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This was Morrissey's first solo tour. His only solo concert before this was when he took the stage in Wolverhampton in 1988 with ex-Smiths Mike Joyce, Andy Rourke and Craig Gannon for a short set mixing early solo material and later Smiths songs.
For this tour Morrissey hired Boz (Martin) Boorer and Alain Whyte who would remain with him as guitarists and songwriters to this day, as well as Gary Day (bass) and Spencer Cobrin (drums) who would be part of Morrissey's band on and off. Members of Th'Lads, as this quartet called themselves at the time, had all previously played in various rockabilly bands before they were hired by Morrissey. They gave Morrissey's material a rockabilly shine, making many live versions more exciting than the ones that were recorded in the studio, especially the material from the album "Kill Uncle". Some songs were more energetic and played faster. It must be noted however that some of the early performances were subpar. It took a few weeks of touring for the band members to master the material which they hadn't written nor recorded.
Many of these concerts were very chaotic, ending with massive stage invasions. As the tradition of bringing flowers to concerts was still alive, but in decline, other traditions took over. The most new notable one during the Kill Uncle tour took place during "Our Frank" when fans threw cigarettes at Morrissey to highlight a line found in that song.
Linder Sterling was present at the Scottish shows taking photographs of her friend Morrissey. These would appear in her book "Morrissey Shot" published the following year.
Earlier material comprised mostly singles: "Interesting Drug", "The Last Of The Famous International Playboys", "November Spawned A Monster", "Everyday Is Like Sunday", "Piccadilly Palare" and "Suedehead", as well as a few b-sides like "Will Never Marry", "That's Entertainment" and "Disappointed". After just one date the latter was moved down the setlist to be played as the final song of the evening. It would remain the standard closer for most of the Kill Uncle tour. This made sense given its final line "This is the last song I will ever sing..."
Besides the previously mentioned cover of the Jam's "That's Entertainment", Morrissey also covered the New York Dolls "Trash" in memory of the recently deceased Johnny Thunders, and T-Rex's "Cosmic Dancer". But unlike the first, the latter two covers were only played live and never recorded by Morrissey.
Finally the set included two songs which were yet unreleased, "Pregnant For The Last Time" and "I've Changed My Plea To Guilty". They were both to be recorded and released later in the year on singles. It must be said that the latter was played only on the first few dates then dropped from the setlist. It would return on and off further down the road in 1991.
Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency. This is based on 10 concerts.
Asian Rut - 10
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In "The Last Of The Famous International Playboys", Morrissey constantly sang "just to make myself (more) attracted to you". He occasionally reversed Ronnie and Reggie Kray's names. In "Sing Your Life", he sometimes changed a few lines to the more personal "I have a lovely singing voice" and "They stole the notion from me". In "Everyday Is Like Sunday", he made quite a few lyric modifications. He often sang "I do believe this is the coastal town" and always "scratch on a postcard" and "please come, please come nuclear bomb".
In "Disappointed", he usually changed the line "Young girl one day you will be old" to something different (such as "Young girl one day you really will be old", "Young girl one day we really will be old", "Young girl one day I really will be old"). With the exception of the very first few dates, he finished that song by repeating "yes! yes! yes! yes!" instead of singing "No I've changed my mind again". The line "Oh so many illustrations" in "Suedehead" was changed to "Oh so many blank pages" on the first few dates of this section of the Kill Uncle tour. The line "it's safer to be inside" in "I've Changed My Plea To Guilty" was usually changed to "it's safer to stay inside", which is closer to how the song was written, but not recorded.
Finally the yet unreleased "Pregnant For The Last Time" was a lyrical work-in-progress. It was never performed with the exact same lyrics two night in a row. Morrissey reversed or changed the lines "If ever we had the chance to" and "If ever we had the nerve to". He also sang "And people being nice for the very last time" instead of "...the very first time" on many dates. He also occasionally toyed with the "Tiny stripe socks..." and "Pokes and prods..." lines, either out of distraction or on purpose.
The most commonly found bootlegs are the 'official' ones "Higher Education" and "Live 91", respectively from the radio broadcasts of the Utrecht and Hamburg dates. In the latter case, the makers tagged on audience recordings of the songs that were not broadcast. It must also be said that the sound quality of the FM tracks is not as good as expected. As for "Higher Education", fans might prefer a bootleg titled "Cosmic Dancer" (not to be confused with the 7" bootleg with the same title) which lacks only 1 song instead of 3. However, the sound quality of the latter title is unknown, but believed to be good. It must be noted that the Utrecht set has the advantage of featuring "I've Changed My Plea To Guilty" which was dropped from the setlist later on.
"Battersea Patisserie - Cologne May 1991" from the Cologne date is just slightly less common than the two above, and features the whole set minus one song. It is probably the best bootleg for the concerts that make up this first leg of the Kill Uncle tour.
The next best choice would be the scarcer "A La Carte" featuring the Belgium gig. It only lacks "Cosmic Dancer". Finally the Paris recording is probably the least interesting of these five radio broadcasts because of too many interventions by the radio announcer, too much editing or too many sound flaws. The pros of the Paris and Belgium recordings is that they both feature "I've Changed My Plea To Guilty" which was left off the setlist in the second half of this leg.
This leaves 4 dates for which only audience recordings are available at this point in time. These are Dublin, Berlin, Copenhagen and Aberdeen. Dublin has the advantage of featuring "(I'm) The End Of The Family Line" which was dropped from the setlist after this first performance only to return on a few American dates later in the year. It also features the rarely played "I've Changed My Plea To Guilty". Berlin has the better sound quality of these four audience recordings.
See individual dates for more details and less interesting alternatives.
All the dates mentioned above are available on file-sharing networks, sometimes in more than one level of quality.