Click on date for concert information:
To promote his latest album "Southpaw Grammar", Morrissey was hired to warm up audiences for David Bowie on his Outside tour. This was the first time since the Smiths' early days that Morrissey opened for someone else. Unfortunately the idea wasn't the best. Morrissey had to perform to venues half-filled with Bowie fans waiting for their idol to hit the stage, while his own fans were packed near the stage.
After two weeks Morrissey withdrew from the tour. Planned dates in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Sheffield, Manchester and Newcastle, as well as more in Europe were cancelled and Bowie had to find a replacement. There was talk that Morrissey would re-join the tour at some point, but a replacement had been found, so he went and did dates in Japan in mid-December.
Unfortunately these dates in the UK, Ireland and Japan were the only ones promoting a misunderstood album that had gotten a lukewarm reception from fans and critics. With its rawer sound "Southpaw Grammar" was made to be translated to live performance and would have benefited from more live exposure. It would be another two years before Morrissey would reconcile skeptical fans with "Southpaw Grammar" when he performed most of it on the "Maladjusted" tour.
There were obviously no encores on this tour. Morrissey maintained the Boxers tour tradition of throwing a signed tambourine into the crowd. He was more expressive on stage and often mimed lyrics. One such instance which had fans talking happened during "The Boy Racer" when Morrissey waved a finger at crotch level during the 'standing at the urinal' part of the song.
The typical tour outfit for Morrissey was a suit two sizes too small and the 1 oz necklace he is seen wearing on the back of the "Vauxhall & I" album.
Personnel was Boz Boorer (guitars), Alain Whyte (guitars), Spencer Cobrin (drums) and Jonny Bridgwood (bass).
Most of the newly released "Southpaw Grammar" was given to the fans. "Do Your Best And Don't Worry" was set opener for most of the short tour, usually followed by "Reader Meet Author" and "The Boy Racer". "Dagenham Dave" was always followed by "The Operation" without interruption and without the latter's drum intro. "The Teachers Are Afraid Of The Pupils" was the last or next-to-last song performed. The new b-side "Nobody Loves Us" was also played on most nights. Finally the recent EMI single "Sunny" was played only once on this tour, on the very first date. It was the first number on the chopping block when the setlist had to be shortened.
"Vauxhall & I" was also well represented in the setlist. "Speeway" and "Spring Heeled Jim" were regulars in the set. "Billy Budd" was performed on most nights while "Hold On To Your Friends" was played until halfway into the tour when it was replaced by "Now My Heart Is Full" which had been cut from the setlist after the first gig.
"Your Arsenal" was represented by its two most controversial tracks, "We'll Let You Know" and "The National Front Disco". The latter was skipped on the first night, but after that it became the standard set closer with its usual noisy and chaotic live ending.
Finally the Smiths' "London" was introduced in the set in Dublin. The song had been introduced live on the Boxers tour, and it was still for many fans the highlight of the night.
Here is the number of times each song was performed on this leg, in descending order of frequency. This is based on 9 concerts.
Do Your Best And Don't Worry - 9
Click here for more tour statistics.
In "We'll Let You Know", where Morrissey usually sang "we sadly know" in the album version, on the first few dates of this tour he sang "we'll always know. He then reverted to the usual live change "of course we know". Like he did mostly on the Your Arsenal tour and sometimes on the Boxers tour from earlier that year, he ended the song with the line "we are the last truly British people that you wouldn't want to know and so on..." In "The Operation", Morrissey sang "you don't catch what I'm saying because you're deafened to advice" and changed "You say pleasant things" to "You say kind things". The latter song was always performed without its drum intro, and segued from the end of "Dagenham Dave". In "Now My Heart Is Full", Morrissey sang "I was tired again" instead "I'm tired again".
In "Speedway", the intro lines "And when you slam down the hammer can you see it in your heart?" were dropped and Morrissey sang "when you try to break my spirit, it just won't happen" as well as "all of the rumours leaving me grounded". Previous live change "until my ugly mouth is shut good and proper" was dropped. In set closer "The Teachers Are Afraid Of The Pupils" Morrissey slightly stretched a line to "and in fact you think it's essential". But more importantly, the two verses starting with "Say the wrong word" were dropped so the live version wouldn't last 10 minutes like the song does on "Southpaw Grammar". However the sample at the end wasn't dropped. "The National Front Disco" became the standard set closer when it was introduced on the second of these dates, and as he always did on the Your Arsenal tour or the Boxers tour, Morrissey changed a line to "Ah, have we lost our boy" and skipped the title, the "Ah, then you might do" and the "When you've settled the score" lines. The song also still ended in a blinding chaos of feedback and lights.
The 15 November (occasionally circulated under the title "London 15.11.1995") and 21 November gigs are the next best ones, soundwise, but collectors might prefer the Dublin (occasionally circulated under the title "Dublin 1995") and Exeter gigs. They are slightly inferior in sound, but they include "London" which was not on any other setlist from this tour before that. The only other date featuring "London" is Cardiff which, just like the 18 November recording, has a poor sound.