Click on date for concert information:

After a few weeks warming up in America and Europe, Morrissey played this extensive 30-date tour of the UK. Whatever reviewers had to say about these concerts, they all agreed that Morrissey was on top of his game vocally, that he had never sounded better before.

Something that started to be noticed at this point in time is that Morrissey didn't welcome fans on stage as much as he did before. The tradition of stage invasions and Morrissey constantly being interrupted by fans hugging and kissing him were almost over.

The Italian flag adorned both the drum kit and guitarist Boz Boorer's double headed guitar. On the final date of this leg the flag on the bass drum was replaced by the word HAPPINESS. This was a nod or tribute to Ken Dodd. His song "Happiness" was on the intermission tape and when he had played the Palladium many years before, he had that word written on the drum's skin. A big gong was still hanging behind drummer Matt, with the word TORMENTORS on it.

Personnel: Boz Boorer - guitar; Jesse Tobias - guitar and occasional cymbals; Gary Day - bass; Michael Farrell - keyboards (also hit drum with mallet in "Life Is A Pigsty"); Matt Walker - drums.

 


Sons And Daughters warmed up the audience from 18 April to 7 May, then Tiger Army was scheduled to replace them from 8 May to 28 May. However they only did four dates and were dropped from the bill or quit after the Liverpool date on May 12. Kristeen Young served as second opening act, slotted before the above, on May 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 11 and 12. When Tiger Army left the tour she became the only opening act for the remainder of this leg.

 


- Grey t-shirt with "Morrissey" in white on front, tour dates on back; £18; view
- Grey t-shirt with blue Deutsche Grammophone-style insignia on the chest, tour dates on back; £18; view
- Grey t-shirt with yellow Deutsche Grammophone-style insignia on the chest, tour dates on back; £18; view
- Grey t-shirt with "Moz Moz Moz" on front in the colours of the Italian flag's green, white and red; £18; view
- Blue polo t-shirt with "M" crest on left breast pocket; £18/£20; view
- Black t-shirt with picture from "Ringleader Of The Tormentors" album cover on front, "M" logo on back; £18; view
- Tan t-shirt with crest-style Italian flag on a drum, with 'Morrissey' on top and 'ringleader of the tormentors' underneath; £25; view
- Light blue t-shirt with "morrissey" and "RINGLEADER", with red and blue vertical stripes; £25; view
- Blue t-shirt with stylized 'M' logo on the chest; £18; view
- Blue women's t-shirt with "M" crest middle front; £20; view
- Green t-shirt with white ringers, crest logo and album title on front, photo of Morrissey on scooter, album banner and British tourdates on back; view
- Dark blue tracksuit top with "M" logos; £40; view
- White women's underwear with navy 'M' logo on the front; £15, then £10; view
- Medal; £10; view
- Silver tie pin in a box engraved with MORRISSEY in its insert; £10; view
- Lapel pin in a box engraved with MORRISSEY in its insert; £10; view
- Cufflinks in a box engraved with MORRISSEY in its insert; £10; view
- Money clip in a box engraved with MORRISSEY in its insert; £10; view
- Key ring; £10; view

Not all of the above was available in every city.

 


The tracks varied from one night to the next. Here's a rundown of songs heard throughout this leg of the tour:

Stinky Toys - "Boozy Creed"
Brian Eno - "Seven Deadly Finns"
Mary Hopkins - "Mother Earth" (not all dates)
Ramones - "Carbona Not Glue"
Olivia Newton-John - "Long Live Love"
New York Dolls - "Bad Detective"
Tommy Körberg - "Judy min všn"
Ramones - "Why Is It Always This Way?" (dropped?)
Slim Dusty - "The Pub With No Beer" (dropped halfway)
New York Dolls - "Pills" (introduced halfway)
Petula Clark - "I Who Have Nothing" (introduced halfway)
Springwater - "I Will Return"
Kristeen Young - "Kill The Father"
Max Bygraves - "Fings Ain't What They Used To Be"
The Boyfriends - "I Love You" (dropped?)
Monique Melsen - "Pomme, pomme, pomme"
Giorgio Gaber - "La Ballata Del Cerutti"
Ken Dodd - "Happiness" (introduced near the end)
Benny Hill - "Harvest Of Love" (introduced near the end)
Smoking Popes - "You'll Never Walk Alone"
Morrissey then came on stage to Jobriath's "What A Pretty". Exit music after the concert was Frank Sinatra's "That's Life".

 


French singer Sacha Distel (view original or in situ).

 


The setlist length on this leg of the tour was generally of 18 songs until Glasgow, then 17 after that. It usually started and ended with high-energy crowd favourites, but many fans found there was a lull towards the middle, particularly in the first half of the leg.

Newest album "Ringleader Of The Tormentors" was represented by 11 of its 12 songs. Singles "You Have Killed Me" and "The Youngest Was The Most Loved", future single "I Just Want To See The Boy Happy" as well as "At Last I Am Born", "I Will See You In Far Off Places", "Life Is A Pigsty" and "To Me You Are A Work Of Art" were performed each night. Future single "In The Future When All's Well" was reintroduced into the setlist (it had very rarely been played before) in Whitehaven and was a regular for most of the leg after that. "On The Streets I Ran" and "The Father Who Must Be Killed" were each done on about half or a third of the dates, rarely both on the same night. Finally "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now" was saw its live debut one week before the end of the leg. It remained in the set for that final week.

The album's b-sides "Ganglord", "A Song From Under The Floorboards" and "Human Being" were played on and off although some of them would only be released on future singles after this leg. The latter two titles were actually covers and generally replaced each other for the first week and a half. Then after "Ganglord" was introduced into the set in Greenock, they were rarely performed.

Previous album "You Are The Quarry" was represented by its first three singles. "First Of The Gang To Die" was slotted as the set opener on most dates, and "Irish Blood, English Heart" as encore, except on two occasions when Morrissey didn't return for an encore. "Let Me Kiss You" was performed on all nights except two. The deluxe edition of the album was represented by "My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye". It started off as regular but became part-timer after the introduction of "Ganglord" and was completely dropped in the second half of the leg.

Morrissey's solo back catalogue was barely represented on this tour. "Maladjusted"'s "Trouble Loves Me" was a near-regular for the first three quarters of the leg, then dropped when album track "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now" was introduced. "Southpaw Grammar"'s "Reader Meet Author" started off as regular but was rarely played after the reintroduction of album track "In The Future When All's Well".

The Smiths' back catalogue was better represented than Morrissey's solo back catalogue. "Girlfriend In A Coma", "How Soon Is Now?" and "Still Ill" were regulars throughout. The latter song was only dropped once, on the final date when "Panic" made its live debut and "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" was reintroduced into the set. "How Soon Is Now?" was near-standard main set closer, while "Still Ill" was almost always slotted following standard set opener "First Of The Gang To Die".

Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency. This is based on 30 concerts.

At Last I Am Born - 30
First Of The Gang To Die - 30
Girlfriend In A Coma - 30
How Soon Is Now? - 30
I Just Want To See The Boy Happy - 30
I Will See You In Far Off Places - 30
Life Is A Pigsty - 30
The Youngest Was The Most Loved - 30
To Me You Are A Work Of Art - 30
You Have Killed Me - 30
Still Ill - 29
Irish Blood, English Heart - 28
Let Me Kiss You - 28
Ganglord - 24
In The Future When All's Well - 21
Trouble Loves Me - 21
On The Streets I Ran - 13
My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye - 11
Reader Meet Author - 10
The Father Who Must Be Killed - 10
A Song From Under The Floor Boards - 8
I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now - 6
Human Being - 4
Panic - 1
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before - 1

Click here for more tour statistics.

 


In "Still Ill", which came with a longer intro than most performances from the Smiths days, Morrissey sang "England's a swine and it owes me a living" and "there are brighter sides to life and I should know because I've seen (or I see) them very very often". In "You Have Killed Me" he sometimes sang "Pasolini is me / Fellini I'll be" or "...Fellini you'll be" and in the next verse "Tony Visconti is me / Anna Magnani you could never be" or "...you will never be". Towards the end of the leg he playfully improvised minor one-time-only changes and added a new one: "Piazza Cavour, what the hell is my life for".

"Reader Meet Author" was adapted to the new century by the change of one line to "The year 2000, it hasn't changed anyone here". Morrissey also often sang "you hear the way this sad voice sings", which probably implied that the author in question listens to Morrissey. In "At Last I Am Born" the man usually sang "vegetarians know" instead of "vulgarians know". In the latter half of this leg he also changed "difficult child" to "miserable child". Once in a while he replaced "historians note" by "historians write this down". In "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now" Morrissey sang the final line as "it only hurts me because it's true".

In "I Will See You In Far Off Places" Morrissey usually changed lines to "It's so easy for us to stand here together, but it's so hard for the flesh to combine" as he had done on previous legs. In Scotland he reverted to the original lyrics for a few dates, then ended the line with "...but it's so hard for the minds to combine" for a few more. In new addition and future b-side "Ganglord" Morrissey often inverted lines in the "Ganglord, there's a clock on the wall" verse. In "In The Future When All's Well", Morrissey always sang "something must have gone wrong" instead of "... right".

In "Trouble Loves Me", Morrissey made many minor lyrical changes, including "somebody hold me" and "somebody kill me" instead of "otherwise hold me" and "otherwise kill me" He also sometimes sang "to chide me but never to guide me" and "which is only the way it should be". At some point the latter change even morphed into "which is exactly the way it should be". But more importantly the song was always preceded by a different piano intro of a well known local song. See individual dates for details. In "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before", like he did in 1988 or earlier on this tour, Morrissey sang "so I drank one, or was it four?". Just like earlier on the tour he also changed a line "I still love you only slightly, only slightly more than I used to, my love".

At the beginning of "Life Is A Pigsty" Boz played glasses filled with water which he would sometimes subsequently drink. Trumpet was added during the bridge of "Let Me Kiss You". On quite a few dates Morrissey suggestively changed a line in the latter song to "I heard that you'll try anyone twice". The outro to usual main set closer "How Soon Is Now?" was extended with drummer Matt banging on the gong and on a diagonally set bass drum while Jesse posed as rock god and improvised guitar lines. When "Life Is A Pigsty" took that position for some time in the latter quarter of the leg, it was also extended, but with a sad and beautiful line on the 'piano' by synth player Michael Farrell.

 


Live versions of "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" from Gateshead, London-Alexandra Palace, Sheffield, Grimsby, Manchester-Apollo and Manchester-Opera House were offered for purchase by official download at the time of release of that song as a single.

Live versions of "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now" and "To Me You Are A Work Of Art" from the final London Palladium date were released as b-sides to the "In The Future When All's Well" single.

 


Quite a few concerts from this period in time are circulated on bootleg DVDs. All of them were recorded by people in the audience. Fans and collectors in search of top quality video recordings might prefer looking into the following festival dates for a good number of television broadcasts.

The most interesting concert of this leg, setlist-wise and performance-wise, has to be the final London date. It features a few songs not performed elsewhere on this leg of the tour ("Panic" and "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before") and Morrissey was in the best of moods and gave an excellent performance. The recording is also of rather good and clear quality. It was filmed from the stalls, but has nice close-ups.

The 1 May concert which also took place in London is a good second choice. It features a few songs not performed on the previously mentioned date and the quality - clear with nice close-ups - is also rather good for an audience recording. Quality-wise the Salford DVD bootleg would be interesting but it only features about half the set.

Full audience recordings of Aberdeen and Dundee are out there. Aberdeen is from the balcony, so steady, while Dundee is close, but shaky. Neither are shared much at this point in time. However a montage of both recordings together with a different Dundee audio track and extra footage from Stirling is rather easy to find.

Similarly, full audience recordings of Manchester Apollo and Manchester Bridgewater Hall were brought to us by the same bootlegger. The former date was filmed from the crowd while the latter was filmed from the balcony. Both are quite obstructed and not really shared much at this point in time. However a montage of the best bits of both nights is circulated, although still quite rare.

The audience recording of the Cardiff and King's Lynn shows are for completists only. The former was filmed from a distance and is often obstructed or shaky. The latter is very shaky and is often obstructed. Two different audience recordings of the complete Portsmouth concert are out there, as well as a mix of the two, but none of them are shared at this point in time.

 


Soundwise none of the concerts available on bootlegs at this point in time stand out from the others. They are all average to good audience recordings, or inferior sounding audio rips from video recordings. Fans and collectors might prefer looking into the festivals dates that followed this leg for excellent quality radio broadcasts, or audio from television broadcasts.

So if it's not the sound quality, then it's the content and quality of performance that will motivate the choice of a date over another in this section. The first gig that spring to mind content-wise and performance-wise is the final London Palladium date. Morrissey was on top form, introduced "Panic" and reintroduced "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" into the set.

Here is a rundown of other circulated audience recordings at this point in time: Salford, Dundee, Greenock, Glasgow, Manchester Apollo, Manchester Opera House, Manchester Bridgewater Hall, Blackburn, London Palladium 1, London Palladium 2, Truro and Oxford. Also circulated are inferior sounding DVD audios from London Alexandra Palace, Portsmouth and King's Lynn.

Salford, Glasgow and the three Manchester dates were memorable performances. The first London Palladium gig and Oxford were arguably the least interesting performances of these British dates. The earlier gigs feature songs like "Reader Meet Author", "Trouble Loves Me" and "My Life Is A Successions Of People Saying Goodbye" that were dropped later in the leg. Later gigs feature "In The Future When All's Well" and the late setlist addition "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now". Part-timers "On The Streets I Ran" and "The Father Who Must Be Killed" were not always performed, so completists might want to check if they have it.