Johnny Marr weighs in on Rick Astley and Blossoms covering The Smiths live

Blossoms were joined by '80s pop crooner and Rickrolling sensation Rick Astley at the formers' London Forum gig  on September 13 for unexpected covers of Panic and This Charming Man by The Smiths, and the collaboration obviously went well as they've now announced two covers shows in Manchester and London next month. But it looks like Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr has some mixed feelings about it.  

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I met The Blossoms a few weeks ago and they elected to not mention it

His reaction to the performance on Twitter suggested he wasn't impressed with the collaboration, calling it "both funny and horrible at the same time", but after responses to his Tweet from fans, he elaborated on his feelings.

“Well, I met The Blossoms a few weeks ago and they elected to not mention it. Nice,” Marr added, likely referring to Blossoms' decision to play the two gigs with Astley in October.


(Image credit: Joby Sessions/Future)

That certainly seems an odd omission from the young Stockport band. "I’ve got no problem with anyone doing anyone’s songs and no problem with Rick Astley," Marr later reasoned to some critical reactions to his comments. "There’s a back story. Don't make assumptions.”

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Back story aside, Astley does a solid job at taking on Morrisey's vocals from what we've seen, and is clearly a keen Smiths fan if he's game to take on a whole set of the band's classics. The Never Gonna Give You Up singer certainly has previous form for guesting with rock bands…

Blossoms are yet to publicly respond to Marr's comments but have released video footage of Astley rehearsing Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now with them to promote the forthcoming Manchester Albert Hall and London Kentish Town Forum on 8 and 9 October. 

Marr is due to share the bill with Blossoms at Courteeners' forthcoming hometown show at Emirates Stadium in Manchester on 25 September. Hopefully they'll clear the air then.  

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.