Although Liam Gallagher is officially joint headliner with Depeche Mode for the Saturday at Isle Of Wight Festival, it’s the electro goth overlords who go on last. More importantly, they get Liam’s ideal 90-minute stage time – Liam only has an hour to fit everything in.
Considering he’s been heeding fans’ requests for the more obscure corners of Oasis’ back catalogue, that makes it tricky to negotiate which songs to build around the five staples from his solo album. He’s recently hinted he might put the occasional Beady Eye song in the mix too, but Isle Of Wight Festival is not the place to start that sort of caper, no matter where you are on the bill.
In the event, the choices were pretty much spot on. Only ‘Listen Up’ drags, with Liam generally at the playful peak he’s maintained since ‘As You Were’ was first previewed. Oasis never played Isle Of Wight Festival, and Beady Eye’s show in 2011 didn’t feature any of their songs. So it’s perhaps little wonder that fans got over-excited, with a fight breaking out in the crowd early on.
Liam warned fans: “I heard it was chilled out here. Can you all calm down? To be honest, I like a moody gig, but it’s all got a bit Moss Side… getting all handbags at a gig is not cool.” He was also understandably hacked off at a fan who aimed a laser pen at him during ‘Supersonic’, telling him: “Come on, laser bollocks, let’s have it. Come on, you shitbag. You’ve had your laser out” before dedicating ‘Some Might Say’ to “The shitbag”.
Dopey fans aside, Liam did the Liam Gallagher thing excellently. Even the weather played ball, cooling down from early afternoon clamminess to a temperature that made Liam’s parka look not totally demented.
Liam’s voice has sometimes sounded iffy on TV festival coverage recently. Maybe it did on Sky Arts’ Isle Of Wight show too. In the flesh, however, Liam sounded electric. His heroes The Stone Roses had by far their worst comeback gig at Isle Of Wight – with a smaller percentage of fans singing every word, Ian Brown’s voice was left exposed. He was always worst having to shout at stadiums anyway.
Almost the reverse applies to Liam, never more commanding than when wanting the attention of naysayers having the temerity to want a burger instead of ‘Paper Crown’. It’s true that ‘For What It’s Worth’, so tender in its recorded version, wobbled a fair bit. But the fire behind ‘Greedy Soul’, ‘Wall Of Glass’ and ‘Morning Glory’ more than compensated for not quite mastering the slowies.
‘Whatever’ was dedicated to “whinging c***s who think I shouldn’t play Oasis songs”, while a thunderous ‘Bring It On Down’ was for “all the old people out there.” At the end, the condensed time did affect the setlist. Having jokingly offered the crowd the choice of “‘Live Forever’, ‘Wonderwall’ or I can fuck off”, he of course played both – only to announce “I’m going to have to rush through these” when he realised he had five minutes left. And, yes, any Oasis fans who’ve yearned to hear ‘Wonderwall’ punked up a bit at double speed, it is every bit as tasty as you imagined…
Liam Gallagher’s setlist was:
Fuckin’ In The Bushes
Rock & Roll Star
Wall Of Glass
For What It’s Worth
Bring It On Down
Some Might Say