Updated: Feb 8
Liam Gallagher, why him? Because he was destined to be a rock and roll star. Funny, distinctive, antagonistic at times, yes, but here’s someone who wears his heart truly on his sleeve; over the years, the nation has realised this is no act. Liam’s never claimed to push any musical boundaries, he’s just doing his thing, and doing it with swagger, resulting in a career spanning nearly thirty years.
After the phenomena of Oasis (praise be), Liam formed Beady Eye. Fast-forward five years; our Manchester songbird was facing the end of another band and a divorce. Liam being Liam picked himself up, dusted himself down, and along came the release of Wall of Glass in 2017. Since then, things have been undeniably on the up for Gallagher, with a second album Why Me? Why Not and a UK arena Tour.
This brings us to the Utilita Arena in Newcastle upon Tyne. Of course, Liam is no stranger to this stage, famously gracing it wearing a Newcastle United shirt back in 97. In a sea of parkas, there was a massive buzz of anticipation in the air. The main support act was Sydney’s DMAS’, who warmed everyone up perfectly. This band is on the rise, in fact, the very next day it was announced that they would be headlining the Hit the North Festival in May. Surely this performance will have whetted everyone’s appetite for more.
When that first note rang out on the guitar for Rock and Roll Star, the whole room erupted, and this energy was present throughout, supported by immense lighting design and effect on the big screens. The next four songs were Liam’s and complemented the Oasis ones well, striking a perfect balance between the heady Oasis days and solo work. Shockwave and Wall of Glass were particularly standout, with the crowd knowing every word.
Back to Oasis with Columbia holding so much history for Gallagher, as the opener at Knebworth in 96, and the gorgeous Stand by Me. We returned to Liam’s songs, including Once with its poignant lyrics, and The River where he lovingly brought out his son Gene, who played the drums. This was such a lovely touch. Wonderwall ended the set creating a beautiful moment in unison.
To finish, we were treated to not one, but two encores with five songs. They were all classics, started by Acquiesce: genius. Lastly was Cigarettes and Alcohol and a feeling of euphoria. This gig showed Liam Gallagher is still positively loved and adored and quite rightly. It was a big show from a big personality and left us with the hope that is won’t be so long until we can do it all again.
Article by Beverley Knight