Tuesday, December 05, 2006


22nd October, 1999. Tilburg. A big regret of mine was never seeing The Smiths. I'm not sure how that one got away. Anyway, just one date of this solo tour was in the Netherlands and to my amazement, not in Amsterdam, but Tilburg. I wasn't going to miss this chance. It had been 8 years since Mozza had played in Holland and the venue was sold out. Considering that it was packed with fans, the audience were a bit of a let down. There was the usual fanatical group stuck at the front, but the majority were pretty quiet. There wasn't much singing or dancing going on. The man himself, maybe had something to do with it. Of course, he is older and a bit portly and didn't exude much enthusiasm. Dressed in a West Ham boy's club T-shirt, he chatted a bit, but not getting much response from the crowd, professionally worked his way through the set list. Opening with You're gonna need someone on your side, followed by Boy Racer should have got the toughest of audience's going. I think a lot of people were in awe of seeing the 'Icon' in the flesh. I, in any case thought it was a great start. He went on to play a mix of solo and Smiths songs which didn't always sound like they should (like I'm used to hearing them!), due to the backing band and the shift in his voice. He didn't play for long - just over an hour - and ended up with 'Last night I dreamt..'. And then he was gone, leaving the crowd to enjoy the after-party which, dare I say, was greeted with more enthusiasm than the concert.

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