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Johnny Marr and Morrissey have predictably varied responses to Manchester bombing

Marr on stage with Broken Social Scene. (Screenshot: Youtube)

In the wake of Monday night’s suicide bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England that killed 22 people—many of them children and teenagers—and wounded scores more, artists of all types are struggling with how to react. Grande, understandably, has canceled her tour dates for the next few weeks, and events from a Cannes media reception for Cars 3 to the London premiere of Wonder Woman are being called off due to the tragedy.

The members of Broken Social Scene, meanwhile, took a different approach, kicking off their European tour as planned with a show in Manchester last night. And as Stereogum reports, the band opened the show with a tribute to the city of Manchester that included a guest spot from The Smiths’ Johnny Marr on the now-even-more-poignant “Anthems For A Seventeen-Year-Old Girl.” They said:

What’s most important is tonight we’re here together, all of us. That’s what we could do, and that’s what we’re doing, so thank you Manchester. We’re so happy. There’s no other place we’d rather be than here with you. To start this show, to show you how we love your town, there’s a man who I love dearly who’s come out to play for you. He is your city, he is your legend, please give it up for Mr. Johnny Marr.

Marr’s ex-bandmate Morrissey, meanwhile, took a—let’s say—different approach. In a message posted on Facebook, he railed against the response to the attack from politicians like Prime Minister Theresa May. It “will not break her, or her policies on immigration,” he says—which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, given that May is strongly anti-immigration, and the rest of the post reads like poorly disguised anti-Muslim sentiment. (Perhaps he thinks her measures aren’t extreme enough?) You can read the thoroughly confounding statement for yourself below.


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