What’s a crowd to do when Johnny Marr comes rolling into town? Dig out your old and worn Smiths t-shirt and head on down to the Leeds 02 academy, of course. Taking his sophomore album and new solo tour on the road, Mr Marr brought his lavish indie world and shoved it into faces of 2000-or-so nostalgic audience members.
Bringing a fresh, psychedelic scent of thick guitars and lively percussion to the stage, the night kicked off with Nottingham-born, London-based band Childhood. Working off of the success of their debut record, Lacuna, the vibrant four-piece picked and pounded tunes from their collection, including ‘You Could Be Different,’ ‘Blue Velvet,’ and ‘When You Rise’. With a barrage of pacy guitars, harmonically captivating bass lines and trembling vocals, the raw indie ensemble proved to be a popular, cockle-warming choice of support, going by the audience’s reaction.
Onto Johnny Marr, then. A cult hero of northern roots post-punk, the former Smiths, Cribs and Modest Mouse guitarist has acclimatised to life as a solo performer naturally, fronting the stage in typical suave fashion. Boasting material form both his latest record, Playland, and his debut solo album, The Messenger, Marr riffed and licked his way through songs like ‘New Town Velocity,’ ‘Dynamo,’ and ‘Speak Out Reach Out’.
Typically, the biggest cheer of the night came in response to the various Smiths tunes that Marr wept out of his guitar that caught the nostalgic 40-somethings’ and hipster youths’ imaginations more than any other track. ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’ and ‘How Soon Is Now’ were, to name a few, received with a collective cheer and a flood of spilt beers.
Starting at the Brudenell Social Club, and ending the UK leg of his tour at the 02, Leeds has played a massive part in Johnny Marr’s most recent tour. Well, how else can you put it, really? He smashed it, pure and simple. As he left the stage, the crowd gave him a raucous send off in the only way they you can for this man: “Johnny. Fucking. Marr”.
For No-Title Magazine, before it went away and never came back 😦