Morrissey, live @ the Music Hall, Aberdeen, on Saturday, April 22, 2006
There’s a rumour Morrissey has mellowed.
Heaven know he’s happier now, so the theory goes – some new material even verges on optimistic.
But fans who bought tickets months ago for the sold-out Aberdeen Music Hall gig soon realised the former Smiths frontman was as grumpy and acerbic as ever.
This was no charming man but who would want it any other way?
The hour-and-a-half set was heavily littered with material from Morrissey’s last two albums.
He opened with The First Of The Gang To Die from 2004’s You Are The Quarry – which had signalled a renaissance for Moz.
That was fervently well received but the mood dipped a little towards the middle of the set when a large chunk was tunes from his new number one album Ringleader Of The Tormentors.
Some of the material, such as Life Is A Pigsty, lent itself brilliantly to the live arena, but many failed to appreciate it and seemed to use it as a mid-concert toilet break.
It was clear some longed for the Smiths classics that made Morrissey an icon 20 years ago.
The Music Hall erupted from the opening riff of How Soon Is Now? though many pogo-ing at the front of the hall would barely have been born when the song was released in 1985.
But Moz was to leave the fans wanting more as he left out many other trademark Smiths tunes.
What wasn’t missing was his brand of humour. At one point he said he’d started to think of famous Aberdonian bands only to give it up as pointless.
Later he asked seemingly the whole audience if they were going to a crack house afterwards because “you look the type”.
It was hard to tell if it was just banter or whether Morrissey was having less fun than the audience.
He did seem to tire of the football-style chanting of his name that erupted between almost every song.
As the lights went down at the end of his set, the fans clapped, cheered and stomped their feet for an obligatory encore.
The band returned, but only to play one song – perhaps a clue to Morrissey’s mood.
And his dark humour was in evidence again when he left the Scottish crowd with recent hit Irish Blood, English Heart only hours short of St George’s Day.
- This review appeared in the (Aberdeen) Evening Express on Monday, April 24, 2006.