Music review: Morrissey, Armadillo, Glasgow

He may not have started this Glasgow performance with the most eloquent opening gambit, but Morrissey showed he still has a way with an arresting lyric, writes Fiona Shepherd

Morrissey, Armadillo, Glasgow ****

Morrissey announced his return to Glasgow – a city whose support has not gone unnoticed – with the words "blah blah and possibly blah". Who knows, this could be precious manna for the fans already lined up in front of the stage in the hope of touching the hem of his garment; for the more casual observer, he could hardly have opened his set more eloquently than with The Smiths’ classic How Soon Is Now. This was a loud, proud and potent rendition, with arena-ready drums, distorted guitar drone and Morrissey declaring "I am still the son and heir…"

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Little could hope to match this fierce introduction but there was wry entertainment in the bone dry observational vignettes of We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful, delivered with actual rictus grin, Knockabout World ("congratulations, you are still alive"), Sure Enough the Telephone Rings (“who wants my money now?") and the uplifting camaraderie of First of the Gang to Die.

Morrissey PIC: Claudio Cruz /AFP via Getty Images
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Smiths songs were scattered like confetti through the set, with the plaintive gem Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want as a clear highlight, alongside majestic early solo single Every Day Is Like Sunday. But Morrissey can still arrest with a lyric such as "time will send you an invoice" from melancholic melodrama My Hurling Days are Over and even the very title Bonfire of Teenagers, a new “song of modern England” about the Manchester Arena bombing on which Morrissey seethed as his band built a musical head of steam.

By the end of the set, he was growling dramatically against demonic lighting. Meanwhile, the general friskiness in the crowd climaxed during the encore with a rush and a push to the stage as Moz whipped off his shirt to reveal his Irish Blood, English Heart while proclaiming it was “great to be grabbed by the Gorbals".