I saw Johnny Marr at the Barrowlands on the night he was inducted into their prestigious hall of fame

Johnny Marr made his return to Glasgow’s world-famous Barrowland Ballroom on his Spirit Power Tour
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On the second night of Johnny Marr’s UK tour, the guitarist made his return to Glasgow having not performed at the Barrowland Ballroom for over five years.

The night kicked off with a ten track set from former Supergrass lead vocalist and guitarist Gaz Coombes with a huge crowd gathering to watch him perform. The bulk of his set was made up of tracks from his most recent album release Turn The Car Around which came out in January 2023.

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You could understand why Marr had picked Coombes as his support as he and his band really got the audience in the mood for what was to come. Coombes is not stranger to the Barrowland Ballroom and you could sense that he felt genuinely honoured to be performing at the famous venue where he played plenty of times with his old band.

Johnny Marr took to the stage with rapturous applause as the band headed right into their set which opened with “Sensory Street” before fans heard the first Smiths tune of the night. The opening of “Panic” is instantly recognisable as the crowd erupted into song.

He then joked to the audience saying, “I told you I’d come back” before the band carried out with their utterly superb 18-track set. As always it is terrific to hear Smiths songs performed live with all of them sounding absolutely brilliant as Marr played “This Charming Man”, “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”, “Bigmouth Strikes Again”, “How Soon Is Now?” and “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby” before finishing with “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”. It would be easy to simply talk about these songs which we all know and love which Marr can perform live as good as Morrissey.

The whole premise of this tour was to celebrate the first ten years of Marr’s solo career with new tracks “Somewhere” and “The Answer” placing themselves well amongst other tunes. Concertgoers were even treated to a brilliant cover of Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger” as the former Smiths guitarist did the song justice which the crowd absolutely loved.

Johnny Marr Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr

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It would be remiss of me not to mention that ahead of the sold out gig, Marr was inducted into the Barrowland Hall of Fame where he joins the company of acts like David Bowie, Simple Minds and Paul Weller amongst others. He has played the venue with eight different bands such as The Smiths, Simple Minds, The The, Modest Mouse, Electronica, Oasis, The Cribs and his own band.

Marr is up there with some of the best guitarists of all time and he is still in top perform. It won’t be long before Glaswegians can see him perform live again as he will take to the stage at Kelvingrove Bandstand this summer.

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