Johnny Marr gives his verdict on Blossoms and Rick Astley’s Smiths covers band
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  • Post published:18/09/2021
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Marr described their collab as “funny and horrible at the same time”, before adding that Blossoms failed to tell him about their gigs upon meeting and that he “had no problem” with covers or Astley – but there was a “backstory”

Johnny Marr / Blossoms / Rick Astley
Johnny Marr / Blossoms / Rick Astley (Picture: Getty)

Johnny Marr has given his verdict on Blossoms and Rick Astley joining forces to cover The Smiths.

Marr and Blossoms are set to perform on the same bill next week when they both support Courteeners at their huge Manchester Old Trafford show. However, the former Smiths guitarist has raised an issue with a recent stunt of the band’s.

Blossoms and Astley teamed up earlier this week at the former’s gig in London to cover ‘Panic’ and ‘This Charming Man’ by The Smiths songs, with the artists subsequently announcing two Smiths covers shows in Manchester and London next month.

  • READ MORE: Blossoms talk ’70s-inspired new single ‘Care For’ and tease their next album

Footage from Monday night’s gig (September 13) of Blossoms and Astley covering The Smiths’ ‘This Charming Man’ has gone viral this week, with Marr delivering his verdict on the collaboration on Twitter this afternoon (September 17).

“This is both funny and horrible at the same time,” he tweeted in response to the footage, which you can see below.

Marr has subsequently been responding to questions from his followers, with one fan asking the guitarist whether Blossoms and Astley sought approval before proceeding with their Smiths covers shows.

“Well, I met The Blossoms a few weeks ago and they elected to not mention it,” he said. “Nice.”


Replying to another fan on Twitter about the same subject, Marr added: “[Blossoms] didn’t mention [the shows] when we were hanging out a few weeks ago. Must’ve slipped their minds.”

Clearing things up a little more, Marr later revealed: “FYI all you head cases. I’ve got no problem with tribute bands, or with anyone doing anyone’s songs, and I’ve got no problem with Rick Astley. There’s a back story. That’s that.”

Rick Astley and Blossoms
Rick Astley and Blossoms, Kentish Town Forum, 13.9.21 (Picture: Peter Neill / Press)

Speaking about working with Astley on the Smiths tribute shows, Blossoms frontman Tom Ogden recently said: “The Smiths have always meant so much to Blossoms, with even their rainiest songs complete with wry humour and soul-reaching musicianship and melody. Their poppier moments are pure, joyful, danceable poetry.

“Imagine backing Rick Astley to play the songs of The Smiths? We’ve had wilder dreams, but not many. We’ll barely be able to believe it until it happens, but the dates are set, we’re studying every note, line and beat to say ‘thank you’ to The Smiths alongside Rick and do both of them proud.”

Earlier this week Blossoms also shared a clip of them rehearsing The Smiths’ ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’ with Astley.

Marr, meanwhile, is about to embark on a run of UK headline shows in support of his new single ‘Spirit, Power And Soul’ and his upcoming EP and double album.

  • Related Topics
  • Blossoms
  • Indie
  • Johnny Marr
  • Rick Astley
  • The Smiths

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