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article imageReview: Morrissey enchants London Special

By Tim Sandle     Nov 29, 2014 in Music
London - Morrissey delivered a spell-binding performance at London's O2 Arena on November 29, running through a selection of career highlights, songs from his new album, and a few Smiths songs as well to delight the capacity crowd.
With a five piece, tightly controlled band, Morrissey elected to open with one of his songs from his former band. Launching into the Queen Is Dead, the song, originally written to depict life during the 1980's, was given a contemporary twist with some backdrop images of the more pompous aspects of the British monarchy of today.
Following this, Morrissey launched into a thrilling take of his 1988 track Suedehead, which included such classic refrains as:
You had to sneak into my room just to read my diary
It was just to see, just to see
All the things you knew I'd written about you
Morrissey performing at the 02 arena on November 29  2014.
Morrissey performing at the 02 arena on November 29, 2014.
Playing in the capital for the first time in two years and following reports he had been treated for cancer, Morrissey was in good humor with the crowd. He did, however, take a few swipes at his former record label (Harvest Records) with who he recently had a much publicized falling out.
The set contained several numbers from Morrissey's new album World Peace Is None Of Your Business, as well as selections from his post-Smiths solo career. Of these, the best song was arguably Speedway, originally on his acclaimed Vauxhall and I album. Here Morrissey's full vocal glories were put to the fore.
All of the rumors
Keeping me grounded
I never said, I never said that they were
Completely unfounded
Other highlights included the grand I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris and the ever-so-slightly tongue-in-cheek Kick The Bride Down The Aisle.
Two other songs from The Smiths back catalog made the cut. The first was an epic rendition of Meat Is Murder, accompanied by a video backdrop of footage issued by PETA. This number fitted in nicely with a later song called The Bullfighter Dies, where the bull was given the starring role and some sharp social criticism was directed towards those regions in Spain that still permit the bizzare and barbaric exhibitions of bull fighting.
Being a Morrissey concert  no meat products were on sale inside the venue.
Being a Morrissey concert, no meat products were on sale inside the venue.
Throughout the concert the band played strongly, using guitars, keyboards, drums, and a range of other instruments designed to create a sometimes exotic soundscape (as required on numbers like Istanbul) most songs were accompanied by video projections, displaying footage in keeping with the song's main themes. All throughout Morrissey's singing and performance were often mesmerizing.
The final Smiths song came as part of a two song encore. This was the lament Asleep.
Sing me to sleep
And then leave me alone
Don’t try to wake me in the morning
Because I’ll be gone.
This was followed by a rousing Everyday Is Like Sunday, where, towards the end, Morrissey whipped off his shirt, to the delight of some sections of the audience. Following the shaking of hands from some adoring fans, as the security staff just about managed to hold off a stage dive, Morrissey departed. Exit stage left, to continue his world tour.
This reviewer awards the concert 5 out of 5. Morrissey's talents remain in fine form.
The full-set list was:
The Queen Is Dead / Suedehead / Staircase At The University / World Peace Is None Of Your Business / Kiss Me A Lot / I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris / Istanbul / Smiler With Knife / The Bullfighter Dies / Trouble Loves Me / Earth Is The Loneliest Planet / Neal Cassady Drops Dead / Meat Is Murder / Scandinavia / Kick The Bride Down The Aisle / I'm Not A Man / Speedway // Asleep / Everyday Is Like Sunday
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