you somewhere at some time, God knows..."
Following "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" there was another break and when Morrissey returned to the stage for the last time, he replied to someone's shout with "What? I'm only one small China man, I can't do everything!" After the final song, he picked up from the drum rise the same Sacha Distel LP he had covered his face with when he had come on stage, and exited in the same fashion.
The audio was ripped from this video recording and is circulated on its own. However collectors might prefer one of the three different good-sounding fanmade audio-only recordings of the complete concert. The sound quality is similar, perhaps even slightly better in one case, and neither have missing segments. The most common of the three at this point in time was recorded by Hit The North and is sometimes seen with artwork under the title "Panic At The G-Mex 2006". Another one was recorded by Wiltteri and is circulated in raw form, or with a clearer sound improved by the recorder himself. The final one is uncredited.
Do you have information about this concert? Or do you own an uncirculated recording of it? If yes please contribute and get credited.