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‘Set the Boy Free’ is the story of that fast-motion miracle of a band, as well as the thrillingly eclectic career that – as Marr points out – is as its high point today. It takes in a cast of characters that includes everyone from Kirsty MacColl to Keith Richards, Bert Jansch to Bernard Sumner, Paul McCartney to Hans Zimmer. It’s insightfully and (crucially) well written – Marr often being underappreciated in his vivid intellectual curiosity, as happy discussing David Hockney or modernist architecture as he is guitar licks. This is why he’s quite so scathing about the mid-90s rise of what he dubs ‘Manc man’ in the book – when you spent the best part of the 80s trying to look like the lost male Ronette why on earth would you settle for strutting around in a parka?
Johnny Marr | Man Made Albert Hall, Manchester 8th October 2015 Louder Than War photographer Melanie Smith went to capture the man awarded the title - God...