Friday, 27 April 2012

Morrissey, Manchester and miserabilism

I've just booked tickets for Morrissey's gig in Manchester at the end of July.

Since I became a fan of The Smiths as a teenager in the mid-80's, I've become used to the charge that their music - and subsequently that of Morrissey - is miserable and depressing (good practice for a few years later when I got into blues).

I've always thought preconceptions about The Smiths and Morrissey's music are a product of London-based journalists misunderstanding them, sometimes deliberately.  Beyond song titles like Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now, Still Ill, Girlfriend in a Coma and Cemetry Gates [sic] and lyrics such as "The rain falls hard on a humdrum town" lies a combination of wry, working-class Mancunian-Irish humour and the joyousness exemplified by Johnny Marr's jangly guitar lines.

If you don't believe me, just listen to this performance of Every Day is like Sunday at Old Trafford Cricket Ground in 2004 (I'm in that crowd somewhere). "This is the coastal town that they forgot to close down" always reminds me of Morecambe.

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