O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

300 Words From London: Morrissey Live At Alexandra Palace

Mayday, mayday. Morrissey moons Muswell Hill.

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Lake, Editor, London for outsideleft.com
originally published: May, 2006
I thought Morrissey was going to go all Lionel Bart on us.
by Lake, Editor, London for outsideleft.com
originally published: May, 2006
I thought Morrissey was going to go all Lionel Bart on us.

For one joyous second half way through "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" I thought Morrissey was going to go all Lionel Bart on us with a chorus of street urchins coming on from the wings. After all, a giant backdrop of Sacha Distel, that mainstay of Saturday night television variety shows of my youth, loomed large over the stage throughout.

Instead this was a predictable though generally enjoyable wade through most of the somewhat over-rated Ringleader of the Tormentors album with a few old classics thrown in to help speed things along.

The show had the dynamics of a heavyweight boxing match. Fast paced, bruising opening with two recent singles and a rampant Smiths cover; flabby, flat footed middle rounds with too many one-paced tracks in a row, saved from total lethargy by the always amusing "Girlfriend In A Coma"; and a final burst of energy that built slowly from the plaintive crescendo of the overlooked classic "Trouble Loves Me" (from the wilderness years of Maladjusted) to a quite stunning version of "How Soon Is Now?"

Worst song of the night by far was new b-side "Gang Lord". Another memorial to thuggery that is to "Last of The Famous International Playboys" what Guy Ritchie's Revolver is to Goodfellas.

I first saw Morrissey play in 1983 when the Smiths supported Sisters of Mercy at the old Brixton Ace. I was 17 but I remember it very clearly. I took my near-14 year old daughter along to this show at the Palace. Her first proper rock gig - if you discount a Billy Childish performance at an art opening that she says she can't remember and a Britney Spears concert she pretends to forget - and she loved it.

There was a moment, part way through "How Soon Is Now?" when I thought that yes, even if she doesn't ever bother going to see Morrissey play again then she might just remember this for 23 years. And that in itself made the whole night worthwhile.

see more stories from outsideleft's Music archive »»

Lake
Editor, London

the first journalism Lake ever had published was a history of Johnny Thunders for Record Collector magazine, since then he has written for publications including the Guardian, Dazed and Confused, the Idler and more recently, outsideleft.com as you have just seen.

OUTSIDELEFT Night Out 2
 
best LPs of 2019 Bill Callahan... best LPs of 2019
  1. Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest - Bill Callahan
  2. Return to Me - Lilac Time
  3. 2020 - Richard Dawson
  4. Chalk Hill Blue - Will Burns & Hannah Peel
  5. All Mirrors - Angel Olsen
Sno Aalegra... best LPs of 2019
  1. Shlagenheim - black midi
  2. The Imperial - The Delines
  3. Old New - Tomeka Reid Quartet
  4. Ugh, Those Feels Again - Snoh Aalegra
  5. 5 - Sault
Esther Rose... best LPs of 2019
  1. You Made it this Far - Esther Rose
  2. Hiding Places - billy woods + Kenny Segal
  3. I Found a Place - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
  4. Thanks for the Dance - Leonard Cohen
  5. Walk Through Fire - Yola
David Benjamin Blower... best LPs of 2019
  1. We Really Did This and We Really Existed - David Benjamin Blower
  2. The Reeling - Brighde Chaimbeul
  3. Eton Alive - Sleaford Mods
  4. Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains
  5. Biiri - Nihiloxica

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Shelter Me, Already
You will fall in love with Ray LaMontagne. I'm just warning you.
Hearts and Bones
Hearts and Bones, Meave Haughey's lifestyles of the beautiful losers
Going Underground
30 from 17: Mogwai
Jason Lewis end of year round up of LPs continues with Mogwai
Getting Way Out Beyond the 'wah WAH wahhh'
Like When the Gods Still Walked the Earth
A free t-shirt, fond recollections of Styx and the very fate of the universe all come together in the undeniable awsomeness of Coheed and Cambria. COHEEEEEEED
Some of our favorite things...