Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr duets on four songs at low-key London gig...

JOHNNY MARR joined BETH ORTON onstage for four songs last night (January 25) at an intimate gig in LONDON, fuelling speculation that he will appear on her new album, NME.COM can exclusively reveal.

The former Smiths guitarist sang and played on four songs, including brand new Orton tracks ‘Holding On’, ‘Concrete Sky’, ‘Beauty In You’ and also on ‘Someone’s Daughter’.

Orton was previewing new songs in front of a tightly packed audience of several hundred, including Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker, at the low-key show at King’s College.


Marr sang backing vocals on ‘Holding On’ and ‘Beauty In You’, playing lead guitar on ‘Concrete Sky’, which led into a free-flowing jazz jam with Orton, one of the highlights of the evening, with its refrain “I feel like I’m falling”.

Prior to announcing her surprise guest – who was introduced with the words: “I bumped into someone in the toilets. His name is Johnny Marr. He’s going to play some songs” – she had performed seven songs with her backing band, including two new numbers ‘Daybreaker’ and ‘Paris Train’. The new songs displayed a jazzier feel, which Orton acknowledged, pulling a stool onstage and saying: “This is my jazz stool. This is where I sit when I play jazz,” and adding in a ‘Fast Show’ spoof: “Niiiice.”

After Marr left the stage, she continued with ‘She Cries Your Name’ and ‘Best Bit’, before breaking for an encore.

However, the set was cut slightly short by a fire alarm, causing power to cut out in the building. The first song of the encore, ‘Mount Washington’ went off without incident, but before she had completed ‘Central Reservation’, an official from the venue approached the sound desk, and warned that a fire alarm had gone off elsewhere in the building and the power would shut off in a minute.

As the venue was plunged into semi-darkness and the PA power cut out, Orton looked bemused, before leaving the stage, and the audience were quickly ushered out.

The full set-list was:


‘Blood Red River’

‘Stolen Car’

‘Thinking About Tomorrow’


‘ Path In Time’

‘Sugar Boy’

‘Paris Train’

(With Johnny Marr) ‘Holding On’

‘Beauty In You’

‘Concrete Sky’

‘Someone’s Daughter’

(Without Marr) ‘She Cries Your Name’

‘Best Bit’


‘Mount Washington’

‘Central Reservation’