Morrisey/ PJ Harvey
AFTER seven years without a record contract, Morrissey’s come-back this year has been extraordinary, particularly coming on the back of an album, You Are The Quarry, which fails to recapture the melodic melancholy of his early solo career. This success surge has taken him out of his natural theatre environment and into the anonymous expanse of the SECC.
This was not PJ Harvey’s natural environment either. Having sold out her own Glasgow gig at the Academy a few months ago, one presumes she has taken on this guest slot for kicks. Her set remained largely unchanged, although she did resurrect the incendiary and euphoric Big Gun form her Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea album.
Dressed like a vicar, Morrissey appeared to revel in a stage big enough to accommodate his massive Las Vegas-style illuminated sign, while the iconic guitar shudder of the Smiths’ How Soon Is Now? could fill any arena. The gigantic devotion of the crowd didn’t hurt either, as they lapped up every morsel of chat.
There were creative chasms in the set, thanks to Morrissey’s loyalty to the nether regions of his solo catalogue. Current single I Have Forgiven Jesus has an archetypal self-flagellating Morrissey lyric, but Let Me Kiss You sounded like a dull contractual requirement, only enlivened by Morrissey unbuttoning his shirt and fanning himself with his dog collar. Despite his ambivalence about "a damp place called the past", the superiority of Smiths’ favourites There Is A Light That Never Goes Out and even the rather silly disposable Big Mouth Strikes Again had nothing to do with nostalgia.
Five shirts later it was all over bar the blanket adulation. "My heart belongs to Glasgow," proclaimed Morrissey. Glasgow inevitably reciprocated.