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Johnny Marr Heads Up a Night of Indie Classics at Scarborough Open Air Theatre [Photos]

Indie fave Johnny Marr cranks it up enough in Scarborough to ensure that this night of 90s nostalgia is heard right down to Glastonbury…



Johnny Marr Live
Johnny Marr, photo by Graham Finney Photography

On any normal Saturday night in July in Scarborough, you’d expect the glorious Open Air Theatre to be packed to the rafters for a gig like this one. However, with a certain festival taking place in Somerset a few hundred miles away, the effects could be felt around the venue as Supergrass vocalist Gaz Coombes took to the stage to kick off this bill of iconic Brit indie stars headlined by Johnny Marr.

With only 30 or so minutes to play with, Coombes doesn’t waste any time but it isn’t long before he is joking about with audience members. A great start to the evening, Coombes has the crowd singing along to the likes of “Long Live The Strange” while a dip into his back catalogue and a bit of reminiscing leads into “Caught By The Fuzz” and the first of many wonderful trips into indie heydays the night holds for fans.

Thankfully, by the time The Charlatans take to the stage, the place has filled out, and, with a huge smile across his face, the never-aging Tim Burgess leads the band through a hatful of indie classics. “You’re So Pretty” is dedicated to all the girls, while “Wierdo” sees the indie favourites joined on stage by the headliner for a raucous pair-up. Their set ends with “The Only One I Know” and “Sproston Green,” wrapping up this nostalgic hour of timeless indie.

“Johnny Fuckin’ Marr” rings out the chant around Scarborough Open Air, probably to the annoyance of the locals, but we’re in the presence of an indie icon, so they’ll just have to put up with it. Again dipping into his own back catalogue as well as that of The Smiths, Marr looks and sounds in fine form as the likes of “Panic” and “Somewhere” have this now buzzing crowd throwing their best indie moves.

Passenger” and “Big Mouth Strike Again” wrap up the night, but not before The Charlatans Tim Burgess has joined Marr on stage for a rendition of “Getting Away With It.” A few hours ago, the sparse crowd left you wondering if holding a gig on the same weekend as Glastonbury was a wise move however, by the end, this raucous crowd made enough noise to ensure they were heard all the way to Somerset.

Johnny Marr Setlist:

1. Armatopia
2. Panic
3. Generate Generate
4. Spirit Power & Soul
5. Charming Man
6. Somewhere
7. Please Please Please
8. Stop Me
9. Get The Message
10. How Soon Is Now
11. Easy Money
12. Getting Away With It
13. There’s A Light
14. Passenger
15. Big Mouth Strike Again

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.