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After touring "Your Arsenal" extensively throughout North America, Morrissey crossed the Atlantic for a short 10-day tour of the UK plus 2 dates on the European mainland. These were the only British dates in support of "Your Arsenal". Following the Madstock fiasco in August, Morrissey was under the NME's fire. They were accusing him of being racist and the whole unfavorable media attention could have had an impact on ticket sales. Instead of giving the NME what they wanted by denying those rumours, he ignored them and got his revenge by making his own negative publicity of the NME at every show, encouraging fans not to buy the paper and exposing its journalists as liars.
On a few nights he also commented about the lack of success of current single "Certain People I Know".
The personnel for this tour was Boz Boorer (guitars), Alain Whyte (guitars), Gary Day (bass) and Spencer Cobrin (drums).
All songs from "Your Arsenal" were performed every night, except for "Tomorrow" which was added only for two dates near the end. Other setlist regulars were "November Spawned A Monster", "Sister I'm A Poet", "The Loop", "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference" and "Alsatian Cousin". "Suedehead" and "Jack The Ripper" were played on all nights except one. "Girl Least Likely To" and "He Knows I'd Love To See Him" were performed almost to the end of the tour when they were replaced by "Tomorrow" and "The Last Of The Famous International Playboys".
Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency. This is based on 10 concerts.
Alsatian Cousin - 10
Click here for more tour statistics.
In "We'll Let You Know", Morrissey sang "Is it London?" in a falsetto voice over the bridge, and often changed a line from "We sadly know" to "Of course we know". He also often ended the song with the slightly alternate "We are the last truly British people you wouldn't want to know". In "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference", he changed a line to "How I love all of the complicated things of life". At the end of the song, instead of going into the "Leave me alone I was only singing" part, the band systematically switched to the slow and powerful "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday". The newly released b-side "Jack The Ripper" was performed without its last verse, as it had been on the recent American dates.
There were many other lyrical changes. In "Sister I'm A Poet", Morrissey sang "A plastic bag stranded at the lights, this once was me" instead of the studio version's "Oh no, no, no-no, waiting at the lights, but not this time". In "Tomorrow" he didn't make the change to "I will tell everyone" but sometimes sang "through my useless body" instead of "through my shiftless body". In "Certain People I Know", he often sang "Don't you find life absurd?". As he always did in "He Knows I'd Love To See Him", Morrissey skipped the first two lines and started the song with "I have lived in the Arse of the word". He also dropped the final line "He doesn't know". In "Glamorous Glue", Morrissey changed a line to "I've been too much in love" or "I'm still too much in love". When the song was scheduled as main set closer, its ending was slightly extended the same way "The National Front Disco" was.
In "Girl Least Likely To", Morrissey also made a few lyric changes, singing "We live for the written word" and "I do think this but I can never say to the girl least likely to", and on some occasions, "standing round the shops with chips". He also rearranged some of the verses, dropping six lines in the process. On a few occasions in "Suedehead", Morrissey sang "Oh so many blank pages", a change that he hadn't done since the Kill Uncle tour. In the last two performances of "The Last Of The Famous International Playboys" as set closer, Morrissey changed a line to "just to make myself attracted to you" as he also did regularly when that song was a staple on the previous tour.
A full audience recording of the second London date is also circulated on VHS and DVD, but it is slightly scarcer and much less interesting because the camera is too often aimed away from the stage. The Dusseldorf gig was also filmed, but that recording's quality is subpar. The footage is steady and has good shots, but it was filmed from the rear of the hall and the sound is muffled.
The manufactured bootleg cd titled "Happy Xmas!?" (also known under the title "Astoria, London 20/12/92") features an excellent soundboard recording of the full second London concert. However half of its tracks are available on official release "Beethoven Was Deaf". The latter also features half of the tracks from the manufactured bootleg cd "I'm A Poet", produced from a very good audience recording of the Paris gig.
Fans might prefer good to excellent audience recordings of the Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol and London-Alexandra Palace gigs. Two recordings of the latter and Manchester are actually in circulation. Content-wise, sound-wise and performance-wise these dates are very comparable. Bristol has a slightly shorter setlist. Click on individual dates for more information.
Completists will also want the Dusseldorf audience recording which sounds reasonably good, but slightly less than the above. The content is very similar to the above as well. Finally they might also want the poor audience recording of the Newcastle date circulated on the internet.