Johnny Marr played Exeter last Friday. The Phoenix was packed and it was a hot evening. Marr played a set from his solo album, The Messenger, stuff from the Smiths repertoire, and one from his time with Electronic.
He was styled as an ageing mod - a younger Paul Weller (but still too old for the look). He soon shed his velvet jacket due to the heat. The audience included some middle-aged blokes intent upon reliving their pogoing youth, and students who seemed surprised by the antics of the older contingent.
Marr played his trademark jingle-jangle guitar. The solo stuff went down ok with the audience but often lacked musical hooks and relied upon thrash and strum. Nevertheless, he was astute enough to throw in some old favourites: Big mouth strikes again; I fought the law; There is a light that never goes out; and, memorably, Getting away with it, and How soon is now? Marr is no Morrissey vocally but he was good enough for the enthusiastic crowd.
At the end of the night the punters all had a good time and Marr & his band left them sweaty but happy. I didn't take any video but here is a clip of Johnny and band doing How Soon Is Now? on the Jimmy Fallon show: