Morrissey kicked off his UK tour tonight (April 18) by returning home to Greater Manchester.
The singer chose to begin the British leg of the ‘Ringleader Of The Tormentors’ tour at Salford’s Lowry Centre, just across town from the Lad’s Club where his old band The Smiths were famously photographed during the 1980s.
Reflecting on his return home, Morrissey introduced himself to the sold-out crowd, simply declaring, “So this is Salford,” before later on he quizzed the audience about the locality.
“Does anyone remember the old Salford market with the clock?” He enquired. “No? So there’s no one as old as me, that’s a blessing.”
However the issue of age was a theme throughout the gig, as having confirmed ’The Youngest Was The Most Loved’ as his next single, Morrissey then accused Radio 1 of ageism.
“Radio 1 have already said they won’t play it (the single),” he told the crowd. “Do you know why? Because the head of music at Radio 1 has said: ‘Morrissey was born in 1959 and the furthest we go back is 1971’. This does not apply to U2 or Madonna, it’s Radio 1’s way of saying screw you, but what do we care?”
The singer later picked on U2 again. Responding to a recent poll that had voted the Irish band’s song ‘One’ one of the best lyrics of all time, Morrissey quipped to his audience, “I noticed in the newspapers that in a lyrical competition Bono did better than me. He’s really nice, but really?”
With new album ‘Ringleader Of The Tormentors’ recently scoring Morrissey his third solo number one, the set drew heavily from the record, including ‘Life Is A Pigsty’, ‘At Last I Am Born’ and recent single ’You Have Killed Me’, with the singer thanking his fans “for giving us seven days of glory with ’Ringleader Of The Tomatoes’“.
’First Of The Gang To Die’
‘You Have Killed Me’
‘I Just Want To See The Boy Happy’
‘The Youngest Was The Most Loved’
‘My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye’
‘Reader Meet Author’
‘Girlfriend In A Coma’
‘To Me You Are A Work Of Art’
‘I Will See You In Far Off Places’
‘At Last I Am Born’
‘Let Me Kiss You’
‘Trouble Loves Me’
‘A Song From Under The Floorboards’
‘How Soon Is Now’
‘Life Is A Pigsty’
‘Irish Blood, English Heart’
However with the singer also playing several songs from his old band The Smiths, including ’Still Ill’ and ’Girlfriend In A Coma’, he won a rapturous response from his fellow Mancunians, though warned them against dwelling on his legacy.
“What about them?” he asked when one fan chanted his old band’s name. “Well it’s only life. The past is a very nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. Life, strange as it is, crawls on.”
Concluding proceedings with a one-song encore, Morrissey introduced ’Irish Blood, English Heart’ telling the crowd “We’ll have to be quick, (‘X Factor’ winner) Shayne Ward is coming on next. Oh you like him, you know it!”
Morrissey’s tour, his biggest in Britain in some years, is now set to continue around the country, including a four-night residency at the London Palladium.
For the ultimate Morrissey tour survival guide, buy this week’s issue of NME, on newsstands nationwide from April 19.