Sunday, May 23, 2004


I, and around 15,000 other fans, spent several hours last night at a Morrissey concert, helping him celebrate his 45th birthday. The concert was excellent, mainly because of the vibes from the audience and, for me, because I was in the front row. 'Morrissey', as a star, an idol in the proper sense (really - there are hundreds of thousands of shrines to Morrissey all over the world; you need only enter any Indie-fan student's room), only survives on fans' adoration. If he had started his career in 1987 he would never have become so famous as he is now - he lacks the charisma onstage these days to create afresh any real audience spirit. But the audience don't need Morrissey as he is now to love him. They just need something which resembles him (if a little less quiffular, a little more Sinatra-slime than before) and makes most of the same gestures. That's enough to send them wild with the memories of what The Smiths were, and perhaps what Morrissey solo was in the early days. His voice can bring it all back if you close your eyes; but he's too old to be what he tries to be.

That said, I really did have a fantastic time, and I count myself among the fans who don't really need much from Morrissey to love him. The new album is very good and the support acts were unusually good too (Damien Dempsey and Franz Ferdinand). Above all, I've spent eight years loving The Smiths and loving Morrissey, so being as close to him as I was last night was a dream come true.

But if anyone asked me why they should get into him for what he is now, I wouldn't quite be sure what to say...

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