Liam Gallagher, Glastonbury 2019

 

He looks great.

Parka.

Of course.

Confident.

Purposeful.

No longer trying to reclaim his place but, instead, reminding everyone why he was able to reclaim it in the first place.

“Rock ‘n’ Star” would be a cliche for anyone else but for Liam it is both calling card and statement of fact. He sounds…good. Tuneful…less strained than on some occasions.  Time will tell if he can sustain that for the duration of the set.

Noel can say what he likes about these songs being his…but the truth, as complex and contradictory as it always is, is that these are Liams songs and our songs.  He sang them, he was responsible for the sound that captured the hearts of a generation as much as Noel was.

When he follows up with “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory” the crowd go, well, mental. A riot of energy, an orgy of appreciation, like a Church Congregation suddenly bearing witness to the rapture…it’s great and terrifying in equal parts.

He’s got lovely maracas.

Smooth.

As he shakes them into the faces of the crowd they seem delighted.

When they realise they are signalling the start of “Wall of Glass” they are even more delighted. That this song is sung back with the same wide eyed, wild eyed, enthusiasm as the two Oasis tracks you understand quite how much people loved “As You Were” and how much they continue to love Liam.

Dedicated to everyone’s favourite buck toothed, tickle-stick wielding, Diddy Man herding, tax avoiding, Scouser, Ken Dodd “Greedy Soul” sounds terrific. That line about 666 and a crucifix is genius.

I have a peculiar reaction to “For What It’s Worth”…when he sings about being sorry and owning his mistakes I start fantasising about Noel striding on stage, the two of them embracing and the good times rolling. Lovely song…but Liam is struggling to hit some of the notes. Doesn’t matter though. This isn’t the opera, it’s rock and bloomin’ roll.

“Shockwave” dear friends is what people in the know call; a banger.

Stone cold.

Thumping, stomping, banging…100%, 24 carrots of glam rock, pub rock, pop-rock brilliance.

Anyone who says different is an idiot.

Lord of the Oasis podcast community…the Oasis Podcast, doesn’t like “Columbia” much and while I normally defer to him on all things related to the band, he’s wrong about this. It’s a swampy, slinky, sexy beast of a song. It sounds good here.

Liam is loved by a lot of lads.  Booze and “birds” sorts.  Most of them old enough to know better…stubbornly clinging on to yesterdays views as well as to hair styles they can’t carry off.

I’m not keen on lad culture. It’s ugly and boorish. But Liam is a complicated character…he might walk the walk of a lad but his heart is that of the most fey and winsome indie kid. He’s a gentle soul. Dedicating “Slide Away” to Lauren from “You Me and the Big C” is testament to that fact. It’s this, more than the swagger and shenanigans, that endears me to him.

“This one’s called Roll With It…apparently its really shit but I dig it.”

I dig it too.

“Bold” is just such a beautiful song. It sounds like a classic, something any of the greats would want to claim as their own and, at the same time, it sounds like a song only Liam could own. Again he is struggling with some of the notes…and he knows it…but nobody cares. This is about the way the song makes you feel, not about the technicalities. It’s the same with “Universal Gleam” with its tender heart and soul soothing grooves.

Reaction to “River” online was a bit “muted” but I’m in…its deep, brooding, hard, a head banger, soul shaker, song of a baker of a tune.

“Cigarettes and Alcohol” takes the crowd from giddy to delerious via hedonist. It’s such a wonderful encapsulation of the nineties…oh wait a minute he’s doing “Wonderwall” and I’ve started crying.

Give me a second.

Biblical

Indeed.

As Liam French kisses the “Rock n Roll” sign on stage the band strike up “Supersonic”, which was the song that made a generation of kids all across Britain turn their backs on America and the hopelessness of grunge and turn on to British bands again. A generation reborn.

“Champagne Supernova” is dedicated to Keith Flint. More evidence of the heart of the man. It also highlights how Liam, for all his commitment to rock ‘n’ roll, is open to people and artists from outside his own musical borders. Watch him with Stormzy at the NME awards in “As You Were” for another example. He digs people who, like him, are committed to making music, to lifting their audience, to inspiring people.

Why him?

Who else?