Johnny Marr live review at the Hammersmith Apollo by Ryan Beardsley

Live at the Hammersmith Apollo… no it’s not Michael McIntyre thankfully, but living legend Johnny Marr is down south for a packed house all eager to hear some jangly guitars.

For the lucky early birds, another treat in the form of fellow indie stalwart Gaz Coombes. The part time Supergrass front man, part time solo maverick performs an extended set including first album hits Buffalo and personal favourite, acoustic ballad The Girl Who Fell To Earth. A transcendent track that showcases Coombes rare gifts as a truly visceral song writer.

But the main event is one of the greatest guitarist this country has ever produced, and at 60 years old (!) he looks fantastic and has more energy than a sugared up 5 year old, buzzing around the stage like a little bluebottle stick against the window, but a welcome one of course.

The Spirit Power show kicks off with Sensory Street from his most recent release, Fever Dreams Pts 1-4 and it’s easy to forget the man has four critically acclaimed solo records now and he’s eager to show them off.

But it’s when the familiar chords of Panic strike the eardrums that the crowd bursts into a frenzy, belting out every word and air guitar strum as they go.

This Charming Man sees Marr more than doing justice on vocals but it’s truly a pleasure to witness the man who created these age defying tunes play them in person, especially as he does so with such love and enthusiasm.

Show highlight is Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want and the crowd holds it’s breath for the entirety, or at least it feels that way. An extended version shows the full beauty of Marr’s fragile beauty in his playing, the great sadness that Morrissey alway spoke of.

Oops I didn’t want to mention his former partner in crime but I couldn’t help it, I saw Moz less than a year ago and to be honest it’s chalk and cheese in terms of performance. Marr is so obviously enjoying himself and happy to be there, giving the fans everything they want, where as his former bandmate lets just say was not as enthusiastic…

We’re treated to more classics in the shape of How Soon Is Now, a song that whilst written nearly 40 years ago sounds like it could have been invented yesterday, Electronic’s Getting Away With It and even a cheeky rendition of former Hammersmith Apollo favourite Rebel, Rebel, much to the delight of West London.

Marr rounds things off with Smiths classic There Is A Light That Never Goes Out and it’s almost all too easy, the crowd are witnessing a music deity in Hammersmith tonight and they act accordingly, at this point I wouldn’t put it past him to see another 60 years. Tickets to all other dates can be found here.

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