Gary Flockhart: Smiths songs Marr-ed by lack of Mozza

Johnny Marr. Pic: Greg Macvean

Johnny Marr. Pic: Greg Macvean

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MORRISSEY has said he doesn’t “know a single person who wants a Smiths reunion” – but that’s probably down to this moping recluse of a man not socialising much.

But while it’s true plenty of bands have got back together having vowed never to, it’s fair to say that this iconic indie outfit aren’t set for that storied reunion any time soon, what with Johnny Marr also adamant that hell will freeze over first.

As such, fans have had to do with seeing Morrissey and Marr on their lonesome over the years.

The former made the transition from The Smiths to solo nigh-on seamless, though it has to be said that it seemed odd at first to see Marr as a frontman.

Two albums into his solo career, however, the legendary guitarist has grown into the role, as anyone who witnessed his gig at Liquid Room on Wednesday with testify.

During last week’s show in Manchester, Marr used the spotlight to slam PM David Cameron for ‘inhuman’ treatment of disabled people – but in Edinburgh he waded in with classic hits rather than political statements.

As expected, the majority of his set comprised tracks from his solo albums, but to the crowd’s delight Marr also threw in a fair few Smiths songs – including Still Ill, Panic, Bigmouth Strikes Again and How Soon Is Now, as well as former band Electronic’s Getting Away With It and a cover of The Primitives’ Crash.

Great to hear these classic Smiths songs though it was, there are few people out there who’d perfer to hear Marr singing these Smiths numbers than Morrissey.

That’s not a dig at Johnny by the way – after all, Mozza’s been singing Smiths songs for decades with sub-par arrangements that pale in comparison to live versions with Marr.

What hearing either man performing Smiths songs serves to remind us is how truly special it would be to see them together on stage again – as unlikely as it is.