long been a fan of Morrissey's since I bought a copy of "The World Won't
Listen" by his previous band, The Smiths (along with LL Cool J's 'Bigger
& Deffer' on the same day at separate record shops, but that's another
story!) back in 1987. I've not always agreed with his point of view on
certain issues (I witnessed his imfamous support slot to Madness while
perched on a children's climbing frame in Finsbury Park, bearing witness
to a stick-like figure with a gold lame shirt and a quiff in the distance
mincing about the stage with a British flag. Shortly after that, the last
time I attended a concert of his at Alexandra Palace back in '92, one lovely
individual behind me took great pleasure in doing "Seig Heil" salutes with
one outstreched arm while clutching a Union Jack in the other hand), but
when I saw in the music papers that he was doing four nights at the Forum
down Kentish Town, I broke my self-imposed boycott of his concerts and
bought a ticket for the first show on Saturday the 13th of November.
On entering the Forum, the first thing I did was try and warm my hands (not easy when you've stood for 20 mins. on the platform of Highbury & Islington BR station waiting for the train to Kentish Town West to arrive, and then for nearly an hour outside the venue in the chilling cold of a November evening in North-West London), which had gone numb. While standing around, I very boldly asked a young woman if she could clip my rear cycle light onto my jacket as I couldn't feel my hands to do so (no, readers, I wasn't trying to chat her up. Honest!) Her name was Jill, and it seemed that she'd followed the Mancunian "Guru Of Glum" to the UK, having arrived only just that morning from San Diego in the US, and had gotten tickets to the other three nights at the Forum that Morrissey was to do. On top of that, she had a demo c.d. to deliver to Xfm (London 'Indie' radio station - or so it was until Capital Radio took over) in Leicester Square (or "Lie-Chester Square", as she pronounced it), plus she hoped to get the setlist of the show. A bloke nearby overhead us chatting and he chipped in (his name was Philippe, and he'd come from Paris via Eurostar).
Just at that moment, the lights went down and the support act (a mildly forgettable group from Ireland by the name of Sack took to the stage). Having done their bit, the audience grew a little impatient, and the familiar chant of "Morrissey, Morrissey, Morrissey" (rent the Moz video 'Hulmerist' to get an idea of what I'm going on about) rang around the building. There weren't that many people I could see wearing Moz T-shirts (conscious of conforming to the popular stereotype of the 'Moz saddo' perhaps?), but there were, however, more than a few England football shirts on display, and they'd plenty to be pleased about, as Mr. Keegan's boys had stuffed the "Auld Enemy" 2-0 at Hampden Park earlier on in the day.
The lights went down again, this time to an almighty roar and Morrissey, wearing a 'West Ham Boys' Club' T-shirt underneath his decidedly foppish dark blue velvet jacket (by Gucci, so I'm told) and friends took to the stage. For a bloke who'd just recently entered his forties, he looked in v.good shape (mind you, if you happen to live in a part of the world where it's nearly always sunny, it'd be a major achievement if he looked "brok up," as my oldest niece called Charlene - sixteen, into speed garage, R & B and mention it quietly to any Moz-heads reading, RAGGA! - is fond of saying) and remained in chipper spirits throughout the evening. Here's the first few pics I took (apologies for the quality, but as an excuse, I had to endure slightly over-enthusiastic Moz-heads bumping into me from behind, as well as deliberately obstructive security in front of the stage).
someone from Manchester, you'd think he'd wear a United or City T-shirt
(if it were me, Arsenal would be worn with pride on my torso).
was the first decent pic I got that evening. The quiff - flecked with grey
in places - seems in good nick, while also just in view is a bunch of flowers
in the top right hand corner that you can see. There were plenty more of
those thrown onto the stage (including, oddly enough, a banana which Morrissey
dangled provocatively on the crotch of his jeans). Yes browsers, it was
that sort of an evening!
service resumed (another duff pic!).
you want to see some more piccies, or what?"