Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Tuesday 21 July 2009

When the alarm rings/buzzes this morning outside it still looks like nighttime. The rain is back, the sun is gone and with it comes an air of defeat and premature winter blues.

I am slow moving this morning, scraping the barrel of things/chores/duties I need to do/perform. When I finally get some breakfast I actually find myself having to turn on the light in my kitchen it is so dark. Summer is officially over.

Despite rolling out of bed late things are soon moving per schedule. With the rain drizzling down miserably outside I have to grab my green American Apparel hoodie. This eventually turns out to be a mistake as it is long overdue a wash. Whoops.

With hindsight this rainy weather is the perfect weather for Morrissey. This is everyday like Sunday.

Boarding the train it is will an element of excitement, of knowing that I am going to see Morrissey tonight and no one around me is likely to be. In preparation I give “Years Of Refusal” another run through on my iPhone. This is a great album/record and was the deciding point in why I bought tickets for the show tonight.

Today at Shenfield once more the creepy old Harry Potter reader gets on in his Warhol wig like head of hair and pervert mack. Surely he realises his wrongs.

As the train sits stranded outside Liverpool Street I just muse – one day it won’t be like this. Eventually we arrive into the platform at 8.04. Late.

Boarding the tube this morning I get a pretty decent seat. Then a hot Asian girl decides to squeeze in next to me when really there is not enough room for the pair of us. This is not necessarily unpleasant. She sits with her back to me in pure and total declaration of rejection. Ordinarily I would enjoy/love having this girl squeezed in next to me but today I have no time or truck for such prick tease gestures. Her iPod is loud and annoying so with any luck she will be deaf by the time she is married. To counteract this I put on “No Pussy Blues” by Grinderman and as it hits its piercing shriek I think it serves it’s purpose to scare her off, not that is stops her own music from drowning out mine. I check my watch and look at her now eating chocolate. This is my world, not hers.

Stepping into the restaurant I bump into the IT Guy who is making coffees and I stumble into conversation in exchange for a cup.

For some reason The Girl annoys me today and when off the back of a random stationery company offering us a discount rate she proceeds to phone up our existing stationery supplier (that we push to legal action for payment) what kind of discount they are going to offer us. Perhaps if we paid them on time instead of rough three months after the purchase they might be a bit more accommodating. When she makes the call I comment that she is “thick” as I feel that she is jeopardising an already stretched and delicate business relationship as it is. Obviously my comment doesn’t go down well and it kicks off a day of tension between us that unfortunately drags in anyone else unfortunate enough to be around.

Early in the day the consultant sends me an email requesting information on balance sheet accounts. These are almost exactly the same areas that I worked on yesterday so thankfully I am able to respond to him well prepared for a change. Impressive use of foresight that.

For lunch I have soup again today. Heading downstairs I see the roller derby girl and she tells me she is still aching from the games on Saturday.

In the afternoon The Girl thankfully comes around and the tense atmosphere clears and we begin to have fun again. Its too much hard work to keep this shit up forever.

I email my friend in Holland Park with view to meeting up.

When he arrives the consultant looms in with his usual cloud of misery and actually when I respond to his requests he gets a bit arsey with me, which obviously I am not impressed by. As a result of this I wind up working late and leaving late.

Despite this I still get to Brixton first and as ever the place fucking terrifies me. It is loud, intimidating and always hectic as fuck. It is obvious a lot of work has been put into making the place right but it will never it lose its reputation.

Eventually Racton turns up and it appears that Eleanor has been waiting at another part of the station all the time. We head to a pub around the corner called The Prince that is opposite The Ritzy where we get a seat easily as we weight up eating options.

Perversely we wind up in KFC while some kind of amateur gospel group sings for freedom outside. As the busy black stereotype of loving fried chicken is exhibited I order as much bird as my pound can get me. I genuinely cannot recall the last time I was lucky enough to find myself within the confines of the Colonel’s house.

As we sit chomping and extending our conversation coincidentally my cousin and his dad step into the place also and soon we clock each other. This is my cousin that is getting married in a couple of weeks’ time. Tonight he is exhibiting the expected nerves as it turns out that he and Racton have worked on mutual stuff with the BBC. I make comment that its cool that his dad is heading out to Morrissey as my own old man probably wouldn’t be seen/caught dead at the gig. My uncle then points out that he is about ten years younger than my dad. Whoops, no offence intended.

As you would expect tonight the Brixton Academy is heaving. This is not my favourite London venue but you have to give it credit for its sloping floor that assists in getting a good view of performance and proceedings.

The vibe tonight feels very different to the last time I saw Morrissey (at the Camden Roundhouse). That was an event filled with personal horror and turmoil but ultimately ending with some kind of false optimism.

Upon arrival we are greeted with the view of old New York Dolls footage playing out on a screen behind the stage followed by more video of a blonde Lou Reed then weird sixties pop in go-go boots.

Suddenly the screen rises and the backdrop of an apparent sixties gangster pointing an accusatory finger at the audience is revealed. With this MORRISSEY and his band take to the stage to a rapturous response. With his band dressed like barbers crossed with Louis Farrakhan in their strange bowties the band launches into a more efficient version of “This Charming Man” than Marr ever felt willing to muster.

Within the first six songs three of them are Smiths songs and early on it feels very much like a crowd-pleasing set. As the band tear into “How Soon Is Now” suddenly it feels as if they are able to do it justice as they nail it in the fashion in which it was originally intended.

From here onwards the set turns out to be pretty much a review of latter day MORRISSEY releases which serves as somewhat of a disappointment considering just what a powerful album “Years Of Refusal” has been this year, definitely in my opinion his best since his “comeback.”

The set bellows in shirt ripping style as “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris” screams out in raucous fashion with a loving gesture behind the delivery even if the message is one of contentment in rejection.

“Girlfriend In A Coma” returns the set to some kind of nostalgia trip as MORRISSEY slips about the stage in a gesture that I feel sees him taking the piss out of all parties (all stakeholders) involved in proceedings. Its clumsy and sarcastic, a very fun moment that manages to keep the crowd warm as the set launches into a dark section as “When Last I Spoke To Carol” pre-empts juddering displays with “The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores” and a truly horrific and depressing “Life Is A Pigsty” as the misery in the world of MORRISSEY remain long, strong and true. As the spotlight follows him around the stage and he eventually collapses in front of the drums a kind of James Brown broken man euphoria attaches itself to proceedings.

Thankfully the set reaches a rousing conclusion as “I’m OK By Myself” proves another perfect set closer as the sentiments of being individual and alone in a sea of happy clones serves to empower an audience of difficult, awkward and troubled people. This is an anthem that has singalong capabilities and displays just why “Years Of Refusal” was such a strong release.

With the opportunity to rip his shirt open just one more time MORRISSEY returns for an encore of “First Of The Gang To Die” and suddenly it once more becomes just apparent how fantastic, amazing and valuable his return to the fold has been, how much of a treasure this artist is in time of such safe and bland persons in opposition.

As ever leaving the Brixton Academy turns out to be testing and frustrating. Miraculously after losing Racton and Eleanor we once more bump into each other outside.

From here onwards comes the long journey home. As I get the Northern Line up to the Central Line the change at Oxford Circus comes coupled with a crazy man standing on the platform shouting at the Oxford Circus tube sign. Obviously he follows us onto our train where he really smells of piss, to the extent that people have to hold their noses. All through the journey he continues to haggle, shouting as if in argument with his reflection in the carriage window. He has his belongings with him but it doesn’t look like he has anything good in his bags. At one point it even looks like he going to pull out his knob and have a slash on the train. What is his story? Where is he going? I would put good money on him getting off at Liverpool Street when I do. Eventually indeed he does get off at Liverpool Street with the remainder of us exiting the train running to avoid him and his stench.

For the journey home I was hoping to bump into my cousin and uncle with view to celebrating the victorious gig but unfortunately they are nowhere to be seen as I board the 11.18PM train to Colchester.

Eventually when I get home BBC1 has been showing Broken Flowers and I arrive just in time to see the heartbreaking climax detailing torrential lose and the sense of feeling helpless. Very people can do pained the way that Bill Murray does in this moment. The emotions that come with viewing this feel fit to close out a night that was spent with Morrissey.

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