Here’s a reprint of Morrissey’s recent show at the Odyssey….
THE ODYSSEY, BELFAST
It’s no secret that tonight may be the final time Morrissey performs in Belfast. Currently on the ropes due to well documented battles with his health and his former label Harvest, the modest crowd assembled tonight could be the final nail in the coffin. However, the opening salvo of the Smiths classic ‘The Queen Is Dead’ and ‘Suedehead,’ performed in front of a photo of Elizabeth Windsor giving the fingers, proves that if his Mozjesty is going down, he’s going down fighting.
Those expecting a Greatest Hits heavy, chicken in a basket style cabaret set for his first northern show in six years are of course left wanting. Instead, Morrissey performs a wedge of material from recent LP World Peace Is None Of Your Business and peppers proceedings with life-changing, evergreen anthems like ‘Everyday Is Like Sunday.’ Sounding bullish from the get-go thanks in part to his muscular backing band, tonight’s show is equal parts good (‘Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before’), bad (‘Scandinavia’) and ugly (‘Meat Is Murder’).
Now a regular feature during his gigs, his decision to screen harrowing footage from 2011 animal cruelty documentary Farm To Fridge leaves some weeping, provokes others to walk out and a sizeable minority to boo him afterwards. Played two thirds into his set, it’s impossible to simply “enjoy” the rest of the show after watching so much bloodshed. Undeterred, Moz picks up right where he left off after ”Meat Is Murder’ but it’s all in vain. He’s killed the gig, for want of a better word, and not even an electric version of the Smiths’ ‘What She Said.’ can save the day. On the bright side though, if tonight does turn out to be Morrissey’s final bow in Belfast then at the very least he has this reviewer’s respect for doing it his way.