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.