LIAM GALLAGHER PERFORMS TO SOLD OUT CROWD AT GLASGOW'S BARROWLANDS
Liam Gallagher rolled into Glasgow on somewhat of a strange high having been catapulted back into the public eye, not because of his first solo single Wall of Glass, but because of his reaction and behaviour following the Manchester bombing – his acapella performance of Live Forever at his debut solo concert for the victims and survivors captured the collective consciousness, and his former band Oasis’ hit Don’t Look Back in Anger also suddenly took on new meaning, becoming an anchor of hope for the people of Manchester and beyond.
In this context Liam Gallagher is the unlikeliest of heroes. His “Fuck ISIS” bravado contains an authenticity lacking in the good deeds of other pop stars such as Robbie Williams. His as you were-ness simply projects the antithesis of fear.
In a rock’n’roll context Gallagher’s reputation precedes him, and the levels of fervour in the legendary Barrowlands in the moments before he took to the stage the Scottish crowd were ready for the return of Liam Gallagher. Fans were chanting “here we, here we, here we fucking go” and “Liam Liam Liam fucking Gallagher”.
As expected, the night begins with Gallagher and his new band walking onstage to Oasis’ Fuckin’ in the Bushes, as a deafening war cry of “Liam, Liam, Liam” erupts from the crowd. Gallagher wastes no time in feeding his audience a taste of what they really came for with two hits from the Oasis songbook – Rock N’ Roll Star and Morning Glory. You can barely hear Liam singing over the din of the crowd initially, but eventually his trademark growl cuts through, seemingly in the best shape it’s been in some time.
But how about Oasis? band, certainly have some shoes to fill replacing the biggest band of the ‘90s. It’s fair to say that Oasis was never renowned for their rhythm section and the assembled musicians have no problems performing classic tracks with the required gusto. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to include a rhythm guitarist who looks like a Noel Gallagher circa 1994 bobble head, and from the outside looking in the low points of the performance sit squarely on his shoulders with several iffy moments on tracks new and old. On the other hand the lead guitarist did a fine job of reproducing Noel’s solos, ad-libbing in the appropriate manner where necessary.
Of course, you have to pay the price after you’ve had a taste and Wall of Glass is generously received, but enthusiasm is notably reduced and the downward trend in that regard continues with new tracks. The tub-thumping bombast of Greedy Soul with Gallagher singing “It’s a long way down/ When you’re the wrong way round/ And that was all too much” sees him pushing into slightly heavier territory. Bold starts life as an acoustic track with keys and takes its cues from the likes of Tom Petty (think Learning to Fly only slower) before slowly building to a crescendo, before dropping for Liam to deliver the repeated refrain of “Lay it on me, lay it on me”
Things kick back into gear with D’You Know What I Mean and Slide Away. Gallagher sidesteps an empty pint that’s thrown in his direction like a pro before going to the front of the stage, making a wanking gesture, raising his arms and asking the glass thrower to give it to him. It’s a classic Liam moment which draws a great reaction from the crowd. Clearly unhappy with his mix, Gallagher makes his second trip to the sound desk during D’You Know What I Mean giving the crowd the opportunity to take over lead vocal duties. Similarly, they need no encouragement to sing Noel’s “Don’t know, don’t care” vocal on Slide Away.
Gallagher proceeds to play four more new songs and thankfully the standard is generally higher than the first batch of new songs we were treated to. All I Need was perhaps the best new song on the night – it certainly contained the best lead guitar moments from Gallagher’s new band. I Get By was also another standout from the newer material. The Fratellies-esque stomp You Better Run is another track that probably won’t be in Gallagher’s set in five years.
Gallagher’s final new song, Universal Gleam, sees him returning to the slow-burning crescendo approach to song writing with much more success than his earlier efforts in the set, before he closes out the night with the titular track from Oasis’s cocaine opus, Be Here Now.
Following a brief interlude Liam Gallagher returned to the Barrowlands stage for a poignant version of Live Forever dedicated to the victims and survivors of the Manchester bombing. Gallagher was joined on stage by his drummer on shakers, while Gallagher kept time throughout with a tambourine. It was a spine-tingling display of the power of music in its simplest form, with all assembled thoroughly engaged in this cathartic and rejuvenating experience.
While this tour will reestablish Liam Gallagher as a bona fide rock star, he still has some way to go to establish himself as a songwriter. Needless to say there’s a huge gap in quality between the Oasis material and his own, but while we wait for the inevitable reformation you will have to give him a little leeway if you want to hear the hits. Liam Gallagher is back, as you were…
LIAM GALLAGHER'S TOUR CONTINUES:
JUNE 14 - BERGENFEST - BERGEN, NORWAY
JUNE 24 - GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL 2017 - PILTON, UK
JULY 06 - EXIT FESTIVAL - NOVI SAD, SERBIA
JULY 09 - LES ARDENTES - LIEGE, BELIGUM
JULY 15 - FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DE BENICASSIM - BENICASIM, SPAIN
JULY 21 - THE TALL SHIPS RACE MUSIC FESTIVAL - TURKU, FINLAND
JULY 23 - LOLLAPALOOZA - PARIS, FRANCE
AUGUST 05 - OSHEAGA MUSIC & ARTS 2017 - MONTREAL, CANADA
AUGUST 08 - ECOPARK CONVENTION CENTRE ANCOL - JAKARTA, INDONESIA
AUGUST 10 - THE OLYMPIC SPORTS CENTRE - BEIJING, CHINA
AUGUST 12 - BAY SPORTS CENTER ARENA - SHENZHEN, CHINA
AUGUST 14 - MALL OF ASIA ARENA - MANILA, PHILIPPINES
AUGUST 18 - SONICMANIA 2017 - CHIBA, JAPAN
AUGUST 20 - SUMMER SONIC 2017 - OASKA, JAPAN
AUGUST 22 - JAMSIL SPORTS COMPLEX - SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
AUGUST 25 - LEEDS FESTIVAL - LEEDS, UK
AUGUST 27 - READING FESTIVAL - READING, UK
SEPTEMBER 01 - HOME FESTIVAL - TREVISO, ITALY
SEPTEMBER 09 - DCODE 2017 - MADRID, SPAIN