Had a very big Moz weekend with the iPod and felt compelled to write!
Let's get a few things straight:
1. I'm not here to bash the Man
2. I've been a huge fan for many, many years
3. I read all the stuff about setlists, performances, cancellations etc
4. I know he's 50+ now
I know that M sees himself still as a proper recording artist, and quite rightly. So it's only correct that he should 'tour the new record' etc. I acknowledge that he is not the Morrissey of 1987 onwards, not least of all he is much older. But I listened to BWD for the first time in some time over the weekend and the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. I always have said that in the 5 albums allowed on my desert island, V&I would be the first one in te case...but I'm not so sure. On the basis that my live music experience would then be over, I wonder if having both Moz and the live sound would be better? BWD is MAGNIFICENT. But it left me lamenting the fact that never again do I feel I will see Morrissey, and more importantly his band, play like that again. And I have seen it, and I miss it. It's not just the setlist thing, it's the WAY they play. Alain and Boz on twin duelling guitars was unbelievable. There was bite and fervour, anger and excitemtn. They played FAST but not too fast. Songs came alive on stage, the energy was palpable. I'm afraid I rather see today's M and Band as a Morrissey tribute band. Proficiently getting through the numbers without bringing that passion, energy and intangible element to what it means to be swept along at a gig. The setlist thing IS an issue for me. New record? Fine, 'justified'. Stuff from YATQ, ROTT, understandable. But listen to BWD and you almost wonder how he can bear NOT to play stuff from BD, from YA etc. I know he DOES occasionally drop in an old tune or two (Disappointed in the last few years, Playboy etc) but he seems to have turned his back on the rockabilly glory that is Certain People I know, Glamorous Glue etc. I guess it might be a question of his 50 year old voice struggling to cope with some of that stuff - completely reasonable if the case. I don't actually like November...particularly. But I could listen to the BWD version all day, it is STUNNING. Power, power, power. And when they strike up WHIWOFBS as the closer...OMG. I'm one of those whingers who feel strongly that Smiths songs really have no place in his live armoury any more. That was a different band. I know it's unreasonable to expect him to be like he was so long ago, but I'm just sad that I'll never again get the excitement that I did at Aston Villa, at Battersea. Satan rejected my soul? I heard it once, it was incredible. I guess I should just count myself lucky. I know it's all down to taste. I guess what I'm trying to say is how frustrating it is that M doesn't seem to hear what I hear in some of his back catalogue, or he would want to play those magnificent songs as often as he could.