Johnny Marr Weighs in on Rick Astley's Cover of 'This Charming Man' - Rolling Stone
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Johnny Marr Not Charmed by Rick Astley’s Cover of the Smiths’ ‘This Charming Man’

The Eighties crooner and the indie pop band Blossoms covered the track at a gig earlier this week

rick astley the smiths johnny marr

Rick Astley will play a pair of Smiths tribute shows with Blossoms in October.

Lorne Thomson/Redferns/Getty

Earlier this week, Rick Astley — a much less dour crooner from the north of England than Morrissey — performed a spritely and unexpected cover of the Smiths’ “This Charming Man” at a show in London.

A few days later, the magic of the internet brought the clip to the attention of former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, who quipped on Twitter, “This is both funny and horrible at the same time.”

Sure it’s kind of funny, but it’s definitely hard to see what Marr finds so horrible about the performance. Not only is Astley’s resonant voice perfectly suited for Smiths tunes, but he definitely doesn’t have the, uh, let’s call it baggage of one Steven Patrick Morrissey. And belting the track with renewed vigor in a short-sleeve button-up shirt decorated with palm fronds — that is the definition of magnetism. The crowd sure seemed to love it, too.

For those craving more of Astley covering the Smiths, the singer and the indie-pop band Blossoms — with whom he’s been on tour — have a pair of Smiths tribute shows scheduled in the U.K. this October. The first will take place October 8th at Albert Hall in Manchester, and the second on October 9th at the O2 Forum Kentish Town in London.

To tease the shows, Blossoms shared a rehearsal video in which they played a snippet of “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.”

In This Article: Johnny Marr, Rick Astley, The Smiths

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