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Alternative and Indie

Johnny Marr

Events

10 Upcoming Events

United Kingdom

9 Events
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Renowned guitar anti-hero returns with a livestream and a tour alongside Blondie

The former Smiths axe-slinger has announced a live-stream performance on 10 November 2021 from Crazy Face Factory. He'll also be on tour in April and May 2022 as support for Blondie.

You can tell a Johnny Marr solo a mile away. One of the greatest and most distinctive guitar players of all time, Marr has made an indelible mark on music for more than 40 years – plying his hypnotic tremolo riffs with The Smiths, the Pretenders, The The, The Cribs and Modest Mouse before launching his solo career.

Born in Manchester in 1963, Marr found fame in the 80s with cult alt-rock band, The Smiths. Founding the group with Morrissey, the pair wrote intimate six-string love songs about sadness, heartache and Thatcherite Britain that stood proudly apart from the synth-pop chart music of the time. Four hit albums – The Smiths in 1984, Meat Is Murder in 1985, The Queen Is Dead in 1986 and Strangeways, Here We Come in 1987 – became the records that defined the undercurrent of an era.

In 1987, creative differences led to The Smiths splitting up, but their five-year run of huge UK success and critically acclaimed albums had already established Johnny Marr as one of the most influential songwriters and performers of the decade.

Marr stayed busy throughout the 90s and 00s, making an unlikely new name for himself as a session musician. Since the end of The Smiths Marr put in long stints recording, producing and touring with The Pretenders, The The, Modest Mouse and The Cribs – becoming a full-time member of all four bands. At the same time, he joined supergroups 7 Worlds Collide (with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy) and Electronic (with New Order’s Bernard Sumner and Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys), as well as collaborating on individual tracks by everyone from Talking Heads and Beck to Black Grape and Oasis.

Starting a short-lived solo project in 2000 with Johnny Marr And The Healers (who only put out one album, Boomslang), Marr began working on his own material again properly in 2010 after a side-step into film scores. Playing guitar for Hans Zimmer on his Oscar-nominated soundtrack to the Christopher Nolan film, Inception, Marr went on to work on scores for The Amazing Spider-Man 2Freeheld and No Time To Die (including working on the Grammy winning title theme by Billie Eilish). 

Moving from Portland, Oregon, back to Manchester in 2013, Marr returned to his roots for his debut solo album The Messenger – a record that rang with the same heart, soul (and intricate, signature riffs) as the best of The Smiths. 

Playland and Adrenalin Baby quickly followed one year after another, playing with past pop and dance influences as much as rolling waves of alt-rock history – bringing Marr back full circle through his career just as the younger half of the indie scene were still trying to catch up to where he started from. 

Getting more expansive on 2018’s Call The Comet, Marr took on bigger atmospheres and deeper feelings, refining his solo sound as he took on Brexit, Trump and the existential crisis with layers of dense and delicate rock. 

In October 2021, Marr released the first of hisFever Dreams EP series, with Part 2 expected to follow in December ahead of two other chapters in 2022 comprising a new double album. Headed by new single Spirit Power And Soul, the project signalled a new direction for Marr. “[It’s] a kind of mission statement,” he said. “I had an idea about an electro sound with gospel feeling, in my own words… an electro-soul anthem.”

FAQS

Johnny Marr will tour as support for Blondie in 2022. He's also announced a special Johnny Marr livestream for November 2021.