The Irish singer, who has released three songs protesting the government’s lockdown safety measures, has become an outspoken critic of the PM in recent weeks.
In a review of his set at the London Palladium on Friday night (25 September), Reuters reported that Morrison “finished up with an extended version of ‘Gloria’ – for which he placed a cardboard figure of Prime Minister Boris Johnson holding a coronavirus warning sign on the stage.”
The gig had been postponed from its original March date, and was the third in a short run of performances at the venue.
Morrison has called for venues to be allowed to open at full capacity amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, while medical experts warn that loosened restrictions would lead to a rise in infection rates.
While Morrison’s music has usually steered clear of political issues, a new trio of tracks (“No More Lockdown”, “Born to Be Free” and “As I Walked Out”) condemn the so-called “crooked facts” of scientists during the pandemic.
The cardboard cut-out mockery of Johnson is likely to sting particularly hard given the prime minister’s professed admiration for Morrison.
In an episode of Desert Island Discs from 2005, Johnson selected Morrison’s 1967 hit “Brown Eyed Girl” as one of his 10 essential songs.
“He’s one of those artists, you can’t have too much of him,” he said. “You can overdose on him a bit.”