Speaking at the premiere of the upcoming documentary at the Electric Cinema in Shoreditch during a Q&A with John Kennedy, the director opened up about how the film focuses on how it was the first great gathering following the pandemic.
“I thought there was a lot of beauty and pathos for it because we’d all been going through such a difficult time the last few years,” Toby said.
“I thought it was something for people to look forward to, I thought for a new generation of fans that weren’t alive when Oasis was around, it was a great moment for them and I think that’s when we started realising that as much as it was Liam’s moment, it was a moment for a lot of people that wanted to be together again and that’s what excited me to try and put that forward and make sure that it’s not just about Liam’s story, it’s about several other people in the process as well.”
He also said he admired the former Oasis frontman’s audacity to play two nights at Knebworth Park again, 26 years after his band’s iconic gigs at the Hertfordshire venue.
“When I saw the show announced I just thought it was brilliantly audacious in that way only Liam Gallagher could be,” he continued. “I feel like a lot of people would look at a legacy that’s so rich and so storied and a show that’s so memorable like Knebworth 96 and be like ‘Well we won’t do that again and it’s nice to have experienced it,’ but him, he’s had such an amazing five years as a solo artist coming back and he’s like, ‘Fuck it I’ll do it again’.”
The director went on to say he felt it was important to document the anticipation of the show throughout the film.
“We were trying to make something that was very personal and relatable but again has expanse because it is Knebworth and so it feels like Knebworth is this character throughout the film and as people will see, we’re building up to it the entire time almost like when you’re looking forward to a show in your diary. That’s kind of what this film is,” he explained.
“It’s like the anticipation and the build up and the speculation and then the rumination of why you love an artist and why it’s important to you and then the explosion of the show. We tried to create a cadence and a momentum and a pacing to the film that feels like the anticipation of going to a show that’s gonna to change your life and it’s quite a lofty thing to achieve or attempt but that’s what we were trying to do.”
Toby L also felt that it was important to capture what the fans went through during the weekend and their stories.
He added: “We were like it would be really cool to obviously cover the show in a really modern and beautiful way with the cinematography but wouldn’t it be nice as well to go a bit deeper and talk about the world we’re in at the moment, the climate we’re in. What we’ve all gone through as a species the last few years, how big gatherings really help people and how when you think what Knebworth is, it’s just people, it’s a lot of people so how can we show the macro view of a lot of people coming together for this special event and how can we zoom in on individual stories that add to this sum of its parts.
“So I think we just wanted to show a lot of the different layers that connect us and the personalities that connect us, as well as the different types of generation that become engrained in Liam’s story as it stands now.”
Knebworth 22 is set to arrive in select UK cinemas for a limited time on November 17, with a full streaming release on Paramount+ later this year. Tickets for the screenings can be purchased here.
Meanwhile, Gallagher recently said there will be no Oasis songs included in the Knebworth 22 documentary because his estranged brother and former bandmate Noel “blocked them”.