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article imageReview: How Soon is Now? And other gems as Morrissey delights Zagreb Special

By Paul Bradbury     Dec 14, 2014 in Music
Zagreb - Morrissey's European tour promoting his new album hits Zagreb, where his message of animal rights was typically uncompromising.
A clearly devoted sell-out crowd welcomed British music icon Morrissey to the capital of Croatia on December 12, 2014, as the adoring faithful at Velosajam in Zagreb greeted the former front-man of The Smiths with a warm Croatian welcome on a chilly night in the city.
Morrissey's set, a mixture of classics of The Smiths and his own early solo career, also included tracks from his new album, World Peace is None of Your Business, and the evening kicked off with a lyrically contemporary version of Smiths' classic "The Queen is Dead." It was a song also played exactly 28 years previously at The Brixton Academy on was to be the final ever Smiths concert.
The years may have advanced him, but there is no doubting that the quality and range of Morrissey's remarkable voice had not diminished, and fans delighted in the second song of the night, a rendition of his first solo single, Suedehead.
The engaged audience was a mix of generations, including plenty well into their middle age, such as this Manchester-born Digital Journalist, who had come to pay homage to a man whose musical genius had played an important role in their tortured teenage existences in the mid-Eighties.
For a man often known for his introvertedness and distance, the rapport with his versatile five-strong musical support was noticeable, starting with a group bonding moment as they formed an inner circle before starting, before taking a communal bow before the end.
Morrissey of course has devoted much of his musical career to championing the rights of animals, and as previously reported on Digital Journal, the entire tour is taking place with non-vegetarian products banned from the venues. For the uninitiated, footage of bullfighters being gored to the accompaniment of "The Bullfighter Dies" may have been shocking enough, but his main message was reserved for "Meat is Murder," during which he turned to the giant screen behind him, hands resting against the back of his head, watching a video of the realities of animal treatment in food production, a video produced of his partnership with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
Although the connection between band and audience was clear, its verbal form was somewhat restricted, and apart from introducing his band members, the only time that Morrissey spoke for more than a couple of sentences was to implore his fans to improve the architecture of Zagreb by attaching stencils of his 'Meat is Murder' message.
"I am human."
With such a devoted audience, long sentences were not necessary, and three simple words sent a ripple of expectation through the crowd, as they led to a rarely-played Smiths classic, "How Soon is Now?" No haunting Johnny Marr guitar here, but a wonderful rendition of one of the finest songs ever written, and well worth the entrance money on its own.
There was a short pause before the encore and two final songs, Smiths' classic "Asleep," before the most popular song of the night, accompanied by Morrissey stripping off his shirt and throwing it into the crowd, "Every Day is Like Sunday."
For those in need of another Morrissey fix, the after party at Zagreb club Jabuka more than met the need. The intimate club was packed with Morrissey fans enjoying a five-hour set of Morrissey and Smiths classics which went on into the early hours. The revellers were noticeably young, but all dancing and singing old Smiths' numbers, which they knew by heart. Most were not even born when The Smiths split up in 1986, proof that while Morrissey the man may not live forever, his musical genius is eternal.
For a photo gallery of the Zagreb concert, click here.
More about Morrissey, morrissey zagreb, World Peace is None of Your Business, Zagreb, Croatia
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