Sunday, 6 February 2011

772 MORRISSEY, Doll and the Kicks, Swindon Oasis Leisure Centre, Saturday 24 October 2009

I've never had one like this before - a gig ending in the headline act being carted off to hospital! Still, let's start at the beginning...

I snapped up a ticket for this one, despite having lost touch a little with the Moz' work since the Smiths (who I was a fan of, albeit not a slavish one - I saw them 5 times, for example, and only once for me were they appreciably better than their support act), then picked up his recent clutch of "renaissance" CDs and thoroughly enjoyed them, finding them more thrillingly harder-edged than the introspective jangle-pop of his earlier solo work. So, looking forward to this, I dropped Evan off early in Chester and hared home for 7.30, out again for 8, running into loads of people I knew at this sell-out show.

Met up with Rich, Ady, Phil (who's been a Morrissey clone since I've known him - about 25 years! - and whom I just wanted to watch tonight to see how manic he'd be!) and Ingrid after checking out Doll And The Kicks, a strident Sioux-a-like fronting a band with a sound like a harder-edged Florence And The Machine.

Met Dave and Ceri in the hall, stage-centre, 2/3 back for some pre-Moz films (including a great vintage Sparks video!), then the lights went out, and Morrissey came on at 9. "Good evening, possibly," he said, then started into "This Charming Man". Thicker set and with age giving his fey lilt a smokier feel, he seemed to struggle through a fairly perfunctory reading of this Smiths classic. Then... everyone went off!

I hadn't seen what happened, and after a 25 minute wait, during which rumour and counter-rumour (he collapsed! No, someone jumped onstage and knocked him over!) flew around, we found out from a roadie he'd, "left the building... he's seriously ill". Talking to some bods at the front (at which time I snaffled a set-list, just to see what we would have won) confirmed he'd collapsed and was helped offstage, so everyone kind of drifted away, non-plussed yet concerned.

Subsequent news was good (an early discharge, no major health problems), so here's hoping a rescheduled gig takes place - and lasts longer!

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