~ Why Hull? Why Not ~
Early last year Noel Gallagher branded the city of Hull “A fucking shithole,” while he was performing at Austin City. In typical form, Liam Gallagher took to Twitter to show his appreciation for the cultural city and the rumour mill started about Liam playing a gig in Hull.
Liam Gallagher announced an arena tour to take place in November in the UK and February in Europe. Fans weren’t too happy about Hull not being included on the tour but again Liam took to his favourite soapbox Twitter to reassure the Yorkshire folk that he was planning something very special for Hull. Again rumours started, will he play at the new Bonus Arena? KCOM Stadium? Zebedee’s Yard? Nobody predicted what was about to be announced.
On 24th July the gig was finally announced that he was to play an extra special acoustic gig at Hull City Hall for MTV Unplugged. With the announcement, tickets instantly went on sale and sold out within minutes.
Before the gig, there were a few people joking about if Liam Gallagher is going to turn up or not and if he did, would his brother Noel get his revenge by heckling from the balcony, this is in reference to the Oasis Unplugged in 1996.
On entering the venue, everybody was in good spirits and getting some last-minute photos of their wristbands, tickets and standing next to the ‘Why Hull? Why Not’ poster before mobile phones were placed into a lock pouch so no footage could be filmed of the concert which was about to take place.
With no support bands, it was down to the tunes being played to set the mood, these included Irish Mercury Music Prize-nominated Fontaines D.C., The Enemy and the biggest build-up just before Liam entered the stage with ‘I Am The Resurrection’ by The Stone Roses.
Liam Gallagher walked onto the stunning stage at City Hall to claps and chants of ‘Liam, Liam, Liam…’ Starting his set with his debut solo single ‘Wall Of Glass’, he looked slightly nervous about starting with the track but the second he started to sing and he noticed the crowd were lapping it up, he found his form instantly.
With his second album scheduled for release on 20th September and the Hull gig being shown on MTV 27th September, Liam’s set included five tracks from the new album titled ‘Why Me? Why Not’. These included the latest single ‘Once’, the rumoured next single ‘One Of Us’, title track ‘Why Me? Why Not’, ‘Gone’ and the emotionally charged, ode to his daughter Mollie ‘Now That I’ve Found You’.
The gig would have been special anyway if it was just an acoustic gig but Liam Gallagher was also backed by a spine-tingling orchestra, this on tracks like ‘For What It’s Worth’ and ‘Once’, in the idyllic setting of City Hall was breathtaking.
Liam Gallagher‘s set was full of surprises at every turn, this included founding Oasis member Bonehead on guitar duties for Oasis tracks… Maybe it would have been a surprise if Bonehead hadn’t been posting pictures around Hull on his social media pages. It is always a great sight to see him playing by Liam’s side.
‘Cast No Shadow’ made it onto the set and was one of the surprises of the night. Liam gave a live debut to ‘Sad Song’ which has always been seen as a bit of a sacred Noel track, the tune was used for a B-side on the Japanese release of ‘Don’t Go Away’. An early demo was unearthed on the Oasis docu-film ‘Supersonic’ with Liam singing the track and in Hull if you had never heard the track before you would never have known that it was a Noel sung tune. ‘Stand By Me’ which was played in the encore was also a live debut for Liam and this received one of the biggest sing-a-longs of the night, excitement built around the track two days before when footage appeared online of Liam playing this during his soundcheck.
A cover Bob Marley‘s ‘Natural Mystic’ was played mid-set, Liam has previously played this at a couple of gigs and radio sessions. With Liam Gallagher only playing for just over an hour, this track could have maybe been swapped for one of his own or another Oasis track, it seemed a bit of a wasted opportunity.
Finishing off his set with the Oasis classic ‘Champagne Supernova’, everybody on the balconies was on their feet and half the fans in the standing section were on their friend’s shoulders passionately singing their hearts out, many had tears in their eyes too.
Leaving the venue there wasn’t a face not grinning, strangers talking to each other with excitement in their voice tones, knowing that they had just witnessed something unbelievably special and will probably never be part of an event like that again.
(Review by – Marc Whiffen)
Photo credit: Lewi5rumble (Instagram)
The gig was filmed for MTV Unplugged and will air in the UK at 9pm on 27th September.
Liam Gallagher releases his second album ‘Why Me? Why Not’ on 20th September, Pre-order here: https://amzn.to/2YEzO0k