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Friday, 12 August 2016

The rain falls hard on a humdrum town called Stavanger

To an island
My journey to Stavanger started on Sunday early morning. Unconveniently there were no trains going to Oslo Lufthavn that day, so I had to take the slow sick making bus to the airport. At the airport going through security, I was picked out of the line and tested for possibly having been in contact with explosives. When the security man smiled an awkward smile, looked me in the eyes and said 'Fingers crossed' while waiting for the outcome, I was ready to spontaniously combust. Just in time he announced I was fine and could move on. The flight between Oslo and Stavanger was just 45 minutes, and I was the lucky one that got to sit in the last row, next to a big, fat man who's one leg was as big as 3 of mine. 
Totally squashed I arrived at the airport where I was first going to meet up with a friend who lives about 80 km south of Stavanger.
I arrived at his island mid afternoon, and soon after found myself hiking to the first cast iron lighthouse of Norway, the Eigerøy Lighthouse. I had a good look and feel of wild waves crashing on the slippery rocks we were standing on, while squawking seagulls flew against the wind above our heads before we headed back for some delicious homemade food. Many drinks and having listened to tons of vinyl records (I hadn't heard before) later, I went to sleep at around 2.30 am. Three hours later I woke up again from annoying yet exciting pling-plongs coming from my phone. I had forgotten to turn off the wifi. Ewa was on her way to Stavanger and was busy letting this be known. I had no choice, sleep was already moving back to darker places so I stept in the light and my day started.

After a 1,5 hr trainride through a lot of tunnels, and stops in towns with no more than 10 people and some sheep, I arrived in Stavanger where I met up with Conor, a young fan from Birmingham. We had some coffee, talked and walked over to the venue through pouring rain to see what went on. Nothing much, and walked quickly back to his hotel to stay away from more rain and wind. There I waited for Ewa to arrive. Her bus soon stopped in front of the hotel with the same name, but one block down. After some chaos we found each other and quickly walked to our booked hotel on the quay at the harbour. Half an hour after I had left Conor's hotel he tweets 4 pics with himself and Matt, Gustavo, Jesse and Mando. He had met a sweaty Jesse in the elevator, (sweaty from a workout in the hotel gym) and the rest of the guys in the lobby downstairs. 
I had left 30 minutes too early...

In our dingy hotel, we made up a plan for the rest of the afternoon: finding food and drink was the most important, but first we had to admire the silk blue roses which traveled so far. 

After having found the 'Pol' (state owned shop which sells alcoholic drinks) and having figured out what bottle of wine we should get (one without a cork, bc we ladies don't bring 'that' (corkscrew opener) sort of thing in our luggage) we hurried back to the hotel with the food and wine. We ate our food and gulped things down with the wine before walking over to the venue, where we met up with others we know from anti-social media and or other spaces and corners on this planet. 

Konserthus, Monday, August 8, 2016, 19.00h
Second row it was, a nice spot, right across from Boz. The show started as always with the video montage. Then, as if it would never come, at 8.30 a long intro of drumming (The Operation from Southpaw Grammar) making everybody more desperate to finally see the band.
After the bow, Morrissey and band started off with Suedehead.

We all had a feeling Morrissey was in a good mood. At least throughout he seemed happy.  
Before WPINOYB Morrissey said something about the coming US elections, which was of course followed by anti Thump yelling. Some were cheering "Morrissey for president" which was answered by Morrissey with "I'm scruffy" and "No one will ever vote for me".

The Bullfighter was introduced with the sad story about the killing of the mother of the bull after her son had succesfully staked the matador to death with his horns. 

I absolutely loved Moz singing It’s Hard To Walk Tall. His voice, so clear and beautiful. I think it made a lot of people in the audience quiet. It sent chills down my spine. 

It's Hard To Walk Tall in Bergen: 

Before starting Scandinavia, Morrissey grabbed a piece of paper, unfolded it and said something like "I want to dedicate this song to the five characters from my favourite Norwegian movie: Mikal, Ingunn (this he had trouble pronouncing and tried to several times) Eirik, Morten Tobias and Jannicke." The movie he is talking about is "Fritt vilt"(2006), a Norwegian movie in the slasher genre, directed by Roar Uthaug. The English title is "Cold Prey". There is a "Fritt vilt" 1, 2 and 3. 
Through an insider I was informed Moz bought the DVD in December 2013 when he was here for the Nobel Peace Price concert. It was bought at Rock og Rålls, a used record store in the centre of Oslo. 
If I could suggest another one for him, one of my favourites is "Død Snø" ("Dead Snow", 2009) and watch the first one because that one is the best. Warning: you have to like nazi-zombies. 

Jack the Ripper was a treat! 

For me it was the first time I heard Oboe Concerto live and I absolutely loved it. I had always hoped to hear this song live (as so many others...) It was also the last song before the encore. 
Morrissey and band returned back on stage while we still stood with our roses in our hand. A white shirt was going to be tossed in the crowd this time. Let Me Kiss You, a rip, a tear and a toss and gone he was for another change and the last song of the night started: Irish Blood. 

We had decided to throw the roses on stage when Morrissey was standing on our side of the stage. If not for the cause then as a nice gesture. Moz didn't pick them up, one of the security people took them after he moved back to the middle. 
I saw them lying lonely on the side of the stage. 

You can see a bit of rose in the video here: 

Video encore 'Irish Blood': blue rose at 33 seconds   

The lights went on, and it always makes me feel sad and empty to realise the music has stopped, and it is over. Wish I could rewind nights like this. Well, I can, inside my boney skull, but it's not the same...
We were lucky to find Lynn who was willing to share a bit of her treasure: a piece of shirt.  

And so our night ended at the pub in the centre where we were almost washed off the quay into the harbour, but nevertheless had a good time with many that had attended the gig. Also someone had managed to convince the pub to just play Morrissey's music. 

1. Suedehead 2.Alma Matters 3. You have killed me 4. Ganglord 5. Speedway 6. Paris 7. WPINOYB 8. Kiss me a lot 9. Istanbul 10. MIM 11. It's hard to walk tall 12. EILS 13. Bullfighter 14. Scandinavia 15. All you need is me 16. Crashing bores 17. Jack the Ripper 18. Far off places 19. What she said 20. Oboe 
Encore: Let me kiss you & Irish Blood  


  1. Great story Nat, and had such a fun time with you in Stavanger! :-) It was an amazing journey, and so many wonderful people in the Mozarmy family! <3 Thank you all <3

  2. Excellent review and nice blue roses. Thank you.