You can start and end the review with that one word
Liam has claimed the word as his own and it’s hard to disagree walking out of tonight that the gig was anything but 2019 has been Liam’s year. Once upon a time, you’d have the debate about whether you’re Team Liam or Team Noel, but with Noel d*cking around with Christmas songs that aren’t Christmas songs and disco-indie for Radio 2 listeners, it’s kind of game over. Everyone is in Liam’s camp and to quote from Liam G tonight “Noel is a c*nt”.
The atmosphere is electric in the Arena with “A Town Called Malice” and “I Am The Resurrection” bellowed out by the 13,000 strong crowd. And then the lights drop and “F*ckin In The Bushes” blares out of the speaker system. It’s the calling card for pints to be thrown, chests to be beat and flares to be lit. Our man is in the building. The songs that sound-tracked many a night in our youth are to be snarled back at us.
15 seconds of the opening riff of “Rock & Roll Star” and Liam enters
“I live my life in the city
There’s no easy way out
The day’s moving just too fast for me”
Gallagher’s vocals have never been on better form. There was a time around Beady Eye where his voice was shot, the songs were even worse and you’d have rather seen a Northern Uproar reunion, but this phoenix like raise over the past few years has been wonderful to watch. It’s easy to forget that this is a man who was once in the biggest band in the world, with Beady Eye was then reduced to 1000 capacity venues and has now sold out 13 nights on a UK Arena Tour. It’s a spectacular return to form. There’s 2 sides to Liam and it’s like a mirror of the audience. There’s the “mature” Liam we saw in the “As It Was” film. The proud family fan who runs and occasionally parties and then there’s the Liam who releases his inner 20 something year old and launches a 20 tweet tirade on Twitter. The bulk of tonight’s Parka crowd can see themselves in Liam and there’s the new generation that are discovering Oasis for the 1st time and want to hear some of the great rock & roll anthems of all time.
The set tonight is a 50 / 50 Split between the 2 solo albums “”Why Me? Why Not?” and “As You Were” and Oasis’ glorious back catalogue
The solo material isn’t breaking any boundaries, but they’re memorable and they have huge choruses. In fact, they hold their own against the classics tonight. There’s no indifference during the solo material. There’s arms aloft, groups of lads drunkenly bonding and singing every word back to each other.
“Halo” with it’s Rolling Stones” influence piano motif, “Shockwave” with it’s swamp stomp and glam rock pounding drums, “Wall Of Sound” and that descending riff that gnaws away.
“Once” is the one though. It’s the best solo song he’s done to date
The only disappointment of the solo work is a bongo inflected semi-acoustic version of “Greedy Soul”
So what of the Oasis material?
Well there’s everything you’d expect – “Morning Glory”, “Wonderwall”, “Champagne Supernova”, “Roll With It”, “Supersonic” and the set’s closer “Cigarettes and Alcohol”
There’s a glaring omission with “Live Forever”
And there are some wonderful additions with “Stand By Me” and “Acquiesce”. That’s the beauty of Oasis in that there are so many gems. The former hidden away on what many consider a weak Oasis album and the latter a throwback to the days when b-sides meant something. It’s also a song that makes us think of the 2 brothers again and whilst we’d love to see the whole band on stage again (Bonehead has been joining Liam for each show) there’s an element similar to when Johnny Marr plays the Smiths that this is pretty damn special itself
The way Liam is rolling right now he might actually do what Oasis didn’t and release a great 3rd album
Monday nights in Sheffield really don’t get better than this