Morrissey’s great and all, but he would’ve been nothing if not for the shy lad who knocked on his door in outer Manchester, saying he’d heard rumours of a young poet in town who might want to front a new band.

That band turned out to be The Smiths, and that lad turned out to be Johnny Marr, the most influential indie guitarist of the last 25 years bar none (does riffery get any better than ‘This Charming Man’?). Marr’s been all over some great records since The Smiths disbanded – playing with Modest Mouse, Oasis, Beck, The Cribs and many more – and having finally released a solo album, The Messenger, he’s headed Down Under for Falls Festival and a couple of sideshows including Oxford Art Factory on Tuesday January 7.

 

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