Johnny Mar Concert Review – by a special guest blogger


Nattybugle is not the only member of the whanau who does the writey downy stuff.  My brother Dan has a blog, Dad is world famous in Tapora for his poems, and Granny McConnell actually won a prize from Peoples Friend magazine for a story she wrote about a tui in a flaxbush when they were farming at Pokapu.

So this week I am very pleased and proud to include a concert review by my daughter Lauren aka Bad Lauren*  Lauren attended the Johnny Marr concert with a couple of her buddies last week.

When I told people Lauren was going to the concert most didn’t even know who Johnny Marr is, although they recognised the band The Smiths. And as I only found one review of the concert on the interweb, I requested that she write a review.

She is a big fan, she had a great time and she managed to pick up a pretty cool souvenir, which goes quite nicely with the piece of Morrissey’s shirt she got from his concert.

Take it away Lauren.

And Johnny Marr fan
Guest Blogger 

As I sit in my car, I hear a radio ad for Madonna’s first Tour of New Zealand, nervously I check my vehicle for a hidden Flux Capacitor  and make sure I haven’t hit 88 miles per hour.

No? So it must be 2015 then.

My Co-Pilot exhales loudly, “Really?  Its not even like she’s relevant anymore”

All I can do is giggle awkwardly. I’m going to a Johnny Marr Concert, and here we are talking about artists no longer being relevant.

For a bit of background, Johnny Marr formed, owns half and was the guitarist for the 80’s band The Smiths. Since then he’s worked with The The, The Cribs, Paul McCartney, The Pretenders, and most recently released 2 of his own solo albums.

I adore Johnny Marr, he’s my favourite Smith. His work is genius, he changed the face of guitar music forever, but is he relevant?  After last nights show, so very much yes.

At the power station at 8:20 doors open, we were informed the show was running late.  Around 8:40 Dictaphone Blues come on, 5 quintessential hipsters with impressive beards, a home grown chilled rock band that was a perfect warm up, fabulous energy, well worth looking into.

Next we have another support band as security explained called ‘change over’. I think they were a type of performance art group, as they played around with equipment almost like they were setting up.

Then the man of the hour comes out. In the front row we are about half a metre away from the stage. In those 30cm are 5 photographers for different media outlets, And doesn’t Johnny just know it! He’s hip thrusting, pulling faces, holding his guitar up and ready for the cameras to take their money shots before they fade away.

Johnny Marr is a rock star, we are there to see him and he knows just how to perform. He plays new stuff, he plays old stuff. even a track from his time with Electronic. Finishing up by bringing his friend Neil Finn on stage for the encore. He performed amazingly, a little sloppy here and there, but when you are expected to sound like a polished Johnny Marr track, anything is sloppy.

Still wonderful and I expected no different, but relevant? He’s one of the most influential British guitarist of all time. (Oasis? yup, wouldn’t be around without this guy) He’s got the fame and he’s got the money, so he can do what he wants and make something he thinks sounds great- as he describes his first debut solo album, The Messenger, “I just made something I think sounds like Blondie, and I love it”

He has completed the rock star check list, he’s used drugs, he’s had a big court case, been drunk and crashed a car, and now he’s moving on most gracefully, not drinking, no substance abuse, running and being a vegan.

To me this is what makes Johnny Marr a truly rare product of the ’80’s music scene, and completely relevant. He knows where he fits in the world, he know what his fans want and is in no way out of touch with reality.

We didn’t want to see a guy in his 50’s reliving his glory days. We want to see him jumping around, playing worldly for the cameras, making us laugh and ageing gracefully. This is something I wish Madonna and so many other artist still kicking from the 80’s would do.  Grow up!  Be the age you are because your true fans will love you for it.

Cool Souvenir

Thank you Lauren I don’t know how many other 20 somethings were at the concert, but I think you summed up the experience really well.

The Herald review pays more attention to the balding and paunchy contingent that were in attendance, and an awful lot to Neil Finn.  I will attach it for comparison.

Herald Review

I think I may need apologise for the “hits” on Madonna, even though they are well warranted. Lauren has been traumatised in the past by watching her mother try to emulate Madonna dance moves after a few gins and putting her back out.

*She isn’t bad, in fact most of the time she is quite delightful.  But I would hate to think of her to get above her raising

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