This Charming Man

He'd charm the hind legs off a turkey

He'd charm the hind legs off a turkey

It’s going to be a busy week for Irish fans of Morrissey. This weekend The University of Limerick will hold its second symposium on the former Smiths’ lead singer. The packed schedule will feature a range of papers on the cultural impact of Morrissey and his music, the European premiere of a fan documentary and a concert by a tribute band at Dolans. Amazingly, the total cost of entry to all of these events is a recession-busting €25. For this price, you also get lunch and refreshments, although I don’t know if meat is on the menu

Morrissey is also touring Ireland next week and will be performing at venues in Killarney, Galway, Omagh and Belfast. This tour seems to have caused the University of Limerick to revert to some form of olde English as they have announced it here as “Morrissey’s Irish lege of his 2009 “Years of Refusal” tour” (my italics). I’ll be going to Galway next Wednesday to see him play at the Leisureland. I’ve seen him once before, a few years ago in Dublin, and he certainly puts on a good show. I prefer his stuff with The Smiths and feel that a lot of his solo work has been a bit inconsistent, but there’s always a few good tunes on each of his solo albums

Here are a couple of Morrissey-related cover songs. First up is his version of A Song From Under the Floorboards by fellow Mancunians, Magazine. Their original kicks off side two of their Correct Use of Soap LP from 1980. Its opening lyric should give an indication as to where the song is going: “I am angry, I am ill, and I’m as ugly as sin. I don’t know what keeps me alive and kicking”. I always play it after I’ve been on a session with my friend Damien as it perfectly sums up how I feel the next day. It’s an amazing song and Morrissey’s version does it justice. It can be found on the CD single of The Youngest Was the Most Loved from his Ringleader of the Tormentors album from 2006

A Song From Under the Floorboards (Magazine cover) – Morrissey

Cemetry Gates appears on The Smiths’ best album, The Queen is Dead (1986). The song offers perfect advice to the participants at this weekend’s symposium: “Don’t plagiarise or take on loan/’Cause there’s always someone, somewhere/With a big nose, who knows/And who trips you up and laughs when you fall”. This version is from Cork’s finest, The Frank & Walters, and was recorded for a tribute album called The Smiths is Dead (1996), which features British and Irish bands covering The Queen is Dead album

Cemetry Gates (Smiths cover) – Frank & Walters