Johnny Marr brought out Noel Gallagher to play a couple of songs during the encore of a recent concert at London's O2 Academy Brixton. When Marr introduced the former Oasis guitarist, he called him "one of the great songwriters for this country" and cheekily said, "he's got a bright future ahead of him." First, Gallagher joined Marr's band for a bouncy rendition of Iggy Pop's 1977 Bowie collaboration "Lust for Life," and then the ensemble mounted an ambient rendition of the Smiths' 1985 alt-rock anthem "How Soon Is Now?"
Marr recently joined Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds in the studio to record guitar on "Ballad of the Mighty I," the closing track on the group's upcoming new record, Chasing Yesterday, which is slated to come out in March 2015. "He's a very enthusiastic artist and I tried to get him to play on 'What a Life,'" Gallagher said, referring to a single on the group's 2011 self-titled debut. "He's a truly great guitarist and he has something that nobody else has. He's amazing; a top man."
Marr recently issued his own second solo album, Playland. The former Smiths guitarist – who put out The Messenger, the first solo album under his own name, in 2013 – told Rolling Stone that he enjoyed the experience of being a bandleader so much that he was writing songs for Playland while on tour for The Messenger. "I didn't want to change up what I was doing," he said. "I just wanted it to be more of it."