THE SMITHS: The Queen Is Dead.

16 06 2016

 

smiths-outside-salford-la-002

“Frankly, Mr Shankly, I’m a sickening wreck,
I’ve got the 21st century breathing down my neck.”

There are some records after one listen stick with you for the rest of your life. These are the records that become your life, save your life, ARE your life. The records you turn to when there isn’t a soul around. A certain is your crutch, and whenever you hear it a bout of strength comes over you. Feelings come in waves, in odd numbers, in even numbers, on a Tuesday afternoon when gazing out of a 4th floor window. It hits you when you start to forget who you are, what you are and how tough you are.

1986. The year of many great records. And for better or for worse, the year I entered the world 6 weeks before my due date. Quite possibly the only time I’ve ever been early. Prior to my birth several months before, The Smiths released the wonderful (and equally wonderfully titled) The Queen Is Dead. Their highly influential third record. Many fans of the band do regard this as their best work, and you really cannot find any faults within this record. Everything about it is remarkable and ahead of its time. The lyrics show Morrissey at his best (whilst in The Smiths) and are full of words that will make you smirk, laugh, cry, think- anything and everything.

Of course I’ve been one of those who leaned on I Know It’s Over when I first had my heart torn out. I found so much comfort in this song, and having your heart broken is a very isolated feeling- which is why music is such a vital part of the healing process. This song just has this honesty to it that shows what it is like to be part of something that is no longer there, but you cling to it. Every word is brutally open and I think it might be one of the easiest songs in the world to relate to. There are so many lines in this song  make you feel weak at the knees because of how they hit you in the gut. “It takes guts to be gentle and kind.” Easily one of my favourite lyrics of all time. It’s also one I want tattooed on me. In time, I probably will.

Then you have the genius and wit in songs like The Queen Is Dead and Frankly, Mr Shankly. The Queen Is Dead has so much humour, and one line that really shows this is: “She said: “Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing” I said: “that’s nothing – you should hear me play piano.” As someone who cannot sing nor play piano, I can identify with this. I also haven’t broken into the Palace with a sponge and rusty spanner.

Bigmouth Strikes Again is also another that shows how brilliant Morrissey’s songwriting was then (and obviously still is.) And I do suppose it is one of those you can play, and think of someone who gets on your last nerve, but you wouldn’t wish any harm upon them. Aside from the humour, The Boy With The Thorn In His Side shows this captivating sensitivity within Morrissey’s words, and the way he sings it is with such care, longing and slight caution. I just think the last part of the song, “And when you want to live, how do you start? Where do you go?” This is line that I remember floating in my head every single time I tried to leave home but it didn’t quite work out. As luck would have it, today is exactly 3 years since I left home for good. I’ve had some great times, some really awful times but I’ve made some brilliant friends in doing so. I wouldn’t change a thing, well maybe one or two. Or three. Everything happens because it must, and it works out- for the most part.

I can’t talk about this record without mentioning of their most famous songs and one of the greatest songs of all time. I’m a HUGE fan of The Smiths and Morrissey, and sometimes I feel like a lesser fan by claiming There Is A Light That Never Goes Out as my favourite song. But hear me out, if you can tolerate any more of my words. There Is A Light was a song I used to play on repeat in my room most evenings, before I went to sleep and when I woke up as I had to face the torment of secondary school. The words embodied escaping. The only way I could escape was through songs. Through Morrissey’s words. Through his words I found a world that made me feel okay with being out of place, a misfit, an outsider. His words were and still are everything to me. We always need someone on our side, and he’s on mine. I’m on his. This song for me just embodies hope. For those who claim he’s miserable, I urge them to play The Queen Is Dead- take the words in. There are songs there to make you laugh. His humour is something else. Especially on this record.

For me, I know that without this record a lot of bands I love would not have ever formed. The influence that The Queen Is Dead has on so many bands, even 30 years on is just astonishing and beautiful to see, and hear. I can’t imagine my life without this record. I don’t know what I would have and would do without it. It’s got everything you’d need from a best friend in it- it feels like home. I know I’ve mainly touched on Morrissey’s lyrics here, but for me lyrics are everything. I know how brilliant this record and how they all created something truly inspiring on it. I know how important each note played and how each word sung is on this record. I know. I know. A band/singer will always find you when you are lost, for me it is obvious it was The Smiths/Morrissey. I’m going to be the same age as one of my favourite records soon. Suddenly hitting 30 doesn’t seem so bad.

I never do this, but I’ve written this for my mum. The person who is responsible for my love for The Smiths, Morrissey and music. The person who I love more than anything in the world and the person who, when I grow up- I hope I’m just like. The only person I’ll go to a Morrissey show with. There’s something quite special about watching your hero on stage whilst hugging your heroine next to you, at the same time. I love you, and thank you for everything. You’re my light that never goes out x

 





LYRICS OF 2014.

11 01 2015

Are we over the “New year, new me” bullshit yet? Are we all aware that you can change whenever you want, you don’t need to wait for midnight on the 1st January to do so? And the gym is open beyond January… Alright, I’ll go back to the past 12 months.

Everybody likes to inflict their “ALBUMS OF *insert year*” upon anyone towards the end of the year. Some mention records that nobody probably listened to just to seem “cool” or they slag off good ones just because they did well. It’s all a bit daft, and the only person’s view of a record that really does matter is probably the fans who love the band. I could be wrong, I most likely am but I’m not someone who aims to ever be right. I don’t care enough, so with that..I decided to put together my list of lyrics of the past year. Lyrics that I listen to intensely and cause me to play the same song about 20 times in a short amount of time and not wanting to listen to anything else for a while. They could be lyrics that someone else thinks is shit, but what does that matter? It’s obvious who I’m going to write about because it is those who have put out records last year that I will probably still play all the time. I judge a year by the music not what happens in my life, I’ve again, probably got it all wrong but it’s things like that,that sort of stop me from getting on a plane and fucking off without saying a word. Oh and I’ve not got much ££££ to do so anyway. Maybe one day I’ll grow a backbone. Until then….

D’Angelo- The Charade. Towards the end of the year, the King of Soul FINALLY, after 14 years, put a record out. Black Messiah was not just one of the best records of the year but it was the most important. The whole message behind it stood for something bigger than those who were patiently waiting for a new D’Angelo record could imagine. Everywhere went nuts when it came out, and it is was beautiful. There are so many wonderful lyrics on Black Messiah, but this one from The Charade is one that really hit me. It sums up the brutality that was happening (and still is) in America. “Degradation so loud that you can’t hear the sound of our cries.” If anything can sum up the events and injustice, it is probably that one. You can tell from any D’Angelo song that he’s someone who watches and takes note of human behavior in all its ways. Black Messiah was full of hope and pain. It brought a sense of unity and a bit of peace that was much needed. Again proving that Music is one of the most powerful tools there is.

Morrissey- Earth Is The Loneliest Place. I probably would have gone for Kick The Bride Down The Aisle or Staircase At The University, but there is something about Earth Is The Loneliest Place that I couldn’t ignore. For those that hate Morrissey, there’s a load more of us that love him. Love conquers all, right? Morrissey’s lyrics are a huge part of my life and a load of others. The way he writes is something else, he gets to the very core of you and you feel as if he’s writing the songs about you. Is he saving your life or is he just able to put it all across better than you could? Personally, I think it is both. For me it is the line, “And humans are not really very humane. And earth is the loneliest planet of all.” Some lyrics just speak for themselves really. We have all seen how cruel humans can be, and we have all felt lonely. You can feel lonely anywhere, and our planet earth is a prime example of that. But if you are feeling lonely, go to a record store. Just like Penny Lane says in Almost Famous.

Band Practice-Magic! Last year one of the finest duos around and New York’s finest, Band Practice released their debut record. Make Nice is full of songs that make you feel like you’re part Tina Belcher/part Patti Smith. All music should aspire to that, the world would be a better place for sure. My favourite song off the record is Band Practice Theme Song, but this lyric from Magic! is my favourite : “When I walk inside my door , the world seems safe and it offers more.” We all know daily life can be a drag, a real pain in the behind and sometimes as soon as you step outside, you wish you hadn’t. If you’ve never experienced that, then you’ve never taken three tubes to work and had several items and body parts shoved in your face. It’s not even 8am and you’ve had enough. Songs like this a real comfort and stop you from punching yourself in the face out of sheer despair, or you know..punching someone else because all they are doing is glaring at their phone gormlessley and not watching where they are going.

BANKS- Fuck ‘Em Only We Know. Goddess was one of the best debut records to come out last year, and Banks I feel, is the only R&B singer that comes close to Aaliyah. When Aaliyah died, she left a huge void and she’s irreplaceable. Most are, and we dispose of singers so easily, but Aaliyah was so rare. Bans has that gentle feel to her music that Aaliyah created. Fuck ’em reminds me of a song that would have sounded amazing on Aaliyah’s last record, there’s something about this song. Something really special. Banks, like all great songwriters is someone you can tell watches others. Whether it be strangers or people she knows, she takes their story and turns it into a work of art. I adore this lyric: “Even addicted to your grumpy face. I know exactly just how many kisses fit between your eyes.”
It’s such an observant and adoring lyric. If you’ve felt like that, then you’ve experienced real love.

Julian Casablancas & The Voidz- Human Sadness.  I love the way Julian sings in that tired, fed-up and frustrated way. He makes you really feel what he is saying. Sure on the Tyranny record it’s hard to make out what he’s singing, but when you read the lyrics, you see another person who is massively observant and is paying close attention to how people behave. Human Sadness is an intense song, and many would say that this is one of the best songs Julian has ever done, and they’re not wrong and is evident in the lyric: “Understanding is more important than love. If not money will always trump justice.” If you’ve seen how corrupt the world can be, you’ll have seen that those with money will always outweigh most things, Julian’s picks up on how unfair it is yet it is something that may possibly never change.

Warpaint-Disco//Very. Warpaint are an easy band to write about. I don’t know what it is about them, but they are one of the few bands that when I listen to them, I just want to write down every thought and feeling that they bring to life. When music is this magical, you really cannot let it go. Disco//Very is unlike most of their songs. You know that drop during Undertow? Well, all of Disco//Very is that moment for about 3 minutes. It’s bloody euphoric, and I adore this lyric : “Only in the sound of the voices I scream.” That line is a kick to the soul, it smacks you and you just feel..as sickeningly clichéd as it sounds, it just makes you feel alive. If you’ve seen them perform this live, you will see that nobody stands still. It’s got that wonderful mystical Warpaint feel surrounding it, and you can’t help but play it over and over. It’s delightfully infectious.

Nadine Shah-Stealing Cars. If her voice doesn’t move you, then go see someone about that. Her voice is bold and gloriously powerful. I remember hearing Runaway and just being in awe of this stunning voice, Nadine is something else. What I love about Nadine is the strength in her voice, the only other singer who is as strong as her has to be Anna Calvi. Both singers can break your heart and terrify you in the next breath. That’s what makes them powerful and bloody brilliant. “Check your pulse when I speak.” Take that line how you want, but when you listen and I mean really listen to Nadine sing it, you feel as if she’s talking right to you. Nadine is such a brilliant songwriter and I firmly believe her new record is going to be one of the best ones to come out this year.

Dum Dum Girls- Too True To Be Good. Dee Dee is an underrated songwriter. She’s as powerful as Patti, and she sings in such a clear way and with such purpose. Much like Patti. Too True was in my Top 3 records of 2014, and again is one I’ve not grown tired of. You never grow tired of your favourite bands do you. Too True To Be Good is lyrically my favourite off the record, and I love Dee Dee’s voice throughout the song. When I first heard it, I became hooked on the lyric: “It’s hard to outrun a devil from behind.” Dee Dee’s lyrics are outbursts of truths and sources of comfort, you can hear it in all its glory in songs like Coming Down. She just knows how to phrase something in a way that hits you in the gut. There’s nobody else like her.

2:54- South. When 2:54 FINALLY released The Other I, it felt like my birthday and Christmas had come at once. The Other I was released 2 days before my birthday so I wasn’t far off. I immediately fell in love with the record and I was so proud of the sound they had created on the record. It was still eerie like their debut, but it had something else. Something I’m still trying to find the words to describe, but I’m yet to get there. My favourite song off The Other I changes by the day. I seem to flirt between South and Pyro. Pyro’s got this brilliant attitude to it, but South has this lyric : “Got nowhere to, nowhere to put misshapen love.” It’s obvious how much I adore this band (I’m using my work holiday to go see them on tour) and this lyric just made me adore them even more. You know how sometimes a band you really love, and you don’t think they can amaze you anymore? Turns out they always can….

2:54-Blindfold. The drumming on this just proves why Alex Robins is one of the best around, and the video to this is beautifully shot. It captures London in all its beauty. I saw them play this at Union Chapel and they made a powerful anthem sound like a haunting chant. It was just beautiful. None of this has really been written in order, but my favourite lyric of 2014 has to be “Everybody says I’ve got to say what’s on my mind. But how do I say, that am I really losing my way. Every day.” If you pick apart 2:54’s lyrics, they read like chilling poetry that would cause Poe to freak out slightly. Colette is a brilliant songwriter absolutely brilliant and the way in which Hannah writes the music just goes so well with Colette’s words. It’s got to be a sister thing because nobody else comes close. There are so many reasons as to why I regard 2:54 so highly. Partly because they are genuine and lovely people, partly because their music takes you some place else and partly because they’re unlike anyone else. Their music is spooky but euphoric. It’s not too late to get a ticket for their tour next month….





MORRISSEY-World Peace Is None Of Your Business.

8 07 2014

 

“I turned silences and nights into words.

What was unutterable, I wrote down.

I made the whirling world stand still.” 

                        -Arthur Rimbaud

 

There is no greater feeling than your favourite singer releasing a record. You wait, you ache and you wait some more leading up to it. You tremble in the first listen knowing you are listening to something truly remarkable. It doesn’t matter who this singer/band is to you, it’s just a mutual feeling. Especially when that person is more than likely responsible for you still being alive….just. Sort of. Depends on the day.

Could I ever write an unbiased piece on Morrissey? No. Will I defend him? Yes, well..within reason. Do I think World Peace is his best work? Of course. Lord knows how long Morrissey fans have been waiting for this. And of course, the cynics will come out in their masses to find fault in it. They probably like Kings Of Leon or something equally dull.

World Peace Is None Of Your Business is flamboyantly clever, dry and accurate. It is everything I adore about Morrissey. I thought after reading his biography a handful of times I really understood my love and admiration for him, but I was wrong. But when am I ever right. I thought  understood my love for him, turns out I didn’t. Not quite.World Peace is lyrically a work of art, and I will gladly place it next to Vauxhall And I as his best work. He has this way of getting to the root of an emotion, churning it out and spitting it out for you to taste. And when you do, you understand. You understand whatever it is that is choking you.

I’m Not A Man is lyrically one of the strongest songs on the record as it dips into society’s skewed vision of what it is to be a man. A nod to Meat Is Murder of sorts is hinted in the line, “I’d never kill or eat an animal, and I never would destroy this planet I’m on.” Man destroys, and Morrissey’s sensitive and gentle disposition feels out of place on this planet. You don’t have to be a man to identify with this, you just have to human. Gentle and kind.

As I listen to the record, I start to make sense of my love for Morrissey. It’s his words and how he uses them. There’s always been comfort for me in his words. If I could communicate using his lyrics, I’d probably feel less awkward in my skin. Too much skin. He has this way of telling it like it is without being grand or pretentious, although some would argue that he is. If that’s the case then they’ve probably never paid any attention to his lyrics. His words are why he is a hero to so many.

I’ve read a few reviews where they comment on how tight his band sound, but I don’t know enough about Music to comment on that. Boz is there still, so I’m happy. As I listen to World Peace Is None Of Your Business, I am visualising these songs live. Kiss Me A Lot is one I hope he puts into his live shows- at his longing best, this song is glorious. Earth Is The Loneliest Planet has one simple line in it that just means everything, a simple line that holds so much; “But you’re in the wrong skin.”If I heard that line whilst a teenager teetering into adulthood, it would have been a touch easier. As an adult, well..I think it still does the same as it would.

Staircase At The University has the same kind of dark humour that is found in Girlfriend In A Coma. The pressures of a young girl excelling in her studies to which she finally packs it all in, and throws herself down some stairs. Splitting her head in three ways. I love the line, “And if it breaks your heart then don’t come running to me.” You can relate that to anyone, it doesn’t have to be someone who is constantly studying. We all know that one person….

Kick The Bride Down The Aisle is a stroke of genius for this alone; “You’re that stretch of the beach that the tide doesn’t reach. No meaning, no reason . The lonely season.” I can’t help but wonder where he comes up with these wonderful words, and how. And in Mountjoy we’ve got the gorgeous statement; “What those in power do to you reminds us at a glance, how humans hate each others guts. And show it given a chance.” If you want an understanding of how shitty the human race can be, just listen to Mountjoy.

There will be mixed views on this record, some will declare it as his best work to date. Some will yearn for past releases. It is his tenth solo record, you can’t possibly expect him to keep making the same one over and over again! He just excels himself with every record, and he will last longer than those who put him down. You won’t win.

I’ll end this with a section of lyrics that I feel are entirely true, and are a highlight for me. A selection of lyrics that I believe in and treasure. In all his delicate, honest and observant nature, he just says it all so beautifully:

“Slamming one shots, gentle pain
Someone calling out my name
Sex and love are not the same.”

World Peace Is None Of Your Business just reinforces my love, respect and admiration for Morrissey. I could have mentioned this, I could have mentioned that. Maybe I’ll re-read this and add more. But for now, I’ll stick with this being one of the best records of the year.

VIVA MOZ.





MORRISSEY-Vauxhall And I.

14 03 2014

“In my own sick way, I’ll always stay true to you.”

I realised a long time ago that there is a Morrissey song to fit every life situation. Of course you get fools who would regard this as a depressing thing, but as if I would listen to them. Today more than ever, I have found slight comfort in Morrissey’s songs. His lyrics are beyond everything to me.

Today I was spoken to as if I was dirt more than twice when I took that self-loathing trip to the job centre TWICE. Oh yes, twice. I turned up at 9am for my 9.15 appointment, only to be told to go back at 2.40pm. However, nobody needs to hear about how I’ve been today. This is about the 20th anniversary of Morrissey’s exceptional record, Vauxhall And I. A record that I hold so very dear to me, as if it a part of me. There is something about this record that almost defines why I love Morrissey as much as I do.

Ask any Morrissey fan why they love him, and they will all give you different reasons but the one reason that they will always mention is his gorgeous and careful way with words. For me, I would be lost without his comforting words and the way he expresses ugly feelings to make me feel less ashamed of having them, you know? Vauxhall And I isn’t the only Morrissey record I feel such a strong connection to, but with it being 20 years old I figured it was the one to write about.

You can’t mention this record and not touch on the brilliant The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get. Purely for the line, “Beware. I bear more grudges than lonely high court judges.” Simply brilliant and to the point. He articulates niggling feelings in a way that see no need for being sugarcoated. The opening riff to this song is one that just stays in your head. I had this song as a ringtone for sometime. The perfect song to listen to after this is All You Need Is Me. Oh Morrissey, you minx you!

I was only 7 years old when the record came out, so I can’t claim to have been listening to it for 20 years. It was at least 6/7 years later when I was hitting puberty and I was uncomfortable in my skin. To an extent, I still am but it’s nothing I can’t handle. Vauxhall And I is a record that I have turned to for many reasons. Reasons that anyone who has played this record will understand.

The record touches on sensitive topics such as disappointment and betrayal which if written with negligence, will just sound awful. Morrissey digs deep into these feelings (and more) in a way that makes you want to pick up a pen and write down your ugly and exposed feelings. The way he really gets into the core of being used and calling someone out on it on the song Hold On To Your Friends makes you think of those who have done wrong to you. But in the long run, they really do not matter.

Of all the songs on Vauxhall And I, and probably all Morrissey songs- it is Speedway that truly owns my heart. I could happily write you a thousand plus words on this song (maybe I have already) on how much this song means to me and why it means so much to me. The older I get, the more it means to me. When I last saw him live he played Speedway and being able to see your favourite singer play your favourite song by them live is an overwhelming thing. I sang the words back to Morrissey (even though he evidently couldn’t see me) as if it was only him and I in the room. I sang Speedway as if it was written for me. When I listen to Speedway, I am convinced he wrote it for me. That feeling will never go away, and that’s why Morrissey is so important to me. If any line from a song was apt today, it was this one: “And when you try to break my spirit, it won’t work. Because there’s nothing left to break anymore.” 

Vauxhall And I is probably the Morrissey record that I could happily have on repeat closely followed by Viva Hate. It is the kind of record that offers guidance and a source of comfort when you feel as if you have nothing. As if everything around is escaping you and you’re left with no hope. Many are quick to dismiss Morrissey as some miserable sod, but he’s saved many lives with his comforting words and ability to make those on the outside feel part of something. What that something is, I can’t really define. When something is dear to your heart, you just know. And words simply don’t do it justice.

Vauxhall And I will be reissued via Parlophone on 2nd June and will include unseen photographs.

“Don’t rake up my mistakes
I know exactly what they are
And what do YOU do?
Well, you just sit there.
I’ve been stabbed in the back
So many many times
I don’t have any skin.
But that’s just the way it goes.”





MORRISSEY-Autobiography.

18 10 2013

 

There is something quite emotional about picking up a book that your hero has written about their life. Knowing you are about to read things about them that you never knew- will it change your view on them? Will it change how you feel about certain songs? Will you be shocked? One thing happened after I finished reading Morrissey’s autobiography today; my love for him became stronger and reinforced why he is my absolute hero. I know heroes are meant to be people who save lives and the like. But the thing is, Morrissey saved my life- that’s why he’s my hero. I’ll take it to my grave debating if it was a life worth saving or not, but he was there when I had nothing or no one. He always will be. His words mean more to me now, after reading his biography.

I’ve never written a book review before and I evidently cannot write music reviews. I suppose this won’t be a review because I won’t tell you what happens and what is said. He does touch on his personal life, and to an extent I do think he mentions things fellow Morrissey fans already knew. We know of the trouble he went through with THAT court case. However for me, there is one moment in the book that brought me to tears (happened a few times, but at this point I had to stop reading for a while.) The friendship he had with the wonderful Kirsty MacColl was beautiful. You can truly sense the love he had (and still has) for her when you see how fondly he writes about her. There’s a paragraph about her death (I won’t type it up) that just made me sob uncontrollably for a while. Maybe I wanted to just hug Morrissey and tell him it’s all okay. Maybe at that point I realised that my hero feels everything I feel and can word it in ways I’ll never be able to, but I already knew that. I don’t know what it was, I suppose it was the way he wrote it. He writes in that beautiful delicate yet honest way that us Morrissey fans love him for. He gets to the core of every human emotion regardless of how ugly it may be, and makes us feel less alone for carrying it around.

Yesterday I watched the news on Channel 4 and ITV, showing clips of Morrissey fans in Sweden finally meeting their hero. I’ve seen lovely photos on Facebook of the fans who were lucky to meet him. The whole atmosphere surrounding this book is something that I don’t think will be repeated, maybe again. Is anyone going to care about the winner of X-Factor’s life? No. Well, maybe if they read Heat magazine/if dull and mundane things interest them. Morrissey’s life has been painful at times, and to read about the losses he has experienced is heartbreaking. I knew that, from his lyrics alone, that this book would be written in that extremely personal way (it’s an autobiography afterall! I know) but to read it all in book form is completely different. At times you do feel as if he is sat next to you telling you everything about his life. All you can do is nod in agreement or cry at the moments that just break your heart.

His book is a work of art and shows him in a vulnerable yet beautiful way. That’s just Morrissey all over. He is someone who is baffled at his own success yet those who love him can see exactly why he is adored like this. Morrissey writes with utter tenderness and sheer humour when needed. He is everything I want in a hero. I remember when I read Patti Smith’s Just Kids, when I finished it I knew it would be a book that I would constantly go back to when I needed something to make me feel human and capable again. The same applies to Morrissey’s autobiography. Except with his book, it is reminder that things take time and you won’t always be the laughing-stock.

I sometimes think about what it must be like to meet him, and to somehow tell him what he means to me, but I’m no good with words. I’m no good with saying certain things, maybe I’d have to play him a song to sum it all up. I have no idea, maybe that day will never come. As the book came to a close I believed he is finally at place where he is happy and has all that he needs. He is by no means a materialistic man, and I think that’s part of why I love him. I don’t understand people who wish to purchase things of value to claim their worth as a person. Your worth is established in your heart.

Morrissey is the person who has dragged me kicking and screaming through life when I didn’t see a point. At times I still don’t see a point, but I play a Morrissey song and I hear hope. I hear hope that will carry me through. Of course, he is my light that will never go out. His charm and wit is an honour to be familiar with on a daily basis. Some may regard his autobiography as 457 pages of self-pitying. It really really isn’t. He is telling his life story, his way. There are stories that will make you cry, stories that will make you laugh- much like his songs. When asked a question at school, he replies with “I’m sorry, I’m not interested.” It was obvious that from a young age that this young boy was destined to be the voice of those who needed to be heard in a way that only Morrissey understood and could express.

There are many stories in his book that are just a pleasure to read, but there is one paragraph that spoke to me instantly and will remain etched upon my heart and brain:

“However heavy-hearted and impossible you might feel about yourself, you can still bestow love through recorded song-which just might even be the only place where you have the chance to show yourself as you really are since nothing in your disposed life gives you encouragement.”

Morrissey fans of the world, unite and take over.

 





Morrissey Fans Of The World Unite And Take Over

12 10 2013

 

There is something about fans of The Smiths and Morrissey that just stands out from fans of other singers/bands. I’ve never really met anyone in person who truly got my love for Morrissey. Maybe one or two, but that’s it. Those who truly get the love for him are the ones I’ve seen at Morrissey shows. The ones who cry as soon as he walks on stage, the ones who sing every word back to him knowing that it is one of the many songs of his that saved our lives. It doesn’t need words, because the actions of us all just sum up our feelings perfectly.

There are times where I’ve worn one of my Morrissey/The Smiths t-shirts and a knowing nod or smile has been thrown my way from a stranger on the street. Once I was waiting at Piccadilly station in Manchester on the platform, and I was wearing a Morrissey shirt. Stuart Maconie walked past me and smiled. That was pretty cool. I’ve had a woman in Liverpool stop me as I was walking through the street, grabbed my arm and asked if the M tattoo on my arm was for Morrissey. You feel something quite powerful and a mutual understanding when this happens. It makes you feel something that probably wouldn’t mean as much if it was another band or singer.

One of these encounters happened again today.

Today is a year of my girlfriend and I being together, and this afternoon we went out for lunch. On my jacket I have a badge with Morrissey’s face on with the words, “It’s so easy to laugh, it’s so easy to hate. It takes guts to be gentle and kind” around it. A voice of a young chap said to me, “Excuse me, is that..on your badge..The Smiths?” I said it was. He replied with “I Know It’s Over.” An d we agreed on the beauty of the song and spoke briefly about his autobiography which is FINALLY out next week. That short interaction with someone about a person who has evidently been one of the biggest influences in your life not only makes you proud to be a fan, but it makes you glad that someone else also gets the importance of Morrissey.

Of course you do get these people who seem to love just saying nasty things about Morrissey. They label him as miserable (obviously they don’t get intelligent humour) and such things. However, you cannot please everyone. And why on earth would you want to please everyone and win people over? No thank you. For me, I love Morrissey because he manages to express every ugly feeling I’ve ever had in a way that makes it feel alright. He exposes the feelings we are told to push down and ignore in a way that makes you feel less vile for having them. He also dislikes the Royal Family, which I fully endorse. His words for so long have been my life. He’s changed my life in ways those who TRULY love him will only know how. If you’ve only ever heard of The Smiths because of 500 Days Of Summer and have never listened to another song by him or The Smiths- they will not get it at all. That’s alright, they probably love another band/singer in the same way. Everyone has that one singer/band that they will defend until their very last breath.

When someone stops you in the street to acknowledge the t-shirt you are wearing, and you both exchange understanding acknowledgments- it just makes you even more proud to be a fan of that band/singer.

There is one video, I believe that truly sums up how much us Morrissey fans love him and what it means to love him. Oh and of course the atmosphere you can feel whilst at a Morrissey show:

Morrissey fans are the most passionate and loving fans. They know what it is like to truly love a singer with EVERYTHING they have. They’ve rinsed their bank accounts to just see him live. They’ve declined sleep to travel to see him. His music is our life, and I doubt we’d have it any other way. Many of course will continue to slag off Morrissey, but he’s still around. He’s lasted longer than most, and his words are the lifeline for so many. He is someone who you don’t just play in the background and carry on with whatever you’re doing. You play his music daily and you feel every word deeper than you did the time before, and the time before that. Your love and respect just grows.

Music is a massive part of my life, and I’ll always stand by that Morrissey’s words are why lyrics mean the most to me. Seeing songs like Speedway live was like a healing process of sorts. Seeing I Know It’s Over live was something I’ll just never forget- the words went deeper that time, for obvious reasons. It’ll always be my favourite song by The Smiths. I do believe that no one but Morrissey should sing his songs/ The Smiths songs, but Dum Dum Girls cover of There Is A Light is my only exception. Always. His words may be delicate at times, but he gives you strength. Feel alone, feel weak, cry- whatever. It doesn’t matter, and you shouldn’t be ashamed of having those feelings. He was the only one to have taught me this, and I’ll carry it around with me for the rest of my life. The songs that really did, save my life.





“What a mess a little time makes to us when time and place collide.”

21 02 2013

Five years ago today I was sat in a room at University in an Online Journalism class. This module basically was for us all to start our own blog. What we did with it after the module ended was our own business I guess. I carried on. I carried on because I found a platform where I could express my love for music in a way I’d never done before. It wasn’t just music, it was life events and situations that also tie in with music. Which made me realise that music is my life, it truly truly is. Everyone has a passion in life, it’s obviously what mine is.

Over the past five years of running this blog I have been fortunate enough to befriend bands (Royal Chant, I’m looking at you..lovingly of course) and I’ve discovered new bands that have just blown my mind. I’ve interviewed bands/singers that have inspired me in many ways (meeting Warpaint was beyond words) and I also made my role model, Shirley Manson cry with a piece I wrote about how important Garbage’s record Bleed Like Me is to me.  Being thanked by Crocodiles for something I wrote about them meant more to me than I ever thought it would. I’ve never been paid to write anything, and as clichéd as it sounds- no amount of money can put a price on any of that, and also how much I love writing about music.

I’m still convinced that the only person who reads this is my mum. I’ll never get why anyone would go out of their way to read one of my rants, but when I get an email or whatever from someone on the other side of the world telling me they connected with something I’ve written; it justifies why I write. I do it for me, but I also do it in the hopes someone who loves music as much as I do doesn’t feel so alone and strange with their love for it.

Take comfort where you can.