Anyone else like Morrissey

Morrissey live in Berlin : I wish you loneliness

Steven Patrick Morrissey is only 58, but after all too many and sometimes shockingly young pop deaths in recent years, we can be glad that he is still with us. Apparently, the former singer of the legendary indie pop band The Smiths is also unwilling to enjoy an early retirement in one of his properties in Rome, Los Angeles or Switzerland, which he has earned in view of his lifetime achievement.

On the contrary, Morrissey is remarkably busy for someone who has struggled with serious health problems in the recent past: He may still be a little removed from the restlessness of Bob Dylan, but the regularity with which he stops in Berlin , amazes even his followers. For an Arte recording he is making a guest appearance at SchwuZ, a welcome opportunity for fans to experience the master in a more intimate setting than at the usual open-air or indoor concerts, and for Morrissey the opportunity to test his new album, which will be released in November, in front of an expert audience.

A child with a hatchet in front of Buckingham Palace

In fact, Morrissey, supported by his five-piece backing band, who always wear uniform stage attire, does almost half of the one-hour set with pieces from his eleventh solo album. Even the cover photo of "Low In High School", a boy with an "Ax the Monarchy" poster, who is messing with the bars of Buckingham Palace with a hatchet (supposedly there are already retail chains that do not want to sell the record) , leaves no doubt that the avowed antimonarchist and Brexit supporter has retained his political aggressiveness.

It always causes irritation, especially among a following that tends to be more left-wing. The fact that a heckler who yells into the microphone "Fuck AfD" held out by Morrissey is not met with much sympathy either from the stage or from the auditorium can be explained less with political dissent than with the fact that this act of unsubility is perceived as inappropriate.

"Meat Is Murder" without a scary video

First, however, you can enjoy one of Morrissey's usual humorous greetings: “There's a great cloud over Berlin it is me!”, Before he throws himself into the grumpy “Alma Matters” in a hoarse, somewhat offended voice - one of only two Pieces from his solo work before 2005. The other - "Speedway" from the album "Vauxhall And I" - is a highlight of the performance, with a powerful, springy groove, ear-wrenching guitar painting and a collective change of instruments in the middle of the piece, after keyboardist Gustavo Manzur a few verses Can sing Spanish. This is followed by the anthemic “Throwing My Arms Around Paris”, another fan favorite, but also the last one of the gig - unless you include the inevitable deprivator “Meat Is Murder”, Morrissey's anti-carnivore signature song, this time without Videos of animals slaughtered in slaughterhouses. Which he does well, because in its moral-musical hammer-hits-anvil force, this Smiths song from 1985 remains unmatched.

An indie bolero with a twang guitar

Compared to this, the struggling (didgeridoo!) Pieces of his penultimate album "World Peace Is None Of Your Business" and the new songs fall a little bit off. “I Wish You Lonely” is a pretty little reckoning song with the ex, the commercially underperforming single “Spent The Day In Bed” in Morrissey's homeland (number 168 in the charts) propagates a retreat into private life, the misleadingly titled “My Love "I'd Do Anything For You" is remarkably harsh, the Lennonian piano-strumming "All The Young People Must Fall In Love" combines peace-motivated demos with Morrissey's sarcasm. “When You Open Your Legs” is an indie bolero with a twang guitar and the super melodic “Home Is A Question Mark” has a bell ring and a somewhere - but where? - Guitar intro heard from classic Britpop format before.

Overall, the songwriter Morrissey seems at the height of his ability on the new pieces, whereby the restriction to the classic indie rock band format has a permanent effect. Of course, just like on Morrissey's records, there are excellent musicians at work on stage. But for this voice, which despite its signs of wear and tear, is still one of the most beautiful and unmistakable in pop music, one would wish for a musical restart. Doesn't have to be Rick Rubin right away. But it probably won't happen.

In SchwuZ, the audience cheered for minutes after an encore after the somewhat insignificant Pretenders cover “Back On The Chain Gang”. In vain.

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