The rain stopped for Morrissey, but we were already petrified. Yet all that discomfort was soon forgotten.
I didn’t really get the Smiths as a teenager, but it’s tempting to lie (in my own diary?) that I was one of the few kids into indie music at school (although some of my friends certainly were). I was busy discovering early Roxy Music and delving into Clapton’s back catalogue. Those who liked the Cure, Joy Division and the Smiths were looked upon as drop outs. And in a way they were as they rejected the mainstream. Now it’s kind of embarrassing to admit you actually listened to Steve Wright in the Afternoon (now revived on Radio 2, which he then called Radio Tombstone). Quite right too
Morrissey, of course, is rather special. He’s still not played on Radio 1 because they say he’s too old (though Madonna’s older), but now everyone claims to have been a Smiths fan. If anything the music’s done much more than stand the test of time, in retrospect it’s defined its times. We’ve all had teenage nights out standing alone in a club, imagining being left out forever; tonight’s outstanding performance of How Soon is Now? made everything worthwhile.
But while the new stuff does stand up well next to the Smiths’ back catalogue and I’m now convinced enough to invest in an album, it’s not quite there.
It’s not just that there was more to the Smiths than one man. While the Smiths were always political, Morrissey is at his most powerful when commenting on the human condition, now he’s changed his focus, the work just isn’t as insightful. And while tonight’s performance was faultless — the finale breathtaking — I wasn’t convinced that the pic of Oscar Wilde added anything.
This posted via mobile via Flickr and so not so closely proofread. Click the pic to see it large (there’s an ‘all-sizes’ tab for really large).
Update 22 August: Check out Hang the DJ:
…and First of the Gang to Die: