Johnny Marr has delivered my most played album of the year, and, if it comes to i, many a year, with his third album, ‘Adrenalin Baby’. It is a live recording, recorded over three nights in London, Manchester and Glasgow. In recent years, Marr has been the only performer from my past that I have been really prepared to go out of my way for, to the extent of staying in hotels to attend a gig.

The last time I saw him in October I travelled through from Leicester to see him at the Birmingham Institute. Sadly, the stupid local newbie freshers spoilt his performance by shouting and pushing all night and chanting, “Johnny! Johnny Fucking Marr!” That sort of thing has its place, but after a while it just grated on me and Marr himself, who finally told them to shut up.

I met him once again outside the venue before the gig. As always, he said to me, “We have met before, right?” Of course, Johnny. And as usual, he asked me how I was. This time I told him I have prostate cancer, and he replied that his mate Nile Rodgers has it too and is doing really well. I really like his attitude and how he treats people. He is so fan friendly. He also knows a dealer when he sees one, and he mocked the ones outside the Institute by saying to them, “Have you guys got nothing better else to do?” I was also baptised there into the fan group, Marr-Mates, a gang of girls who worship him more than I ever could. It is obvious that he really cares about his fans, which makes a change, and it is perhaps not surprising that his Godlike Genius fan page on Facebook has a huge following.

Marr released ‘Adrenalin Baby’ on very limited edition pink vinyl six weeks ahead of its official release date to fans attending the October tour and even signed it. It draws heavily from last year’s ‘Playland’ album, but, throwing in enough Smiths classics to make me more than happy, it is pretty much the perfect set list. I have played ‘Adrenalin Baby’ so many times now that I'm happy to play it all the way through or just the odd track as a pick me up, People say he can't sing, but I think that is unfair as a lot of vocalists don't have their vocal range of the past. I, for one, am glad he has finally found his voice. The songs perfectly reflect where he was, then and more so now. The average fan will be a Smiths fan, but I think the material here is too strong to say that it not as good as what he did between 1982 and 1987. For me, he is taking that journey forward and us with him.

‘New Town Velocity’ is, for me, his best ever song and here it has its best ever arrangement. The album is very much a live album, but it is so tightly performed it could be a studio album. His reading of ‘The Headmaster Ritual’ from the Smiths’ ‘Meat is Murder’ is so sublime that it slams the original, into yesterday. On ‘Generate, Generate, Generate’ he takes me somewhere blissful, away from the pain of my cancer and back to my youth but with gained experience. Johnny Fucking Marr. One of my albums of the year.

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