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Monday, 30 November 2015

Supreme Photographer Connection

Good evening. In between our series of Mozzer style countdowns (as I'm reliably informed, the next one is already in the making), I thought it would be nice to entertain everyone with another flimsy-or-not-so-flimsy coincidence. Actually I just came across it today and have nothing better to do.

While checking the cesspool for news about the Brazil show, I somehow slipped with my mouse and accidentally clicked on another main page article, covering the latest TTY picture that we've been treated with:

Some anonymous crèche person then posted a picture of Neil Young, wearing the same Supreme t-shirt:

Anon crèche guy also pointed out that the picture was part of an ad campaign for Supreme, shot by photographer Terry Richardson:

My memory might be shocking, but I do remember that a certain Fake Moz informed us in chat a couple of months ago that we should watch out for a picture taken by Terry Richardson. This is not exactly what we were expecting, but it's definitely another SIGN. Talking of which, seems like Monsieur Richardson loves taking pictures of... SIGNS, as you can see on his page Incidentally, yesterday he posted one that includes the word "ROSE":

So I wonder - is Sir Richardson acquainted with a certain photography fan in the Moz clan?

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

THREE montages

Morrissey replicates the face of Lil from Twin Peaks:
Morrissey replicates the face of Elvis:

Now, on Sam Esty Rayner​'s Istragram, Facebook and Twitter accounts 
and also on TTY (where it is totally unrelated to the content), 
there's this:

Icons alike


Sunday, 25 October 2015

A little textual analysis

I'm no sycophant, so I can honestly say this: List of the Lost is a mess. A glorious mess, but a mess none-the-less. Boston college kids ranting about Thatcher is 1975? The American dero with his accurate but unlikely rant about the British Cruelity Family? "...snoozled in sleepland; a smiling sleep of dreamland." Really? Really? REALLY?

Don't get me wrong, I love it. It will become a cult classic, if it isn't already. It's the "White Album" of novels. Ezra's "bulbous salutation" and Harri's "manly central issue" that Tracey finds "too slight to grip" will be much quoted. And this: “Whoever put the pain in painting had also put the fun in funeral.” It's overloaded with such gems.

But it's not the quality of the (often tortuous) prose that concerns me here. I'm more concerned with matters of identity. Many co-incidences have already been pointed out (but I have failed to find mentioned the obvious FTM reference on page 109: "Edgar Allan Poe couldn't concoct this."). What I'm interested in here is to draw attention to something else.

The writing style of LOTL is baroque, brash and overbearing. It's a wordy tome that's slim in pages, but long in lengthy sentences (woe-betide David Morrissey or whomever else gets the job of reading it into a talking book, should it get that far). There's the wit of Autobiography, but in LOTL it's in overdrive. They share the dialogue in italics. They share the expected Morrissey-esque themes. But what gets me is that, although there's the occasional phrase lifted from a Morrissey lyric, it's very different from Morrissey's well-honed song verses. And if people thought Autobiography needed editing, then we can only assume that Michael Bracewell got the sack after that effort and M decided to fulfill that role himself.

Stylistically, it's quite different from what we've seen on the MW blob and on TTY. The messages are familiar, with the novel's oopart discussions of Churchill and of meat and the college-based conspiratorial abuse cover-up in the novel constantly reminded me of the Skull and Crossbones conspiracy theory played with on the MW blob, but the means are quite different.

Ever since reading the Brazil short story on MW (and re-published in the Blue Rose Society tumblr) I'd wondered if it showed the way to the novel. Thematically, it does; sex and death and the squalid abuse of power and money. Stylistically, though, they are quite distinct.

So, here's what I did. I popped some text samples into the Online Authorship Attribution Tool. I copied and pasted some prose from LOTL (seen in the analysis as Author 1), some TTY statements signed off as being composed by Morrissey (Author 2) and samples from Brazil (this went into Author Unknown field). What is being measured is how Brazil compares to the sample texts from LOTL (Author 1) and TTY (Author 2).

Here's the results:

It's hardly conclusive and this analysis tool may not mean that much. Maybe the prose of LOTL is so overblown that there is nothing in the Morrissey canon that is stylistically analogous, thereby creating a bias that gravitates Brazil closer to the TTY samples through their more familiar conventional prose styles. As the disclaimer says:
This tool is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. No guarantee is given as to the accuracy of the results, and the outcomes are not to be used for commercial or legal purposes.

However, the result is intriguing, as it suggests that when handed to an anonymous, unthinking software tool that wouldn't know the emotional difference between Please Help The Cause Against Loneliness and Mambo No.5*, it turns out that Brazil is more likely to have been written by Morrissey than his debut novel.

* I compared those two song lyrics with Kiss Me A Lot and the Online Authorship Attribution Tool erred on the side of PHTCAL being written by the same author as KMAL, but the result didn't make it into the green.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Booze-A-Pest in Budapest

Good afternoon. Our beloved Boozelette is on her way to see Monsieur Le Moz in Budapest together with her man-servant/chauffeur/suitcase carrier, and as her Mancunian booze Blue Rose buddy had put it - there's a certain romance to seeing Sir Monsieur abroad, so this time, instead of just covering the day of the show, we're going to report on the whole trip. I for one am expecting loads of pictures of various glasses filled with various alcoholic beverages, but we hope that Mlle also manages to give us an impression of the beautiful city of Budapest aside from the very important research issue of local pubs.

Tickets - passports - blue roses:

On the road now:

Boozey's comment: "En route. I'm allowing dave to drive my car again. Mainly as I got so shitcunted last night I fell down the stairs. Luckily my head didn't split THREE ways, but it hurts to shit down."

UPDATE: Sorry, typo. That's SIT down of course. Stupid fruit.

UPDATE: "Got through security. Rear cleavage wasn't checked." Great, so they haven't confiscated that giant inflatable toothbrush yet. I hope the venue's security will be similarly careless.

First booze pics coming in: "Duty free done very quickly as I needed refreshments. Gate opens in 1hr 20mins from my calculations I should be able to fit THREE drinks in. My eagle eye has noticed the Cocktail menu"

UPDATE: "THIRD drink just bought. DOUBLE southern comfort and lemonade. Also lady sat next to me I was talking to whilst dave went to the bar, had a cat once called Morrissey!"

I really wonder what Morrissey's cat is called. Suggestions in the comments section please.

UPDATE: "Boarding! Just made the final call due to boozing"

"Here is our private jet - of course we will be unable to take pictures of the luxurious inside. Needless to say the champers will be flowing!"

 "Here are my admin bods and staff boarding"


There were some drinkles consumed on the plane and they are now being checked into the hotel by someone named "Gabor." One can only assume they mean Zsa Zsa?  Oh, and the hotel room number is 304, by the way!

Upon their arrival, it appears Dave forgot his toothbrush! Good thing the inflatable wasn't confiscated.

UPDATE: Never fear - the flight hasn't worn Boozey out in the slightest.  "Making up for lost time!" in Budapest now!

A moment of tension when it wasn't clear if a bar was open after the hotel bar closed... but found one - Phew!... more drinks at a lovely Hungarian bar:

Also there's been a sighting of two lovely cats - perhaps a THIRD will make an appearance.

UPDATE: MORE DRINKS - I've now lost count of the total but here we clearly see THREE beers. Boozey says: "My man servant is doing his job well!"

And here we have the lovely Boozelette and her fantastic husband and man-servant Dave, "Boozed in Booze-a-pest!"

Late night Update: There is more booze back in room 304! It's inescapable! Not that anyone seems to be complaining...

UPDATE: I've been awoken from my red wine hangover (are we sensing a theme about our 'staff' here?) just in time to update about Boozey's travels in Budapest. So far today... a lot of rain and...


Which soon turned into:

And these X 3!

Current view (it's quite rainy!):

Current drink consumption update (the little glasses are something called Palinka raspberry (fire water):

Friday, 2 October 2015

SomeFruit's Frankfurt/Cologne experiences (part 1)

This will be very difficult. And, lacking BBN's genius, Marianne's eloquence, or Boozelette's charm, probably the most badly written review ever.

The night before Frankfurt was spent in happy anticipation, packing my bags while simultaneously checking Twitter DM for BBN's updates on the progress of his Hull review. I had planned to go to bed early, but I had already been treated with a sneak preview, so you will certainly understand that I couldn't wait to read the whole thing. Around midnight, I silently started cursing Monsieur Bob Le Bitter for keeping me glued to my screen, and about thirty minutes later I wanted to hug him for the same reason. I was too excited to sleep anyway. Eventually I managed to doze off for about three and a half hours, and headed for Frankfurt around 8 o'clock in the morning. Few things are better than getting into your car to drive to a Morrissey show. Spontaneously, I'd say the only thing that beats that is a Morrissey show. Arriving at around 11:30 a.m. at the venue, and after figuring out how that weird parking garage system worked, I got a nice spot at #16 on the list. Neu-Isenburg isn't LA, obviously. The queue was full of familiar faces, and the day was spent mostly with conversations about where we had last met, watching some guys kicking a ball around, and convincing concerned citizens that we're neither homeless nor refugees. Around 5 p.m., I got ready for the show. I was slightly nervous when I stepped out of the parking garage, because this time, I held not just my ticket, but also a mutant monster blue rose.

I was prepared for any reaction, but there was no reaction at all. No strange looks, no questions; that blue flower that is said to cause a bit of disturbance amongst Morrissey's audience members caused nothing here, it was simply ignored, which was fine for me, although I had hoped beforehand to gain some insight into the question what is the reason for the animosity towards BRS, but in the end I was there to see Morrissey, and felt no need to discuss.

Doors opened, and I found a nice spot at the barrier quite far to the right. One guy of the venue's security came to me to inspect my rose - was he suspecting that I had hidden a gun in there? It surely was big enough... I chatted a bit with the people behind me; a guy who had been to Morrissey shows since the 90s and who got very excited when I told him that Boxers might be played, and the girl with the huge sunflower. It was her first concert, and the anticipation in her eyes was no different to mine. Then I heard a female voice with a Scottish accent. "Is that a blue rose?" a woman to my right asked, and I was prepared for any snarky remark, but instead she said what I had least expected: "That's great, I'm in that club too!". I have no clue what kind of face I pulled then (I never have!), and I suddenly felt really weird, because two worlds were about to merge. I wasn't sure anymore if I was a Morrissey fan in a fruit costume, or an incognito fruit dressed as human. Luckily, Mme wasn't really in the loop and had never heard of TWoM, which spared me from an identity crisis, but she gave me her Twitter handle, and I knew that name only too well. I couldn't believe that this was the person who had filmed Morrissey when he arrived at the back door in Hawick in 2011, which had been my first show, and I remember very clearly how I excitedly waited with the others for the tour bus to arrive. Seeing Morrissey with my own eyes for the first time had been a very special moment for me, and I was so happy to find footage of that moment on YouTube later, and now the woman who had filmed and uploaded it stood right next to me. How odd, and how lovely.

Pre-show started, and I was pleased to see many new videos. With the New York Dolls, the usual routine that will never be a routine began. Hearts beat faster, eyes widen, Lypsinka's madness, the curtain falls, Wayward Sisters, a flashlight illuminates the path to the stage, and there he is - appears. It doesn't matter how many times you've gone through these moments, the excitement is always the same.

Monsieur takes the stage sporting the très chic Larry King blazer, greeting the audience in German - "Danke, guten Abend, blahblahblahblahblahblahblahblah..." and the crowd is instantly drawn in by the magical opener Suedehead. I'm afraid that I can't give a detailed review of the complete show, because whenever I stand in a Moz audience, I just perceive, admire, enjoy the moment. A few mental notes is all I can write about. The usual "Thank you" or "Gracias" is replaced by "Danke" and "Dankeschön", and, early in the set, a "Bitte", followed by "Bitter, bitter, I am so bitter", which I took as an obvious nod to BBN's genius Hull review. When the first chords of Reader Meet Author resound, I don't even realise right away that I'm about to hear a huge surprise in the setlist, as that song is a regular on my daily Morrissey playlist and therefore most familiar to my ears. It took me a few bars to get aware that this was the Southpaw song that Boozelette (and me too) had been waiting for, and I couldn't help chuckling when a silly thought crossed my mind, about who was Reader and who was Author here - assuming that Monsieur occasionally takes a peek at our blob. People Are The Same Everywhere was a highlight, as it contains one of Ch*ck's favourite lines. Staircase threw me into a bit of a struggle, because I couldn't help looking at him during "three ways", but on the other hand that's one of the lines where I usually close my eyes to reduce all sensory perception to my ears. Many Morrissey songs have such a moment, where an already great song offers you a few seconds of absolute perfection, either through words, or vocal melody, or both. The band was introduced in German too - well, "here is" was replaced by "hier ist", but it was still a delight. If you imagine how NOT cute it sounds when Germans try to speak English (ze horror), the opposite is true for Brits speaking German. During Far-Off Places, he repeatedly pointed at the stage, which I found funny as Neu-Isenburg really seemed like a far-off place; to call it a Frankfurt show makes as much sense as playing in Wigan and label it a Manchester concert. I was so happy to hear Boxers, that one I had most anticipated. Time passed too quickly, and Monsieur left the stage after What She Said to reappear for the encore in a brownish shirt with turquoise sp*rkly inlays. He came over to my side of the stage, and I stretched out my hand - not the one that held that quite frankly ridiculous blue rose monster. It wasn't important to me at all if he accepts it or not. The stage was so close that he easily could've reached to grab it if he had wanted to anyway. As I already texted to Boozey, instead of taking my rose, and much to my amusement, he cheekily went for the massive sunflower from the girl that stood behind me (how absurd really that the only two people with big plastic flowers managed to coincidentally stand together), and tossed it back into the audience. It was so typically Moz. There was a slight moment of shock when someone next to or behind me pulled him; for a second it seemed like he lost balance, and I grabbed his wrist and tried to push him back, but maybe the moment wasn't at all as dramatic as I perceived it. I hesitated to throw my rose on stage, as the stem wasn't exactly flexible but more like a steel wire with a sharp end, and it also had quite spiky thorns. That plastic flower thing was perfectly appropriate for a mechanical Orange, a bit like a parody Blue Rose member holding a parody Blue Rose, but I really didn't want to put Monsieur into the awkward situation of seeing it landing in front of his feet and having to decide what to do with it. So I gently placed it on the edge of the stage in front of me, where it didn't disturb anyone. Shirt toss, he said something along the lines of "You've been very kind, but... Cologne, here we come", and it was over. Too soon, much too soon, as always, but having in mind that I still had another show to look forward to, I was feeling absolutely fine. I watched out for the two girls who had asked me for a lift to Cologne earlier in the queue, had a short chat with them, and while they went to get their luggage, I couldn't resist walking back to the stage to see what had happened to my rose. It was still lying there where I had put it, neither picked up nor kicked away, and I didn't really want to know about its fate, so I left.

Setlist Neu-Isenburg:

Alma Matters
Kiss Me A Lot
Reader Meet Author
Oboe Concerto
One Of Our Own
People Are The Same Everywhere
The Bullfighter Dies
World Peace Is None Of Your Business
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
Everyday Is Like Sunday
Staircase At The University
I Will See You In Far-Off Places
Meat Is Murder
What She Said

Encore: The Queen Is Dead

I soon found the other girls and we headed for Cologne. There was little point in staying in Frankfurt, as I had no hotel there, and I couldn't check in to my hotel in Cologne at night either, so the obvious thing to do was to camp in front of the Palladium. When we arrived, we were surprised to see that only one other car had made the journey from Frankfurt, so we opened the queue (I skillfully avoided the dreaded top spot), and while the others decided to sleep half-upright in the car, I preferred to stretch myself out on the stairs of the Palladium. If Neu-Isenburg had been a far-off place, then this was certainly even more far-off. The venue was in the middle of an industrial area with neither residential buildings nor gastronomy around, and my only company was a little spider crawling back and forth over the floor and my sleeping bag. After a while, a security person appeared, and I was most delighted that he promised to turn off the floodlight-like illumination of the stairs I was trying to sleep on. It didn't really help my cause though, as there were still five yellow street lamps shining bright on me. Instead of lying in a football stadium, I now felt like sleeping on a Belgian motorway, but I just hid under my jacket and dozed off - not for long though as the place got busier soon. After saying hallo to the usual suspects, I got some food out of the car and crawled back into my sleeping bag to spend the day happily isolated from the world around me. And I started thinking.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Hullsome fun

Hullsome fun

A four hour car journey dramatically doubles in duration as the distant doesn’t decrease.  Drive, break, drive, break, drive, break, striving to arrive.  Not once do I take the wheel, I do not drive for I was born to be driven. Ironically the car is controlled by someone named Harri and that’s where the similarities begin and stop.  On top of laborious launch north I had to deal with lungs that refuse to believe fresh air is real air.  Every service station is a chance to enhance a meeting with the sniggering, snickering, giggling grim reaper. Life cannot end cheaper.  Cigarettes, all thirty of them consumed in twenty-four. Seconds, minutes or hours? The power of deduction is yours. Most consumed on the motorway where clever men never ever know the end. Until the end. Humans’ content in contraptions hell bent on destruction. Ford Fiesta’s with handling made to test ‘ya.  Metal death traps and one day death will rat-a-tap-tap on the door, that’s the end, no more.  When feet finally reach the streets of Hull, it a pub we find ourselves positioned in.  A public house for the irregular regulars of which there are some.  Fun consumes us as one hour turns into three as those young enough to not remember pain continue on for four.  Uncouth youth with time on their side idly discus their idol as those old enough to know no better drink more until the floor seems unstable.  As closing time dooms us all, we decide to head to the arena after we slide back to our hotels to freshen up and make ourselves cleaner. 

As I drunkenly dance inside the hotel door I check a message on my phone and my jaw nearly breaks the floor.  “Check True-To-You” conveyed the message as disbelief morphs into dismay.  There was no way that the truth lay in front of me.  I left the hotel still reeking of sleepless regrets and dead-set alcohol sweats.  As I arrive at the venue I notice bodies bulging bigger than brutes on the floor like shoots of the bluest of roses in recumbent poses.  I write my name of the list in a cold shake of the pen hoping that whoever reads the list out gets the gist.  Number thirteen is my chosen number, and certain people know what numbers mean. Gin and beer turns into thins of fear as news filters through to those who make up the queue.  Shock and surprise flocked to the ears, eyes, and minds of those lost souls of the queue as the realisation of what their life may be in lieu of Morrissey.  Morose figures fail to ascertain what the statement really pertains to. Retirement or not? Can Art even retire? A dozen deluded delinquents demeanour drifts downwards as realisation finally rolls into regret.  Could we have done more shows? Where did all the time go? Those who can sleep, those that just can’t, weep.  More booze soothes the body but numbs the mind until we are dumb enough to roll naked into baths of ice.  Nobody laughs. 

By 3am my body shivers and my liver quivers and I know it’s time for the sweet sanctuary of a soft sheet and most welcoming mattress. I say my goodbyes. The warmth of the hotel greets and meets me like an old friend, enemy, then friend again. 3am turns into 11pm and I am certainly sure that the place in the list is lost. With nothing to lose I check Grindr because who knows what you might find there. Gloria Hole, Amanda Bang, and Dixie Normus throw hello’s my way but offer nothing to make me stay as I stroll, hop and roll gingerly and orangely back to the queue. The queue grew in my long luxurious lounging absence.  The kitty-cat shutty-eye sleepy time refreshed nothing I confess. As clocks go ticky-tock more flock to the back of the rack of the stack and the queue twists and the list closes.  Where sad glamour glamorises my life when she says a Canadian hello. Although it took me many looks to realise who stood before mine eyes and for that I apologise.  The venue is an ice-rink and stands next to an imitation Salford Lads Club and Toys ‘R’ Us which reminds us all of the inner child who would stand in the aisles going wild.  “Why do I have to have Action Man, why can’t I have a Barbie Doll?” I screamed to nobody in particular. And nobody in particular never answered. 

Tiredness troubles me still. The excitement of the occasion had made me forget that I actually have two tickets for this concert, as feelings subvert. I leave the queue to meet the man who shall be called He as that was his chosen gender. The road to the train station is not bendier that a ruler as the northern air makes me cooler than the ice rink behind me.  I know the place is the list is lost forever but these are the things you do for love, or is it loathe? I collect the He and we arrive back at the back of the queue. I care not because I calculate the state of the situation as not being too bad. However this changes when we notice a sign that tells us that we are not allowed to bring in bouncing balls. Fine, if not a little weird considering.... However the bag on the back of He spells a slight snag as security officers have faces that attack.  As we turn to return to the Hotel I spot a certain Mrs Boozey and husband happily by her side. Booze oozes from her every pour like death escaping the tomb as you open the tomb door. We cannot stay. The time on the wall is making a joke of us all. By 5:30 I know that my place is lost in the second position I found myself in. The bag of misdemeanour lays on the bedroom floor. Unfortunately there is no time for salutations of the bulbous kind as my mind returns to the growing numbers making up the queue. 

By the time we arrive back  I see the flashes of the masses who I must now stand behind. I find myself probably number 333 in the queue as sandwich bags are handed out for no particular reason, surely a conspiracy by the boil family and if you do not comply you’ll be accused of treason.  To my surprise once inside we find ourselves third row but to the side. I check our view and notice that Morrissey would have no place to hide. Directly in my view, the band hidden. It would be like Morrissey was on stage by himself.  Every Morrissey concert starts with the anticipation of his arrival.  Those not in the know cannot know that every show starts with music, then videos, and then finally the man they paid to see struts onto stage as only he can. The inside is no place for timid-toe Thomas who will face here harsher realities than the outside. Children of hamburger unhappiness and mothers of questionable intentions mention the fact that they know no solo songs and fondly remember The Smiths. “You’re in for a long night” I volley back to them. They register nothing. 

It feels as if the videos end as soon as they start. Feet start to pound the ground as Wayward Sisters launches the masses into blisters of excitement.  Morrissey arrives and body’s push forward and the familiar chant starts. Suedehead begins and the crowd bounces and pounces on any open space.  Alma Matters means more to me than most. May I say that it’s a song that describes my life? Well I just did, so there. Speedway is a song that describes my life, have I said that before? Well, I just said it again. Gustavo’s Spanish sounds splendid sparking confused looks from those who don’t know.  The video accompanying Ganglord shocks most into silence as Morrissey rightly rounds on the American Taliban. The next few songs pass by in a blur of why. All I can remember is psychos punching psychos presumably for being too psycho. Around the time of Paris He says a blood test has made his body ache and He could do with a rest. I hesitate because I’d hate to give up a position for the third time until he shows a gash on his head where He fainted on a table and was unable to move and when he awoke he believed in every fable. “Heard of Morrissey’s world?” I question. He looks at me with eyes that disguise nothing and ignorance is sometimes bliss. With our tired feet we retreat to two empty seats. A decision is to be made. It’s either pay attention to the man next to me or in front of me. There is no competition. I know it, He knows it, the other he knows, and they know it. Eyes locked front.

The concert from here is not clear. Morrissey is smaller than a drummers pre-courtcase wallet. Judges judge with pre-determined ideas. Mama turns into a man who has a crisis of gender who bullfights but then rightly dies. Oboe obviously reduces me to onion tears.  Meat is Murder is a crowd divider in a way that the crowd divides to let those out who faint when they can’t believe their eyes. Meat is not a treat for animal or human. But who has the time to care? Do you care? The meat in your mouth is grit, shit, and dirt. Do you care when an animal is hurt? By the way did you ever find that Sunday is just like every other day? And that those with knives smile while sharpening? Perhaps ponder these points. 

What She Said was the encore as Morrissey arrives on stage in red shining like a Christmas decoration. Decorate me with merry. The song ends as stage invasions cease. Every crease of the shirt no longer matters as Morrissey moves to remove it from his iconic torso. The shirt is flung as the last note is sung. As a mess of flesh shifts, shapes, but never saunters forwards towards the shirt, no fear of being hurt.  Those lucky enough to be plucky pluck the shirt from anyone who dare has a grip as the idea of chivalry slips and drops dead as men see the sight of red.  Men slap women and women rap children across the head.  Arms fling and voices sing, some retreat whilst others stick to the beat.  A whole shirt reduced to scrambles and people gamble on either leaving the crowd or sticking their feet to the ground. Stone cold are the hands that hold. I leave to retrieve a taste of the northern air.  A dodgy man stands outside doing all he can to sell rip off merchandise to manically mental fans.  The back aches and cracks as if attached to a torturing device with a latch.  Back in the hotel I smoke lungs to death again. He states that he never knew Morrissey could be so powerful.  A more truthful statement I’ve never heard. As we move to the aftershow a brief happiness elopes me and doesn’t let go.  In some ways Hull is a town time forgot.  Morrissey is a man time will never forget.  Morrissey, please tell me when? Please tell me quando. I would turn into a pear and poach myself for you. 

Friday, 25 September 2015

Black dog of depression

My colleague's daughter has been suffering from severe depression for a while now and I gave her my copy of "I had a black dog" and "Living with a black dog" by Matthew Johnstone. That event made me remember something that I had almost forgotten... In his interview with Larry King, Morrissey referred to his depression as his black dog. 

This could be a nod to writer Samuel Johnson and Winston Churchill, who used the same phrase to describe their own depression but it could also have been a not to the DDD, as I distinctly remember tweeting Our Moz the link to Matthew Johnstone's webpage 

This was quite a while ago (probably at least a year) and I can't even remember which twitter account was being used at the time. Just writing this makes it sound ludicrous but these little coincidences have simply happened far too many times over the past four years to be ignored! 

Maybe I am just deluded, but at least I know I am not on my own!

Keep l'OO'king!


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Review: Morrissey, Hammersmith Apollo, 21 September 2015 by Marcus Markou

Don’t get me wrong. Morrissey was incredible. Morrissey is incredible. He is a force. He has the power to rewire you from the inside. I came home with an artistic buzz. He is artists’ ecstasy.

I say to my wife Victoria, who came with me, “I want to stay up all night and write. That is what I want to do”.

“Do it,” she says.

Instead, I foolishly lie down in the dark for the next four or five hours unable to sleep, my mind on shuffle alternating between Speedway and The Queen is Dead.

The madness of attempting sleep in this state was broken three times in the night. Constantine, our youngest, had a nightmare. Hector, our one-eared refugee cat from Cyprus, howled like a child loon and Alexander, our eldest, cursed Hector for waking him.

“Get out!” he screamed.

Outside, the cosmos was in alignment with the internal schism of the household. Rain and wind.

The energy of a Morrissey concert is something else. I mused on this through a sleepless but surprisingly upbeat night. I also pondered on ex-girlfriends and failed friendships. Broken images and imaginary conversations were underscored by Morrissey, my ears still buzzing. In a half state of consciousness I was asking myself whether Morrissey had fused punk with opera. It seemed like a good idea at 4am. And why did Oboe Concerto remind me of being 14 again and listening to Hunky Dory for the first time? Hunky Dory, Morrissey, all so strangely seductive.

Could this really be the last time? I tweeted Manclad earlier in the day about Artie Shaw giving up the clarinet and becoming a novelist. Artie Shaw was huge. A maverick. In an age before pop stars he was a pop star. He sold over 100 million records and was a pioneer in fusing jazz with classical… okay, okay. You get the picture. Artie Shaw was big and he was very big with the clarinet and one day he just dropped it. Just like that. He literally put down his clarinet and never played it again. He picked up a pen and never stopped writing.

Victoria and I are crossing the road. We arrive early at Hammersmith. As we cross a man next to us says: “Is it a Morrissey gig?”

“Yes,” I reply.

“That’s so cool. Are you going?”

Victoria is only seconds into her first Morrissey gig and I already feel validated. She’s brimming with gig coolness.

“Apparently, it’s going to be his last,” I say.

“Ha! Yeah. They all say that,” the man says.

“Yeah,” I say.

“Yeah,” says Victoria.

“Have a great time!” The man says. And gone.

“You see,” I say to Victoria. “Something about Morrissey brings complete strangers together… It’s so blue rose,” I add.

Victoria rolls her eyes.

We are so early. I assumed doors at 7pm and Morrissey would be on at 8pm. We sit in the balcony – close to the front. I take a few pictures and tweet. A striking blonde in the immediate row in front of us is having trouble locating her seats. A few minutes later, Russell Brand, the comedian-actor-activist, appears alongside the same blonde and also seems to be having trouble with the seats. He is fidgety.

Victoria and I are momentarily star struck. It quickly fades. The temptation to be star struck and take pictures is replaced by a sense of dignity – for us and the celebrity. He is human after all. A man a few rows further down has no shame. He whips out his phone. Russell Brand crosses his arms into an ‘X’ and pulls a pose for the photo.

“Was he just doing an X Factor pose?” I ask?

“I think he’s trying to get better seats,” whispers Victoria.

Russell Brand is looking down towards the front of the balcony, speaking on his phone, and at one point goes down and starts a conversation with someone, pointing back towards the row in front of us.

“Look at me… don’t look at me… Look at me… don’t look at me,” whispers Victoria. “Massive ego issues,” she adds. Victoria is also in recovery.

“I still like him,” I whisper back.

“I do to,” Victoria says.

“His spat with Fox News was one of the best things ever,” I say. “He took on an entire mind control programme,” I add. The new world order reference is lost on Victoria but she is in agreement.

“He looks lost,” she adds.

“On the list of the lost?” I reply. But the eponymous reference to the forthcoming novel by Morrissey is… well, ironically, lost.

On the screen, Leo Sayer is singing, Won’t Let the Show Go On dressed as a clown.

“I told you!” I almost scream to my wife who is a Leo Sayer fanatic and cites One Man Band in her top 50 all time. “Morrissey has amazing taste in music.”

“Shit,” I say.


“It’s just occurred to me that Leo Sayer’s clown look was four or five years before Bowie… Fuck… Bowie copied Sayer!”

“Sayer was ahead of his time. Please listen to the lyrics on One Man Band,” Victoria pleads.

“Victoria. You’ve been asking me to do that for 23 years...” I leave a space for comic timing then add, “I’ll do it on Monday.”

The video presentation builds to a climax and Morrissey enters to high operatic gusto. He starts to sing alone without a band and then jokes about it before going into his set.

As I said at the beginning of this review. Morrissey is an incredible artist. His vocals were stunning. I spent half the concert leaning over to Victoria saying, “Fucking hell. How good is his voice?”

Victoria always responding with, “It’s amazing.”

At this point I would like to point out that Victoria was a big fan of the Smiths and Morrissey as a teen and dated someone that looked like him. She tweeted this. She loves Suedehead with a passion so when it came on I was delighted for her.

My standouts were Oboe Concerto, Speedway, Crashing Bores, and The Queen is Dead – if only because these were the songs that seemed to have embedded themselves into me through a sleepless night. But it was great to hear Staircase at the University, World Peace is None of Your Business and The Bullfighter Dies – which are starting to form longterm relationships with me. It takes time for songs to become part of your core memory. The songs from World Peace are starting to do that.

But there was something in the energy tonight. Where the O2 in November had flamboyance, flair and a tenderness, here at the Apollo there was a slight impatience, a shortness. Just a pinch of it.

“I love you,” Morrissey was saying. “I am so grateful for your support… but there is a new love in my life. I don’t know whether it will work out but I am excited for us. You might just have to let me go – as you did when I left before. I may come back. I may not. I don’t actually know. But if I seem a little disconnected… well, you can understand why…”

And I do understand. I am probably more excited about the idea of Morrissey giving up music for literature than is acceptable. But I am a writer too. I am excited for him. 

"He will never give up music," Victoria says. 

"Artie Shaw did," I reply.

"He has so much to say and he says it well. I don’t care whether he says it in song or in tweets... I wish Morrissey was on Twitter," I lament.  

Monday, 21 September 2015

Concert post - London, Eventim Apollo (2nd night)

Hallo again. Welcome to the last TWoM live report of Morrissey's 2015 tour! Sad, but it can't be helped, the only one of us to see more shows on this tour still refuses to purchase a smartphone or any other mobile internet device. Damn technophobes.

Here's one of the first pictures from the queue, which formed directly after (rather during) yesterday's show:

I hope Mlle M feels a bit warmer by now.

Next - news from Boozey. I'm not sure what witchcraft Monsieur Le Furball performed on her yesterday; first, he managed to make her wear a blue rose, second, she even described the whiskered one as a "very nice and pleasant gentleman" later, and third, Boozelette has decided not to booze today. Surreal.

Another BRS member that will be in the audience tonight again is Mlle EARS, this time, as usual, armed with roses:

No news yet from BBN, but I wasn't holding my breath for any updates from the lazy Monsieur anyway!

UPDATE: Queuing in the rain:

NOT boozing in the rain:

Visual proof of what I just said - that's a diet coke for Mlle, and water for Monsieur Chauffeur. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HER, RAT?

Blue sky at last:

Boozey walking in:

Boozey's view:

And Mlle M's view - front row centre stage!! That was highly deserved after yesterday, where the ticket scanner didn't work at first, and she was let in later than her actual spot on the list was.

I didn't actually believe my eye, but Monsieur BBN could be bothered to give an update after all! Here's his view:

Seems like he found the other DDD one, and D:

And now, more and more known names show up! This is from Monsieur Southkirk:

Marcus the Greek is in the audience too, with currently having the best view:

Now how do we badger them all into writing a review? *note to self* Need to consult rodent later

Crowd through Monsieur Bitter Bobby's camera:

Pre-show started!

Packed house again:

No photo, but Monsieur Le Greek just spotted Gristle Bandage.

UPDATE: Setlist!

"If I made you feel second best, I'm so sorry I was blind"

1. You'll Be Gone (Elvis Presley cover)
2. Let The Right One Slip In
3. Suedehead
4. Speedway
5. Ganglord
6. Boxers

7. World Peace Is None Of Your Business 
8. Kiss Me A Lot 
9. Staircase At The University
10. Alma Matters
11. Will Never Marry (with piano intro)
12. My Dearest Love 
13. The Bullfighter Dies 
14. Oboe Concerto

(band introduction)

15. The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores 
16. Meat Is Murder 
17. Now My Heart Is Full
18. Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed
19. I Will See You In Far-Off Places 
20. Everyday Is Like Sunday 

Encore: The Queen Is Dead

Boozelette also sent "Utupou trnjto Jmtrotjy" which I haven't translated yet, but I assume it's her way of expressing that she's rapt away by the sh*ny sh*rt for the encore.

About her pictures from the encore: "I'll be blowing these up and framing them. End of UK tours. End of my favourite shirt. Sad day for me."

Now I'm sad too :-/

A bit of consolation though - seems like Mlle M managed to get some piece of the sh*ny one, and shared with Boozelette ("It's made my hand shiny")

Here's Marianne's piece, and apparantely Monsieur even shook her hand, what a fabulous way to end a Moz tour!

Boozey's pictures:

Two from the encore:

Marcus' pictures: