Liam Gallagher at Alexandra Palace
Liam Gallagher, the frontman of Oasis, one of the greatest rock stars of British music, played his biggest solo show to date at Alexandra Palace last night. The north London venue was beyond packed, with an unprecedented guestlist queue going around the building, proof of the level of attention he is getting from the industry – Tom Odell was right behind me for the 20-minute ordeal.
The Mancunian singer recently enjoyed great success selling 103,000 copies on the first charting week of his debut album As You Were, setting the highest single-week vinyl sales in 20 years (16,000). He even outperformed his brother Noel who last week shipped 78,000 albums.
Gallagher began his set with Rock’n’Roll Star, his on-stage attitude still a great fit for the guitar-heavy Oasis songs. The frontman’s trademark stance – hands behind the back, leaning forward – was a fantastic throwback to the Britpop era. He continued with Morning Glory before dedicating Greedy Soul to his brother Noel. Funnily enough, a couple of miles south-west Noel Gallagher was performing Oasis material as well: Little by Little and Half the World Away at an intimate BBC show from the Maida Vale studios.
Wall of Glass and For What It’s Worth sat nicely among the iconic songs that were on the setlist. Slide Away was almost as good as the “original”, the sound of the guitar riff intro matching that of the estranged sibling. Gallagher sang Rockin’ Chair, which was a life-affirming experience for this reviewer. Another gem was Be Here Now, one more track that Oasis would rarely play. After a short encore, the singer returned to the stage setting the Ally Pally on fire with Cigarettes & Alcohol. A semi-acoustic version of Live Forever – featuring strings – and Wonderwall ended the concert, the latter inspiring the 10,000-strong crowd to sing along on the celebrated 1995 hit.
Numbers speak clearly: people love Liam Gallagher and they miss Oasis very deeply. If we want to see the glass half full, we now have two active recording artists releasing more songs and touring more shows than when they were a band. As much as that’s true, it’s also true that neither of them alone can compare to what they were doing together.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information and future events visit Liam Gallagher’s website here.
Watch the video for For What It’s Worth here: