Come 2pm outside the Enmore Theatre, a solid 5 hours before the venue doors will open, and the ranks have swelled. The World's Biggest Morrissey Fan has now been joined by a small, but passionate, local contingent.

Most wear t-shirts stamped with the quiffed visage of their hero, some carry rare vinyl in hermetically sealed plastic envelopes, yet more carry (horror) stories of Morrissey's 1991 Australian tour, cancelled due to illness after a single show at Brisbane's Festival Hall.

Angela, a self proclaimed Morrissey obsessive, who arrives at the Enmore Theatre with a suitcase inscribed "Morrissey Odyssey 2002", has packed, together with eighteen Morrissey t-shirts, two concert tickets issued for the ill-fated gig at Perth's Concert Hall on the 19th of September, 1991.

"When I arrived home from school to discover that Morrissey had cancelled, my reaction was disbelief. Total disbelief. I didn't sleep for a few days and it took a week for me to accept that it wasn't going to happen. I was devastated."

Angela's first opportunity to see Morrissey perform live in her home town would arrive eleven years later at the 1,800 capacity Metro City Theatre in Perth - the first date of Morrissey's "October Spawned a Monster" tour and of Angela's Odyssey.

Like the World's Biggest Morrissey Fan, Angela is also following Morrissey on his tour of Australia, which, over the course of ten days, will take in three Livid rock festival appearances and four solo shows in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

 


Labouring over a letter to Dear Moz, Angela worries that at three-and-a-half pages of small cramped script she might have gotten carried away. Forget acne and aching wrists, the truest representative trait of any given Morrissey fan is this unique capacity for passion and singular devotion.

In contrast to today's rash of ready-made and readily forgettable popstars, the 20-year history of Morrissey's career - both as lead singer of the seminal 1980's band The Smiths and as a solo artist - is one inextricably bound to that of a devout and deliriously infatuated fanbase.

"The music of The Smiths and Morrissey has so much to say about how I view the world and my own place in it. Whenever I need someone or something its not parents, god or friends I turn to. It's always Morrissey. I have been described as obsessive, sad and gay for being a Morrissey fan. It matters not."
"Glen" - messageboard - www.morrisseytour.com.

As the Worlds Biggest Morrissey Fan knows only too well, to attend a Morrissey concert is to bear witness to a ritualised riot of adoration. First comes the hail of flowers and of painstakingly-worded letters. The swelling, screaming, wet eyed crush. And then, in what has become a certified set-piece of The Morrissey Spectacle , the storming of the breach as fans charge the stage to touch, for a second, the idol they can scarcely comprehend as flesh.

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