Sometimes the best ideas are the simple or the spontaneous. When asked about the sleeve to his new forthcoming album (his debut solo effort, surprisingly), Johnny Marr says,
The cover picture happened one morning on the way home from the studio in Berlin. I walked under the bridge just as the sun came out. My friend took the picture and said "that's the album cover".
All of which seems to sum up Marr's remarkable musical life thus far - he's kept it simple and has been at the core of some of the most influential songs to come out of the UK, let alone Manchester. The Smiths' legacy continues with regular rumours about reformations frequently rearing their heads across social media and gossip-columns, while Marr's other projects such as Electronic, The The, Modest Mouse, The Pretenders and The Cribs are fondly referred to in a good light.
But after spending the best part of two and a half decades making music with and for others, the latest notable example being with soundtrack-composing behemoth Hans Zimmer for the film Inception, Marr has finally got around to recording his own music, as well as confirming a UK tour. This is good news.
New album "The Messenger" is out in February, following the title-track which is currently being courted by BBC6 Music - it's rather good as well. But of even bigger interest is Marr's long-awaited return to performing live with new material.
The Messenger tour will begin in Oxford on 10th March 2013, followed by Norwich, Cambridge, Brighton, Shepherd's Bush and more before heading to Manchester for the final curtain on the 22nd.
We will have tickets on sale from 9am Friday 7th December, with prices weighing in at £19.50 for regionals and £22.50 for London. Demand will be pretty high, we reckon.