Johnny Marr gives London an ‘English indie panic attack’ by playing The Smiths’ ‘This Charming Man’ live for the first time as a solo artist

"I would go out tonight..."

Johnny Marr ended his 2018 tour with an intimate show at EartH in London last night, performing The Smiths‘ classic ‘This Charming Man’ live for the first time as a solo artist.

To cap off the tour for his acclaimed 2018 album ‘Call The Comet‘, Marr played a lively show in Hackney with a set packed with Smiths favourites, solo highlights and two singles from his Bernard Sumner side-project Electronic.

Towards the end of the first set, Marr invited fans to yell requests, before he jokingly started to play ‘Fly Like An Eagle’ by The Steve Miller Band. Then, he teased ‘This Charming Man’, telling the crowd “that was like a panic attack – an English indie panic attack. Man, I’m just fucking with you”. He then surprised the audience by playing the song in its entirety, putting his guitar down to stalk the crowd and deliver a rousing vocal performance.


The guitar icon has often played the riff to ‘This Charming Man’ or teased the track, but has never played it in full with a band as a solo artist before. Marr’s management have confirmed to NME that this was indeed Marr’s solo band debut of the track.

See footage below, and skip to 1hour 17seconds in the full performance beneath that to see it.

Johnny Marr’s setlist was:

The Tracers
Bigmouth Strikes Again (The Smiths)
Day In Day Out
New Dominions
Hi Hello
The Headmaster Ritual (The Smiths)
Walk Into the Sea
Getting Away With It (Electronic)
Hey Angel
Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me (The Smiths)
Spiral Cities
Get the Message (Electronic)
Easy Money
How Soon Is Now? (The Smiths)
This Charming Man (The Smiths)
There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (The Smiths)
You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby (The Smiths)


This comes after Marr’s recent show at London’s Roundhouse saw him reunite with The The‘s Matt Johnson on stage for the first time in 25 years.

Earlier this year, Marr named the band among his past collaborators that he’d like to return to work with again.

“Last year I did a couple of things while I was making [acclaimed new album] ‘Call The Comet‘,” the guitarist and solo star told NME. “I did a The The comeback single, which was their first for 15 or 16 years. That was a real joy, to be playing behind Matt Johnson again. I never really think the door is shut on The The, and I’ve got a feeling that Modest Mouse is a chapter that’s yet to be finished. Those are the two people I’d like to work with again.”

While adding that he wouldn’t be returning with New Order’s Bernard Sumner to reform Electronic, Marr added: “There are some people I just keep going back to: Pet Shop Boys, The The, Modest Mouse. You never say never, but I’ve got too many new things that I want to do.”


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