Morrissey performing at The Genting Arena Birmingham on Tuesday 27th February 2018.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

There were two reasons to brave the Beast from the East last night to make your way to the Genting Arena in Birmingham; the first was to witness a sublime performance from Morrissey, the former Smiths front man, and the other was perhaps to try for the first time, vegan fish and chips.

Because such is the power of this artist; his long standing veganism means that he does not allow meat products to be sold in the concourse, and the venues that he regularly packs out duly oblige.

Touring on the back of his latest studio album, Low In High School, the evening started with a thirty minute video featuring some of Morrissey’s most favoured musicians and video clips, before the dramatic drop of the screen signalled the start of his set as he burst into a cover of Elvis’ You’ll Be Gone.

As he strutted, postured and gesticulated around the stage, he delivered a set list which showcased both old and new songs. Suedehead, Jack The Ripper and Hold Onto Your Friends were all given an outing. And with his voice remaining as fine and distinctive as ever, his lead singles from his new album, Spent The Day In Bed and Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up On The Stage were intermingled with two of The Smiths songs, I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish and the brooding and anthemic How Soon Is Now?

The Bullfighter Dies was performed in front of horrific images of real life bullfights on the big screen, and there was four minutes of footage of police brutality during Who Will Protect Us From The Police? And with calls of “We love them, we mourn for them, unlucky boys of red”, this Manchurian paid tribute to the Busby Babes in the Munich Air Disaster 1958, with harrowing images of the crash’s aftermath gracing the backdrop behind.

On a fabulous cover of The Pretenders’ Back On The Chain Gang, his vocals were unfaltering throughout, and saving the best songs for last, Everyday Is Like Sunday and Speedway which went down a storm before he came back to rapturous applause for a short encore of Irish Blood, English Heart.

Delivering a competent performance from start to finish, Morrissey showed that he is an enduring artist who still has a lot to say. With the upsurge of manufactured artists around, it is refreshing to see an uncompromising character that was well worth braving the cold for. Not so those vegan fish and chips unfortunately.