The 'new' Morrissey interview and accompanying photographs at Pestana Palace are a hoax. Morrissey has not been to Portugal for many years, and does not give interviews unless at gun-point.


"Maxwell Hall was the end of the 'heavy petal' aspect of live Smiths. The level of determination from the audience was hysterical and life-changing … suddenly they were a comic-strip photomontage of bare-chested lads of immovable strength … each an out-stretched grab of rough kindness - loudly singing sand-paper voices and square chins, and all of a sudden I'm the Fabian of the slums. In fact, not an audience at all, but a gathering of wrestlers still chewing on yesterday's Hubba Bubba. They look as if someone is out to get them … and they are right! Everything happened so quickly in 1986. Ten years earlier I had seen three Sex Pistols gigs in Manchester, and they were fantastically agitated whereas this night in Salford is a glory celebration. 'Panic' would be released at 9:AM the next day; number 11 by the following weekend; no airplay of course because Smiths songs described the way people actually lived, which then, as now, wasn't ever the point of daytime radio. 'Panic' had been muttered about as being "waaaacist" by the people who shout out insults for a living (they never die! God help us!) … it was an accusation not dependent on any evidence, as usual. It was the opening song, and the blaze of the crowd tells you how this moment - how YOU - are in the "now" of everything. When we are afraid we want to be controlled, but this audience were not afraid and will never be controlled. The music is a fighter jet of guitar, of military crossfire drumming, of bass full of manhoods fire yet played with nobility - no crass New Romantic slow dance bass jerks … as they all did in those days. And then there was me, of course, in gleeful rage, suddenly bare-chested at the lip of the stage; demented - but why not? You only live twice, and I was here because I was no good doing anything else. You must take charge of your life! Everything we had done as a band had moved us forward to this very point, and Maxwell Hall was important because we had seen enough of the outside world to now cherish our own backyard. The venue had the creak of old ward doors, and the rooms had that strange smell of stale bark. Rough Trade workforce walked around the venue like itching activists ready to light the touch paper. They all know how to smoke and how to use the right words. These are the days when everyone still travels up north in a 'van', miles measured by Blue Boar service stations and chips with everything. Each time I'm caught in conversation I can't stop laughing. It's a Sly Stone family affair and all the WRONG people are NOT there. Everyone seems to be saying either "well, we've done it!" or "now THIS is something interesting." Scott Piering repeatedly brushes his hand across the top of his head as he takes a philosophical view, and Mike Hinc rips open his 41st Carlsberg of the night; either one, or both, will quote Kafka and somehow link it to 'Panic' - looking like characters from The L-Shaped Room. Jo Slee and Martha DeFoe are there … trailing their hands in the water. On the stage, the night started as a tornado and moves faster and faster … three encores? It was a fanaticism of discontent 200 miles away from cashpoint SW1. 'Still ill', 'Rusholme Ruffians', 'What She Said', along with the unplayed 'Miserable Lie' had developed into soaring blasts that were street-fights rather than 'musical numbers', and this is why Smiths' concerts were essentially about physical proximity. No one ever went to a Smiths concert to sit in their seats. But we would never make it into the arenas of England. Art is time bound. And so are you. Overheard: "What's so important about the Smiths?", "Well, their songs are about something," - "Oh? that's unusual, isn't it?"
Sandra Gough and Jennifer Moss were in the audience? No? Oh that was just a miserable lie. The outro fades and the stragglers straggle and you run down to the safety of the town. We all scuttle home like dust mice: the secrets and the sweat remain on the hall walls forevermore.
Was it really so strange?
To the best of my knowledge it was a pleasure."


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