Liam Gallagher @ SSE Hydro, Glasgow, 4 Dec
Liam Gallagher delivers a successful and genuinely entertaining set tonight taking in a plethora of Oasis classics and soon-to-be hits from latest album, As You Were
When the lights in the Hydro cut off to the sound of Fucking in the Bushes, the intro to Oasis' fourth album, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, the place erupts into an expected frenzy; and then an unexpected one. Making his presence known in his own cool, confident manner much to the crowd's delight, Liam Gallagher's simple utterance of "Rock 'n' Roll Star", before getting stuck into the song of the same name, sets the place alight. Literally, as half a dozen flares are lit up, filling the air with red, blue and orange smoke before being tossed haphazardly into the ether.
It's a wild scene and one that's strengthened by how completely unfazed Gallagher is, as if this is exactly what he deserves, and he knows it. Standing tall in front of a banner that says 'Rock N Roll', wrapped up in one of his usual big jackets and needlessly shaking a tambourine we can't even hear; he stares out at the crashing sea of bodies like an old-timey movie King commanding the attention of his loyal subjects.
As expected, much of Gallagher's set tonight focuses on Oasis classics. It's what the people want, and it's what they get. From Morning Glory to Supersonic, Slide Away to Some Might Say, there are some indisputable bangers in the vault, and he parades them tonight with about as much effectiveness as he's ever achieved before, vocally and in terms of seemingly effortless professionalism and intensity.
Gallagher also released a new record recently, entitled As You Were – which already appears to be an incredibly marketable mantra. What's even more notable, perhaps, is that it's actually pretty good. Tonight, songs such as Wall of Glass, Paper Crown and Come Back to Me all stand their ground with the hits. And while the atmosphere takes a noticeable downturn during these airings, the enthusiasm of people clearly trying to learn the words to these lesser known songs as they're sung is a sure sign that they could soon join the hit parade in their own right.
After a successful and genuinely entertaining set, a double encore nearly ends in disaster as Gallagher asks the crowd if they would rather hear Live Forever or Wonderwall? For some confusing reason, people actually 'boo' when he mentions the latter, and after playing the former, he tells the crowd that they "fucked it for themselves" because he was going to play both, then violently throws down his tambourine and storms off.
A few confused, sheepish calls for Wonderwall soon churn into big, bellowing choruses, and the band return with the perhaps knowing, winking choice of Oasis' I'm Outta Time. While it goes down well, the crowd are aching for a more obvious ending, and after another brief fake-out, Gallagher reveals a softer, more forgiving side and finally gives them what they want.
Accompanied by sombre cello, this song transcends the bad busker territory it's languished in for years and is oddly poignant tonight when you see just how many people are nearly crying they're so elated. Nostalgia, good songwriting, or just the right place at the right time? Whatever it means to people, it means something, and it perfectly rounds out a set of undeniable quality from the divisive but dominant 90s icon.