Live Review: Liam Gallagher & John Squire – O2 Apollo, Manchester



It was a welcome suprise when Liam Gallagher announced that he was working on new music with John Squire, it was hard to believe and easier to think that this was one of Liam’s famous Twitter wind ups. But no, two singles and a number 1 album later, here we are in their hometown, at the legendary O2 Apollo in Manchester seeing how the duo pull this off live.

Supporting on these dates was the Nottingham troubadour Jake Bugg, who himself, is more used to headlining these kind of venues so for him to open is an extra treat on the night. Bugg mainly relyed on his first two albums for his set, playing big hitters like ‘Trouble Town‘, ‘Seen It All‘ ‘Taste It‘ ‘Slumville Sunrise‘ and ‘Two Fingers‘, these were always going to go down well with the Parka Monkeys. Jake delivers the lyrics so fast he bearly has time to breathe, it’s pretty amazing watching him look effortless while doing so. Bugg finished with his big fan favourite ‘Lightning Bolt‘ before it was time for the main attraction.

It didn’t take too long before the venue was full to capacity with fans both excitied and intrigued.

There had been a tiny bit of controversy after the first gigs, about how long the gig was on for and also the lack of Oasis and The Stone Roses tunes, but in all fairness, Liam did say this tour would just be the album and they wouldn’t be doing any tunes from their own bands well before tickets even went on sale.

First single ‘Just Another Rainbow‘ was the opener for the gig and the first chance to see the duo together. This song itself had recieved some sniggers about the lyrics but ‘that’ part actually produced the loudest singing of the night and let’s be fair here, when else are you going to get to sing the colours of the rainbow along with Liam Gallagher? The second half of the tune lets Squire take you on a journey with his guitar wizardry.

A thing about seeing this album live also gave the opportunity to hear these tracks with a little bit more venom, with Liam’s vocals being more used to bigger venues, it felt like he was already trying to throw his voice into the COOP Arena from the Apollo stage. That said, Liam’s vocals are sounding the strongest they have been in a long time and these gigs are also giving a good preview to what is to come with his up and coming ‘Definitely Maybe‘ tour. Squire, the same, with The Stone Roses it was playing stadiums, so to hear his solos bouncing off the walls was pretty incredible.

I’m A Wheel‘ has quickly become a fan favourite and this was one of the highlights, the chorus is so infectious it had everybody involved. ‘Love You Forever‘ too, this looked like it could be one of Liam’s favourites, he was looking and sounding pretty gritty on this, nearly knocking the mic over as he was attacking it with his delivery. ‘Make It Up As You Go Along‘ gained a huge gathering of V’s of the fingers flicked up in Liam and John’s direction, this was pretty amusing during the “Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and fuck you too”.

Although both Liam and John don’t really do alot of moving about it felt a bit like eyeball ping-pong on who to watch at times. Squire, god knows how he makes those sounds but it was mesmerising and while he was noodling away, Liam was prowling around the stage, pointing and nodding, so you also wanted to keep an eye on him too, it’s an hard life having two of the coolest men on the same stage.

Mars to Liverpool‘ was the second single and unsurprisingly this was also a huge sing along, almost too big for the venue. The wholesome ‘Mother Nature’s Song‘ gave people that little loving and hugging moment, you could see this song means the world to Liam too. ‘Raise Your Hands‘ was the last tune from the album played, this was dedicated to Mancuian boxing legend Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton and had the crowd looking those inflatable waving men that you see outside of shops in America.

Although there was no Oasis or The Stone Roses played, they did finish with a cover of The Rolling StonesJumpin’ Jack Flash‘. The track is absolutely perfect for the aggression in Liam’s vocals and is a tune that fans have wanted to hear covered from Liam for years, ever since that amazing Stones cover Oasis did of ‘Street Fighting Man‘, a great way to end a perfect gig.

Like I said earlier about the controversy of the setlist, rest assured that nobody who actually attended the gig was complaining afterwards, there were smiles for miles, and conversations between strangers on the long walk back to the City Centre, talking about what they had just witnessed, it was a truly special night.

After a number 1 album, tour selling out in minutes, surely there is more to come from the duo, they can’t just leave it there, it should be a criminal offence if they do. The biggest crime of all though would be John Squire going back into hibernation from the music scene again, we need that guy around, always!

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