There’s a picture of Leo Sayer on the back of the bass drum. There’s a Manchester City flag draped over one of the amps. There’s an enormous backlit church organ at the back of the stage. Liam Gallagher’s playing a house of God for the second time in six months (he rocked the Union Chapel in Islington in December), and he’s got his maracas out.
He opens, as he will until the end of time, with his anthem: ‘Rock N’ Roll Star’. Everyone in the congregation is asking the same question: how’s his voice? Glory to the highest, it’s deep, dark and immense. Game on.
A gigantic ‘Morning Glory’ bleeds into a customary run of the best tunes from LG’s debut 2017 solo album ‘As You Were’ – ‘Wall of Glass’, ‘Greedy Soul’, ‘For What It’s Worth’ – before things take a turn for the new, exciting and hilariously antagonistic with beefy, T-Rex-y, Slade-y new single (and first from his soon-come new album ‘Why Me? Why Not’), ‘Shockwave’.
“You sold me right up the river,” he goes. “You’ve played the game one too many times, you’re gonna burn until you behave,” he warns. “You’re a snake, you’re a weasel, you’re a pebble in the sea,” he goads.
Noely G are you listening?
Perhaps the key lyric though, is: “They tried to keep me locked away, but hallelujah I feel free.” And this sense of freedom is palpable at LG shows. It’s a game now – for fans, and probably for Liam too – to try and guess which Oasis songs he’ll intro to his set. Another guaranteed winner, like ‘Cast No Shadow’? Another Noel-baiting choice, like ‘D’yer Wanna Be A Spaceman? or ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’? Nothing is off limits.
Unleashed tonight are the menacing ‘Colombia’, which grinds its way around the room and takes Liam’s growl along for the ride, and – brilliantly – underrated monster stomper ‘Lyla’.
As Liam explains: “When I was in that Oasis we did a video here for a tune called ‘Lyla’… and it was obviously fucking shocking. Our kid got behind the wheel and you know what he’s like, got the tea out, the biscuits, dressed us all, cut our hair… and might have given us a back massage as well”.
What could possibly be more classic than Liam having a pop at Noel on stage? Well, Liam singing his heart out on ‘Some Might Say’, ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ and a just-him-and-a-piano version of ‘Champagne Supernova’. In these post-Oasis days, at these solo shows, these songs seem like gifts.
And when Liam’s on peak form, like he is tonight, and when the crowd is brimming with joy, like it is tonight, they are untouchable.
Rock N’ Roll Star
Wall of Glass
For What It’s Worth
Some Might Say
Cigarettes & Alcohol
Liam’s new single, ‘Shockwave’, is out now. His new album, ‘Why Me? Why Not’, comes out in September.