Last night saw me at a long-awaited Johnny Marr gig in Bexhill-on-Sea. The third gig in his recently launched Playland Tour, it was everything I had expected and more. From the moment Marr opened his set with the title track of the tour and his newly released album, we were treated to a stylish display of musicianship, in which he made his mastery of the guitar look effortless.
Alongside tracks from “Playland”, including his current single “Easy Money”, Marr performed tracks from his “The Messenger” album. My favourite was “Generate! Generate!”, which he played after verging on an “existential crisis” on stage! There was a cover of Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life”, and a few Smiths’ classics, including “Panic” and “Stop Me”. However, Johnny saved the best for last, with a hypnotic delivery of “How Soon Is Now?”. I know that some will consider it sacrilege, but Marr’s vocal last night was so much better than I had ever heard it performed by The Smiths. Sorry Morrissey!
In fact, there is nothing I can fault about last night’s gig. I was captivated from beginning to end. This video clip I took does not do the evening justice, as the quality is hardly top notch, but I hope it will give you an idea of the genius and class of the one and only Johnny F**kin’ Marr!