The Perfect Start To The Year For Moz

An astonishing mix of the brand new and the old created a truly stunning night in Leeds for Moz and his army of fans

Morrissey has been subject to much criticism in recent years, but what I saw was a man in his prime. Nothing stood in the way of Morrissey as he ploughed through solo hits and some of the best Smiths material. His fans still adore him, with many destined to make contact with the man whose music has been a key part of their lives for years.

After his signature film reel of his musical heroes drew to a close, the curtain drops and on walks Morrissey, smashing head first into the set-list with the incredible “You’ll Be Gone”, the relatively new “I Wish You Lonely”, and Smiths classic, “The Boy With A Thorn In His Side”. That’s just the first three songs, which confirmed to many fans just how incredible the show that is unfolding before their eyes was going to be. Song number 4, and Morrissey keeps fans on their toes by throwing in a live debut of  “Jim Jim Falls”, which will be the first track on his soon to be released album, “I Am Not A Dog On A Chain”. A rare performance of “At Amber” follows the new material,  before Moz returns to more familiar ground with two tracks from his latest album, ‘California Sun”.

One of Moz’s shows isn’t complete without some thought-provoking visuals displayed on a screen as he struts his stuff on the stage. From images of Margaret Thatcher being chased by a man on horseback, to the touching images of The Busby Babes as the band push into ‘Munich Air Disaster 1958″. Only a man like Morrissey could get away with showing such images at a live show, and this is what keeps him different from the rest, and keeps fans coming back for more each time he tours.

The incredible gig continued to keep rolling along like a well oiled machine, with the remaining songs being a truly well balanced mix of recent material, tracks from the upcoming album, and the occasional Smiths hit. It was all the material people were expecting, that is until the encore. After a short break, Morrissey and his fantastic band filled the stage once more. Moz had something in his hand, and something up his sleeve though. In his hand, a copy of his yet to be released album which one lucky fan who was squeezed up against the front barrier got to take home. Up his sleeve however, was something that benefited everyone. A song that Morrissey hasn’t played live since 2000. A song that many people were pleasantly surprised by, ‘Half A Person’. The set finished with a stunning rendition of ‘Irish Blood, English Heart’, before thanking the crowd and bowing out.

Whilst some people may slate Morrissey for his opinions, no one can deny how well he can still perform, and how great he still sounds, after all these years since he first started out in the music industry.