Wednesday 20 September 2017

Review: Mozz-less Marr still has the Midas touch

Rock: Johnny Marr, Olympia, Dublin

Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr
Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

Rock biographer Johnny Rogan published a bestselling book entitled Morrissey and Marr: The Severed Alliance on the song-writing duo behind the Smiths back in 1992. For his troubles, Morrissey said he hoped Rogan "ends his days very soon in an M3 pile-up."

The other half of the severed alliance is on-stage in the Olympia, triumphantly milking the applause and adoration of an appreciative audience. Morrissey may possess more box-office clout, but Marr's fans are equally enthusiastic. After years as a prolific gun for hire with The The, Talking Heads, Modest Mouse, The Pretenders and Noel Gallagher - to mention just a few, Marr has stumbled upon a rich vein of solo form. He has released two well-received studio albums since 2013 and a brand new live album called Adrenaline Baby. There certainly is a surge of euphoric adrenaline when he pulls Smiths' favourite 'Panic' out of the locker early on in the evening. Alongside recent solo favourites, such as the single 'Easy Money', Marr chips in an impressive selection of Smiths anthems; 'The Headmaster Ritual'; 'You Just Haven't Earned it Yet Baby'; 'How Soon is Now?'; 'There is a Light that Never Goes Out', and 'Bigmouth Strikes Again'. The former features one of the best guitar solos in a rock song in musical history. To see its creator perform it live in the flesh is awe-inspiring.

Marr's son Nile from the support band Man Made joins his legendary Dad to perform a frantic version of 'Crash' by the Primitives.

The Manchester City supporting singer and guitar god turns 52 on Halloween, but looks like a man nearly half that age. Being a teetotal vegetarian and avid runner clearly reaps its benefits. Playing gigs like this must help too, as Marr's magic is also a light that never goes out.

Irish Independent

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