Thursday, 21 August 2008

The Smiths and Morrissey Disco @ The Star and Garter, 1/8/08

Can it really be 11 years since I first flung myself around to Morrissey all night long at the Star & Garter? Blimey. I’m old aren’t I? Back in 1997 the not-very-well received Maladjusted album was still brand new (and mildly disappointing), You Are The Quarry and Ringleader still far off in the distant future, and I was 19, sexually confused, impeccably gawky and still going out clubbing in my glasses. How could I not love it? In true How Soon Is Now style I even went alone one night, though the Stressford Poet writes “There is a place for me and my friends, and when we go, we all will go, so I’m never alone …”

I guess when I’m tired of the Smiths night I’ll be tired of Manchester, nay life. The lovely, indefatigable Dave Cotrill still mans the decks, with an assistant this time, and the same friendly faces and arms welcome me like the big dysfunctional family we are. There are two perfect times to visit if you’re so inclined. One is right now while it’s the summer and the crowd is a little older and more discerning and it’s sticky and hot in there which is how things should be. The other time is when Morrissey is on tour and the adoration reaches fever pitch. During his 2006/7 tour I officially went too far. My Diary reads thusly:

Fri 5th Smiths night @ Star & Garter
Sat 6th Mum’s birthday. Morrissey @ Apollo.
Sun 7th Morrissey @ Opera House. Morrissey night @ Brickhouse.
Mon 8th Day off work. Morrissey @ Bridgewater. Smiths night @ Star & Garter.

Fri 22nd Shave my head! Morrissey @ GMEX. Smiths night @ Star & Garter
Sat 23rd Morrissey @ GMEX. Smiths night @ Brickhouse

Notice the slight insanity creep in around ‘Shave my head!’. It’s a tough furrow to plough as a Morrissey disciple but plough it we must. I’ve been a frequently infrequent visitor to the S&G over the last decade and have never not had a brilliant time. I’ve been punched in the face, lost my shirt at least once and my dignity several times, sustained hideous popper scabs, fallen off the stage and down the stairs, and fallen out with all and (if she was there aswell) sundry. But oh, the drama and the passion

Tonight is relatively quiet however, all the better to dance, but the atmosphere is like coming home. Somehow get stinking drunk (how does that keep happening?) and end up chasing Disko Asbo across town because I’m convinced that it’s at Charlie’s and then decide it’s at the Purple Pussycat so we end going to both and I’m still no more clued up as to if we actually make it or not but have hilarious time finding out. Sit up till dawn with my mate Jack eating toast and playing each other brilliant stuff on youtube (Janis Joplin, Stereolab, Ride). Great, great times. Viva the Smiths night I say, it’s the only thing worth missing Homoelectric for.

Soundtrack: Victoria Wood songs. Seems appropriate given she has more in common with Morrissey as a songwriter than anyone else does. Nice to see via youtube I’m not the only person who loves her music. Everyone else seems to fast forward through these when they’re on DVD. Shame! Listen to ‘Andrea’ or ‘Like Any Old Day’ and weep into your chips you scrubbers. When I used to watch The Two Ronnies everyone would go and make tea during Ronnie Corbett’s monologues but I loved ‘em. (Neil’s shorthand for when he’s bored is, to this day, to shout ‘Ronnie Corbett!). So it is with VW songs. Love ‘em. And those Corbett bits were all written by Ronnie Barker you know so sit back down

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