The thought of the 80s Inventory, Aitken and Waterman hitmaker “performing the songs of the Smiths” with Stockport’s Blossoms would possibly sound like a drunken pub joke, however it’s a ludicrously scorching ticket. Two thousand folks bellow alongside on the final Smiths karaoke. Roars go up when Astley Rickrolls into the excessive notes in What Difference Does It Make? and once more when Blossoms’ Tom Ogden nails the harmonica in Hand In Glove.
It shouldn’t work, however it does as a result of the songs are superb and offered with care and element. Our hosts stroll on within the former Wesleyan chapel – a really Smithsy venue – to the Coronation Avenue theme and can later exit clutching gladioli. “Marry me” is daubed throughout the drum package because it was on Morrissey’s chest on Top of the Pops in 1984.
With quiff, spectacles, splendidly ludicrous checked trousers, microphone twirls and in-ear screens resembling listening to aids, 55-year-old Astley makes an eerily good younger Morrissey. Clearly, he’s freed from the latter-day incarnation’s support of far-right party For Britain, though Mozzer was by no means this potty-mouthed. “Do you suppose I’m taking this blazer off? No fucking likelihood. I’m on stage with the slimmest band in England!”
Crucially, although, the Lancashire lad sings the songs superbly and sincerely. It’s a disgrace that Nicely I Surprise, one of many few that escape the roar-along, is partly drowned out by chatter. Nonetheless, bassist Charlie Salt brings the funk to Barbarism Begins at House. Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, Panic and the remainder grow to be stupidly euphoric singalongs and Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want, illuminated by cell phones, is magical. Longtime Smiths fan Astley thanks “these younger males, no … these geniuses!” behind him for placing the work in. Once they encore with How Quickly Is Now, This Charming Man and There Is a Light That Never Goes Out one fears the group decibels could actually elevate the roof. Watching this present in 2021 entails a sure suspension of disbelief, however it’s onerous to think about a extra joyful night time out.