Morrissey 20:00, Friday, Pyramid Stage
The incredible wealth of options late on Friday evening gave Glastonbury goers a real quandary, with NME Faux-Folk poster boys Mumford and Sons on the Other Stage, Radiohead popping in for a secret slot on the Park and Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff over on West Holts (oh and Ke$ha, someone must have watched her, right?). However I stuck around at the Pyramid Stage to see what ex-Smiths turned successful solo artist Morrissey had to offer.
A damp expectant crowd were treated to a set laden with hits, ranging from Smiths classics to massive solo singles, newer tracks and a cover of Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love” thrown in for good measure. The somehow lovably dry Moz quipped “Fancy seeing me here” before playing out a hits heavy start to the set with big Smiths numbers mixed in with equally massive solo singles “First of the Gang to Die”, “You Have Killed Me” and “Every Day is Like Sunday”. Also included was a brilliant performance of “Shoplifters of the Word Unite” only topped a short while later by a mass sing-along to “There is a Light That Never Goes Out”. You know when thousands of people are singing the words “And if a double-decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die” with massive smiles on there faces you’re on to a winner.
The set waned a little in the middle as Moz rattled through some lesser known solo songs, although new track “Action is My Middle Name” is another classic Morrissey song in waiting. A spine tingling “Meat is Murder” grabbed everyone’s attention once more, and there was even a costume change (well okay he just changed his shirt, not quite Lady Gaga levels), before blasting out a couple more solo singles and his now standard restyled version of “This Charming Man”. I’m not sure if the rehashed versions of The Smiths’ songs that he does sit well with everyone but personally I enjoyed them, aside from “This Charming Man” which I’d love to see done the proper way so to speak.
Morrissey is definitely an artist I’d like to see Reading Festival try and nab for a sub-headline slot, but whether the man himself would be happy to do it is another question. On the evidence of his Glasto set he’s got the songs and the stature to pull it off, although Reading’s younger crowd may appreciate the lesser known solo tracks even less than the crowd at Glastonbury did. [4.0/5.0]