Liam Gallagher live in London: rants and a wide-ranging set on a cruise down the Thames
The River Thames, December 5: sailing down the river (but not alone), Liam even had a go at the London Eye: “Not arsed about you, big wheel... Fuck off!"
By Rhys Buchanan, 6th December 2020
The barge hosting Liam Gallagher’s ‘Down By The Thames’ live stream is just approaching Tower Bridge, the London landscape looking like a postcard, when he tears into emotional ballad ‘Once’. In a year that’s been grim at the best of times, it’s a moment that gladdens the soul.
The kind of idea that one might have conjured after a late night on the beer, the gig – Liam cruising down the river while belting out bangers – promises big hitters from both of his Number One solo albums, 2017’s ‘As You Were’ and last year’s ‘Why Me? Why Not.’, as well as stone-cold career classics. And while Oasis don’t have the best track record on water (their infamous drunken ferry brawl on the way to Amsterdam 1994 was a particularly stormy chapter in the band’s history), it’s immediately clear that this is going to be one to remember.
It’s as good a time as any to pull out a few surprises, and he gets things going with his first-ever solo performance of Oasis’ ‘Hello’, which coincides with a picture-perfect London skyline. “We live in the shadows / We had the chance and threw it away / And it’s never gonna be the same / ‘Cause the years are falling by like the rain”: the words carry extra poignancy as we head towards a – surely – brighter new year.
As the barge cuts through the calm waters, Liam and his band (which features original Oasis guitarist Bonehead) get straight into 2017 solo single ‘Wall Of Glass’; the tune already feels like a familiar friend in his catalogue. Panoramic cameras cut to the O2 Arena, the venue Liam was due to play earlier in the year for members of the NHS staff and key workers. While that wasn’t possible due to the pandemic, you can’t help but feel LG has made the most of the circumstances.
Flowing into ‘Halo’, he continues in his signature pose: rooted to the spot, hands behind the back stance. The solo anthems sound bolder than ever before: when he sneers “You sold me right up the river” on solo cut ‘Shockwave’, he could be at Maine Road, Knebworth or the Pyramid Stage. Or, you know, a boat on the river Thames.
Inevitably, the pounding ‘The River’, from ‘Why Me? Why Not.’, is cued up as the barge continues its voyage. With Liam donning shades and a cosy-looking winter hat, we’re then treated to the iconic, soaring opening riff of ‘Morning Glory’; it’s a nostalgic and deeply emotive moment. We’re missing fans, flares, hurled pints and crowd chants, but this is without doubt the next best thing.
After the generation-defining ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ and its lyrics, “Is it worth the aggravation / To find yourself a job when there’s nothing worth working for?”, Liam rants to the camera: “That’s for you, fuckin Rishi wishy washy – and fuckin’ Doris.” What would a Liam Gallagher show be without some drama?
Bonehead ensures that ‘Headshrinker’ features its trademark flourishes, and we end on the double blast of ‘Supersonic’ and ‘Champagne Supernova’. Between the tracks, LG takes another chance to have a rant, though this time the victim is no less than the illuminated London Eye: “Not arsed about you, big wheel – give a fuck. Lit up? Round? Fuck off – we’re out of here. Good night!” An end-credits performance of his emotive new festive single ‘All You’re Dreaming Of’ caps off the night.
The Thames has seen its fair share of incendiary moments, from The Sex Pistols’turbulent 1977 trip to mark the release of ‘God Save The Queen’ to the legendary yowls of “I live by the river” in The Clash’s ‘London Calling’. Liam Gallagher has added to the story in his own indelible way.
AdidasNG72: Seeing as BHN is my favourite album of all time, yes I agree 100%. BHN is a unique masterpiece in its own right, and something that will never be attempted by another band ever again, as no band will ever be as big as Oasis again.
Apr 9, 2021 13:02:10 GMT -5
summersox: the-soapbox.net is BACK, baybeeeeee! Ever punched anyone to Oasis?
May 20, 2021 11:39:58 GMT -5
Mad4it: As anyone got the full concert footage knebworth
May 21, 2021 9:25:03 GMT -5
bestwick8: whatever happened to the tiktok ama ?
May 26, 2021 19:15:19 GMT -5
shirleyroadshow: I gave the band a slot on my roadshow for ITV telethon production in June 1992. My brother worked with Boneheads brother Martin Arthurs and we were producing a 24 hour on/off LIVE event. The band were very much together at that time!
May 29, 2021 8:24:29 GMT -5
tongaoasis07: Listening to this remaster i must admit it sounds awesome!!
Jul 6, 2021 23:19:09 GMT -5
welshylad: what remaster
Jul 8, 2021 8:28:35 GMT -5
tongaoasis07: don't remember... but for sure it was one from the thieving magpie! hahaha
Jul 14, 2021 21:15:48 GMT -5
BugmenAndBoxes: I was catching up on the Matt Morgan podcast and got to the part where Noel refuses to let Matt tell the story of how Dead In The Water was written, but does mention it was written in response to thinking he could one up a song he heard... Bold?
Aug 9, 2021 13:17:42 GMT -5
artumlobov: He failed
Sept 5, 2021 12:32:36 GMT -5
Wolf: I don't think he did
Sept 9, 2021 11:27:03 GMT -5
World71R: It might be Once. That was directly aimed tied into Liam's relationship with Noel and both songs have that ballad feel to them.
Sept 19, 2021 21:56:36 GMT -5