Dickie Felton

I write about music and football

The last time I saw Morrissey at the flicks (2006 for Who Put The M in Manchester?) only seven people turned up. On Monday, Manchester's Cornerhouse was jam packed and at the end of the "film" people actually applauded.

I've got to go back to 1982 for the last time I witnessed cinema patrons applaud a movie as the epic E.T got hands clapping at Crosby Plaza. In E.T a lonely boy befriends a genius extra-terrestrial being which finds itself stranded on this unhappy planet. E.T changes Elliott's life.

Fast forward 31 years and I felt an out-of-body experience to rival any Steven Spielberg fantasy. In Morrissey 25, we see the last great pop star united with his people in a timeless story of friendship and love.

The 1,800 souls lucky enough to be at this gig, are like Elliott and an alien, at one. 

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This is no simple concert movie. This is an icon and writer every bit as important as William Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde singing his life to the apostles at Hollywood High School.

From the word go we are treated to an unbelievable set of solo and Smiths material played to perfection. Alma Matters the opener, before we are treated to You Have Killed Me, and then onto older classics You're The One For Me Fatty and Everyday Is Like Sunday.

The Smiths songs have both the audience in Hollywood, and here at a Manchester cinema in raptures.

The fans who appear in Morrissey 25 tell of being saved thanks to his music. In a crazed finale of The Boy With The Thorn In His Side they hurl themselves to the stage to touch the master.

I'd read several poor reviews for Morrissey 25. Many journalists arguing that Morrissey was over. What tosh. Yes, there's been health problems, yes a tour was doomed, yes there is no record deal on the table. As Morrissey said himself recently: "the future seems absent."

But in Morrissey 25 we see an artist at the absolute top of his game. He is enthralling live and even the black and white footage of him preparing to take to the stage is mesmerising. One writer complained recently that this film is "just for Morrissey fans". Yes, I can't see the neutral desperate to attend when pitched against concert films by Robbie Williams and Gone Direction.

But as a hopelessly devoted fan I just felt completely positive after watching Morrissey 25. I crave to see him live as soon as possible. Surely a sprinkling of Christmas dates in his home town? If South American tours seemed unaffordable a few nights in rainy north-west England would surely be the perfect tonic for singer and fans alike? Morrissey, like E.T, needs to phone home. 

In keeping with the drama, our last train to Liverpool was cancelled and we were transported at light speed home on the rail-replacement bus. 

As I glanced out at the full moon I half expected Morrissey to float past on his BMX against a backdrop of shooting stars.

To find out more about this wonderful film, concert, lesson in life, go to www.morrissey25live.com

 

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