Live Review: Johnny Marr

o2, 27/10

Supporting Johnny Marr this time were Nottingham based band Childhood ,fronted by the very talented Ben Romans-Hopcraft – whose amazing hair is almost as awesome as his guitar playing. Reminiscent of Palma Violets and Baby Strange, this dreamy up and coming British guitar band is definitely one to watch out for.

The crowd at the o2 this evening is a strange mixture of 50 year old men and 16 year olds- it’s nice to see the diverse crowd that enjoy Marr’s music.  Also there are a surprising number of Johnny Marr lookalikes who have decided to adopt his hairstyle/clothes, which I suppose is rather flattering for the man himself as well as being quite a hilarious sight to behold.

By the time Marr takes to the stage, his crowd are more than ready. And as he plays it is clear they are impressed. Even those who are sceptical about his latest album surely cannot fail to be captivated by his incredible live guitar playing that was always his defining feature. His singing voice is also much better than expected from  a man who made his success as a lead guitarist. Some songs are nice if a bit bland, but some have really quite infectious riffs- such as the maddeningly catchy ‘Easy Money.’  Saying that, his own material would definitely  become a bit boring if that was all that was played, but Johnny alternates with Smiths favourites which keep the crowd happy as they languish in their teenage angst, past or present.

While some may say the actual material on his new album on the whole isn’t particularly inventive or groundbreaking, it’s clear from the overwhelmingly enthusiastic crowd response that Johnny Marr is far from dying out- indeed his solo career seems to be taking on a new lease of life. Overall, an excellent, immersive and uplifting performance tonight.

[Alice Lannon]

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