***I didn’t attend this show. This review is constructed entirely around the television broadcast. Unlike some “real” journalists I’m being honest!***
You know Liam Gallagher right?
Lead singer with the biggest British band since…well, pick a date.
His entrance to the stage here is familiar to those who have seen him at other outdoor festivals this summer with a camera tracking his swagger to the stage.
It’s such a cliche but that walk is iconic…he just oozes cool.
A quick nod to both The Beatles and Oasis via a reference to the lyrics of “I am the Walrus” and then the band rip into “Rock n Roll Star”.
It’s furious and the crowd are immediately functioning at a ten. The only way is up? Not when Liam is in town. He kicks you up the arse so hard that you soar into the sky and you don’t hit the ground again until he gives you permission.
This is a song that is nearly a quarter of a century old but it has kids who hadn’t been born when it was released throatily shouting along. The same thing happens when “Morning Glory” lands in their earholes. Credit must be given to the band too because you don’t find yourself pining for the boys in THE band at any point. They are tight.
“Greedy Soul” from his first solo album, the epic “As You Were” is the sort of ballsy rock and roll stomper that you would get if you popped Slade, T-Rex, Mick Robson, Richards and peak Oasis into a melting pot. It’s brilliant. Liam sneering his way through it is all the proof that you would ever need for your claims that he is the best front man of all time.
“Wall of Glass” is another song that would happily take its place in a “Best of Oasis” list had it been written by the other one. It also highlights the fact that on his day Liam still has the voice.
My personal favourite from “As You Were” was “Bold”. It takes the none more English tones of Liams voice and surrounds them with the sun kissed vibes of California in about 1977. It’s a gorgeous song and here, with the sun beating down on Glasgow, it is genuinely moving.
“I’m a dreamer by design” he sings during the more maudlin and maybe more melancholy “For What It’s Worth” and it reaches out to everyone in the crowd…we’re all dreamers really. Each of the assembled throng has harboured dreams of being where Liam is. The difference is that he took those dreams and forced them to become real by the strength of his desire.
The slinky swamp rock of “Slide Away” is another reminder, as if anyone needs one, that Oasis had so many great songs that they could make the best album you’ve ever heard from album cuts and B-sides. In truth most bands won’t write one song as good as this…for Oasis it wasn’t good enough to be a single.
If you can have a field full of Glaswegians roar back the words to an album track with the same degree of passion with which they would hail a goal for Partick Thistle then you know you’ve written a solid classic. That’s what “I’ve All I Need” is. A classic. A Cup winning goal for Thistle of a tune.
This is a bit special.
“Whatever” was always one of my favourite Oasis tracks and here is Liam serenading us all with it. There’s even real strings.
Attention to detail man.
Makes all the difference.
It’s a beautiful moment.
Here’s where the story begins though…”Supersonic”. The song that put Oasis into the public eye and deep into the hearts of those of us who were really paying attention. It remains one of the greatest calling cards by any band, from anywhere and from any moment in popular music.
With a riff so catchy that the World Health Organization has placed it at number 14 on its list of most contagious conditions “Some Might Say” is officially dangerous. The crowd don’t care. They fling themselves into it without a condom or a Hazmat suit to be seen.
With the stage bathed in red light Liam takes on the guise of the God of the rock and roll underworld to lead his flock in a hymn of hedonism with “Cigarettes and Alcohol”. They need little encouragement in this none meaner city. Fists pound the air, feet hammer the ground, voices break and heads bang.
“Live Forever” is dedicated to James who has passed away. A local boy. It tells of a good heart that Liam would respond to the pleas of the friends and family of this unknown boy to recognise his passing. The song remains a testament to the power of Noel Gallagher as a writer. It’s a bona fide classic.
Lots of people are a bit sniffy about “Wonderwall”…maybe because it was everywhere at one point in time; blaring from car stereos, playing on pub jukeboxes and being chanted by drunken lads on their way home. But that’s not the fault of the song. It remains a crowd pleaser based on this crowds reaction. Every word sung with so much passion you might believe it’s the last song they will ever sing.
And for tonight it is the last song they will ever hear.
As you were.