Johnny Marr

Brighton Dome

There was a pub near the Aston Villa football ground in the 1980s which looked shut on match days but if you went to the boarded up door round the back and knocked on the bottom board three times you could get in.

That’s how I remember it any way.

The pub inside, was rammed full of people all creating a bouncing pre-match boozy atmosphere, all noise, chants and commotion. It was made to look shut to keep visiting supporters away.

I was barely a teenager when my dad used to take us there so it was a massive experience.

Watching Johnny Marr and listing to him play an array of huge classics from his days as the guitarist in The Smiths dropped me back into that pub, maybe The Smiths were on the jukebox as they were in their heyday back then.

And having a ticket for the Mancunian’s show at the Dome on Saturday night was the equivalent of knowing the secret door knock. It gained you entry to an amazing night of 'golden oldies' - as Marr called them - and the not so old.

Much to the delight of the crowd he played Smiths classics including Panic, This Charming Man, Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want.

He also played Get The Message and Getting Away With It, songs from his days as part of the band Electronic.

We had been treated to an amazing supporting set from Gaz Coombes, former lead singer of Supergrass. He had played some brilliant driving rock and roll too.

He came back out to play songs including The Smiths' Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before with Marr.

Later in the set Marr also played The Smiths' How Soon Is Now? and There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.

Much to my delight he also played Iggy Pop's The Passenger.

The Brighton Dome was pretty much full up. It's such an excellent venue where, if you've not watched a gig there, you can sit upstairs or if you have a ticket for downstairs, choose between standing or grabbing a seat on that floor.

All the middle aged old indie kids had a superb night and Marr is sprightly and jovial, enjoying the moment that one fan showed him a picture of his dog, called Johnny Marr.

"That is the coolest dog I've ever seen," he told the crowd.

And Marr remains one of the coolest artists around.