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Koln, Germany (Oct. 13, 1999)

Morrissey in Köln or: I've spend seven years on your trail

Posted By: Stefan Krix <[email protected]>
Date: Monday, Oct. 18 1999, at 1:12 p.m.

After seeing Morrissey for the first time on 23rd December 1992 in Düsseldorf and NOT seing him in January 1996 on the ill-fated Bowie support tour, i was very exited to see him in Cologne at last.

I arrived about 1 pm at the E-Werk and went to the town to meet Karl Verstrynge, his wife and two friends. We spend a few hours in Cologne and arrived around 6.15 pm at the E-Werk. There were a few people waiting, but when the doors opened shortly after 7 pm, the place was crowded with people. It was a very quiet crowd, a few with flowers, and many with Smiths or Morrissey T-Shirts (mostly self-made).

The venue was sold out, it's capacity is said to be about 2.000. It is an old (former industrial used) building in an industrial area. Apart from the (unseated) main room is has a balcony on the left and on the back side. Three bars make sure that you can get beer and water during the concert.

Merchandise was very bad, only one T-Shirt with the tour dates on the back and the full 'Southpaw Grammar' picture on the front was offered for DM 40,-- (~ $ 23). I was told that Morrissey hasn't decided on a photo for an additional T-Shirt, but they were looking forward to have more merchandise within the next week(s). Even Sack had a T-Shirt and 3 CD's...

The concert started in time at 8 pm. Sack were good to my point of view, although - as mentioned before - the singer was quite extrem in his moving - perhaps he had back problems, too. Sack received a warm welcome and good applause.

Around 9.20 pm Morrissey and the Band entered the stage and started with "You Gonna Need someone on your Side". Morrissey - dressed in T-Shirt and Jacket - was shaking hand with the front row.

The concert was great. He played a set list that was very near to my wishes and was obviously in high spirits.

I have seen the band once in 1992 and have heard many bootleg recordings from the tours 1991-1997; I have to apologize for bad comments I've made in the past: They were very good! ok, give the new drummer a bit more time and Gary, hey, moving is not forbidden on stage!, but their arrangements for the old songs (Break Up the Family, Hairdressers On Fire, Meat Is Murder etc.) were brilliant. And hey, although Boz turns more and more into the "John Candy of Rock" his and Alain's performance was alone worth the money.

Morrissey - as said before - was in good mood and his performance was very intensive. I've never heard 'Meat is Murder' sung so convincing and his 'new lyrics' on "Break up the Family" ("...I want to be here. With my friends. Tonight...") touched me a lot.

The only low point was that there were a lot of technical problems (lots of feedback noises, his voice was too low at the start etc.).

To me the whole tour seems to be organized in a hurry (no merchandise, no backdrop, nearly no advertising posters - there was no Morrissey poster anywhere outside the venue, although there were some for later concerts (Texas, Foo Fighters, Suede)). But this created an atmosphere like a family party to me.

Hope i don't have to wait another seven years...

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