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Liam Gallagher - 'Knebworth 22' Live Album Review


1. Hello

2. Rock ‘n’ Roll Star

3. Wall Of Glass

4. Shockwave

5. Everything’s Electric

6. Roll It Over

7. Slide Away

8. More Power

9. C’mon You Know

10. The River

11. Once

12. Cigarettes & Alcohol

13. Some Might Say

14. Supersonic

15. Wonderwall

16. Champagne Supernova

They say you should never try to recreate your greatest moments as it will just end in disappointment, clearly no-one said that to Liam when he decided to play two nights at Knebworth. Oasis (no choice but to mention them early!) playing two nights at Knebworth to 500,000 people is one of the defining moments of the 1990’s, personally I wasn’t there but I did get to see them play live in the 90’s and know what a great live band they were. If you were at Knebworth back then you were part of something momentous.

So Liam decides he’s going to do it again, on his own, which, given the ongoing lack of brotherly love between him and Noel was his only option. It wasn’t quite as big as the 90’s with 170,000 fans attending over the two nights but it was still a major event. Liam played a mix of his own post Oasis songs and some of the greatest songs Oasis had.

The opening two songs, 'Hello' and 'Rock 'n' Roll Star' are tremendous, it’s like Oasis never went away, as opening songs go they blow everyone away from the start, you can hear from the crowd noise that the party is in full swing from the off.

What’s interesting is that the next song, 'Wall of Glass', stands up incredibly well against the openers. I don’t think it’s ever been easier to trace the progression of Liam’s music than when hearing 'Wall of Glass' after two Oasis numbers, there is continuity but there is also clearly progression.

Liam clearly didn’t want to just turn up and perform an Oasis gig in all but name, he played a mix of his own music and Oasis. Much of his own work stands up well, it’s not genre redefining stuff, he plays to his strengths, he is a rock and roll star, he knows it and he gives the crowd what they want but they are all some signs of change, 'More Power' for instance packs more emotional punch than I expected, it’s almost soulful at times and builds to a tremendous crescendo.

'C’mon You Know' is a brilliant crowd pleasing live song, lots of lines to sing along to, some fantastic backing singing and the attitude that only Liam can bring in spadefuls.There isn’t a weak song in his own songs, they all keep the party going and some, like 'The River', get everyone going in a way that very few acts today can achieve.

'Once' is a brilliant ‘last song’ Liam’s lyrics on this song are, in my opinion, underrated. There is a wistfulness to 'Once' that shows a longing for what could have been. I don’t think it he could have had a better closing song for his main set. It sets off waves of nostalgia and a sing along that transcends the difference between Oasis and Liam’s post Oasis achievements.

However, and we can’t walk past this, the final five songs that closed the gig on the live album are amongst some of the greatest rock and roll music made in the UK in the last 40 years, 'Cigarettes and Alcohol', 'Some Might Say', 'Supersonic', 'Wonderwall' and 'Champagne Supernova'…… If that’s not one of the best endings to a gig I don’t know what is? If you are of a certain age it’s like your bucket list just got ticked off in full.

'Cigarettes and Alcohol' soundtracked a generation, it’s sheer attitude, naked aggression and determination that it was going to kick doors down is just a joy to listen to, it hasn’t been off my playlists since the 90’s and I don’t think it ever will be.

Then when you think it can’t get any better along comes 'Some Might Say', what can you say, just wow, I thought finish it here but then 'Supersonic' comes out and you think this just keeps getting better and better, the classic I’m feeling supersonic, give me gin and tonic, just puts a smile on your face, it just makes me want to bounce up and down in a field!

Then the ultimate 90’s singalong arrives, 'Wonderwall', how many of of have belted it out drunk with your friends at the end of a great night out? I know I have on more than one occasion. I know there’s an argument for 'Don’t Look Back in Anger' but given Noel sang it you can see why it’s not played (there are a few other missing songs for obvious reasons).

'Champagne Supernova' is a brilliant closing song, it just conjures up longing, nostalgia and feeling of I wish I’d been there.

All in all this is a brilliant live album, a mix of nostalgia and current relevance. If in doubt go buy it, you’ll love it.

Review - Iain McClay


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