"Morrissey 25: Live" review by Charlotte O'Sullivan - London Evening Standard (3/5 stars)

Discussion in 'General Discussion archive 2013 (read-only)' started by 2-J, Aug 24, 2013.

By 2-J on Aug 24, 2013 at 9:58 PM
  1. 2-J

    2-J Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    Morrissey 25: Live - film review by Charlotte O'Sullivan - London Evening Standard
    Director James Russell is determined to give a voice to the crowd in this film celebrating 25 years of Morrissey as a solo artist, but the inanity of the fans makes a nonsense of the 54-year-old singer’s self-deprecating wit. Wait for the DVD release

    In March, Morrissey — celebrating 25 years as a solo artist — played to a small crowd at Hollywood High School. First impressions are not good: his voice sounds thin and he moves with the awkward swagger of a man who's recently conquered his paunch. Still, a few songs in, the mood threatens to turn electric. But wait. The singer and the film's director, James Russell, seem determined to give a voice to the crowd. The inanity of the fans makes a nonsense of the 54-year-old singer’s self-deprecating wit ("I'll always hold my head up high...in a psychiatric unit"). "Thank you for living," says a woman and Morrissey, instead of retching, smiles. Wait for the DVD release. Such scenes are what the fast-forward button was made for.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2016


Discussion in 'General Discussion archive 2013 (read-only)' started by 2-J, Aug 24, 2013.

    1. BrummieBoy
      Many members of The Audience have long tired of the inane co-dependent babblefest between Morrissey and his front row fan-atics. If he's really interested in probing all this, he could do a pre-concert Q&A or do a lecture tour for his autobiography. However, he's no Hitchens or Dawkins and his 'on the fly' debating skills are not exactly Stephen Fry level, never mind Oscar Wilde. Nowt wrong with that, but he can unintentionally send the wrong signal by not challenging inanities like "thank you for living". The correct response would be "Wake up before you drop dead: I'm here to sing a few songs. Nothing else."
    2. Anonymous
      it interests me to see strangers confess to morrisssy how much they adore him. Who is left to earn such adoration? Justin bieber, lady gaga, the man bewitches people. His soft spoken, classic demeanor is once in my lifetime.
    3. Anonymous
      Personally, I think when he passes the microphone to audience members at the gigs it is quite a sweet and touching moment - Morrissey is not an easy person for fans to meet otherwise, he doesn't do signing sessions, and 99.9% of the time he will never stop to speak to fans arriving or departing from the venue. So, for most people, when this happens to them, this is the one and only chance in their life of making some direct contact with their idol. I can even forgive the fact that most of the things they say are vacuous platitudes, as if this happenned to me my brain would probably turn into swiss cheese as well, and I'd sounds like a drooling imbecile.

      BUT (and it's a big but), that's in the intimate setting of an actual live gig. Captured, immortalised and blown up on the cinema screen I can well understand that it must look to the critics desperately like Morrissey fishing for compliments, and getting other people to blow his trumpet in a sickly display of fawning admiration. I hope he keeps doing it, but these moments should be kept firmly off screen.
    4. BrummieBoy
      Why does anyone respond with 'adoration' to a commerically motivated pop concert? Why is such 'adoration' seen as an appropriate response, rather than pathological and ludicrous? People 'confess' to a religious authority and only credulous folk are 'bewitched' by ouija boards and such nonsense. Most of us thought the 'disciples/global religious fame' riffs were ironic. It appears we failed to spot cultish magical thinking. There's nothing awry in being genuinely moved emotionally and intellectually by the artistic content of a performance or recorded music product but 'adoration' is the language of cult followers and dysfunctional 'fan'atics, rather than a psychologically balanced Audience.

      Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga appeal mostly to transitioning adolescents on an emotional roller-coaster, as any glance at their twitterspheres reveal. That's fine. I have two teenage children and they have their moments when they imagine that Taylor Swift or Burial have all the answers to life's mysteries and challenges. If they still felt that way about capitalist music entrepreneurs in their mid-twenties I would be deeply concerned.

      When he emerged as a quarter-contributor to The Smiths Collective, Morrissey was close enough to teenage anomie to be a credible witness to its' trials and tribulations and sangs deeply insightful songs with what felt like authenticity and sincerity. However, to be previewing his concert film with a song about a crap seaside holiday in Borth in 1974 whilst living in Luxuria in Hollywood seems suddenly inauthentic and utterly bogus. There is simply too much chronology to his timeline since this was composed, and he looks like a grandparent, not a teenager. It's no longer tenable that he positions himself as the voice of adolescent misfits and loneliness. He is a multi-millionaire who expresses admiration for Nigel Farage!

      If the core 'fan' zone are locked in a co-dependent downward spiral of being 'maladjusted' to middle-age and the prospect of ageing, that is both interesting and rather sad. The Rolling Stones 'rage against the dying of the light' by refusing to move on from libido even as the zimmer frames loom, and their Boomer audience enjoy a temporary escape from their corporate careers and serial divorces, which allow them to pay the inflated price of admission to events staged by The Rolling Stones Corporation. I guess there's no reason why Morrissey can't do a mirror-image endless pantomime career based on Thanatos rather than sublminated Eros, but it's as undignified and discordant as the priapic wailings of Jagger.

      "Get Off Of The Stage"? No. James Brown. Cesaria Evora (r.i.p). Tony Bennett. Leonard Cohen. Sinatra. Bobby Womack. There's numerous ways to age both gracefully and disgracefully. Morrissey has choices. He can either continue with this now-parodic rehash of a trashed adolescence or reflect on his mortality and honestly document the failure of his life project. Almost famous, almost a 'star', but now seemingly doomed to ever diminishing circles of 'adoration' from uncritical fan-atics who would have orgasms if he sang the local phone book. We can overlook such behaviour in our teenage children, fondly remembering our own bizarre obsessions (in my case, Bolan, Bowie, Sabbath). But is this really Radical Art?

      Bowie has challenged and questioned his Audience by simply putting his family and health first for a decade. Morrissey doesn't appear to have a family, although he did introduce his nephew at a show I saw in Brum and seemed intoxicated by love for him. There's nothing to stop him from adopting a child either directly or remotely, thereby switching from critical teenager to mentoring parent. Or he could become a celebrity vegan chef, launch an ethical clothes line or just about anything that might re-ignite his passion for life. Or he could retire.

      Expecting or demanding media deference and aquiescence to some tired narrative of 'adoration' of his 'genius' when he is immersed in dross is only going to work with the core cult fan-atics. The grown-ups are going to either find another pop music consumer experience or, like me, tag along for the lulz. Like Celebrity Big Brother and those 'celebrity magazines' at the dentist, there is no end to the enjoyment to be gained from watching these human sacrifices on the alter of Fame. Warhol and McLuhan mapped all this decades ago. Watching it play out in detail is interesting and entertaining, but hardly innovative 'genius'. This is not schadenfraude or jealously, both of which Morrissey slips into at will when he disses Madonna's adopted children and a pregnant women's health issues. As I listen to the back catalogue one more (final?) time, I'm struck by how important CDs and concerts were prior to The Interwebz when we vaguely knew there were 'others like you' but could only find that communion when mediated by a commercial, corporate structure. Now we have social media and an endless plethora of talents to immerse oursleves in and are no longer trapped in the corporately curated playlist running order of a CD.

      Nothing is deleted, no-one can manage total hegemonic status, not even dinosaurs like U2, the Rolling Stones and Springsteen. There is diversity, complexity and a universe of competing cultural products demanding attention and providing entertainment and nourishment. Michael Jackson was the last and final 'superstar'. Gaga has already worn her hip into dust trying to follow his meteor but it won't work as the revenue from recorded music has collapsed and with it the dream of a musical Hollywood Babylon lifestyle. Now, you tour 250 days a year like a circus act if you want to carry on with that nonsense. It's just another corporate job, just another slog up the corporate pyramid. The same is happening to Hollywood film.

      And all of this is excellent. A new music, a new form of presentation which is congruent with the challenges of today is requred: not some tiresome endless re-runs of Boomer back catalogues either on stage or on film. Most 'fans' aren't listening to music anymore, they are listening to their memories, of how they felt when they first heard those songs. Except for Bieber and Gaga fans who are creating memories soundtracked by their 'pop idols'. For the utterly discredited Boomer 'punk rock rebels' endlessly flogging their past on the never-ending tour to placate the conservative entitlement agenda of their consumers, it's a vision of artistic negation. For those of us with our mojos intact or re-ignited: it's time to move on, because that's how people grow up. "Sunday Morning". More coffee, and "the most influential record fo the late twentieth century".....

      "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things" Corinthians 13.



      "Sunday mornin', praise the dawnin'
      It's just a restless feelin', by my side
      Early dawnin', Sunday mornin'
      It's just the wasted years so close behind

      Watch out, the world's behind you
      There's always someone around you, who will call
      It's nothin' at all

      Sunday mornin' and I'm fallin'
      I've got a feelin', I don't want to know
      Early dawnin', Sunday mornin'
      (Early dawnin')
      It's all the streets you crossed, not so long ago

      Watch out, the world's behind you
      There's always someone around you, who will call
      It's nothin' at all

      Watch out, the world's behind you
      There's always someone around you, who will call
      It's nothin' at all.
      Sunday morning....."

    5. Irish blood Irish heart
      Irish blood Irish heart
      Yet another lazy review by someone who can't be bothered to do her research properly, assuming the director has something to do with morrissey handing the mic out. If she knew anything about morrissey she would know he does this on a regular basis. In defence of the toe curling comments most of them make when handed the mic I think most people would struggle to be witty and clever in that situation
    6. herge65
      Just got back from the Leeds screening.

      This was far from 'unremarkable'!

      The fact that this was an intimate gig helped place us right in the thick of it. I felt that the film genuinely conveyed the atmosphere of a Moz gig for me!

      Great set list...great performance...great audio! Complimentary editing and production!

      Worth seeing at the cinema!

      Looking forward to owning the blu-ray!
    7. Anonymous

      Enjoyed the concert on film.Morrissey was in good spirits and the sound was excellent.Well worth a viewing.
    8. Johnny Barleycorn
      Johnny Barleycorn
      How many people were there with you?
    9. Anonymous
      Did he say "viva Me-hi-co" / viva Argentina " ??????

    10. realitybites
      You are the best freelancing polemical writer I have come across on the Internet. Full stop. I hope you save this stuff somewhere.

      Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2016
    11. BrummieBoy
      Why are you back home so early? Didn't you want to go to any of the after-show parties? I bet Leeds City Centre is humming with ecstatic Morrissey fans, weeping and ululating with joy at having witnessed this filmic spectacular. I can't WAIT! I bet I won't sleep tonight and gorge on popcorn and soda during the whole thing. I hope I don't get carried away and start singing along and trying to rush the screen. I will bring along a Gucci shirt soaked in amazingly expensive designer scent and rip it up and throw it to the other patrons. Afterwards, we will all exchange social media details and will meet regularly in a nice pub to share our latest passionate feelings about Morrissey.

      Thank you for sharing your bliss tonight. It makes the pain of waiting another 18 hours almost bearable.

      with gratitude.
    12. BrummieBoy
      Well, I'm blushing. A little bit. That's kind of you. I get positive feedback now and again on other sites with other personas. I've had offers to write, but I'm not interested in becoming a public figure. "Salinger is me!". Life is brief, even the longest one. I'm happy at last and would not risk it by crossing the Rubicon to do this on any serious level. I know a few famous people and nothing about it is attractive, even at the most basic level. Plus, there's no money in it for most people and I need to pay the gas bill.

      I assume all of this stuff is saved on a server somewhere in SoCal? I bet Morrissey has investigated sending in a crack team of jewel thieves to seize the hard drives and put giant magnets against them, thereby erasing all our precious ravings. Which would be a bit of a shame.

      I'm pleased we've reached cordiality. I have read your blog and enjoyed it. I'm also pleased that you now enjoy posting here after some earlier turbulence. I will enjoy this brief interlude whilst The Mentalist 3 fulfil the terms of their probation, or get married, or whatever it is they're doing in the shadows.

      best wishes

      ps: thanks for the clip which I will investigate further. I hope you are not troubled by scorpions in Sedona, and that a rogue one doesn't sting you during the cinema broadcast you plan to attend with the local nursing home residents. "just like poison in a vile, he was often: very vile". I'm not a Scorpio! I'm a Virgo.....
      Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
    13. Tibby
      I think it`s just fashionable these days to give a poor review to Morrissey.Make up your own mind.

      I don`t understand why some people get their panties in a bunch on how other Morrissey fans express their appreciation for him.His fans love him for their own reasons.Just get over it.No one is forcing you to go watch it or buy the dvd.
    14. Anonymous
      Yeah, I don't know what Charlotte O'Sullivan's problem is. She just doesn't get Moz. Moz likes to pay tribute to his fans because he is a caring person. It's nothing new. Look at the Hulmerist video and the KROQ CD. When online commentators complained about the girl Moz featured on the KROQ CD who mentioned "stupid shiny black shoes," Mel created a tribute 'zine called "Stupid Shiny Black Shoes." Then Moz in turn paid tribute to Mel in Live:25 with the license plate that said Mel <3 Moz and the song "Ouija Board, Ouija Board." I guess only smart people should be reviewing Moz material. If it was no good then fans wouldn't want it. The fans aren't going to see this stuff in the mainstream; they have to seek it out. Moz gives nod to the fans who make this effort. It's simple. Apparently not simple enough for someone like Charlotte O'Sullivan to figure out. Oh well. Some people are forever in the dark.


    15. BrummieBoy
      Let's reposition that slightly: "I don`t understand why Morrissey gets his panties in a bunch on how other Elton/Beiber/One Direction fans express their appreciation. Their fans love them for their own reasons. Just get over it.No one is forcing you Morrissey to go watch it or buy the dvd."

      Can you see a problem?
    16. realitybites
      The blog? It's a dullard, I know. But it gets me through the night. So it has utility. I think I enjoy posting here too much. Someone, somewhere (the voice in my head) said I should take another holiday. I tell myself I will. And I don't. Addiction? Sounds like it, doesn't it? Well, they say the only way to replace a bad behavior is with another. Too bad I don't have a boat waiting for me at the end of my dock at the end of my waterfront retreat. Problem would.be.solved. A boating addiction is one which I could live with comfortably.

      A little mariner jargon for fun... Ya, it's smooth sailing around here now. But you know how quickly the sea changes. I am prepared for ten foot swells. Though, I'll probably jump ship, next time, and swim to shore... before the boat capsizes.
    17. realitybites
      Would you believe I have not seen a single scorpion in all the eight years I have lived here? Of course, I am not exactly an outdoorsy kind of gal.

      Have you seen The Crying Game? You'd love it. It's a real gender bender. :p
      Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
    18. BrummieBoy
      Yes, The Crying Game is very good. It was radical in it's day but UK culture has now morphed into another dimension. The cast of the latest Celebrity Big Brother are so totally Queer-Eye for the Transphobic Guy that it makes me feel sorry for the football manager, Ron Atkinson, who is clearly being picked on for nomination as he's unreconstructed and winces at the obscenities of the Alpha Gays and Females. Heterophobia is too far, but they seemed to dismiss him very quickly and easily.

      I've only ever seen Scorpions on holiday on Sardinia. We were camping. I told my girlfriend who told me not to be such a twit and stop panicking. We didn't get bitten. Scorpions will survive total nuclear war along with cockroaches or so i read.....
    19. BrummieBoy
      I've never understood why people drone on at me (or you, or anyone) that we "spend too much time on here thinking about Morrissey". Not true. It's just a very funny place with a real cast of characters. And it seems to have a realistic and genuine attempt at a 'free speech' policy. With Edward Snowden's revelations, I've been thinking a lot about your Fourth Amendment: we have no such thing here.

      If you do a blog here, there's a ready audience. So long as you enjoy it, why not continue?

      Boats are very restorative, though I wouldn't fancy sailing one towards Iceland in the winter! We have cruises around the islands of Britain and Ireland but it's hugely expensive. I'd love to do it in a smaller boat, but that's probably not going to happen. I like George Clooney in "Perfect Storm". Waves in motion are very relaxing, even when they're rough. "Seasick, yet docked". A strange song.....!

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