“Everyday is like Sunday, everyday is silent and grey…”
Not this Sunday though, because this was the Sunday that Morrissey came to Seoul. How good’s that? In the couple of years that I’ve been here I’ve only seen Elvis Costello, Mogwai and a few not so memorable Korean bands. That’s it, apart from keeping Jen company at a Duran Duran gig.
Whilst Japan seems to be a must-visit sort of place, Korea rarely seems to attract anything like the same amount of touring bands. I’d been on edge over the Morrissey gig since getting the tickets a few weeks earlier as the first Sunday in the month is usually the day that I spend travelling to Oman for a couple of meetings in the desert. Luckily this month my trip was scheduled for a week later and I was free to get along to the AX-centre on the Sunday evening.
It had been a late night on the Saturday and any plans that I’d had for a Sunday hike were scuppered by the hangover. I wasn’t really expecting to do very much until I put the telly on at 2pm and realised that the day’s baseball fixtures were about to start. Twenty minutes later I was at Jamsil for the derby between LG Twins and Doosan Bears.
Despite it being busy I thought I’d take my chances on an outfield ticket. As I emerged from the tunnel it looked like I might have made a mistake as there were already people sitting in the aisles. I spotted a seat without a bag on it and the bloke next to it was gracious enough not to try to claim that he was saving it for a friend who hadn’t yet arrived. Or indeed been born.
It was a really sunny day, perfect for baseball and with the second innings about to start, still scoreless. Ben Jukich was the starting pitcher for LG. He’s in his second season with the Twins and is one of their better pitchers. From what I’ve discovered he didn’t ever get to play Major League baseball in America, but he’s certainly been effective in Korea.
Kim Seung Hye was the starting pitcher for Doosan.
Neither of these teams are likely to win the title, so bragging rights over the team that shares their stadium makes these games important for both sets of fans. Doosan took the lead with a run in the third.
Doosan didn’t stay in front for long though and a mix-up in the fourth enabled LG to level the scores. Doosan’s Kim Jae Ho who was fielding at second just failed to run out the lad who was running towards him before firing in the ball to first to try to get Yoon Jin Ho out. Unfortunately his wild throw went over the head of the first baseman and in the following panic, not only did Ho make it to second, but the other fella got all the way around to fourth for LG’s first run of the afternoon.
The second run came soon afterwards when a hit from Twins infielder Kim Jae Yool enabled Yoon Jin Ho to get home from second and put his side into the lead.
Now whilst all this was very enjoyable, it wasn’t a baseball day really, it was a Morrissey day. So if I tell you that Doosan scored a couple of runs in the fifth before LG got three in the eighth to run out five–three winners then that’s probably enough baseball talk for this occasion.
So, Mozza. He was on at the AX-Centre. It’s the place where we saw Mogwai last year and it probably holds about a thousand people. We arrived just before seven and whilst we were chatting away outside one of the security fellas very kindly made a point of letting us know that Morrissey would be on stage bang on seven.
We collected our tickets from the box office and headed in to our upstairs seats. I’ve seen Morrissey at least a dozen times or so over the last twenty years. Sometimes at festivals, sometimes at small venues around the UK, sometimes at the big Manchester ‘homecoming’ gigs. If you’ve seen him before then this one was just like any of those gigs, with a fanatical crowd hanging off his every word and pushing towards the stage for the chance of a handshake or to give him a flower or two.
His set list was decent with a good balance between Smiths songs, a varied selection of older solo stuff and some of the better tracks from the more recent albums. He kicked off with ‘How Soon Is Now’, and got ‘Everyday Is Like Sunday’ in early on.
I was expecting a comment from him about eating dogs after Meat Is Murder, but he let it go. He included ‘I Know It’s Over’ and I can generally forgive him for whatever recent stuff he plays if I get to hear that one. Whilst we didn’t get ‘There Is A Light…’ or ‘Irish Blood, English Heart’ he did finish on a high with ‘First Of The Gang To Die’.
By eight thirty it was all over. Morrissey and the band had a plane to catch to Singapore which might have explained the early start and finish. I’ll settle for that anytime he likes.