Johnny Marr | Live Review


it’s not a nostalgia-fest, nor is the beautiful musicianship of the past given the cold-shoulder.

As Johnny Marr steps onto the stage a positive glow comes over those inside the Academy. Not only has this man changed the musical landscape forever, but he’s also stayed one step ahead of things throughout his whole working career. Now

We’re instantly warmed from the bitter edge of Autumn by new tracks with intelligent melodies, crisp musicianship and the confident nature with which it’s all delivered. Professionalism is at the heart of the night with new tracks such as ‘Playland’ and ‘Easy Money’ taking centre stage. This is all somewhat refreshing in an age of lazy artists who are willing to make mistakes and pass it off as something raw.

Undeniably the set is proudly stinted with choice cuts from the era of The Smiths. Tracks like ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’ and ‘The Headmaster Ritual’ have stretched into new generations and no doubt will continue to do so. You can’t help think that some of the people here tonight probably caught the original outfit delivering them up at The Anson Rooms back in 1983, which is quite the sentiment.

The mixture of new and old material proves a sweetening combination, it’s not a nostalgia-fest, nor is the beautiful musicianship of the past given the cold-shoulder. It’s all about tone. In many ways, you can’t help think that Marr has come into his own as a frontman even more so than his last solo show here. His vocals are increasingly stronger, while the guitars as ever do the talking for themselves.

There’s a few total show-stoppers however. That shimmering and iridescent intro of ‘How Soon Is Now’ is as cutting-edge as it ever will be. The lyrics remain relatable and welcoming to the outsiders. This shows as people bellow back every line. It’s also important to mention that the crowd are animated throughout the night.

Encore duties call for the expected chants and bellows, but there’s a truth to it this time, people genuinely are eager to hear more tracks. What can be better re-introduction than the wistful and romantic tune of ‘You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby’. Again those amongst the front of the venue swirl and bound to the upbeat honesty of the whole thing. The night closes on ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ which quite frankly, could have gone on  forever and we wouldn’t have grown tired.

Check out ‘Easy Money’ right here: