Express & Star

Morrissey, Genting Arena, Birmingham - review with pics

As the Beast from the East hit the region, it might have seemed more appealing to have Spent The Day In Bed.

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Morrissey. Pictures by: Dave Cox

But the sounds of Manc enigma Morrissey helped warm the Genting Arena up on a cold and dreary February evening in Birmingham.

The former frontman of The Smiths was in the Second City on the back of his new record Low In High School – his first appearance in the region since 2015.

From the Sex Pistols' God Save The Queen to the Four Tops and New York Dolls – the evening's affairs started with a half an hour video featuring some of his most favoured musicians and video clips.

Morrissey. Pictures by: Dave Cox

The dramatic drop of the screen signalled the start of the evening as Moz burst into Elvis cover You’ll Be Gone and hit debut single Suedehead.

New tracks starred frequently throughout and were welcome – as he showed off new material including the likes of I Wish You Lonely, and Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up On The Stage.

“We love them. We mourn for them. Unlucky boys of red” was the call as he paid tribute to the Busby Babes and Dudley’s Duncan Edwards in Munich Air Disaster 1958 – with harrowing images of the crash’s aftermath gracing the backdrop behind.

Morrissey. Pictures by: Dave Cox

I Started Something I Couldn't Finish from Strangeways, Here We Come was a stand-out moment and one of two Smiths songs performed during the night.

Morrissey disappointed his fans across the border last week when he made a jibe against SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.

And there were plenty of predictable moments of political protest throughout the night as he lauded “each time you vote, you support the process” in World Peace Is Not Of Your Business.

Morrissey. Pictures by: Dave Cox

Songs like Who Will Protect Us From The Police? and Hold Onto Your Friends didn’t quite send the room into frenzy.

But a finale of How Soon Is Now?, Every Day Is Like Sunday and Speedway before returning for an encore of Irish Blood, English Heart was more than you could have asked for.

There were mixed opinions from his rally of fans walking away from the venue and while there's no doubt a night filled with Smiths singles wouldn't go amiss, he sure knows how to make a stage his own.

He might be edging nearer to 60 and despite being treated for cancer in recent years – there’s certainly no stopping Steven Patrick Morrissey anytime soon.