Thursday, December 07, 2006

A 'god' visits Nottingham

On Tuesday, after so many years of being a fan, I eventually got to see the man that so many of his fans think of as God. I’m talking about that miserable, arrogant, twisted genius known as Morrissey, the man whose lyrics can keep the angst-ridden teenager alive in all of us, no matter how old we are.

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.


Blogger Caroline said...

Glad you had fun - I'm not a Morrissey fan so I don't understand the adulation bit at all. But then I wouldn't understand it for anyone....

3:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never been a fan either really, although I like some of his music.

I find it quite amazing he's made it to the top 3 icons!

12:58 pm  
Anonymous nyasha said...

so there is still a bit of a rebel in you, hey? ;) I don't understand the concept of queuing madly for hours; be it for concerts, the latest Harry Potter, the Wii or what have you.
you friend must have been gutted!

1:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Morrissey very much, but I still haven't seen him live. When will he ever make it to Switzerland?

1:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I imagine I would get that tongue-tied with someone like, oh, say, George Clooney.
haha, I wish!

2:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may not have queued for hours outside but I did wake up early to be ready at the PC to book tickets online to see Robbie Williams a couple of years back. Tickets were sold out in 40 minutes (135,000 of them!) and let me tell you it was totally worth the effort

Not that I'm comparing Robbie to Morrissey but ... well ok there is no point. Just sayin'.

2:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the video as I'm standing second row center. About 1m back from where the two front onstage speakers are!!

Concert was fantastic. Like your review said - he may be showing signs of age but he still has it where it counts!

Morrissey: Panic On The Streets Of Nottingham

12:09 am  
Blogger angel said...

aaaah- the glam that famous people ensnare their worshippers with... it makes me despair for how i will react and behave when i meet king robbie one day...

10:01 pm  
Anonymous xmichra said...

seems like a lot of hullabalou for a dude walking around the stage. Wonder if he was a little more eventful in his youth.

Still, glad you had such a good time :)

12:55 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

Caroline: Although I used to have lots of heroes (still have a few), I don’t understand adulation either.

Paul: I am a fan of his, a big fan but I don’t understand how he is one of the top 3 icons. Of those three, David Attenborough is my choice even though some may find it hard to consider him a cultural icon.

nyasha: Of course there is a bit of a rebel in me still!! I wish I had seen him live many years ago but seeing him live the other day was great. Oddly enough, although his current round of concerts have been sold out in other UK cities, the venue was only about 2/3 full.

Terri: I’ve never fancied George much but I do like him a lot. By all accounts, Robbie is an amazing performer.

FoxyTallChick: I liked you review – you captured the essence of the concert really well.

angel: Will you swoon and dribble, I wonder? :-)

xmichra: Do you know his stuff at all? You should listen to the lyrics – no wonder he’s sometimes referred to as the ‘peoples’ poet’.

12:11 pm  
Anonymous xmichra said...

Are you kidding me?? He used to front the Smiths, and is a great artist. For lyrics. To hear 'How soon is now' (if he would do it) and 'everyday is like sunday' would have been awesome. I would have been glad to go as well, but it is strange to see a show now where there is not much going on on the stage. that's all :)

5:29 pm  
Anonymous xmichra said...

heh. i really didn't mean to come off as a blah-blah-blah type there.. :)

5:36 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

Oops, so sorry to have doubted that you knew of him!! :-)

Yes, I know what you mean about not too much going on stage but us oldies all slow down after a while.

5:37 pm  
Anonymous xmichra said...

of cousre i do :) my inner Goth would not allow me to not have heard of him... lol ;)

Seems with all the shows now, the older bands are slowing down. At least he isn't forgetting his lyrics, like most of them out there.

9:57 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home