Gigs in Glasgow: Johnny Marr gets set for Barrowland Ballroom gig to celebrate 10 years of his solo career

Johnny Marr is getting set to go back on the road after the release of 'Spirit Power: The Best Of Johnny Marr' which is a major new collection spotlighting the breadth of musicality across the first ten years of Johnny Marr’s prolific solo career.
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Curated by Johnny, the deluxe 2CD edition of Spirit Power features 21 tracks including unheard demos, singles, rarities, and two brand new songs in ‘Somewhere’ and ‘The Answer’ - both shot through with a sense of attack and immediacy. 

Johnny wrote ‘Somewhere’ whilst on tour with The Killers, and Blondie, in 2022. Speaking about the track, Marr said: “I’ve played a lot of arenas over the years, and in terms of songwriting, there’s nowhere to hide.

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"For a song to work, it has to be a banger. I know it’s almost uncool to think in those terms, but I grew up in a house where my parents listened to Motown, where you couldn’t get a song released if it wasn’t full of hooks.”

Also available now, new song ‘The Answer’ explodes into life from a spoken word intro delivered by Meredith Sheldon. It’s a song, notes Marr, that would get the approval of his 17 year-old self, mainlining the “narky energy” of Magazine and Buzzcocks, saying: “It’s taken me a long time to write songs that are led by the singing rather than the guitar, and that’s definitely one of them.”

Spirit Power arrives amidst a wave of celebratory activity, closely following the publication of stunning new photography book, Marr’s Guitars. Its pages offer a portal into the symbiotic relationship between Johnny and the guitars that have informed not just the past decade, but the lifetime evolution of his iconic sound. Johnny describes, “the guitar book for people who wouldn’t usually own a guitar book”.

With personal reflections and insights written by Johnny Marr, a foreword written by Hans Zimmer and photographs shot by Pat Graham, each guitar is identified with a crucial moment, a specific song, and each embodies a key aspect of Marr’s lifelong passion for songwriting. The book also features contributions from Noel Gallagher, Bernard Butler and Ed O’Brien.

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Looking ahead, Johnny Marr has announced The Spirit Power Tour. UK headline shows will take place through Spring 2024 at some of the UK’s most notable venues, beginning at Newcastle’s O2 City Hall on 2 April and including London’s Eventim Apollo on 12 April, before closing at Nottingham’s Rock City on 14 April.

2024 UK Headline Shows: The Spirit Power Tour

Tuesday 2nd April - Newcastle, O2 City Hall

Wednesday 3rd April - Glasgow, Barrowlands 

Friday 5th April - Leeds, O2 Academy

Saturday 6th April - Liverpool, Olympia 

Sunday 7th April - Wolverhampton, Civic Halls 

Tuesday 9th April - Cardiff, Great Hall

Wednesday 10th April - Bristol, O2 Academy

Friday 12th April - London, Eventim Apollo

Saturday 13th April - Brighton Dome

Sunday 14th April - Nottingham, Rock City

It will be the first time that Marr has appeared in Glasgow since supporting Blondie at the OVO Hydro in April 2022. His last headline show in the city was over five years ago at the Barrowland Ballroom in 2018. This year marked 40 years since The Smiths played one of the most memorable gigs in the history of the Queen Margaret Union.

Tickets for the tour are on sale here.

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