Keeping the faith with lust and style
Action his middle name … with droll humour and panache, the singer's performance was as Morrissey as could be.
Sydney Opera House, December 22
In defence: the calumny that Morrissey is only for socially inept men who were beaten up regularly at school (or should have been) is proved false not only by the fact that some of us were only ever punched once or twice but that the ranks of the devotees are liberally populated by women, including one in the front row who claimed to have been right there for more than 500 shows.
In amusement: the man is droll. ''Although it is true I have led a horizontal life, astonishingly action is my middle name,'' he deadpanned before leading us into a new, grand ballad. He farewelled us with ''I'm so happy I'm going outside to throw myself under a car."
In lust: "Biting my initials into your neck" is how that new song, Action Is My Middle Name, begins, with the horny Mancunian declaring to a potential lover he cannot wait any longer. "Tongue against tongue, we've only just begun/can I interest you in hours of fun?"
In style: while Morrissey looked slim and fit in a series of shirts opened to a deep v, his band wore black shirts and grey slacks so dapper they could have doubled up as the ship's band on the liner docked across from the Opera House.
In fairness: if it's true not enough moments in Morrissey's solo career have come close to the peaks of the Smiths - as seen in revived gems such as Still Ill and How Soon Is Now?, contrasted by a dull solo song such as Alma Matters - then we should also acknowledge that the overwrought and overlong Smiths' polemic Meat Is Murder remains a great trip-to-the-toilet/bar song.
In faith: arms were outstretched for a touch, men stood in quiet, eyes-closed, body-swaying ecstasy and when Morrissey threw his shirt into the audience you knew the remnants would end up in a shrine, touched for luck and healing for generations to come.
In beauty: Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want. Sigh.
In truth: on my way in I received a text from a friend who had been at the Enmore the night before, saying: "He was 110 per cent Morrissey last night. Enjoy Moz." She was right and we did. A lot.