Sunday, May 23, 2004

The Return of the King – quiffs that have lain dormant will be reawakened

Now you know me, as far as I’m concerned there’s never a bad time to be a Mancunion, but even by usual standards, yesterday was a special day.

First (but not foremost) United (aka Red Scum) managed to salvage something from their decidedly average season, by winning the FA Cup. Now despite what some unkind souls might suggest there are some Utd fans that actually do reside in Greater Manchester and accordingly as we hit the city centre pubs in the late afternoon the streets are singing.

Which brings us to the second reason to rejoice. Yesterday Manchester welcomed home one of its favourite sons, the supreme king of indie music and all he surveys, one Steven Patrick Morrissey.

15,000 of us gathered at the MEN Arena to witness his first live appearance in his home town for about 12 years. We offered adoration and he didn’t disappoint.

To be fair he was always set to succeed, judging by the number of Smiths T’shirts and quiffed hairstyles in the gathered throng. Which does leave one wondering where these quiffs have been for the past 15 years. Were they especially cultivated for tonight or have their owners been hiding out somewhere, waiting for their leader’s triumphant return? Our favourite theory is that somewhere in Whalley Range is a block of bedsits named Mozza Towers where the be-quiffed have been holed up all these long lonely years.

Tonight however their faith was rewarded. Following on from a blistering set by Franz Ferdinand, Mozza took to the stage and with a mixture of Smiths classics and obscurities, older solo stuff and a good selection from his latest album (probably one of his strongest ever sole offerings) he won our hearts all over again.

We may well be the quarry, but tonight there wasn’t much of a chase required. From his opening words of “Cheetham Hill, Harpurhey, Rusholme – good to see you again” he held us in the palm of his hands and just toyed with us for the next 90 minutes. We danced, we chanted, we roared and we loved every second.

Probably the second best gig of my life. Afterwards we head to Zinc to drink into the wee small hours as we try to come down. To no avail though, 24 hours later I’m still high as a kite.

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