BY OSCAR NICHOLAS
Ex-Smiths guitarist and songwriter, Johnny Marr, visited Lincoln’s Engine Shed on the first stop on his latest tour. Playing to a packed crowd, Marr performed a mixture of solo tracks and Smiths’ songs. The set was supported by indie rockers Childhood, who Marr complemented during the show, “some of the best new music I’ve heard”.
The tour was named after Johnny Marr’s recently released, second solo album, Playland and the performance featured songs from the record that had never been played live.
Marr was met by roars from the crowd as he entered and started the set with the title track of his new album. The performance was accompanied by a large LED sign across the length of the stage, lighting up ‘Playland’ in bright letters.
Multiple Smiths songs were played throughout the performance, the first of which being ‘Panic’. Chants of “hang the DJ” were sung from Smiths fans and Marr let the audience take over vocals.
Arguably the most popular track from the new album Easy Money stirred the crowd as the set continued. Towards the front of the audience more and more movement began which was accentuated by another crowd pleaser and Smiths song ‘Still Ill’.
Marr played more tracks from his solo albums, such as Back In The Box, Speak Out Reach Out and Generate! Generate! as the set continued. However the show went into full flow during Bigmouth Strikes Again. The Smiths song made a surge in the crowd and formed a circle of fans jumping frantically.
The tempo continued until Marr and the band left the stage following There Is A Light. An empty stage lit by “Johnny Marr” in bright LED letters was met by chants from the crowd. After a t-shirt change Marr and his band returned to the stage. He spoke briefly before continuing: “Lincoln is the first date of this tour and we weren’t sure which songs to play as an encore. So we’re just gonna play all of them”.
The performance was then jumped back into gear with Stop Me If You Think.
An extra six songs were played during the encore including The Messenger and Boys Get Straight. During which Marr stood at the edge of the stage as close the front row as possible, waving his guitar around frantically as he played.
The performance was finished with the legendary track How Soon Is Now. The crowd and Marr sung together as the track filled the Engine Shed with Smiths nostalgia .
Altogether an exceptional show from a legendary performer proving he has more than what it takes to make it as a solo performer.