Gig review: Johnny Marr - ABC, Glasgow

Although Johnny Marr is inextricably linked with one band above all others, he has spent most of his varied post-Smiths career playing in, or collaborating with, other groups, such as Electronic, The The and, most recently, The Cribs.

Johnny Marr - ABC, Glasgow

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He has also fronted the underwhelming Johnny Marr and the Healers but new album The Messenger, played almost in its entirety at this show, is the first to bear his name alone.

However, the Messenger material is not overly burdened with classic riffs.

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Lockdown paid a degree of lip service to his signature strident jangle but in overall spirit was closer to a lesser Oasis number.

The more memorable hooks of mod rocker Upstarts, the wistfully melodic New Town Velocity, punchy Generate! Generate! and urgent I Want The Heartbeat were still outstripped by the manic pace and blistering delivery of London, one of a sparing selection of Smiths songs.

The guitar playing was as exemplary as one would expect on Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before, Bigmouth Strikes Again and especially How Soon Is Now though, unsurprisingly, Marr is no substitute on vocals for the distinct throaty tones and peculiar charisma of Morrissey.

In fact, he was not even a substitute for Bernard Sumner on a slightly flat rendition of Electronic’s Forbidden City. His chunky guitar-centric interpretation of Getting Away With It was more intriguing, while a rollicking I Fought The Law played to his band’s collective strengths before he sent the crowd home sated by a warm and fuzzy There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.