Everyday Is Like Wednesday

Mozz Set List
Ten days ago I went to see Morrissey play the Leisureland in Salthill, Galway. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to write about it until now. This delay was a combination of work, laziness, European rugby and football semi-finals, socialising, and going to the pictures. I went to the gig with my old friend, John, and a brand new one named Laura, who I had had a good chat with at the Morrissey Symposium the previous weekend. John drove up and, after a cup of tea and some cake, the three of us spent a while in Charlie Byrne’s wonderful bookstore. By the time we had left the shop, their bookshelves were a little lighter, but their cash register was a little heavier. Then, John went for a stroll around the streets of Galway, while Laura and I walked over to the pier and had a look at the “big birds flying across the sky, throwing shadows on our eyes“. It was coming up to six o’clock and the smell of books and the sea air had given us an appetite, so we met John at McDonagh’s Fish & Chip shop. We each had a plate of cod, chips and mushy peas. At our table we met a trio from Sligo who were also going to the gig. The six of us hoped that Morrissey wasn’t a vegan as well as a vegetarian and that the smell of fish wouldn’t cause him to leave the stage

Galway had not been as busy as usual and this could have been due to the rain that had been falling all day. Salthill looked miserable because of the weather and it was as if an early Morrissey sinlgle, Everyday Is Like Sunday, had come to life. When we entered the venue we were struck by the heat and the smell of chlorine that came from the adjacent swimming pools. The venue itself resembled a school gym with its wooden floor and lack of seating. We found a nice spot near the front of the stage, but not too near, and waited for the support act to begin. The best that I could say about Doll & the Kicks is that they looked like a rock ‘n’ roll band and they had a very energetic lead singer. They played about a half dozen songs and Doll hollered and danced and bounced around the stage for five of these. For one song she simply stood at the microphone stand and sang the song instead of shouting it, as had been her wont. Funnily enough, that was the only song by them that I enjoyed. Her band simply got through the songs without impressing too much. The guitarist had a rather ugly see-through guitar and also had a single key on a chain around his neck. Perhaps he had no pockets in his jeans

Once Doll and the Kicks had left the stage there were about twenty minutes to kill before the main act took the stage. What followed was visually and sonically more interesting that what had preceded it. We were treated to a series of music videos and live performances on a screen featuring some of Morrissey’s favourite musical acts. These included Sparks, The New York Dolls, Vince Taylor, Shocking Blue, and what looked like a young Shirley Bassey giving it loads. These video performances seemed to be more effective at warming up the crowd than the band had been

Then the screen went up and a version of You’ll Never Walk Alone by Nina Simone played for a couple of minutes before the lights came up to reveal the band on stage followed by a characteristically subdued entrance from Morrissey. He went straight into a Smiths’ song, This Charming Man, one of their best. The musical accompaniment was heavier than on the original, but the vocal performance was excellent and it was a great opening. It was the first of five Smiths tunes that would get an airing before the end and three of these were among the highlights for me: How Soon Is Now? Girlfriend in a Coma and Ask. He also played Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others, but I’ve never been a big fan of this song. I could be biased, but I felt that these songs got a better reaction and more crowd participation than his solo stuff

Only one of the songs on the set-list (see above) didn’t get played (The World is Full of Crashing Bores). The solo songs that we got were evenly split between his new album, Years of Refusal, and his earlier albums. The ones I liked most from the new album were the singles, I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris and Something is Squeezing My Skull. Other highlights included Irish Blood, English Heart and The First of The Gang to Die, the encore. Most of my favourites appeared early on in the show, but my attention never waned as he is a great performer with a lot of charisma and stage presence. It was quite warm in the room and I think that the heat got to Morrissey. He was sweating quite heavily throughout the gig and had to change his shirt halfway through and at the end. One “lucky” audience member even got a souvenir of the gig in the form of his sweat-drenched shirt. At the end, the rest of the band threw out set-lists and plectrums to the audience as well. Fortunately, they kept their shirts on

Lighten Up, Morrissey – Sparks

Steven (You Don’t Eat Meat) – Sandie Shaw

Batyar (Bigmouth Strikes Again) (Smiths cover) – The Ukrainians

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