The guitar icon brought Smiths and Electronic classics to the Somerset festival
Johnny Marr is a classic Glastonbury artist, always seemingly on the bill somewhere, no matter what year it is. He’s a solid choice for a booking – fun, nostalgic, but also fresh – and his set on the Other Stage today (June 29) proved why. These were the best bits of his unshakeable set.
When he played The Smiths songs
A highlight of any Johnny Marr set comes when he plays some Smiths songs – partially because you don’t have to feel bad for enjoying them when he’s singing them and partially because they’re all total classics. Glastonbury is treated to ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’, ‘How Soon Is Now?’, and a rousing closing version of ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ that erupts in a giant, beautiful singalong.
The disco song from “Manchester, England, Europe”
As well as playing a handful of Smiths songs in his set, Marr also chucks in tracks from one of his other bands, Electronic. The first to appear on today’s setlist was ‘Getting Away With It’, which the musician introduced by announcing, “Let’s play a disco song from Manchester, England, Europe,” and then proceeding to turn the Other Stage field into a little bit of a new wave-y rave.
When he covered Depeche Mode
As if playing some of the greatest songs to come out of Manchester wasn’t enough, Marr casually drops a cover of Essex synth-pop titans’ Depeche Mode into the set without so much as hint at what was to come. Sure, Marr covered ‘I Feel You’ for a Record Store Day release back in 2015 so it’s hardly a fresh reworking, but that doesn’t make its impact any less powerful, cutting through the final part of his set with buzzing guitars and the icon’s thick Mancunian drawl.
Absolute banger ‘Easy Money’
It might be a trip seeing Marr play other bands’ songs but that’s not to say he doesn’t have some stone cold bangers of his own. Today ‘Easy Money’ takes the title for the best of those, its staccato chugs making the festival field feel more like a sticky-floored indie disco.
Johnny Marr played:
‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’
‘How Soon Is Now?’
‘Getting Away With It’
‘Walk Into The Sea’
‘I Feel You’
‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’