Release Date: Oct 9, 2015
Record label: New Voodoo
Genre(s): Britpop, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop
After a grueling international touring schedule over the course of three years in support of his first two solo albums, 2013's The Messenger and 2014's Playland, former Smiths guitarist/songwriter (who has become a legendary legendary guitarist/singer/songwriter) Johnny Marr compiled this 17-track live album mostly from shows at O2 Academy Brixton and his hometown's Manchester Apollo in October 2014. With his steady touring lineup of guitarist/keyboardist James Doviak, bass player Iwan Gronow (the Mutineers, Haven), and drummer Jack Mitchell (Haven, Bad Lieutenant), he showcases his rhythmic, textured guitar playing and reinforces the fact that he's not a bad vocalist, either, even proving a fine substitute for Morrissey on their former band's "Bigmouth Strikes Again" (an album highlight), "The Headmaster Ritual," "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out," and "How Soon Is Now. " Marr also performs a tune by a different former band, Electronic's "Getting Away with It," and covers the Sonny Curtis (er, the Clash) classic "I Fought the Law.
Johnny Marr has had a long, distinguished, deliberately diverse post-Smiths career, but it’s only since becoming a solo artist that he’s really come face-to-face with his audience. The two albums released under his own name (The Healers’ 2003 debut seems to have been chalked up to experience) have sparked an unexpected late-career renaissance, and the shows he’s played in support of them – wonderfully energetic, celebratory affairs – have been a way for him to honour past glories whilst establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with in the present. ‘Adrenalin Baby’, recorded at shows in Glasgow, Manchester and Brixton over the last couple of solo tours, is a live document of that, and a pretty entertaining one – if tracks like ‘New Town Velocity’ or ’Easy Money’ passed you by, this is an opportunity to reacquaint yourself.
Punchy but pedestrian live album from former Smith. Recorded in London and Manchester while touring last year’s Playland album, Marr’s first solo live collection is full of jingle-jangle virtuosity and timeless new wave zing. But it doesn’t take long before he bumps up against his limitations as a lead singer, and his over-fondness for straight, shouty, Noel Gallagher-endorsed bloke-rock.