Morrissey with support from Tiger Army (Liverpool Philharmonic Hall 12/05/06)


Racing psychobilly with a double bass platform is taking off to rev up those soaking up the pre-Morrissey build up. This Californian trio are a typical Morrissey support band, underrated, slightly off-kilter and passionate about music. These components combine together tantalisingly through their most considerate track of the set, 'Out Of My Heart'. In my humble mind, Tiger Army's best album to date is 2004's 'Ghost Tiger's Rise', featuring the 50's throwback of 'Through The Darkness' that was given a Buddy Holly kick by singer Del Fuegos. There is a self confident swagger that runs through the set like melancholy through a Morrissey album, to ensure that when Tiger Army return to Liverpool for a headline gig, they certainly won't be alone.

The pre-gig mumblings on the way in was of how Morrissey seems to play the same set on each night of the tour. So why is a keen punter parting with £30 to see him for the fourth time on this jaunt? Well, Morrissey hasn't even entered the stage and a Liverpool F.C. banner is hung displaying the motto 'Ringleader of the Tormentors', proudly advertising Liverpool's Champions League/European Cup triumphs and a soulful version of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' booms out. Even the boos from the Everton contingent are merely a token reaction, as opposed to displaying any real animosity, so a Morrissey hungry atmosphere is created. The Salford old boy strides onto the stage, shaking hands with the lucky few at the front and bellows out with his usual vocal lucidity, his previous single 'You Have Killed Me'. The crowd beams with pride and many join in with every word, as though it's a The Smith's classic.

This set has a modern Morrissey feel to it, being laden with the caustic sound of offerings from his past two albums 'Irish Blood, English Heart' and 'Ringleader of The Tormentors', as 'First of the Gang' and 'Let Me Kiss You' stand out for their heart and soul. The nostalgic huggers present cling onto every word of The Smith's classic 'Girlfriend in a Coma', with the passion of a Man United fan hankering back to their European glory days. A powerful version of 'Irish Blood/English Heart' puts the lid on around 75 minutes of spirited musing from someone who is a legend even in Liverpool, despite his Mancunian roots. A few members of the crowd were hoping for a more surprising ending, though.

Rating 3.5/5

David Adair

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