Mozzer not missed amid Marr’s incendiary indie
Johnny Marr, Student Union, Cardiff ★★★★★
WHILE indie guitar virtuoso Johnny Marr promised not to talk politics at his recent gig at Cardiff University, he did aim a barb at the controversial President of the USA. “Do you know why Trump wasn’t in a great mood this morning? Must have been that f ****** omelette on his head.”
The former Smiths axeman and now solo artist came to the Great Hall on Thursday night as part of his Call the Comet tour, showcasing songs from his new album of the same name. While no artist worth their salt can be unaffected by the current political climate, with this new batch of songs Marr has subtly addressed those issues, using dystopian imagery to target the Trumps of this world.
His set was largely made up of Call the Comet tracks, with his trademark jangly guitar melodies infiltrating Hi Hello, Day In Day Out and Walk Into the Sea, while the likes of New Dominions, The Tracers and Bug continued the innovative streak which has led him to work alongside such disparate bands as Modest Mouse, The Cribs and The The. Marr’s disco side was also unleashed on electronic tracks from his joint project with New Order frontman Bernard Sumner, with Getting Away With It and Get the Message given an airing. But despite all he’s done since his split with Morrissey and co, the pinnacle of Marr’s career will always be The Smiths and fans of said band were not disappointed at the Great Hall. In total there were six Smiths songs, including Bigmouth Strikes Again, The Headmaster Ritual, Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me and There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, an anthem of doomed youth which was taken up by the crowd who knew line after line. Marr’s guitar playing is beyond criticism and his voice also held up well with erstwhile colleague Mozzer’s crooning not missed on the songs they created together.
The evening drew to a close with the rarely performed Smiths track You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby, whose jangly glam-rock riff catapulted the audience into indie ecstasy.
Another masterclass in being effortlessly cool by Mr Marr.