herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

ROLL ON MONDAY AND A DATE WITH aDORABLE MORRISSEY

In what's been a rather fraught year for Morrissey, he can always rest assured that there'll be a warm welcome for him in the city where both of his parents were born.

In recent months he parted company from his latest record company, Harvest, following a spat in which he claimed they weren't doing enough to promote his latest album, World Peace is None of Your Business. The album itself, his first since 2009's rather plodding Years of Refusal, was a decent enough effort with flashes of his former lyrical glories laced throughout songs that occasionally soared but by and large trundled along in workmanlike fashion.

If anything, the row with Harvest seems all too typical, yet again displaying to the wider world just how difficult it must be working with the former Smiths frontman.

Even the most cursory glance through the best-selling Autobiography or Tony Fletcher's Smiths' biography A Light That Never Goes Out reveals that Moz is someone who's blindingly talented but must be an absolute nightmare to do business with.

Even when not warring with his record company - and World Peace actually sold reasonably well given the current state of the industry - 2014 hasn't been the easiest for Morrissey. Regular cancellations of shows in recent years may have been explained when the singer admitted he'd had treatment for cancer and, in all likelihood, probably shouldn't even be making music at the age of 55.

There's every likelihood that he might prefer to further his writing career rather than continue to haul his bones around the world for several months a year. Indeed, sections of Autobiography were absolutely superb (when he wasn't bitching about that traumatic court case involving former Smiths drummer Mike Joyce, that is), and there have been rumours that he's working on a novel.

The current tour has seen him indulge in two major strops, walking off at one show due to fans invading the stage and hugging him too vigorously while another was curtailed after a member of the audience repeatedly heckled him about his cancer.

Whatever about the former incident, you'd have to wonder about the mental health of someone who'd pay for a ticket to a gig and then yell at the singer about a recent and serious illness. What is wrong with these people?

Still, Monday's event at the 3Arena should be pretty much a love-in despite a difficult year. We still do adore him rather a lot.

>george byrne

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