Among sons and heirs of nothing in particular – our first MOZ night!

interviewing

We have five minutes to spare/  

– so tell us the story of your life/

Can’t think of anything else than this heretical rape of Morrissey gospel to better describe our mood last Friday. This was our second filming night at the Star & Garter and the first Smiths disco we have captured – and our ambitions were ridiculously high. But you can’t aim low when filming so many people united by one band – at a venue that looks like an old castle oozing history. So we wanted to talk to loads of people and hear the story of their (night)lives at the Star & Garter.

Can’t think of anything else than this heretical rape of Morrissey gospel to better describe our mood last Friday. This was our second filming night at the Star & Garter and the first Smiths disco we have captured – and our ambitions were ridiculously high. But you can’t aim low when filming so many people united by one band – at a venue that looks like an old castle oozing history. So we wanted to talk to loads of people and hear the story of their (night)lives at the Star & Garter.

outside2
Photo: Iris Cartia

It was pretty amazing to film the Star and Garter in full-on MOZ mode – even if the light conditions and the loud music could make the venue a filmmaker’s nightmare (some technical challenges on that front). But the music, the vibe and the people really make the Smiths night an out-of-this-world experience – even if you are sweating buckets for the sake of decent exposure. The people we talked to came up with stories fuelled by passion, affection and some sadness. Ben, a tall, dapper guy who has come to the S&G for almost 10 years said “I don’t want to get older – in my thirties – and think about Fifth Avenue as the only place to go. I want there to be a variety. And it’s changing, changing so much… everything is getting smaller, there’s less choice… it’s very distressing.” Jenny from Moston has trodden the dance floor of the Garter for almost 8 years on Smiths nights – and she gave us some great lines that grasped the essence of it all: “it’s very cosmopolitan but still keeping the Manchester vibe about it.” It’s just like a magical place… you can meet loads of friendly people… it’s kind of magic.”  Justin – the barrel-chested guy with the reddish beard, wide smile and the Morrissey tattoos – has been a regular for 19 years and as such he has seen pretty much all the good music venues close over the past decades as the Wind Of Progress (which sometimes smells like fart) has swept through Manchester. The Star & Garter might be the last nail in the coffin for a city that once offered a live gig on every corner and club nights like the MOZ where you have (as Justin said) “the security that you are going to be accepted.” Elsa, soft-spoken and comforting, came forward with loads of episodes from her enduring love with the Smiths and the MOZ disco where she and her husband take turns – one goes dancing while the other stays home with the kids. She first set foot in the Star and Garter in 2002 and has been coming ever since.

franco and adam
Photo: Iris Cartia

We also got a whiff of the cosmopolitanism Jenny talked about – outside, we interviewed a couple from Chile who came to Manchester only for the Smiths night, fearing that Progress might make it the last. The same holds for the Scots we met later inside. I also ran into a Hungarian bloke and sure it wouldn’t have taken long to discover folk from other pockets of the globe. Weren’t it for sheer logistics and time constraints, we would have interviewed everyone there. And we will keep rolling to make that happen – just bare with us.

main
Photo: Iris Cartia

As you surely noticed, we filmed the dance floor as well – we want to keep that as a habit too. But if any one of you feels they want their most liberated self off our camera, do tell us. Remember, signori, we can always blur out faces – but we never forget one 🙂 Going forward – please guys, talk to us on camera. We want to record a rich diary of Star & Garter memories, and the MOZ night is nothing short of a gold mine for us. Another request: do film your MOZ prepping rituals (attires, memorabilia, etc.) and do send the video to us. You can use your iPhone or a small HD camera. We could use the clips in our documentary! Remember, nobody is too rough and nobody is too delicate. See you soon!

legs
Photo: Iris Cartia

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