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(Credit: Phil King)


Johnny Marr previews livestream event with 'How Soon Is Now'


Johnny Marr is one of the most celebrated and versatile guitarists of all time, having paired up with an innumerable number of fantastic acts including Modest Mouse, The Cribs, The Pretenders, and Talking Heads. But when comes down to brass tax, Marr knows what the people want: him to plug into tremolo pedal, crank up the reverb, and belt out The Smiths song ‘How Soon Is Now’.

The song has been a mainstay of Marr’s live setlist ever since he’s been comfortable enough to strike out on his own as a solo artist. That’s strange, considering how The Smiths themselves rarely played the complicated proto-Madchester tune in concert. ‘How Soon Is Now’ remains perhaps the biggest black sheep song in The Smiths entire catalogue, being miles away from the arpeggiated guitars and fast-paced indie rock that the band favoured throughout their existence. And yet, it’s gone on to have an astounding afterlife as one of the band’s most popular songs. A B-side that sounded nothing like what The Smiths had ever attempted before and was rarely played live: a recipe for success, apparently.

Maybe it just took time. Time for live settings to incorporate more tape loops and technology to be able to perform the song in all its hazy glory. Time for Marr to gain enough confidence as a singer to belt out Morrissey’s signature baritone drawl in his own voice. Time for The Smiths to rise in legendary stature. Whatever the strange confluence of events that made ‘How Soon Is Now’ so big happen to be, the fact remains that there are few delights purer than seeing Marr step up to the mic and churn out that signature slide guitar line.

Marr and his backing band had previously announced a livestream event ‘Live at the Crazy Face Factory’ to support Marr’s latest LP Fever Dreams Pts. 1-4 that will go live from November 10-14. The concert will also be screened in select independent cinemas across the UK.

“The Crazy Face Factory is more than a workplace, it’s where I chase my ideas, dreams of music, imagination and plans,” Marr explained in a press release for the film. “Industrial and industrious. I spend days on end there, nights there alone. It’s Call The Comet, ‘Armatopia’… where I live Fever Dreams.”

Check out the footage of ‘How Soon Is Now’ down below.