Live reviews

Morrissey - Birmingham Academy

"I want the one I can't have...and it's driving me mad" sang Mozzer in the opening song at tonight's sold out idol-frenzy. Maybe he's referring to the fact he's record-deal-less and manager-less. It's a testiment to this generations indie-Elvis that he can sell out 3 months worth of live dates worldwide yet still have none of the above.

So with no record to sell, we are treated to a hits, Smiths tracks and album tracks set that the crowd lap up with all the love he deserves. Gone are the maudlin days it seems, with Mozzer in fine jovial, and dare I say it, camp mood. He introduces 'Meat Is Murder' with the line "In a world of Hannibal The Cannibles , I still go with Reggie the Veggie every time". The Smiths tracks really did show the bands limitations: when compared with Mr Marr's fretwork. Boz and Alain (or Gareth Gates as Morrissey introduced him tonight) can't compete with the subtlety. It's the full on rock outs where they shine, however. "Speedway" hurtles along and took no prisoners, and new song "Irish Blood, English Heart" had all the passion and hate we have come to know and love.

'Classics' like "Hairdresser on Fire" and "Sister I'm A Poet" were spewed out and the three newies stood among them in terms of lyrical quality and venom. The only let down was "Every Day Is Like Sunday" where Boz Boorer played the banjo and single-handedly destroyed the beautiful song. There is a reason that banjo's are resigned to the C & W world, Boz...... Ending with "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" a happy Morrissey flew the stage and left us all wanting more. More of him, more great English music in general, and more true pop stars.

As the crowd proved, there truly is a place for him and his friends in this world. Morrissey is our last great pop idol.

Parker Biro

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