A 'god' visits Nottingham
The hair is greying, but the trademark quiff is still there. No longer sylph-like, rather barrel-chested in fact, his moves are still the same. He seemed calmer, happier than he's been known to be, more at peace with himself and the audience, despite the occasional ascerbic comment. But this was still the real thing, the real Morrissey!
Although he sang a few of the lesser known B-sides, he mostly stuck to crowd-pleasing favourites. He was good. Very good!
There was enough chanting of his name and enough roses thrown on stage for you to know that there were many amongst the audience who thought of him as God. They must have been the ones who burst into lustful roars when he stripped off his shirt during ‘Let me kiss you’. Rather cleverly but, I suspect, a regular party-trick of his, he ripped it off towards the end of the song while singing, ‘But then you open your eyes, and you see someone that you physically despise.'
I may be a fan but I really don’t understand the extreme adulation he inspires. My best friend from university, these days a respected forensic psychiatrist, still suffers from this adulation, despite being my age, ie Morrissey’s age. He stood in a queue for over five hours a few years' ago, waiting for Morrissey to autograph something (probably a CD) he was promoting. For five hours he thought of things he had to say to the great man. Finally, when in the presence of his god, he was so tongue-tied that he was unable to greet or thank him, let alone say something profound.
Even very well-respected writers succumb to this adulation - Mark Simpson’s celebrated biography of Morrissey is called ‘Saint Morrissey’! Mark Simpson is credited with coining the term, 'metrosexual'. Douglas Coupland, another author closely associated with a popular term, 'Generation X', is another huge Morrissey fan. His Observer interview of Morrissey makes for interesting reading.
But, as a fan, albeit not an adoring one, it was great to eventually have seen him. It also gave me an excuse to join the YouTube generation. The clip is quite long (8 minutes), rather fragmented, and not of the best quality (camera phone), but it gives you an idea of what it was like to see Morrissey at the Nottingham Arena.
Update: The Independent reports on 'Screams of heresy from Morrissey fans':
Tony Wilson the godfather of Manchester's music scene, has launched a vitriolic attack on the singer just a week ahead of a public vote to decide if he will be Britain's "Living Icon".
Wilson, the former Haçienda nightclub boss and label manager behind New Order and Happy Mondays, tells me: "Steven [Morrissey] is a nasty human being. He treats people like shit and has done throughout his career. Smiths fans confuse the art with the artist."
Morrissey declined to comment. The city's most famous musical export is on the final shortlist of three - up against Sir Paul McCartney and, mercifully, Sir David Attenborough. The Living Icon will be announced on BBC2's Culture Show next Saturday.
No doubt Morrissey would greet a victory with characteristic jubilation.