SSE Hydro, Glasgow On tour until March 10
The latest in a lengthening line of so-so Morrissey solo albums, last year’s Low In High School, confirmed that his days as a credible agent provocateur are long gone.
It’s a series of clumsily expressed gripes shackled to often unlovely music, and the bad news is that Morrissey plays a lot of it here, backed by a bloke-ish five-piece band that does little to add to its allure.
Who Will Protect Us From The Police? and I Bury The Living in particular are ugly misfires.
For a man of 58, Morrissey’s voice is in terrific shape, particularly on the ballads but these days he is much more convincing as an eccentric casino crooner than an agent provocateur
And the good news? Well, Morrissey is much more convincing these days as an eccentric casino crooner.
He begins with an exaggerated bow and an obscure Elvis Presley cover, You’ll Be Gone. He whips the microphone cord and wiggles his hips.
The highlight of an opening section that revisits former glories – including crisp renditions of Suedehead and I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish – is The Smiths’ enduring juggernaut How Soon Is Now?
IT’S A FACT
Soap-opera fan Morrissey had cameos in Coronation Street and Brookside, and turned down roles in EastEnders (as Dot Cotton’s son) and Friends.
It ends with Morrissey kneeling in supplication as the drummer bashes an enormous Rank gong. Reclaimed adolescent angst has never seemed such a hoot.
For a man of 58, his voice is in terrific shape, particularly on the ballads.
When You Open Your Legs is great fun, a cheesy flamenco served with extra ham and cheap synth horns.
On the outstanding Home Is A Question Mark, he wrings the emotion like Bowie at his most grandly faux-sincere.
At the end of the night he whips off his shirt with a theatrical flourish.
From Stretford to Vegas? Stranger things have happened.
THIS WEEK’S CD RELEASES
By Adam Woods
Buffalo Tom Quiet And Peace Out Friday
Alternative indie-rockers Buffalo Tom are from the same Eighties Boston scene that spawned The Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. Like those other bands, they are well into their second go-round. But rather than squalls of arty noise, their MO was always autumnal, blue-collar songcraft, and Quiet And Peace shows them ageing very naturally, their own tunes sturdy, wistful and melodic, capped by a spaced-out closing cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s The Only Living Boy In New York
UB40 A Real Labour Of Love Out Friday
The proper question when you hear UB40 are making a new album is: which UB40? Two versions now do the rounds, one featuring original guitarist Robin Campbell and others, then this one founded by singer brother Ali Campbell and two more alumni, promising to ‘save the legacy’. They’ve even made a follow-up to the old UB40 Labour Of Love covers album, focusing mostly on reggae tunes from the Eighties, and what do you know, it sounds just like UB40 made it – which some of them did
Tracey Thorn Record Out Friday
The former Everything But The Girl singer’s 2010 album, Love And Its Opposite, made singer-songwriter pop out of hormones and other people’s divorces, but its follow-up consists, by her count, of ‘nine feminist bangers’. Record is not entirely a Saturday night album – though pulsing opener Queen and robo-electro closer Dancefloor could both do that job – but it is electronic pop with a brain, very much as if EBTG’s 1995 hit Missing grew up, grew wings and decided there were more pressing matters than old boyfriends