Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr goes solo in the city

Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr

FORMER Smiths guiarist Johnny Marr is now stepping out solo and is set to release debut album The Messenger later this month.

The album, according to the Guardian, sees him “returning to the big tunes and unmistakable, cascading guitar arpeggios that made him the guitarist of his generation”.

Alongside frontman Morrissey, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce, Manchunian Marr helped invent indie during The Smiths reign as one of the UK’s most iconic bands providing the witty, ascerbic anthems of disaffected youth. Morrissey’s lyrics married a wide reach of literary references to wry humour, angst, biting parody of relationship troubles, longing, moody meanderings about loneliness and alienation.

The Smiths broke up in 1987, afterwhich Marr - recently named NME’s ultimate guitarist, ahead of Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page - spent time playing with bands like Modest House and the Cribs.

But it’s taken the guitarist and singer 26 years to get round to a solo album. It’s bound to be a good one.

Marr’s accompanying tour dates for the release of The Messenger will see him play the Limelight in Belfast on March 26 and no doubt Smith’s fans will be wondering if he’ll throw in a few of the band’s past hits for old time’s sake.

Johnny Marr, March 26, The Limelight, Belfast. Tickets £19.50 from Katy’s Bar or at