Live Review: Liam Gallagher & John Squire – Leeds 23.03.24

There’s a level of devotion that goes beyond a tour t-shirt, bucket hat or even an oversized parka.

Those queuing up outside the O2 Academy in Leeds to see Liam Gallagher and John Squire have those in abundance, of course, but there are those people who wear a permanent tribute to their hero. The Gallagher haircut is in generous supply. You’ve got to be serious about it to commit to that. You can take the hat and coat off tomorrow but you’re in deep with that hairstyle.

These devotees, some having lined up for hours in the chilly early evening, will know what to expect. It’s a short, 50 minute rattle through the new material, no frills, no tricks. Solid, straight up indie rock n roll. 

Gallagher swaggers on, gold maracas in hand, taking his place centre stage in a single column of light, while Squire quietly takes his spot stage left. The reaction is feverish and the opening number, Just Another Rainbow, is sung by the crowd as if they were singing along to Live Forever

There are smouldering stares toward the faithful. They hold out tributes to their rock god and, graciously, Gallagher breaks the persona briefly during the opening number to sign a vintage Oasis shirt for a grateful disciple. 

Meanwhile, Squire quietly plys his trade, keeping things moving, filling this moment with intricate soloing. There’s a hard-core congregation who have lined up on his side of the stage too, grateful for the chance to see their guitar hero up close again.

As it goes on, there’s that era-defining swagger and snarling from Gallagher and ample opportunity for Squire to indulge his fans with some extended guitar noodling, more longform than the recorded versions. Most of us would have happily listened to the cascading solos all night long!

Beyond the shirt signing, there’s precious little meaningful interaction between Gallagher and the crowd throughout the set, but those at the barrier could not care less. They’re just enjoying the chance to be this close to a stadium-filling artist and bask in his reflective glow. Similarly, there’s very little between Gallagher and Squire too. They pass occasionally, as they move around the stage, but follow their separate paths before returning to their starting positions.

The songs translate well from record to the live show. They are the perfect blend of Oasis swagger and Stone Roses intricacy and are made for a live environment. In particular Mars to Liverpool and the last of the original material in the set – Raise Your Hands stand out. The latter has the feel of an Oasis-era anthem as people clamber on shoulders to salute the iconic pair on stage.

There’s a cover of Jumpin’ Jack Flash to close things out. They’ve steadfastly resisted playing any Oasis or Roses material on this tour, so they had to encore with something, but there’s a few comments among the faithful that this was a bit of an odd choice. Still, it’s well known, and people sing along anyway. It’s short and sweet, fans having received their blessing before heading out into the Leeds night.

Ultimately, it’s an unsurprising walk through the new material albeit hugely welcomed by the crowd. What’s remarkable however, is the hold these two Mancunian legends still hold over the crowd, decades after they exploded onto the scene. Squire is a master of his craft, not just the playing, but the song writing. For those in the front row, Gallagher remains a messianic figure.

Or as he might say himself, “BIBLICAL”

Set list:
Just Another Rainbow
One Day At A Time
I’m A Wheel
Love You Forever
Make It Up
You’re Not The Only One
I’m So Bored
Mars to Liverpool
Mother Nature’s Song
Raise Your Hands
Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Previous Premiere: We bring you an exclusive look at the new video from Simon Robert Gibson's poignant track 'The Old Ways' from his forthcoming collection 'These Shining Years'.
Next Track: Runrummer Shares Bedroom-Pop Beauty 'Not Quite Over You'

No Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.