Former Smiths frontman Morrissey launched another multi-pronged attack on the establishment when he returned to London’s O2 Arena for his only UK date of the year.
Playing in the capital for the first time in two years and following reports he had been treated for cancer, Morrissey delved into his stockpile of hate figures as he hit out at the Royal family, the government, the meat industry and his record label.
The 55-year-old opened with Smiths favourite The Queen Is Dead in front a mock-up image of Her Majesty flipping the bird.
“I am privileged beyond my wildest dreams,” the Manchester lyricist said as he walked onto the stage wearing all-white and with his hair sculpted into his trademark quiff.
His backing band, however, chose to mark the occasion by wearing matching t-shirts carrying the message “f*** Harvest Records” following a dispute between the singer and his record label.
“That was a track from our last CD album, which was immediately deleted by a very clever record label…,” the singer lamented.
Tonight’s date was the last on Morrissey’s winter European tour, celebrating the release of his 10th solo studio album, World Peace Is None Of Your Business.
But previous legs had been dogged by illness, stage invasions and heckling.
Playing to a bumper crowd at the O2, Morrissey dipped into his back catalogue for early solo hit Suedehead before playing several songs from the new record.
The animal rights campaigner, who recorded the album Meat Is Murder with his former band in 1984, said he was pleased to read British press reports this week about contaminated chickens.
Before launching into the album’s title track, backed by a seven-minute video attacking the meat industry, Morrissey said: “I saw the news online, and I thought to myself … haha haha.”
He closed with a rare outing for Smiths number Asleep and solo favourite Every Day Is Like Sunday.
The singer released his highly acclaimed autobiography in October last year, selling more than 100,000 copies in its first week and spending five weeks at number one.