Morrissey 50th Birthday Concert Manchester 22 May 2009

Morrissey Manchester Apollo 22 May 2009

Laura and I went to wish Morrissey a Happy Birthday at Manchester Apollo on Friday.

Laura had been waiting for this one for some time. The thought of seeing the great man in his home town on his 50th birthday was pretty exciting I must admit.

We left early on the Friday evening to drive to Manchester, as it was bank holiday weekend and we feared that the traffic could be busy. And busy it was. The drive normally takes us just over 2 hours. This time it took around 4 hours; the A1 south from Durham was OK; but we crawled along the M62 from Leeds to Manchester. Still we arrived on time and got into the Apollo before the support act Doll and the Kicks took to the stage. Saw the mother from Shameless outside, and heard afterwards that half of the cast of that show were there.

We took our seats upstairs. We were in the fourth row at the side overlooking the stage; a pretty good view. Doll and Kicks were OK; the singer danced around the whole stage; reminded me a little of Clare Grogan and Altered Images, though the music reminded me of Pauline and Penetration.

The atmosphere in the Apollo was electric. The place was full of hardened Morrissey fans from all over the place, and everyone was keen to make sure that he got a great birthday. He had cancelled a few shows the week before due to a sore throat; so this show was all the more special. The interval featured the usual Morrissey video show with his own (quite bizarre) selection of favourites: Anthony Newley, Shirley Bassey, The New York Dolls, and Vince Taylor (theres a lotta twisiting going on: have a look at it on YouTube and you’ll see where Morrissey gets his quiff from!).

Soon the lights go down and the birthday boy takes to the stage to an innovation that I swear I have never seen the like of before. I thought the crowd were never going to stop cheering. Morrissey is clearly moved and kneels down in front of us all. The set is the same as the rest of tour; no big surprises. We do get a chance to sing happy birthday to him, and a couple of shirts are thrown out. The crowd downstairs look pretty wild; lots of people are dragged out and a few get the chance to shake Morrissey’s hand. He gives the mike to a few people at the front who wish him happy birthday. He’s clearly enjoying it and is on good form.

One note of disappoitment. Laura had promised herself a signed lp. They sell them at the end of each gig, and are limited to around 20 copies. So I went down to the merchandise stand in the foyer during The Loop; a couple of songs before the end of the set; and join a queue of less than 10 people waiting to buy the signed vinyl. As he leaves the stage they start selling the lps; but the first 3 or 4 people in the queue buy 4 or 5 each and the rest of each don’t get a chance! A few unhappy people start to argue with the guy on the stall, but nothing can be done. I do think it would have been fairer if they had limited sales to one each! So we have to settle for the special laminate pass which they were giving out free to everyone.

All in all a great experience; and a wonderful night. Laura declares it the best concert she has ever been to!! Two hours later we arrive home at around 1am.

Setlist : This Charming Man / Irish Blood, English Heart / Black Cloud / How Soon Is Now? / All You Need Is Me / How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel? / Girlfriend In A Coma / I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris / Let Me Kiss You / Ask / Something Is Squeezing My Skull / One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell / Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself? / The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores / I Keep Mine Hidden / When Last I Spoke To Carol / Best Friend On The Payroll / Sorry Doesn’t Help / Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others / The Loop / I’m OK By Myself // First Of The Gang To Die


birthday laminate pass given out at the concert

birthday laminate pass given out at the concert

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by estherrosie on June 15, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Loved your blog. I was there on the Friday and you have described the opening brilliantly.

    We didn’t manage any souvenirs apart from our two treasured laminates and tickets.

    Thought you might enjoy this though:


    • Posted by vintagerock on June 15, 2009 at 7:23 pm

      Hi Thanks for the link. Looks a great site.

      Laura and I still haven’t got over how great Morrissey was and the crowd reaction, which must be the best I have ever seen.


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